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Windforce’s Rs.3.2 billion IPO oversubscribed eight times

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne 

Windforce Ltd.’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) worth Rs. 3.2 billion, the biggest in nine years, has seen an over-subscription of eight times, triggering a demand worth nearly Rs. 26 billion, preliminary figures indicate. 

The company hasn’t formally revealed the final over-subscription amount but the capital market was abuzz about the success of the IPO over the weekend, informed sources said.

1,700 applications requested for shares worth Rs. 25.7 billion, which was believed to be an over-subscription of  eight times, which has positively impacted the stock market, market analysts said.According to stockbrokers, Sri Lanka’s biggest and fastest growing producer of renewable energy, Windforce IPO offered a 15 percent  stake or 202,615,341 new ordinary voting shares of par value of Rs. 10 at Rs. 16 each. The previous biggest IPO in recent years was that of People’s Leasing (PLC) worth Rs. 7 billion in 2012.The issue officially opened on March 24 and was closed the same day. It had been available for subscription since March 2. Brokers to the issue were CT CLSA Holdings and Capital Alliance while several other brokers recommended the IPO to investors, given the company’s performance and future outlook as well as the growing demand for and reliance on renewable energy locally and globally.

Amid those positive signals, the CSE, during the first half an hour yesterday was a bit negative but thereafter the market became green and showed some bullish trend at the end of the day, stock market analysts said. 

According to stock market analysts, overall the market was bullish. Buying interest was visible especially for banking sector counters, mainly for HNB (voting and non voting), Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and several listed banks.

Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 30.30 points and S and P SL20 rose by 19.28 points. The turnover stood at Rs. 2.18 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in HNB (Voting), 4.3 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs. 561 million, its shares traded at Rs. 128, Commercial Bank 5.4 million shares crossed for Rs. 480 million, its shares traded at Rs. 88, JKH 177,000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.4 million, its shares fetching Rs. 149.25 and HNB (Non Voting) 219,000 shares crossed for Rs. 21.9 million, its shares traded at Rs. 100.

In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were HNB (Non Voting) Rs. 133 million (1.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 131 million (2.9 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 120 million (808,000 shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 105 million (2.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 87.9 million (15.8 million shares traded) and Sampath Bank Rs. 69.5 million (1.2 million shares traded).During the day 58.1 million share volumes changed hands in 11842 transactions.

Top contributors to the All Share Price Index were Ceylinco Insurance 6.28 points, Commercial Bank 5.54 points, Aitken Spence 2.79 points, Expolanka 2.69 points.

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted weaker at 199.50/200 to the one week US dollar on Monday, while yields remained unchanged in a dull market ahead of the 60 billion bond auction, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 199.25/75 to the US dollar on Friday.



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OPPO releases new OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka

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OPPO, the leading global smart device brand, announces the launch of OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka.

A54’s attention to design and great usability is evident in both its exquisite appearance and how it helps to capture great looking shots. This starts with the Material of the Rear Cover, which uses metallic material for its 3D panel, but contributes to a stronger and less bendable structure but also a comfortable in-hand feel. As a result, A54 weighs about 192g and is 8.4mm thin. To align the overall look and feel of the phone, close attention is paid to the Middle Frame Process.

“A Series is designed to enhance or complement our users’ lifestyles and OPPO A54 achieves just this with a phone that manages to balance a high-end performance with contemporary design. Its large 5000mAh battery and 18W Fast Charge makes sure you’re fully powered to get you through your day. With A54, you’ll also have enough storage and memory to make sure that you’ll enjoy your entertainment without the frustrations of an underperforming smartphone,” said Bob Li, CEO, XINDA Lanka (OPPO Sri Lanka).

The Rear Cameras itself feature a 13MP Main Camera, 2MP Macro Camera for close range shots, and 2MP Bokehfor brilliant bokeh shots that blur the background and highlight the subject of the photo. A54 enhances shots in all environments with Dazzle Color, balancing the saturation and brightness. A54 also supports filming videos including SLO-MO at 720P at 90FPS with the rear camera, and up to 10 video Filters including Original, Gentle, Noon, Subtle and more.

