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‘Enjoy Dubai’s iconic attractions this winter with Emirates’ new complimentary offers’
AFC raises LKR 1 bn in subordinate debt to strengthen the Tier II Capital
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Emirates, the world’s largest international airline and Premier Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, has launched three iconic offers this winter season for travellers visiting Dubai. Joining a host of other added-value offers for Dubai getaways during Expo 2020, Emirates looks forward to ensuring a memorable experience for visitors in one of the world’s most-loved destinations.
Whether returning to Dubai or visiting the city for the first time, Emirates’ passengers can enjoy three brand-new complimentary offers to Dubai’s world famous and most loved attractions. These include a visit to the iconic Burj Khalifa ‘At The Top,’ the Dubai Fountains Boardwalk Experience and a visit to The Views Observatory at the Emaar Sky View Hotel.
A visit to Burj Khalifa provides a view of Dubai from the top of the world’s tallest building, offering panoramic views of the entire city from its stunning beaches to the iconic Dubai Marina. This accounts for around half of all the excursions sold across the UAE. This complimentary ticket is also extended for admission from November 22 2021 to March 31 2022.
The Dubai Fountains Boardwalk Experience is offered via an all-new floating platform located at the stunning Dubai Fountain. The Boardwalk allows visitors to get closer to the Burj Khalifa’s famous water, music, and light spectacles.
The Views Observatory at the Emaar Sky View Hotel provides an opportunity for a daring skywalk with a glass-bottomed slide, enabling passengers to look across at Dubai city’s skyline in this adrenalin-pumping attraction.
The special offer is valid for travellers who book a return trip to Dubai in any cabin class between 22 November and 12 December 2021 for travel from November 23 2021 and March 31 2022.** The offer is also available via participating travel agents and selected Emirates Retail shops.
AFC raises LKR 1 bn in subordinate debt to strengthen the Tier II Capital
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Alliance Finance Co PLC (AFC) has successfully raised LKR 1 billion in Tier II capital, with the aim of strengthening the regulatory capital of the Company to financially empower and facilitate the development of the Micro, Small and Medium enterprise sector in Sri Lanka. The Tier II Subordinated Debt has a tenure of 5 years and has been structured and arranged by Capital Alliance Ltd (CAL), a leading investment bank in the country.
Commenting on this important milestone, Mr Romani de Silva, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of AFC stated that “This is a reflection of the confidence our investors have in our sustainable business philosophy. Due to the covid 19 pandemic, Sri Lankan micro, small & medium entrepreneurs need more support than ever before and raising of LKR 1 Bn as Subordinate Debt strengthened our Tier II capital which gives us an enormous capacity to develop micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka using our proven business models. Furthermore, we extend our sincere appreciation for the investor, (CAL) for the trust placed in us. Subsequent to an internal restructure with the technical assistance of IFC (private sector arm of the World Bank Group) in 2019,all of the performance metrics of the Company have improved tremendously outperforming its peers in the industry with a Loan book growth of 1.6% ,Profit growth of 169 % and a highly commendable reduction in NPL’s by 23 % for the financial year ended 2020/21, validating the impact of the restructure. As the oldest finance company in Sri Lanka and as a net lender to the rural economy, AFC is focussing on financial inclusivity and sustainable development of all communities.”.
AFC’s approach to sustainability is holistic and goes beyond economic empowerment with an equal emphasis placed upon social and environmental sustainability as well. AFC has institutionalised the values of its founding fathers by adopting the Triple Bottom Line Approach in 2012, followed by numerous other actions to become the sustainable financial institution it is today. In 2020, AFC became the first financial institution in South Asia to be certified for holistic sustainability under the pioneering Sustainability Standards and Certification Initiative (SSCI). SSCI is governed under the International Council of Sustainability Standards for Value-Driven Financial Institutions, Germany. This has resulted in an even greater focus on this unwavering commitment of the Company and better measurements of the impact created.
AFC is also amongst the highest contributors of net profits towards sustainability initiatives in the industry. The Company has dedicated an annual allocation of 4% of profits for sustainability and CSR initiatives. The Company has many initiatives including the “1 Mn trees for Unity” flagship project that aims to plant one million trees by 2024 whilst meeting social and environmental objectives. To date the Company has contributed over 350,000 plants to the nation. In addition, conserving biodiversity, empowering social entrepreneurs, promoting sustainable products and undertaking CSR practices that ensure social and environmental wellbeing remain as AFC’s key priorities under its sustainability mandate.
The AFC business powered by a dynamic and empowered young team of 1300 visionary individuals will continue to support the global and local sustainable development agenda, with its high impact goals in place to ensure focused value creation in line with the UN SDG’s and National Development Agenda. AFC believes that synergistic partnerships with its foreign financing partners such as IFC, FMO, DWM, Tridos Bank and other impact investors will add further value to its approach and facilitate value distribution to a wider range of stakeholders in the country. AFC is eager to uphold these partnerships and collaborations that facilitate sustainable development in Sri Lanka and have confidence that they will undoubtedly accelerate its journey of “making the world a better place through sustainable finance”.
