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PAYable Pvt Ltd Completes LKR 80 Billion in Transactions
Business

PAYable Pvt Ltd Completes LKR 80 Billion in Transactions

Sri Lanka’s leading Fintech service provider announces appointment of Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah as Chairman of the Board. Photo Caption- Yohan Wijesiriwardane, CEO / Co-founder of PAYable and Rajendra Theagarajah, Chairman of the Board, PAYable PAYable Pvt Ltd, Sri Lanka’s leading non-bank digital payment services provider, reported robust performance in its 10 year journey with over LKR 80 Billion in transactions processed. The company also plans to launch a host of new innovations, showcasing consistent growth and reliability. In a move that signifies a major leap forward for PAYable, the company also announced the appointment of Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah as the new Board Chairman. A distinguished veteran in the banking and financial services sector, Mr. Theagarajah has been asso...
Dr. Gehan Gunatilleke Appointed to Janashakthi Life Board
Finance and Leasing

Dr. Gehan Gunatilleke Appointed to Janashakthi Life Board

Janashakthi Insurance PLC, a member of the Janashakthi Group, announces the appointment of Dr. Gehan Gunatilleke as an Independent, Non-Executive Director to the Company’s Board of Directors, effective from 24th January 2024. Dr. Gehan Gunatilleke is an attorney-at-law and a founding partner of LexAG, a law firm based in Colombo. He has previously served as an advisor to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he provided counsel on international treaty compliance and facilitated access to the European Union’s GSP+ trade concession scheme. Additionally, he has contributed to several legislative drafting committees in Sri Lanka. Currently, Dr. Gunatilleke holds positions as a Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and as a post-doctoral Fellow at Pembroke Co...
First Capital Stands as the Principal Sponsor of the SSC Open Tennis Championship for the Third Consecutive Year
Banking and Insurance

First Capital Stands as the Principal Sponsor of the SSC Open Tennis Championship for the Third Consecutive Year

First Capital Holdings PLC has come forward as the principal (title) sponsor of the SSC Open Tennis Championship for the 3rd consecutive year. The SSC Open 2024 is taking place from 06th January to 21st January 2024 at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) tennis courts. The Championship is a major open ranking tennis tournament that will commence the 2024 tennis calendar year with over 750 entries as one of the most anticipated and highly coveted sporting events of the year. SSC Honorary Secretary Vasantha Wijesekera stated, “This year’s championship is special and will be historical, as SSC celebrates 125 years. I am indeed delighted to see the First Capital SSC Open Ranking Championship being the first ranking tournament of the year 2024. Since the first championship was held in the 1...
Business

Adani Green completes JV with TotalEnergies, raises USD 300 million

−          AGEL completed the transfer of 1,050 MW renewable portfolio to a JV between AGEL and TotalEnergies −          AGEL contributed the mix of operational (300 MW), under construction (500 MW) and under development assets (250 MW) and TotalEnergies has made equity investment of USD 300 million Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) today announced the completion of the 1,050 MW joint venture (JV) with TotalEnergies. As part of the JV, TotalEnergies invested USD 300 million in AGEL subsidiary, for acquiring 50% stake in the projects. This follows the binding agreement about the JV announced between AGEL and TotalEnergies in September 2023. The JV houses the 1,050 MW portfolio comprising a mi...
Janashakthi Life Great Manager Awards Launched Setting New Standards for Leadership.
Business

Janashakthi Life Great Manager Awards Launched Setting New Standards for Leadership.

Janashakthi Life, a leading life insurance provider in Sri Lanka, recently launched the "Janashakthi Life Great Manager Awards" to celebrate outstanding performance of its managerial talent within the sales force. The event was graced by a special guest, cricket legend, and Director Mahela Jayawardena, who shared valuable insights on effective management, leadership, and the significance of work-life balance with the audience. Prakash Schaffter, Deputy Chairman of Janashakthi Life, and Ravi Liyanage, Director/CEO, were also present at the gathering. Ravi Liyanage, Director/CEO, emphasized the significance of the momentous occasion in a passionate speech, stating, "Today marks a pivotal moment in our journey at Janashakthi Life as we gather to reflect on our progress and chart the c...
First Capital Wins GOLD at TAGS Awards 2023 for Inclusive Reporting Excellence.
Business

First Capital Wins GOLD at TAGS Awards 2023 for Inclusive Reporting Excellence.

