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Starchina International Trade Company to buy 4 million kilo grams annually of Pure Ceylon Tea



Starchina International Trade Company Ltd. of China will buy more than 4 million kilograms of Ceylon Tea annually in terms of an MOU and the import quantity is expected to increase by 10 percent to 15 per cent every year, a government press release said.

The release: The Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Fujian Starchina International Trade Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Fuzhou Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd according to the vision of the government of Sri Lanka to “Promote Investments and Trade”. Minister of Plantations Industries Dr. Ramesh Parthirana and Sri Lanka Tea Board signed a MOU, with one of the largest tea companies in China. The MOU was signed by using Zoom technology in front of the ambassador Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona of embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing. The other participants were Jayampathy Molligoda, chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, the Group Chairman of Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd and the Sri Lanka Tea Board representatives in Beijing and the officials of “BEST Energy Co. Ltd” the local representation of Benny Tea Industries Co. Ltd.

This MOU was Initially recognized and approved by the Board Directors of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Plantation Ministry, Attorney Generals office of Sri Lanka, Ministry of Foreign affairs and finally the President and the Prime Minister, head of the Sri Lankan Cabinet.

Chinese market highlights.

• China retail market value: US$ 6 trillion

• Online penetration value: US$ 1.42 trillion

• Estimated foreign imported goods proportion of online: US$ 569 billion

• Internet users in China: 731 million

• Internet users of middle class consumers in China: 400 million (Year 2020 estimation)

• Mobile monthly active users: 620 million

• Mobile transaction on retail online sales: 90%

• Product/brand comments per day: 20 million

China tea market is rapidly growing and converting Green tea to Black tea with a substantial growth. By 2020, China’s Ceylon Tea imports registered 14.2 million kilograms, year-over-year increase by 20%. Sri Lanka average tea production registered 310 million kilograms per year and renowned as the best and cleanest orthodox teas in the world.

Starchina International Trade Company Limited will buy more than 4 million kilograms per year, and predicted to increase the import quantity by 10%-15% annually. Also improving to purchase value added Ceylon tea year by year starting from 60,000 kgs in the first year. The validity of this agreement for 15 years and the advantage is the buying company assures the quantity with an annual increase for the number of years through a legally bound agreement. Starchina International Trade Company Limited currently operating with over 3000, B 2 B clients and more than 180,000 Milk tea shop clients in China.

All Sri Lankan exporters will be enjoying “ZERO” cost to ge into this market as online platform charges, security deposits, annual renewal charges, logistics, operation and promotion fees depend on occasions and cases.

Special credentials of the agreement

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited offers to List Sri Lankan brands on a “PURE CEYLON TEA DEDICATED” O or O online.

• All these teas are marketed with “Original Sri Lankan Brand Names” to market not only in China but also cross border trading.

• All import being done following prevailing rules and regulations. Sri Lankan tea will be shipped tea complying with Sri Lanka rules and regulations to warehouse in Starchina International Trade Company Limited in Fuzhou, Fujian, China

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will be buying teas from Sri Lankan tea companies under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tea Board on a pre agreed price to ensuring the present trading system.

• Payment will be done every month to the Sri Lankan tea suppliers. Star china International Trade Company Limited will settle all the dues as per the agreement made between the Sri Lankan suppliers. All sales information can be viewed by the respective Sri Lankan tea supplier to secure the transparency and high standards of business ethics, under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tea Board.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited is responsible and accountable for all their purchases since all requirement parameters will be checked and purchased from the Sri Lankan suppliers and confirmed according to the Starchina International Trade Company Limited requirements.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will hold a variety of Ceylon tea promotion activities in China; participate in exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places to help promote dedicated space to Pure Ceylon Tea and Sri Lankan Tea brands.

• Starchina International Trade Company Limited will be participating in the promotional campaigns conducted by Sri Lanka Tea Board and provides fullest support.

• Support on Sri Lanka Tea Factory modernization with technology transfer in aspects of tea plantations systems and tea value addition.

• Business diversification on “TEA TOURISM” involving in services sector by investing a hotel to promote tea culture to the tourist sector.

This is the first occasion that the Sri Lanka Tea Board in getting into signing for an agency (not an exclusive agency ship) agreement with any other country or a private company to increase Ceylon Tea exports. The said MOU and agreement will be uplifted to promote and increase of marketing of Ceylon tea in China in a greater way.


Webinar on ‘Security of Information Assets: What the Board Needs to Know’



The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) together with EY organized a webinar, moderated by Manil Jayasinghe-Partner, EY on “Security of Information Assets: What the Board Needs to Know” recently to update the knowledge and understanding of Board members on the increasing cyber security risks and threats to information assets of an organization brought about by the rapid wave of digitalization and resulting changes in the way organizations work in response to the on-going pandemic.

The webinar also discussed strategies and best practices on how best to mitigate these risks in securing information assets while ensuring business continuity, loss minimization and quick, safe recovery in the event of a breach. The keynote address was delivered by Dileepa Lathsara-CEO, TechCert and the panel comprised of eminent tech and business leaders Madu Ratnayake-Executive Vice President, CIO/GM Virtusa and D. Soosaipillai-INED of Listed Companies.

