By Hiran H. Senewiratne
Two major acquisitions took place at the CSE this week. One was Vidul Lanka, which acquired 50 percent of shares in Solar Universe Pvt Limited. The company generates 10 megawatts for the national grid and operates a ground mounted solar power plant, stock market analysts said.
Accordingly, total investment for its acquisition and development of the project would cost around Rs 1.4 billion. Meanwhile, Aitken Spence PLC acquired energy company Waltrim Energy Limited for a financial consideration of Rs 900 million. The company generates 6.6 megawatts for the national grid, operating three plants in Nuwara Eliya. Waltrim was a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings which owned a 60 percent stake while Mouldex owned the balance shares.
Amid those developments, CSE was bullish throughout the day and financial sector counters witnessed gains. Both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index went up by 117.8 points and S and P SL20 rose by 48.10 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3.92 billion with four crossings.
Those crossings were reported in HNB, which crossed 3.9 million shares to the tune of Rs 516.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 132, JKH 200,000 shares crossed for Rs 29.8 million and its shares traded at Rs 148.75, Sampath Bank 500,000 shares crossed for Rs 27 million, its shares traded at Rs 54 and Lanka Walltiles 500,000 shares crossed for Rs 24.25 million, its shares traded at Rs 48.50.
In the retail market, top companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Browns Investments Rs 500.7 million (87.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 361.2 million (7.4 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs 285.5 million (5.1 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs 233.8 million (4.3 million shares traded), LOLC Rs 216 million (685,000 shares traded), and Royal Ceramic Rs 165.7 million (517,000 shares traded). During the day 150.6 million share volumes changed hands in 21700 transactions.
LOLC and Browns Investments were the main contributors to the All Share Price Index and their share prices also appreciated during the day. LOLC contributed 22 points. Its share price moved up by seven percent or Rs 20.25. Its shares started trading at Rs 304.50 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs 324.75. Browns Investments contributed 13 points. Its shares moved up by seven percent or 40 cent. Its shares traded at Rs 5.60 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs 6.
The Sri Lankan rupee has come once again under pressure. According to the daily exchange report of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), the current buying rate of the US dollar on April 8 stood at Rs.199.21 and selling rate of the US dollar stood at Rs.203.50.This is the highest buying and selling rate recorded for the US dollar in history.
The decline of the rupee vis-à-vis the US dollar is likely to have a mixed impact on listed companies. Rupee will have a negative impact for companies, such as, Dialog Axiata, Hemas Holdings, Lanka Lubricants while the slightly negative counters are, Sunshine Holdings, Tokyo Cement (Lanka), Acccess Engineering, Cargills (Ceylon) and Ceylon Cold Stores.
Those which will benefit from a depreciation include, JKH, banks, TeeJay, Hayleys Fabric, Dipped Products and hotels; though at present tourist arrivals are very low.
HNB supports Sri Lanka Welfare Society of Blind Women
Supporting the livelihoods of visually impaired women, Sri Lanka’s most customer friendly bank HNB PLC donated 300 white canes and dry ration packs to the members of the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women.
The donations made utilizing voluntary contributions gathered by HNB employees, were handed over to members of the Society at a special event at HNB Towers under the patronage of HNB Managing Director and CEO Jonathan Alles.
“HNB is proud to partner with the Sri Lanka Welfare Society of the Blind Women to serve the visually impaired women of the country. Our goal is to do our part in ensuring they are given opportunities, recognition and respect that are equal to every other citizen, and we hope that partnerships of this nature will pave the way for a more inclusive and caring society,” HNB Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles said.
With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020, in addition to winning the coveted Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka Award for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.
Rizing, LLC acquires attune Lanka from MAS Holdings
MAS Holdings announced today, that in line with its long-term strategic objectives, it has concluded the acquisition of its subsidiary attune Lanka (Private) Limited by Rizing, LLC. Rizing is a privately held, US-based boutique firm specializing in providing SAP solutions for Consumer Industries, Enterprise Asset Management and Human Capital Management worldwide.