First Capital Holdings PLC, the pioneering investment institution, has secured a prestigious accolade at the TAGS Awards 2023, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) for the 58th consecutive year. The company was honoured with the prestigious Gold Award in the Investment Banking category, recognizing its outstanding performance and dedication to transparency, accountability, governance, and sustainability in corporate reporting. The TAGS Awards bestowed recognition upon exemplary companies spanning 29 industry sectors, reflecting a commitment to comprehensive progress and governance. First Capital has embraced both the Integrated Reporting Framework and the Global Reporting Initiative framework, positioning the organization at the forefront of g...
Business

The Urgency of Revolutionizing Sri Lanka’s Energy Landscape

The government has already explored the offshore wind power potential in the country especially in the North and East, expediting two mega wind power projects of 286 MW in Mannar and 234 MW in Pooneryn undertaken by India’s Adani Green Energy Ltd for an investment of over US$ 500 million. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera disclosed that Adani Green Energy has been given approval to implement the projects in August and it has expressed commitment to complete the projects by December 2024. A cabinet paper on the same projects, dated August 14, 2023, noted that it should be considered as a government-to-government arrangement. According to the proposed power purchase agreement, Adani Company has quoted the selling price of a wind power unit to be generated by Mannar wind...
Business

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, America’s development finance institution, to fund CWIT, Adani’s JV in Sri Lanka, for USD 553 Million

Development of CWIT will support the growth of the Sri Lankan economy U.S. fund will support development of deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of ColomboWill facilitate private sector-led growth and attract crucial foreign exchange to Sri Lanka to aid in its economic recoveryU.S., Sri Lanka and India to foster an enduring legacy of cooperation in the development of sustainable infrastructure, like smart and green ports U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced that it will be funding Colombo West International Terminal Pvt. Ltd. (CWIT) – a consortium of India’s largest port operator Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd., Sri Lanka’s leading enterprise John Keells Holdings (JKH) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority – to the tune of USD 553 million. DFC,...
First Capital Reports Impressive Financial Performance with Profits Soaring to Rs. 2.81 Billion
Finance and Leasing

First Capital Reports Impressive Financial Performance with Profits Soaring to Rs. 2.81 Billion

First Capital Holdings PLC (the Group) announces its outstanding financial performance for the first quarter ended June 30, 2023. The Group reported an impressive Profit after Tax of Rs. 2.81 billion, marking a remarkable leap from Rs. 96 million recorded in the same period last year. Among the key divisions, the Primary Dealer segment demonstrated an exceptional growth trajectory, reporting a Profit after Tax of Rs. 2.73 billion for Q1 2023, compared to the previous year's figure of Rs. 409 million. This achievement can be attributed to a net interest income of Rs. 1.1 billion and a substantial trading gain of Rs. 2.1 billion from the sale of the government securities portfolio. In the prior year, the division reported a net interest income of Rs. 185 million and a trading gain of Rs....
Recognizing Excellence: Janashakthi Life’s Achievers Shine at Golden Night Event at Lotus Tower, Colombo.
Banking and Insurance, Economy

Recognizing Excellence: Janashakthi Life’s Achievers Shine at Golden Night Event at Lotus Tower, Colombo.

Janashakthi Life, a pioneering life insurance provider in Sri Lanka, recently hosted the 'Janashakthi Life Achievers Golden Night,' at the iconic Lotus Tower in Colombo. The event celebrated the outstanding performances of 300 highflyers who excelled in the first half of the year. Esteemed guests, including Janashakthi Life's Deputy Chairman, Prakash Schaffter, and Group MD/CEO, Ramesh Schaffter, graced the occasion alongside Janashakthi Life's Director/CEO, Ravi Liyanage, and the key management of the company. While the evening was imbued with a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie as the top achievers were recognized and rewarded for their exceptional dedication and contributions, the event also featured engaging presentations by Rehen Gunawardena (General Manager – Personal Lines...
First Capital Treasuries PLC appoints Sachith Perera as CEO and Dilshan Wirasekara to lead Group’s expansion strategy.
Business, Economy

First Capital Treasuries PLC appoints Sachith Perera as CEO and Dilshan Wirasekara to lead Group’s expansion strategy.

