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SDB bank set to boost SMEs and women entrepreneurship nationwide

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Securing LKR 7.5 billion term loan facility from U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved a USD 40 Million (Rs. 7.5 Billion) term loan facility to SDB bank in a bid to promote financial inclusion, resulting in more support to SMEs, particularly female-owned Small and Medium Enterprises. This comes as part of the financing recently approved by the DFC board to advance development in emerging markets of African, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Indo-pacific, and Latin American regions.

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is a U.S. Development Bank specializing in providing financial support to private sector partners in developing markets. Promoting financial support to SMEs and women entrepreneurs in these markets is a key focus area for the bank. SDB bank was selected for the loan primarily due to its innovative business model that takes a progressive approach to development, with an emphasis on financial empowerment and SME development. In fact, 40% of the loan facility is reserved exclusively for women with the remaining 60% being allocated to SMEs in general. The bank’s commitment to these forward-looking policies is evident in their specialized products for female-owned SMEs which include Uththamavi, a special investment scheme for women and a general SME loan offering.

The investment loan approval granted by DFC comes at a critical time and is the first in over 7 years. The loan also comes with a series of other value additions including a Capacity Development Programme, which gives bank employees access to modern technology and know-how. This invaluable resource is then passed on to the customer, which enables them to grow their enterprise, as their hard work is directed by strategic thinking and professional business insight.

Speaking about this monumental opportunity, Thilak Piyadigama, CEO, SDB bank had this to say, “DFC is known for financing solutions which have helped overcome some of the most critical problems across the developing world. This loan comes at a time when the country needs financial support and gives us the chance to get our economy back on track faster. As always we will be giving the SME sector our full support. This loan will go a long way towards ensuring a more self-sufficient country, where hardworking Sri Lankans, who are the engine of progress, realise their financial ambitions. We are also focused on utilising these funds to create a new era of financial freedom and empowerment for female entrepreneurs”.

By uplifting SMEs and encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship SDB Bank continues to create opportunities all over the island. These initiatives create jobs, ensure local communities are uplifted, and enable Sri Lankans to enjoy a better quality of life by giving them access to higher wages. They help safeguard the rights of workers, the preservation of the environment, and continually support SME empowerment. This development is essential for the country to remain competitive on a global scale. These initiatives also guarantee critical investment happens at the right time for maximum developmental impact. SDB bank shares these developmental goals and is honoured to lead the way for a new era of progress and prosperity.



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‘Expolanka Holdings steadfast in posting stabilized Q3 results’

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Expolanka Holdings PLC recorded a steady 9-month performance as at December 31, 2022 amid declines in the overall global markets. Reflecting the underlying strength of its business and success in pursuing a consolidated strategy, the combined 9-month performance delivered a strong endorsement in overcoming challenges in the macro environment with Year-to-date Revenue of Rs. 491Bn, Gross Profit Rs. 85.9Bn and Net Profit Rs. 32Bn. International business continued to generate above 95% in contribution, demonstrating the robust earning potential of the company, an Expolanka Holdings press release said.

The release adds: ‘However, declines in international trade moderated Q3 FY 2022 earnings, recording a Revenue of Rs. 94.2Bn, Gross Profit of Rs. 20.6Bn and a Profit after Tax of Rs. 3.0Bn.

‘Contributing to company earnings was the logistics sector which navigated the challenging macro-economic environment and adopted longer-term strategies concentrating on business fundamentals. For Q3, the sector posted a Revenue of Rs. 92Bn, Gross Profit of Rs. 19.9Bn and Profit after Tax of Rs. 2.7Bn delivering a YTD Profit after tax of Rs. 30.1Bn.

‘Impacting revenues were a reduction in operating volumes across Air Freight and Ocean Freight products due to the overall slowdown in global trade volumes on grounds of high inventory levels, inflationary fears and the global energy crisis. The Air Freight business encountered a relatively larger impact due to challenging market conditions resulting in weakening demand and reduced volumes.

‘Focusing on increased customer penetration, developing partner networks and enhanced competencies, the company was successful in gaining cumulative progress in the Ocean Freight product.

‘The North American trade lane continues to remain the critical business driver for Expolanka, while the European and Intra-Asia companies remained resilient.

