With the COVID – 19 pandemic coming in waves throughout 2020, certain industries have come to a complete standstill causing considerably slower growth in advanced and emerging economies. The first nine months of this year has therefore been one of the most challenging periods in recent times.
Inevitably, the Bank’s financial results too suffered in the first nine months of 2020. Low interest rates, restrictions on fee-based income, subdued economic activities both locally and globally coupled with the two-month island-wide lockdown due to COVID-19 were the main reasons that impacted Sampath Bank’s performance during this period. Moreover, in the light of depressed market conditions, the Bank adopted a more conservative approach to making a significant amount of additional impairment provisions on foreign currency denominated government bonds as well as on loans and advances, which together have been responsible for a sizable profit erosion. However, the Bank reported a reduced profit for the period under review which can be considered as a promising result in the wake of these economic headwinds.
Despite the negative headwinds affecting its financial performance, Sampath Bank continued to prioritize the needs of all stakeholders. The Bank reiterated its commitment to support its customers by providing them with sustainable solutions to overcome this difficult time. The Bank took swift action to implement the COVID – 19 relief schemes for the benefit of customers. Accordingly, approximately 50% of the Bank’s customers enjoyed the moratorium relief. Further, Sampath Bank also actively participated in the government-led refinance scheme and granted approximately Rs 8 Bn worth of working capital loans. Going beyond the government’s relief measures, the Bank took independent action to evaluate the customer requirements on a case by case basis and provided customized and more affordable solutions.
Although the spread of COVID-19 was well controlled in the third quarter of this year, the reimposition of movement restrictions in response to the second wave will no doubt push back Sri Lanka’s anticipated economic recovery. For its part, Sampath Bank has made all necessary arrangements to ensure its smooth operation in the event of a nation-wide lockdown.
BOI launches long term residence visa programme for investors
The Board of Investment (BOI) recently launched the five-year residence visa program dedicated to investors, stakeholders and BOI enterprises.Issuing long-term visas for investors has been the practice as per the international standards. On par with matching the international benchmark in respect of ease of doing business, the BOI has decided to launch this program to attract more investors to the country.
The long-term visa program, a long-felt need, primarily aims to facilitate the investors who wish to embark on a journey with the BOI.The BOI annually issues 7500-8000 visa recommendations for investors, employees and dependents.The BOI has granted visas for foreign nationals from 109 countries such as India, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan which represent the most applicants based on last year’s statistics.
Addressing the gathering, Investment Promotion Minister Dhammika Perera said “The happiness on the faces of those investors present at the occasion, implies that the newly launched visa residence scheme is a success,”
“Before the implementation of this program, they had to go through a long documentation process every year to get these visas,” he pointed out.
“Having understood the prime need to provide a seamless and convenient service for investors, we have launched the new program albeit I have not officially assumed duties as the Investment Promotion Minister,” Perera highlighted.
BOI Director General Renuka M Weerakone stated “It is certainly a pleasure to see all our long-standing investors on this special day of launching the long-term residence visa program for investors.
“You all have been the contributors towards 65% of export earnings to Sri Lanka and have stood by us even in times of difficult periods that our country faced, which we wish to acknowledge with great gratitude,” she underscored.
Dialog Enterprise introduces Dialog SmartLife App for Three Sinha roller doors
The Three Sinha Group, a leading roller door company in Sri Lanka, has teamed up with Dialog Enterprise, the corporate ICT solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, to launch a smart roller door controlled via the Dialog SmartLife App. This app enables users to control and access roller door services conveniently from their smartphones. Customers who use Three Sinha roller doors simply need to download the Dialog SmartLife App on Apple App Store and Google Play Store on their smartphone to operate the roller doors from anywhere.
“This is another important step in that process, and we are pleased to partner Dialog Enterprise to provide customers with a future-fit solution. I invite our customers to become a part of this experience”, said Manjula Ariyakumara, the Managing Director of Three Sinha Group of Companies. “As expounded by our brand ethos ‘The Future.Today’, Dialog is continuously seeking avenues of incorporating communication technology into many service areas and product offerings. In line with this vision, we are delighted to partner Three Sinha, a leading Roller Door company in Sri Lanka”, stated Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer – Dialog Enterprise of Dialog Axiata PLC
People’s Bank commemorates its 61st anniversary
People’s Bank, held a modest ceremony to on 1st July to commemorate their 61st anniversary at the bank’s Head Office in Colombo 02. Chairman of the People’s Bank Sujeewa Rajapakse and CEO/General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku addressed the staff at this event.
In addition, Religious programs were organized by the Buddhist Association, Hindu Association, Muslim Majlis and the Christians Guild of the People’s Bank to invoke blessings on the country, the people, the customers and the pioneering leaders who have contributed to establish the People’s Bank.
Accordingly, a Pirith chanting was held at the Head Office which was followed by an alms giving at Sambodhi Viharaya in Fort with the patronage of Chief Incumbent Most Ven. Professor Iththademaliye Indhasara Thero. Hindu pooja was conducted by Sri Nivasa Kurukkal, Bambalapitiya, Islamic Service conducted by Deshabandu Al Haj Faisal Hassan mowlavi at Dawatagaha Jumma mosque in Colombo and the holy mass was conducted by Rev. Father Anton Rohitha at St. Philip Mary’s church in Pettah.People’s Bank Corporate and Executive Management, bank staffs and retired employees were also present at the occasion.
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