First Capital Treasuries PLC, Sri Lanka’s oldest operating non-bank primary dealer, announced the appointment of Sachith Perera as the company’s Chief Executive Officer with effect from 31st July 2023. Sachith is a financial market professional with a career spanning over 30 years primarily in Treasury and Balance Sheet Management and Financial Derivative Solutions. He is a respected professional in the banking industry, having served over 26 years at HSBC, 12 of which were in the capacity of Treasurer and Head of Global Markets for HSBC Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In this role, he was responsible for the bank’s forex and rates management, derivatives trading, balance sheet management and custodial services for foreign investors in local equities. Sachith also served as a memb...
First Capital Retains Crown as the Most Valuable Consumer Brand in the Investment Banking Sector – Brand Finance Rankings 2023
Banking and Insurance

First Capital Retains Crown as the Most Valuable Consumer Brand in the Investment Banking Sector – Brand Finance Rankings 2023

First Capital, the pioneering investment institution in Sri Lanka, is delighted to announce its triumph as the 'Most Valuable Consumer Brand in the Investment Banking Sector,' featured in the esteemed 'Brands Annual 2023' edition by Brand Finance. This achievement marks the second consecutive year that First Capital has secured the top spot, affirming its position as the most valued brand in the sector. Moreover, First Capital has also been recognized among the top 100 brands in the country. Brand Finance is a globally renowned brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Their market research partner, ‘Breakthrough Business Intelligence’ measures the perception of brands & customer behaviour and provides vital input in evaluating the most valuable brands. The prestigious accolade...
Financial services industry veteran Sunimal Weerasooriya joins the advisory board of the global cybersecurity firm, Scybers
Economy, Finance and Leasing

Financial services industry veteran Sunimal Weerasooriya joins the advisory board of the global cybersecurity firm, Scybers

Scybers Inc, the global cybersecurity firm, today announced the addition of Sunimal Weerasooriya, a highly experienced financial services technology professional, to its global advisory board. With over 30 years of industry expertise, Sunimal brings a wealth of knowledge in financial services, electronic payments, automated clearing houses/payment infrastructure, information security, business process outsourcing, cash management, and investment banking. His specialized focus on technology strategy, digital transformation, business strategy, and innovation aligns strengthen Scybers' commitment to providing advanced cybersecurity solutions and advisory services for the banking, fintech and financial services industry. "We're thrilled to welcome Sunimal to the Scybers advisory board,...
First Capital Colombo Investor Symposium Concludes with Great Success
Business

First Capital Colombo Investor Symposium Concludes with Great Success

First Capital, the pioneering investment institution and non-bank market leader in primary dealing, successfully concluded the 8th edition of the First Capital Colombo Symposium 2023, one of the largest investor symposiums ever held in Sri Lanka. The event themed “Invest with Impact, Seize Capital Market Opportunities” took place on July 4th, 2023, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo and brought together a diverse group of investors, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry experts for an evening of insightful discussions and valuable networking opportunities. Keynote presentations were delivered by Dimantha Mathew, Chief Research and Strategy Officer of First Capital, and Ranjan Ranatunga, Manager - Research. They provided insightful perspectives on the current economic landscape, ...
Binance Receives Coveted Security and Privacy Certifications
Business

Binance Receives Coveted Security and Privacy Certifications

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain and crypto infrastructure provider, announced today that it has been awarded the coveted ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certifications for information security governance and privacy information management in three jurisdictions across Europe and the Middle East: France, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Binance secured the ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 certificates as an organization meeting the internationally recognized standards in information security governance and privacy information management, respectively. Building robust security and privacy measures has always been a key priority for Binance, and these ISO certifications are a testament to the company’s consistent efforts on these fronts. A-LIGN, the external auditor, – a technol...
Debunking a crypto myth: Is crypto really bad for the environment?
Economy

Debunking a crypto myth: Is crypto really bad for the environment?

The environmental impact of cryptocurrencies has been a widely-discussed topic in recent years, with many believing that the underlying technology is inherently bad for the environment – notably, the process of crypto mining. To address this misconception, it is essential to understand the reasons behind this belief, how blockchain networks compare to other systems on energy consumption. The Origins of the Misconception One of the main reasons people associate crypto with environmental harm can be attributed to the energy-intensive nature of the mining process. Bitcoin, as well as many other established and widely used projects, rely on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism for maintaining the distributed ledger of transactions. This method of validation involves miners us...
First Capital Holdings PLC delivers Extraordinary Financial Performance, setting a New Benchmark in its Four-Decade Legacy.
Economy

First Capital Holdings PLC delivers Extraordinary Financial Performance, setting a New Benchmark in its Four-Decade Legacy.