‘Reinforcing growth and sustaining improved margins was also due to the company’s focus on strengthening customer relationships, attracting selective new customers and engaging in proactive procurement strategies.

‘Key EFL origins also delivered strong results, reflecting the success of the infrastructure investments made into these markets.

‘The Group’s stabilized 9-month performance was also aided by the continued resurgence in the leisure sector. In Q3 the sector delivered a Revenue of Rs. 725Mn, Gross profit of Rs. 578Mn and Profit after tax of Rs. 202Mn by strengthening its market position focusing on efficient procurement and operational excellence.’

‘Recording a revenue of Rs. 1.6Bn and a Profit after Tax of Rs. 41Mn, the Group’s investment sector remained steady making progress across its business portfolios.

‘Despite the global macro environment remaining uncertain and challenging in the future, Expolanka aims to forge ahead, unwavering in its approach to deliver on earmarked strategic initiatives building on its strong performance. The company stands persistent towards generating accelerated growth and innovation while remaining true to its core values by reaffirming its long-term commitment and challenging the status quo to seize opportunities in the market that would predominantly secure its position as a market leader.’

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Sanasa Life Introduces “Pinsaru Vandana” – A Premium Insurance Policy for Buddhist Clergy

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Helping to elevate and protect the Buddha Sasana, Sanasa Life Insurance has introduced a very special and tailored insurance policy for Buddhist Monks. The “Pinsaru Vandana” insurance policy provides a specialized insurance scheme addressing the special needs of Buddhist Monks. An auspicious inauguration ceremony was held, in the presence of several senior members of the Buddhist Clergy on the 17th of January 2023, at the Sri Sambudhdhatva Jayanthi Mandiraya in Colombo. A total of 300 Buddhist Monks were in attendance at the event, and gave their blessings for this special insurance scheme. A group of dignitaries, including Wishawa Prasadini, Dr. P. A. Kirivandeniya and Piriwena Director, Venerable Watinapaha Somarathana Thero, were also present and played key roles during the event.

“Pinsaru Vandana” is an insurance scheme that provides relief and protection for junior monks, in the event of the death, serious illness or incapacitation of their patron/senior monk. In such an unfortunate event, junior monks can often become destitute and or marginalized. Thus, “Pinsaru Vandana” will help to protect these young monks as they pursue their journey and mission of elevating and sustaining the Buddha Sasana.

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Technocity hosts ‘Together We Win’ training programme in Thailand

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The team at the ‘Together We Win’ training programme in Thailand

The Technocity Pvt. Ltd., the leading Sri Lankan IT Distribution Company, recently held a three-day ‘Together We Win’ training programme at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

The event, in partnership with HP, invited The Technocity’s top 10 Partners for training in gratitude for the continuous support they have shown towards helping the company develop its business.

The event featured esteemed speakers, including Gehan Thangappan (Business Head, The Technocity), Manish Gawri (Hp Inc., Notebook), T Natarajan (Hp Inc., Print) and M. Kalim (Sales Manager, The Technocity).

The sessions covered various pertinent topics while the invitees viewed a series of product videos during the training to further understand the complexities of the products.

Addressing the invitees, Gehan Thangappan said, “We started small, as all new businesses do, but we’ve grown beyond our borders. This is all thanks to our valued partners and customers who have helped us achieve newer and higher ground. Grateful as we are, we also look forward to providing our diverse clientele with the best products and top-notch service as always.”

The Technocity also conducted a F2F discussion with the partners, briefing them on the way forward and announcing the channel incentive schemes in place targeting Ink Tank Printers. Prior to the conclusion of the event, the attending partners partook in a quiz segment and were treated to exciting giveaways.

“We are very happy with the success of this programme. The training had a very good impact, especially as it was held out of the country and it motivated partners. It was also significant for us as it was the first event we had held overseas after Covid,” Thangappan added.

The Technocity Pvt Ltd is one of the leading distributors in Sri Lanka for IT products and services. In the nearly three decades since its establishment, The Technocity has grown to become one of the most trusted names in the industry. The company is also the first local distributor for HP in Sri Lanka and boasts a portfolio of representation for notable brands like Asus, Lenovo, MSI, Logitech and Viewsonic.

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