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Stock market recovers in second session and reaches 98 point level

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The first half session of the CSE yesterday indicated a highly volatile market due to the country’s Covid 19 deaths rise, while during the second half session the stock market showed some recovery and reached the 98 point level. Buying interest was noted especially in investor favorite counters, stock market analysts said.

Despite the latest LMD-Nielsen IQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey indicating that sentiment surrounding the economy continued to regress in July, as 59 percent of respondents said that economic conditions are likely to deteriorate in the coming 12 months, still for all the market was able to retain a healthy turnover level, market analysts said.

Meanwhile, 10 percent of those polled feel that conditions are likely to improve during this period while another 31 percent say the economy will ‘stay the same’. According to the survey sample, long-term prospects for business are likely to improve. More than half (56 percent) of those consulted by Nielsen IQ anticipate an increase in sales volumes in the next 12 months.

The outlook for the short term has also improved slightly with 16 percent of respondents expecting an increase in sales over the next three months. On the other hand, a majority (61 percent) of executives believe that sales will ‘stay the same’ in the coming three months.

Where the investment climate is concerned, 6 percent (compared to 3 percent the previous month) describe conditions as ‘good’ while 16 percent say it is ‘fair.’ However, a majority (78 percent) do not consider this to be a good time to invest in Sri Lanka.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index went up by 87.18 points and S and P SL20 rose by 23.72 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 4.07 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Melstacorp, where 14.75 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs. 14.75 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50, Ambeon Holdings 3.65 million shares crossed for Rs. 122.2 million, and its shares traded at Rs. 33.50 and Hayleys Fabrics one million shares crossed for Rs. 23.2 million, its shares trading at Rs. 23.20.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 706.5 million (9.4 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 386 million (58.4 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs. 240 million (528,000 shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 235 million (4.2 million shares traded) and Hayleys Fabrics Rs. 179 million (7.5 million shares traded).

Meanwhile, state-owned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC) subsidiary, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka and Finance PLC (MBSL) plans to raise Rs. 2.24 billion in fresh capital via a right issue.

The main purpose of the issue is to comply with the minimum capital rules of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Approval for the capital raising had been obtained from the Board of MBSL, its majority owner BoC and the regulator, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). Exhibiting full confidence in the capital raising effort and in the management of their majority-owned subsidiary and thereby guaranteeing a successful outcome to the capital raising effort, BoC with a near 75% direct ownership stake in MBSL will be subscribing to its entire entitlement in full. The issue will be on the basis of nine new shares for four held, resulting in the issuance of 373.2 million new shares at Rs. 6 each. The stated capital of MBSL at present is Rs. 2.12 billion. During the day 182.2 million share volumes changed hands in 25546 transactions.



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Integrated solid waste management initiative coupled with tree plantation launched at Hambantota Port

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The ceremony to mark the programme was held at the port premises under strict health and safety protocols, with a limited number of staff attending.

 Hambantota International Port launched its first integrated solid waste management initiative on Monday 11th on the Company Day of China Merchants Group (CMG), the parent company of CM Port. The initiative is a strategic approach to sustainably manage biodegradable solid waste. The process covers the source, generation, segregation, transfer, sorting, treatment, recovery and disposal of waste in an integrated manner.

 “The idea is to collect all biodegradable material including garbage from vessels calling at the port that can be converted into compost, and process it.  The processed product will be used as manure for trees that will be planted within the Port and Industrial zone,” says Jeevan M. Premasara, Senior General Manager HR & Admin at HIP.

Members of staff at Hambantota Port planting trees.

The launch of the sustainability drive under the theme ‘Healing the Environment’ coinciding with CMG’s company day, was done under the leadership of CEO Johnson Liu. The program also includes the planting of 500 trees of different varieties, recommended by the Hambantota dry zone Botanical gardens. Twenty-five trees were planted as part of phase 1 of the project, and the port plans to grow and nurture endemic trees that will enrich the biodiversity of the industrial zone and port premises.