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The government’s 50 percent tax incentive for new companies to be listed in the CSE will come to an end on December 31 this year. Therefore, several companies are using that opportunity to enter the capital market by way of Initial Public Offerings (IPO), CSE- Head of Marketing Niroshan Wijesundera said.
Wijesundera said that to promote the listing of local companies with the CSE, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had proposed a 50 per cent tax concession for the years 2021/2022 to be availed of before December 31, 2021, and to maintain a corporate tax rate of 14 per cent for the subsequent three years of these opting entities.
Amid those developments, trading activities at the CSE were positive at the beginning yesterday but later the market turned negative. But considerable buying interest was witnessed in plantations, manufacturing and consumer related sectors in the market, stock market analysts said.
Due to price increase in retail and consumer items in the market, the consumer sector witnessed profitability. Further, manufacturing sector entities, such as tile sector counters, also witnessed price appreciation in the stock market. Plantation sector was exceptional yesterday and its prices appreciated in a notable manner.
During the day both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index went down by 18.54 points and S and P SL20 declined by 0.23 points. Turnover stood at Rs 7.5 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Renuka Holdings. which crossed two million shares to the tune of Rs 36.2 million and its shares traded at Rs 17.60 and Kelani Valley Plantations 350,000 shares crossed for Rs 20.3 million and its shares traded at Rs 58.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Browns Investments Rs 1.3 billion (106 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 693 million (746,000 shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 584 million (15.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 562 million (2.4 million shares traded), Agalawatte Plantations Rs 414 million (8.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 397 million (1.6 million shares traded) and LOLC Finance Rs 359 million (14.4 million shares traded).
During the day plantation sector companies made considerable gains. Agalawatte Plantations share price appreciated by 24 percent or Rs 9.50. Its shares started trading at Rs 40.20 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs 49.70, Watawala Plantations share price appreciated by 11 percent or Rs 11.75. Its shares shot up to Rs 121.25 from Rs 109.50 and Kelani Valley Plantations share prices appreciated by 11 percent or Rs 5. Its shares increased to Rs 59.70 from Rs 54.10.
It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Brown & Company and LOLC Holdings. Mixed interest was observed in Bogala Graphite Lanka, Expolanka Holdings and ACL Cables, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Sierra Cables. During the day 516 million share volumes changed hands in 54000 share transactions.
Meanwhile, Capital Alliance Limited (CALT) will list its equity shares on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) via an Initial Public Offering tomorrow. The CALT IPO has gained significant traction and is highly anticipated by investors.
CALT offers 41,177,236 ordinary shares for a 12.5 per cent stake to the public, priced at Rs 10 per share. The IPO price per share provides a discount of 18.64 per cent to an incoming investor compared to the Rs.12.29 price per share derived by the Independent Valuer, Ernst and Young Transaction Advisory Services.
Yesterday, the US dollar rate was quoted at Rs 200.77, which was the Central Bank controlled rate. The actual market rate is more than the Rs 140 level.
Pidilite Lanka Private Limited (PLPL), a Joint Venture between Pidilite Industries Ltd (Pidilite) and Macbertan Holdings Ltd, announced that it has launched Araldite range of epoxy adhesives in retail market of Sri Lanka. Pidilite is a leading global manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and construction chemicals based out of India and Macbertan, a leader in Manufacturing of Insulation material in Sri Lanka is a part of McLarens Group, one of the leading diversified conglomerates in Sri Lanka.
Pidilite recently acquired the Consumer and Bazaar business of Araldite in the Indian Sub- Continent (including Sri Lanka) from Huntsman Group, USA. PLPL will present best-in-class genuine Araldite branded products for consumers in the market which is currently dominated by look-alike products.
Araldite range of epoxy adhesives have been the preferred choice in variety of industries and applications. It is the preferred brand for Automotive repair, Machine repair and other Do It Yourself (DIY) usages. Araldite covers a broad range of applications and offers both production and performance benefits in industrial applications, construction segment and consumers.
Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite Industries Ltd, said, “Araldite is an iconic brand and a world leader in Epoxy Adhesives. This launch will help us strengthen our robust portfolio of adhesive and sealant brands and will complement our product portfolio. With this step, we are confident to make Araldite a stronger part of the Pidilite range of products in Sri Lanka.”
In Sri Lanka, Araldite will be available in multiple variants including Araldite Standard in 13gm and Araldite KLEAR in 10 gm. The products will be competitively priced and will be made available across Sri Lanka over the next few months.
Pidilite began its journey in Sri Lanka more than 10 years ago and today is one of our leading international markets. Pidilite’ s well-known brands in Sri Lanka include FEVICOL, the high-performance range of adhesives and Dr. FIXIT, an advanced range of waterproofing solution for healthy homes. The Children Art brand ACRON and Adult Arts brand FEVlCRYL, White Glue brand Chemifix, and Plumbing Sealant brand M-SEAL, have won hearts of consumers and professionals.
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