First Capital Holdings PLC (the Group), a member of the Janashakthi Group, announces its impressive financial results, and a remarkable turnaround from the previous year, marking the year ended 31st March 2023 its most successful in its 40-year history. The Group's financial results exhibit an impressive feat, with a Total Comprehensive Income of Rs. 2.71Bn, showcasing a significant improvement from the previous year's Total Comprehensive Loss of Rs. 640Mn. This extraordinary performance demonstrates the Group's resilience, strategic initiatives, and effective risk management which have turned the tide in their favour. The Primary Dealer division reported a Profit after Tax of Rs. 2.88Bn for the year ended 31st March 2023. This is a substantial improvement from the Loss after Tax o...
Gulf Binance granted digital asset operator licenses in Thailand
Finance and Leasing

Gulf Binance granted digital asset operator licenses in Thailand

Gulf Binance Co., Ltd., (“Gulf Binance”), a joint venture between Binance and Gulf Innova Co., Ltd. (“Gulf”) has been granted digital asset operator licenses by the Thailand Ministry of Finance through the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in Thailand. Gulf Binance was established following a 2022 agreement between the two organizations to set up a digital asset exchange in Thailand. Having secured these licenses, Gulf Binance will be able to operate as a digital asset exchange and digital asset broker and is set to launch in Thailand in the fourth quarter of 2023. Since entering the agreement, Binance and Gulf have been working closely with regulators to ensure the formation of a compliant-first exchange, and the newly granted licenses demonstrate Gulf Binance’s commitmen...
Regulatory Harmonization to Drive Crypto Adoption
Finance and Leasing

Regulatory Harmonization to Drive Crypto Adoption

By Leon Foong, Head of APAC, Binance The events in 2022 served to remind us of the importance of regulatory compliance when it comes to protecting users and maximizing user security and trust in the industry. As we move forward and usher in a new chapter of growth for the crypto industry, regulatory harmonization will play a fundamental role in driving adoption, protecting users, and facilitating innovation in the industry. Regulatory harmonization seeks the convergence of regulatory frameworks, placing a greater emphasis on the global alignment of policies and laws and thus reducing opportunities for regulatory arbitrage. As it stands, the disparities in virtual asset regulations across different jurisdictions is shedding light on the importance of policy harmonization across c...
Janashakthi Life revolutionizes the life insurance market with a pioneering savings solution
Business

Janashakthi Life revolutionizes the life insurance market with a pioneering savings solution

A pioneering life insurer, Janashakthi Life, announced the launch of ‘Dream Saver’ the newest addition to their insurance portfolio with a novel savings solution offering high-yield savings.  This innovative savings solution offers customers the opportunity to invest strategically in medium or long-term investments with high returns. Dream Saver is a single premium annuity product that provides an attractive above-the-market dividend rate with an annual guaranteed rate & an in-built life and accidental death cover. With a minimum investment value of Rs. 1 million, this investment opportunity is ideal for individuals with fixed deposits as well as EPF and ETF funds as the customers have the flexibility of customizing the dividend receiving frequency as per their needs. “We a...
Binance Renews Commitment to Support Women in Tech
Business, Economy

Binance Renews Commitment to Support Women in Tech

With an increased focus on women-focused education, mentorship and scholarships, crypto exchange aims to level its industry’s gender gap Ahead of International Women’s Day, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is renewing its commitment to increase the number of women active and employed in Web3. Through women-focused education and mentorship initiatives, Binance to date has invested more than $2 million to support women in more than 10 countries around the world and will increase those efforts in the year ahead.  Binance is committed to creating and funding Web3 education for women. Binance Charity donated $2 million to fund over 36,000 dedicated Web3 scholarships for women in 2022, and will continue funding courses, programs and scholarships in 2023 wi...
Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2023 highlights strategies for navigating economic crisis in retail sector
Business

Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2023 highlights strategies for navigating economic crisis in retail sector