“As we launch the first phase of this tree planting and waste management/recycling projects, we will take into consideration planting different types of endemic plants that will thrive in the sandy soil of the Hambantota area in the next phases of the project.  Apart from that, we understand the importance of proper waste management systems and hope to partner with the district’s main waste recycling projects in the future.  As we expand into various industries in the zone, we hope to make our surroundings greener and environmentally friendly, bringing us closer to our goal of becoming an entirely green port,” added the Senior General Manager HR & Admin.

 HIP’s global partner CMPort’s parent company, CMG’s company day commemorated 149 years of sustainable operations this year.  CMG, which is involved in numerous projects to protect and sustain the environment, spreads its sustainability mission across all its members, partners and associate organisations. The ‘Healing the Environment’ project undertaken by HIP is an extension of their international partner’s sustainability drive.

 The ceremony to mark the programme was held at the port premises under strict health and safety protocols, with a limited number of staff attending.

Members of staff at Hambantota Port planting trees.

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Douglas & Sons Great Place to Work® Certified

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Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd (DSL) announced that it is certified as a Great Place to Work® by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka. DSL earned this distinction based on extensive ratings received by its employees in an anonymous survey that was conducted by Great Place to Work®.

Commenting on the certification Saroj Perera, Chairman/Managing Director of Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd said, “We are extremely proud to receive this certification, as it comes amidst a challenging time for businesses in general, when there is a considerable amount of pressure put on both employees and employers to perform at very high levels. We believe that our employees are our strongest asset, and this certification further reconfirms that we are certainly an employer of choice, enabling our employees to reach their full potential, whilst contribution to the growth of the company.”

“We applaud DSL for seeking employees’ feedback and the opportunity to certify itself,” said Kshanika Ratnayake, CEO of Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with DSL should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”

“According to the Great Place to Work® study, 92% percent of (total number of employees 372) employees say we are a great workplace,” said, Rohan Ariyawansa, Senior General Manager – Human Resources. “345 of our employees completed surveys, resulting in a 95 percent confidence level and a margin of error of ± 5.”

Douglas & Sons (Pvt) Ltd was established in 1986 with a vision to deliver excellence across the board and has today grown into a strong, diversified conglomerate with a passion for innovation that cares for the environment in the markets in which it operates. Its diversity and close ties with stakeholders in all key aspects of the economy forms the bedrock of its success in the country. Its access to key global players enables it to display and market Internationally reputed auto parts, tires, batteries and agricultural implements funnelled through its island-wide network of dealers.

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

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“DFCC Bank’s new ‘Auto Loan’ scheme provides affordable avenues for purchasing your dream vehicle”

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In its latest step to drive economic and social value creation, DFCC Bank, the pioneer in commercial banking, announced the launch of the ‘DFCC Auto Loan’ facility, an innovative vehicle loan scheme that enables greater affordability for consumers interested in purchasing automobiles.

The new DFCC Auto loan initiative introduces loan facilities of up to LKR 10 Mn, with an extended payment period. The facility provides the borrower with leverage to afford a vehicle of their choice, through a structured repayment plan, inclusive of a residual value. It also includes an embedded rollover option that enables the client to continue the loan for an extra few years without settling the residual at the end of the loan period subject to a maximum overall tenure of 8 years. The borrower thereby receives the option of settling the residual by disposing the current vehicle and obtaining a fresh loan for a new vehicle, instead. The prime goal of the loan scheme is to enable customers to buy their dream vehicle, through an affordable monthly instalment plan with reduced risk and an increased loan period.

The loan facility will be applicable only for all cars, vans, SUVs and double cabs that customers choose to purchase.

DFCC Bank firmly believes that it is of paramount importance to enhance the affordability of vehicles as a path towards uplifting the standard of living, while securing economic growth and the financial stability of its customers. The lack of access to affordable customer-centric loan facilities, and severely restricted cash flows due to stagnant economic conditions in light of the pandemic, have proved to be a significant hurdle in the path of economic development. Having noted the existing economic issues faced by customers, DFCC Bank’s ‘Auto Loan’ scheme, which extends to a significant portion of society, stands to have notable positive outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

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