In 2018, MAS Holdings completed an assignment with a leading global consultant to develop a long-term strategic plan, which identified areas of growth based on its core competencies and in the adjacent areas of Femtech and Wearable technology. The divestment of attune was an outcome of this plan, with the intent of finding the right partner for the Company to enable it to scale and grow.
This is a significant investment in a Sri Lankan-owned global technology firm by a company that is backed by a large private equity fund from the US, which will undoubtably help attune to scale and strengthen its business in the years to come.
“The acquisition by Rizing ensured that attune would benefit from Rizing’s global scale and expertise, and that their customers and employees continue to thrive as part of a leading solutions provider in the fashion and consumer industries” stated Mahesh Amalean, Chairman MAS Holdings. He also added that MAS would continue its close partnership with Rizing and attune in terms of the ongoing implementation and support for SAP products and services across MAS SBU’s in Sri Lanka and overseas.
Mike Maiolo, CEO of Rizing stated that “Customers from both organizations benefit from this partnership. Now two of the top SAP partners in Consumer Industries and Fashion are a united force to deliver unmatched value through combined experience, expertise and scale”. A leading provider of systems solutions and implementation services for SAP and with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Rizing is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has been on an aggressive mergers and acquisitions plan since 2018, acquiring several US-based and global firms.
“This merging of Rizing’s and attune’s industry knowledge and experience will provide our long-term valuable clients with access to exciting new technologies and talented resources” said Vajira de Silva, the CEO of attune, adding that “The strength of the combined companies will allow us to grow into new markets and augment our products and services to better address the needs of existing and new clients”. attune Lanka has subsidiaries in India, Australia, China, HK, Italy, Germany, UK, US and Netherlands, with over 500 employees worldwide.
Standard Chartered Bank’s global M&A advisory team acted as the sole advisor to MAS Holdings on this transaction.
People’s Insurance enters Medical Insurance market with ‘the most comprehensive medical insurance cover available in Sri Lanka’
In an unprecedented effort to enhance its product offerings to customers across Sri Lanka, People’s Insurance PLC recently announced its plans to diversify into the health insurance space of the country. This strategic move to establish its presence as a health insurance provider builds on the well-established public image of People’s Insurance as the insurer who cares with love.
As the market is already heavily saturated with health insurance products offered by the competition, Peoples Insurance had the strategic objective of offering a product to make them stand out from the rest. Following a customer first approach, the insurer has decided to be a step above its competitors by offering a highly comprehensive medical insurance cover available in the country.
Citizens of Sri Lanka and those individuals who currently reside in the country are eligible to obtain a medical insurance cover from People’s Insurance. Individuals can be covered from their 5th birthday onwards. However, infants from the age of 3 months can also be protected by these covers provided that their parents have a medical cover from People’s Insurance too.
Jeevani Kariyawasam, the Head of Operations at People’s Insurance PLC commented on this new development, “When People’s Insurance PLC began to contemplate our entry into the health insurance sector, we knew we had to be different. As we are known as the only insurer who cares with love, our health insurance product had to reflect this strongly. Due to this, we decided to position ourselves as an insurance provider with a highly comprehensive product in the health insurance space. With affordable premiums, we have made every effort to ensure that Sri Lankans can enjoy the peace of mind that health insurance brings about.”
Medical schemes will vary from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 2 million and premiums will depend on the sum insured, along with the customer’s age band. It is also noteworthy that the geographical scope of treatment extends beyond Sri Lanka and into India as well. Costs related to ambulance call outs, inpatient proceedings, surgical treatments, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and pre and post hospitalization expenses are just a few of the areas that this comprehensive product covers.
As People’s Insurance PLC has a trusted and well established name in the minds of Sri Lankan customers, it is expected that their entrance into the medical insurance sector will be welcomed by citizens across the island. With the underlying goal of caring for its customers beyond anything else, this new development will allow for more Sri Lankans access to proper healthcare services. This decision truly resonates with a purpose beyond profit initiative.
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