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Sri Lanka@100 and NDB Bank jointly conduct webinar for SMEs on accessing SME-focused lending

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Sri Lanka@100, a private sector-led business development platform supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), hosted a webinar in partnership with NDB Bank on improving SME access to various financing schemes. Themed “Impress for Success”, the webinar was held on the 27th of January and was attended by more than 100 participants including SMEs and corporates in Sri Lanka.

The webinar was jointly conducted by Nilendra Vithanage, Senior Relationship Manager of Middle Market Banking, NDB as well as Sanda Wijeratne and Thivanka Bandara from Stax Inc. The session focused on highlighting the key challenges faced by SMEs and practical insights on how SMEs can improve the likelihood of getting their loan applications approved by banks. NDB Bank representatives also highlighted some of the pandemic-related and sector-specific financing schemes that were available to small and medium entrepreneurs as they navigate post-Covid challenges.

The partnership between Sri Lanka@100 and NDB Bank was formed mid last year to provide value-added services and financing solutions to companies onboarded to the Sri Lanka@100 platform. In addition, NDB and Sri Lanka@100 collaborate on conducting capacity building programs and webinars to educate SMEs on financial services and solutions available to them. The partnership will help to expand Sri Lanka@100 Portfolio companies and contribute to the growth of the SME ecosystem in Sri Lanka.

“SMEs struggle to obtain loans especially during these difficult times and end up borrowing from the informal sector at exorbitant rates as they are sometimes unaware of the specific financing schemes that are available to them,” said Sanda Wijeratne from Stax Inc. “We hope this webinar will raise awareness about those financing options and also how companies can avoid the typical mistakes made when applying for those schemes.” Indika Ranaweera, Vice President Business Banking NDB noted: “This event is a continuation of our ongoing partnership with Sri Lanka@100. Even during one of the greatest health crises of our lifetime, NDB has always been at the forefront of supporting MSMEs. These webinars are a part of the Jayagamu Sri Lanka initiative introduced with the intention of being a pillar of strength to the backbone of our economy – all SMEs. We hope these webinars will be a strength towards the SME sector as well as a method to provide our services to this sector.”

Sri Lanka@100 was launched in 2020 with support from USAID. This initiative works with high potential mid-market firms to optimize internal operations, access new markets, and attract capital to help Sri Lanka become a high-income country within 100 years of independence. Find out more about Sri Lanka@100 at https://srilanka100.lk/.



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Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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