“It is important to define what information assets are so that security can be provided to those assets. Contrary to the misconception that information assets are only the application systems or the systems where staff work on and the data that resides on those systems, information assets include supporting infrastructure such as switches, patch panels, routers, servers and all other equipment, and application systems including confidential corporate information in those systems. It is also important to identify where corporate information is stored and who has access to it” said Dileepa Lathsara-CEO, TechCert.

“Boards should get involved in handling cyber security risk by firstly setting a security tone for the organization so that everyone takes security seriously and also ensure that the required resources are made available. Boards can focus on the actual requirements of information security by adopting and adhering to security frameworks, standards, acts and directives such as NIST and ISO27000 series, PCI-DSS rather than having the IT security team re-invent the wheel” he added.

He further stated that cyber security should be incorporated into the digital transformation chain and should not be a mere afterthought to be plugged in at the end. Cyber accountability is also important in that it is the organization’s ability to demonstrate that they have good cyber hygiene to ensure, in case of an eventual attack, the ability to track back to a unique event/person or group responsible with admissible evidence which also aids in quick rectification and recovery. Dileepa also emphasized that it is important to make informed and optimal investments in cyber security mitigation which can be calculated preferably as Annualized Loss Expectancy (ALE) as against ROI since security is about loss prevention and not about earnings where ALE is calculated as the cost of a security incident x chance that the incident will occur in a year.

Panelist Madu Ratnayake said that it is essential and fundamental to have the right people in the security team led by a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) and that cyber security is a journey and not a destination as security is evolving. The Boards should comprise of members who have expertise on security given that most companies are going digital and the risk becomes crucial.

Panelist D. Soosaipillai said that the first thing is to find a security standard to be adopted in the organization without which there will be limitless spending on security without knowing what the benefits are. The organization should have a security vertical such as a CISO or IT Security, which is where the Boards will look at to establish ownership for IT security. He also suggested that Board does regular, if not half yearly Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) by external 3rd parties into the systems/security matrix of the organization.

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Sampath Bank further simplifies cash management for businesses with launch of Visa Business Debit Card



Sampath Bank recently announced the launch of Sri Lanka’s first Visa powered business debit card linked to a corporate account – the Sampath Bank Visa Business Debit Card – to help businesses of all sizes gain more control over their expenses.

The Bank’s business customers will now be able to move away from cash and provide separate debit cards to their employees for day-to-day expenditure. They can set monthly transaction limits to each individual card and link the cards to their preferred company account with Sampath Bank. The chosen account will be directly debited each time an employee makes a payment using the card. Businesses can consolidate all spending information using the detailed electronic reports it offers and simplify their payments, bookkeeping, reporting and monitoring processes.

Offering greater convenience and security, this new business debit card from Sampath Bank is set to encourage more businesses to go digital with their expenses, in line with the government and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s efforts to drive the adoption of cashless payments in the country.

Commenting on this, Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy General Manager – Operations and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Sampath Bank PLC, said, “We are delighted to help businesses of all sizes go digital with their daily expenses with the launch of the Sampath Bank Visa Business Debit Card. Moving away from cumbersome cash transactions, businesses can now provide staff members with individual debit cards to be used for company expenses. The cards are linked to the customers’ preferred Sampath Bank accounts which get debited every time a transaction is made using these cards. We look forward to seeing our business customers experience the convenience and security offered by this solution to simplify their cash flow management as well as accounting, reporting and monitoring.”



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CSE indices dip below average turnover



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE saw the bear run persist for the third consecutive day with both indices dipping sharply below average turnover. The market was negative and at one point it declined to 200 points and subsequently started recovering  but not up to a steady level, stock market analysts said.

The market saw heavy foreign selling worth Rs. 700 million, up from Rs. 53.5 million, thereby pushing the year-to-date figure up. Foreigners continue to exit from some blue chip companies.

As result, both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index went down by 131.94 points and S and P SL20 went down by 56.09 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 2.43 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Lion Brewery, which crossed 673,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 363 million, its shares traded at Rs. 540.

In the retail market five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Vallibel One Rs 290 (5.7 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 243 million (736,000 shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 197 million (4.4 million shares traded), Browns Investment Rs. 170 million (1.1 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 127 million (2.9 million shares traded). During the day 141 million share volumes changed hands 23199 transactions.

During the day, top turnover companies, LOLC,  JKH, Browns Investments, Melstacorp and Expolnka contributed negatively to the Index. LOLC  being one of the top listed companies in the stock market  contributed 21 negative points to the All Share Price Index.  Other companies were, JKH 7 negative points, Browns, Melstacorp and Expolanka contributed six negative points each during the day.

It is said that CTC and Carsons Cumberbatch contributed positively to the All Share Price Index.  CTC contributed the highest number of points to the Index which was 10 points.

It is said that even though the market’s recent downward trend is disappointing, it is believed that the bourse will gradually reverse course in line with the expectation of an upward biased long term trajectory.’Consequently, investors are advised to take advantage of the current weakness and focus on accumulating fundamentally robust and liquid stocks in high growth sectors with a long term investment horizon, stock brokers said. 

Sri Lanka’s rupee opened weaker at 195/199 levels to the US dollar in the one-week forwards market on Wednesday while bond yields were slightly up, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the one- week forward market at 196.50/197.50 to the dollar on Tuesday.



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