The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) recently conducted a forum for the Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of several private companies with the view of encouraging them to list on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
The SEC has had a continuous dialog with all stakeholders of the capital market and has emphasized the need to take aggressive measures to develop the market in order to ensure that it is the preferred place to raise capital.
Only a few companies have listed on the CSE during the last several years and that was seen as one of the reasons for inadequate level of liquidity and relatively small size of the market. The SEC recently approved a new framework for listing of companies, granting complete autonomy to the CSE in the listing process and has also relaxed the Listing Rules in order to encourage more listings.
The aim of this forum was to reach out to companies that are not listed in order to make them aware of the benefits of getting listed and to apprise them of the key proposals included in the government’s budget for 2021 which has provided certain tax exemptions to companies who list prior to December 31, 2021.
The chairman of the SEC Viraj Dayaratne PC made the opening remarks and explained the advantages of obtaining a listing, especially during the current positive market environment and stated that the process involved in listing a company was not as cumbersome or expensive as is generally perceived. He requested them to take the message to their respective Boards.
Those present had the benefit of insightful presentations by the Chief Regulatory Officer (CRO) of the CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane and Commission members of the SEC, Manil Jayesinghe and Naresh Abeysekera.
Wijayawardhane outlined the requirements and processes involved in listing and Jayesinghe explained in detail how listing on the CSE was an attractive option for companies to raise funds. He highlighted as to why this method of raising capital was more advantageous than other methods through which a company was able to raise capital.
Naresh Abeysekera pointed out how the digital platform can be used to raise capital in the near future and benefits that listed companies can derive from the CSE mobile application.
Dialog rewards winners of Govi Mithuru Nidanaya Competition
Winners of the first phase of the island-wide Govi Mithuru Nidanaya competition being presented with their prizes from Dialog Axiata PLC
As part of the well-established revolutionary agri-tech service ‘Govi Mithuru’, Dialog Axiata PLC (“Dialog”), Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, generously rewarded subscribers of the Govi Mithuru service in the island wide ‘Govi Mithuru Nidanaya Competition’.
The year-long ‘Govi Mithuru Nidanaya Competition’ rewards urban and rural farming communities with grand prizes and aims at uplifting their economies and livelihood. The first phase saw a grand prize of gold coins gifted to 35 lucky winners along with admission to an agriculture training programme conducted by the Department of Agriculture, and 24 runners-up were awarded sewing machines. The on-going second phase will also see similar prizes worth 30 lakhs being disturbed to participants, including a grand prize of a Honda Dio Bike and admission to the Department of Agriculture’s training programme to 35 lucky winners. 60 runners-up will be rewarded with mobile phones. Both phase one and two will also award a consolation prize of Rs. 500 to the 10,000 draw entrants.
Sri Lanka’s primary mobile agricultural information service, Govi Mithuru has registered over 600,000 users and helps maximize crop security and yield for farmers across the island. Under the patronage of the Department of Agriculture, the Govi Mithuru voice service enabled farmers and users in the country to receive direct access to professional guidance in the sector. Offering advice on 25 crop groups, including Home Gardening, the service is accessible to anyone using a basic feature phone.
A one-stop hub of updated, timely information, the Govi Mithuru mobile app is an extension of the original service, designed to deliver tailored formats of information according to the user’s requirements. Customers are charged Rs. 1 (plus tax) per crop per day for the voice service, and Rs. 2 (plus tax) subscription per day for unlimited access to all crops for the mobile app, with no cost on data charges for Dialog Mobile users. The Govi Mithuru app can be downloaded directly via the Google Play Store and voice service can be accessed by dialling 616.
Odel.lk champions Soundarie David Rodrigo
Acclaimed Sri Lankan pianist and music director Soundarie David Rodrigo
In celebration of Women’s Day 2021, Sri Lanka’s largest online fashion retailer Odel.lk partners with widely-acclaimed Sri Lankan pianist and music director Soundarie David Rodrigo in the launch of her first main stream music video in both English and Sinhala languages – a first in the country.
This is the first of Odel.lk’s collaborations, as part of a powerful initiative named ‘Composed by Odel.lk’ that aims to bolster the careers of female artistes in Sri Lanka who are breaking boundaries and leading the way forward in the country’s music arena.
“We are deeply honoured to partner with Soundarie as she forays into the world of mainstream music, after years of being in the forefront of the Sri Lankan western classical music industry and having fostered much young talent herself. This is nothing but a promisingly positive beginning to the ‘Composed by Odel.lk’ initiative to empower female artistes in the country who are shaking up the status quo and pushing the boundaries of Sri Lankan music. While Odel.lk already offers everything possible to make women feel beautiful on the outside, we will continue to evolve and invest in this mission to empower our country’s female force from within by joining in their creative journeys. To be able to launch this platform on a day as significant as International Women’s Day 2021 is a cherry on top,” commented Softlogic Holdings PLC Group Marketing Director Desiree Karunaratne.
‘Complicated’ or ‘Mulawe Maya’ is Soundarie’s latest musical masterpiece, one that makes the history books as the first in the country to be released simultaneously in both English and Sinhala. With lyrics and melody penned by Soundarie in English and transcribed into Sinhala by Shehan Galahitiyawa, the two songs are brought to life with the fine voices of accomplished young, Sri Lankan musical talent Shehara Liyanage and Hirushi Jayasena. The breathtaking melody hums the complexities of human emotion, with a powerful lyrical body which beautifully narrates a woman torn between memories of the past and the reality of the present.
Acorn Group empowers women at work
Acorn Group which encompasses a multitude of leading international brands in the Aviation and Travel industry takes pride in the leading role played by its female employees across its businesses. There is no better occasion than International Women’s Day to highlight how women make an impactful contribution to the businesses of Acorn. Women make up close to 44% of the Group’s workforce and have been an integral part of the organization.
Malinga Arsakularatne, CEO of Acorn Group said: “The Acorn family is committed to providing equal opportunities at the workplace, across all businesses of the organization. The past year is a testimony to the immense contribution made by the women in the Group as we faced many challenges due to the ongoing global pandemic. We take pride in the accomplishments and achievements of our female colleagues, and applaud their significant contribution to the growth and success of the Group.”
“Creating a work environment which is conducive to women requires flexibility and workspace ethics which can be fine-tuned to cater to the demands of everyday life. We takes pride in being one of the few organizations that not only affords an extended period of maternity leave but has made provision for paternity leave to ensure inclusivity across the board.”
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