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Pan Asia Bank records best-ever Q1 results in challenging times – Profit After Tax soars by 81% to post Rs. 750 mn.

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Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC reported the best-ever first quarter financial results during the quarter ended 31st March 2021 to report a Pre-Tax Profit of Rs. 986 Mn and a Post-Tax Profit of Rs. 750 Mn after recording impressive growth rates of 51% and 81% respectively, demonstrating the resilience amidst challenging macro economic conditions. The Bank’s performance was characterised by strength and resilience, despite the heightened uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 impact on the Sri Lankan economy, the Bank’s Operating Profits before VAT on Financial Services reached Rs. 1,197 Mn with an increase of 47%, reflecting excellence in core banking performance and the success of cost containment measures evidenced by improvement in all key matrices which now rank among the industry bests. This feat was achieved even after setting aside provisions for probable loan losses amounting to Rs. 638 Mn. The Bank increased the provision buffers for probable deterioration in credit quality through management overlays, experience adjustments and adjustments for the exposures in the elevated risk industries during the quarter. As a result, total impairment charges for the quarter increased by 21% on YoY basis.

The Bank’s Net Interest Income for the period witnessed an increase of 17% due to significant reduction in financial cost of funds at a rate faster than the drop in interest yields of interest bearing assets. Consequently, the Bank’s Net Interest Margin for the quarter improved to 5.07% from 4.41% reported three months ago. In the meantime, the Bank’s Net Fee and Commission Income recorded a growth of 28% with the rebound in demand for credit due to revival of economic activity amidst the low interest rate regime. The volatility in foreign exchange rates enabled the Bank to increase its Foreign Exchange Income substantially as reflected in Other Operating Income.

The Bank is committed to revenue maximisation and cost management despite sector vulnerabilities that prevailed since last year. The Bank’s Cost-to-Income Ratio improved from 45.66% to 38.08% within a three months period owing to the excellence in core banking performance which is reflected in the noteworthy overall growth in key revenue lines and various strategies and measures taken to contain overhead costs. In fact, the Bank managed to bring down its Other Operating Expenses by 9% in 2021 Q1 compared to 2020 Q1. Meanwhile, increased allocations for performance bonuses, development of human capital and staff welfare led to an increase in personnel costs during the reporting period compared to 2020 Q1.

The Bank’s Post-Tax Profits for the reporting quarter also gained to an extent due to application of lower corporate income tax rate of 24% for tax provisioning in accordance with the guideline issued by CA Sri Lanka on 23rd April 2021.

The Bank continues to report solid Key Profitability Indicators which rank among the highest in the industry. The Bank’s Pre-Tax Return on Assets also improved to 2.24% from 1.70%. Further, the Bank reported a stunning Return on Equity (ROE) of 19.27% during the quarter under review which stands among the industry best. The ROE is the most important performance indicator to gauge the attractiveness of the Banking sector and Pan Asia Bank during its last few years has consistently remained an outlier in the industry.

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SLIIT nurtures school children at ‘Soft Skills + 2021’

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The SLIIT Business School (SBS) organised ‘Soft Skills+ 2021’ concluded on an extremely successful note recently helping students engage, cooperate and thrive in building their talents towards personal development and career progression.

SLIIT Soft Skills+ event is an annual flagship CSR Project of the SLIIT Business School organized with the primary objective of developing secondary school students’ soft skills in positive thinking, creativity, analytical thinking, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and teamwork.

Over the years, the programme has garnered much popularity among schools and participants. Due to its tremendous success achieved in previous programmes, Soft Skills+ 2021 followed an upgraded structure. For the first time in the Soft Skills+ programme history, the event was held via online platforms, including a Soft Skills-based online quiz and an online workshop for students and teachers.

During the Grand Finale, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Dean of SLIIT Business School welcomed the participants and distinguished guests. Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor, SLIIT also addressed the gathering.

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