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Santani hailed as Best Wellness Retreat in the World by Travel+Leisure India



Travel+Leisure’s readership voted for their favourite wellness retreat in the world and have chosen Santani, Sri Lanka as the best in the world. Santani’s unique and scientific approach to wellness and ayurveda has made it stand out once again, with Travel + Leisure elaborating:

” Built with the belief that human beings heal and thrive when surrounded by nature, Santani Wellness Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka features sustainable architecture and minimalist interiors, designed to preserve its green environment. They have added to the global sustainability discussion by introducing the game changing concept of “Human Sustainability” that drives everything at Santani.

Being located on a 120-acre former tea plantation, surrounded by a lush green forest, makes the resort both secluded and accessible. Sri Lanka’s first full-fledged destination spa resort believes its success relies on encouraging practices that guests can carry home to continue a healthier lifestyle. It offers programmes that are fully customisable to suit your needs, with a combination of methods such as Ayurveda, yoga, spa treatments, and digital detox.”

Aindrila Mitra, Editor of Travel+Leisure India said, “Celebrating the 10th edition this year, we are felicitating trendsetters and trailblazers in the fields of travel and leisure, in addition to our other popular categories. These 10 special categories will felicitate game changers in the fields of conservation, travel photography and storytelling, sustainability, wellness, design, F&B, climate change awareness, community tourism and more.”

CEO and Founder of Santani Wellness Resort, Vickum Nawagamuwage commented on the latest accolade. “We are thankful yet again, especially in times like this, to our guests who keeps coming back and voted us as the best in the world, Travel+Leisure, our travel industry partners, and everyone who banded together to help us achieve this laurel. Special thank goes to the team at Santani. This recognition is proof that we have maintained our sometimes-impossible standards through the worst period for global tourism in recent times. We’re taking this recognition to move forward from the COVID-19 challenge by expanding our footprint globally”.

When asked about what expansion plans were in the pipeline, Vickum said, “the global demand for wellness is growing exponentially and we want to grow the brand through our own properties as well as management contracts. We are also creating a mid-market brand centered around the same unique concepts that made Santani a world class brand. We have already secured several management contracts and are in discussions with other owners/developers to build/operate properties in Sri Lanka as well as globally”.

Recently celebrating its fifth anniversary, Santani has become one of the most celebrated hotels in the world in record speed. The Santani brand imbues purpose into everything from the modern, sustainable architecture to the once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic experience, to the perfect union of modern and ancient wellness methods. Everything that happens during your stay at Santani, happens by design.

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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets



Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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