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TRI-ZEN 45% done: trend towards investing in apartments says JKH

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Attractive interest rates & real estate-focused financial products catalyse demand

A combination of attractive interest rates and the launch of real estate-focused financial products is leading a trend towards investing in apartments, according to John Keells Holdings Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing (Property Group), Nadeem Shums.

Sri Lanka’s financial sector has reached a phase of low interest rates – for fixed income products and housing loans. Together with strong underlying demand for condominium properties, the developer reported a surge in demand from investors on the look-out for stable, high yielding investments.

“Despite the challenges arising from the pandemic, the real-estate sector has continued to perform well. We have also made steady progress on construction with the towers ascending to the 39th floor. You can now start to see TRI-ZEN taking shape and transforming Colombo’s skyline,” Shums stated.

He added that with increased urbanisation more Sri Lankans are seeking a new standard in convenience offered by properties like TRI-ZEN because of the central location, superior amenities, and attractive rupee pricing. “This is where our competitive pricing, relative to other metropolitan developments, proves to be particularly attractive. Especially with increased construction costs and land costs, the value of such condominium properties will continue to appreciate.”

In order to offer aspiring homeowners greater financial flexibility, JKP announced a slew of partnerships with some of Sri Lanka’s leading banks for its ground-breaking ‘Freedom Mortgage Package’. By providing customers a two-year interest free period on their mortgage, it requires customers to only pay 20% now and nothing more for the next two years. Customers can enjoy a payment free period of two years, after which the interest payments begin, and the capital repayments are made three years thereafter.

Interest rates are attractive, from just 7% per annum, and homeowners have the choice of a suite of mortgage packages with minimal down payment required. With three leading banking partners offering expansive branch networks and excellent customer service embedded within the pioneering mortgage plan, homeowners have the choice of partnering with a financial institution of their choice.

“The response to Freedom Mortgage has been very positive, and it has allowed many investors who, would typically not be in a position to put together large amounts of capital, to finally have a clear path to invest in a project like TRI-ZEN. This is game changing for those looking either to hold the property as a long-term investment or to simply have a pad in the city for your family,” Shums said.

TRI-ZEN is a joint venture between Indra Traders (Pvt) Ltd and John Keells Holdings PLC, with China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) serving as the main contractor. The three tower 891-unit apartment project on Colombo’s Union Place will have one, two and three bedroomed apartments, with two-bedroomed apartments starting from just Rs. 36 million.

The complex will have over 35 amenities for a thriving community including green spaces, a jogging track, a swimming pool, fitness and wellness studios, and a games room, providing residents with an integrated living space capable of meeting all their needs, while its central location provides easy access to the heart of Colombo. (news release)



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Elon Musk launches profane attack on X advertisers

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In a profanity-laced outburst, Elon Musk has slammed advertisers that have left X, warning they will kill the social media platform.

At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Musk himself.

“Go [expletive] yourself,” the billionaire said in an interview.

The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the “dumbest” thing he has ever shared online.

But it was his response to a question about an advertising boycott by companies including Disney, Apple and Comcast that caused a stir at the gathering of leaders from the worlds of business, politics and culture. “I don’t want them to advertise,”  Musk said at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

Go. [Expletive]. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”

He was apparently referring to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, who spoke at the summit earlier in the day.

In the room with Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.Musk also said that advertisers could kill X. “What this advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “The whole world will know those advertisers killed the company, and we will document it in great detail,” he added.

Ms Yaccarino has since reposted what she called his “candid interview”, adding her perspective on advertising that “X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you”.

Musk has been on a visit to Israel after he last month appeared to personally back an antisemitic conspiracy theory. “I’m sorry for that tweet… it might be literally the worst and dumbest post that I’ve ever done,” he said on Wednesday. The boycott isn’t just to do with that post, though.

Many advertisers had already decided to spend their dollars elsewhere.

(BBC)

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ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace

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EFC's team of trainers visited the selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management

Five companies volunteer to participate in the project

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.

True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.

Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.

EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.

They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.

All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.

Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.

In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.

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ComBank wins ‘Best Treasury Team’ at CT Marquee awards for financial institutions

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Commercial Bank’s Head of Treasury Tivanka Damunupola accepts the award on behalf of the Bank

The Commercial Bank has won the Marquee award for ‘Best Treasury Team’ in the Financial Institutions category at the 2023 CT Awards presented by Corporate Treasurer – the print publication in Asia dedicated to treasury teams and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).

The CT Awards ceremony was held at the Marriot Tang Plaza Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday 21 November 2023. The event celebrated treasury professionals who operate at the top of their class across three categories – House awards, Marquee awards and Best Treasury & Finance Strategies.

“The Treasury Department’s unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding results across various dimensions is at the heart of the Bank’s exceptional performance,” Commercial Bank’s Deputy General Manager Treasury Mr Asela Wijesiriwardane commented.

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