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), the apex body of organised retail in Sri Lanka, recently concluded the annual Sri Lanka Retail Forum under the theme ‘Redefining Retail: Future Proofing the Forward Journey’. The Forum was opened by Mr. Murali Prakash, President of SLRA, who addressed the importance of navigating the challenges faced by the retail industry and the imperative need to foster constructive dialogue by multiple experts from varying fields in the retails sector, on leveraging emerging trends, technology and navigating the prevailing economic crisis. Mr. Ganaka Herath, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Sri Lanka, who was the Guest Speaker at the Forum, spoke extensively about macro-economic trends, impacts of the various economic shocks on the indus...
Binance Academy Reinforces its Commitment to Increasing Crypto Literacy
Economy

Binance Academy Reinforces its Commitment to Increasing Crypto Literacy

Unique views on the Binance Academy website increased by 204% in 2022. Changpeng Zhao or CZ, CEO and Founder of Binance, said in a keynote speech at Blockchain Week in Busan (BWB): “Education is the best consumer protection measure.” Given the disruptive power of blockchain technology and crypto, Binance is a strong advocate for increasing global crypto and blockchain literacy as part of our user protection efforts. Binance Academy, a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency education platform, has been working closely with the local communities to increase crypto literacy and ramp up educational efforts globally. To reaffirm our ongoing commitment to boost Web 3.0 literacy in 2023, Binance Academy kick-started the year by teaming up with Edukasyon.ph, Philippines’ largest educatio...
Binance’s Predictions for the Year 2023, the Year of the Rabbit
Economy

Binance’s Predictions for the Year 2023, the Year of the Rabbit

The year 2023 is the year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. The rabbit is known to be the harbinger of good luck and fortune, so there’s plenty to look forward to this year! We hereby suggest that the RABBIT of 2023 are Regulatory Framework, Accessibility, Borderless, Binance, Innovation, and Transparency. Regulatory Framework Some people believe that those born in the Year of the Rabbit are known to display exceptional organizational and planning skills. This serves as a good reminder that as the crypto industry continues to grow and scale in 2023, it is essential for the industry as a whole to be proactive in planning and developing clear, transparent regulatory frameworks and standards. In 2022, more countries have committed to building clear regulator...
<strong>Sri Lanka Banking Conference “Surfing Through the Crisis”</strong><strong></strong> Can the banking sector survive this economy, or can it help the economy survive?
Banking and Insurance

Sri Lanka Banking Conference “Surfing Through the Crisis” Can the banking sector survive this economy, or can it help the economy survive?

EY, SRI LANKA, – EY successfully concluded its inaugural Sri Lanka Banking Conference themed “Surfing Through the Crisis” on 14 November 2022. The event builds on a series of similarly themed sessions conducted by the firm over the past two years aiming to support the Banking sector navigate through these challenging times. The Banking Conference hosted the CEOs, CROs, CFOs, the chairperson of the Board Audit Committees, and the chairperson of the Board Integrated Risk Management Committees of Banks in Sri Lanka. Mr. Manil Jayesinghe, Country Managing Partner, EY Sri Lanka & Maldives launched the conference addressing the need for Banks to be equipped for the difficult task of holding together a fragmented economy. He commented that Banks must understand their customers and...
Sri Lanka’s oldest NBFI – Alliance Finance delivers a robust performance despite challenging economic conditions
Economy

Sri Lanka’s oldest NBFI – Alliance Finance delivers a robust performance despite challenging economic conditions

Alliance Finance Company PLC ( AFC), the First Company in South Asia to achieve the prestigious endorsement of “a holistic sustainability certified value driven financial institution” concluded the first quarter of the Financial year 22/23 with a  resilient performance amidst inimical domestic and external environs which impacted the country. The first quarter of the financial year severely impacted the business climate due to the increase in market interest rates, lower credit demand, increased fuel prices and shortages in supplies. The country also defaulted its foreign debt payments resulting in the country being downgraded by external rating agencies.  Sharp depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee and a significant increase in headline inflation also negatively impacted the ...
Orient Finance rises above challenges to deliver strong results
Business

Orient Finance rises above challenges to deliver strong results

Posting a steady performance, Orient Finance PLC, a member of the Janashakthi Group and a leading financial service provider, recorded a 27% increase in the company’s turnover with LKR 809.8 Mn for the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23. Indicating a growth of 11% in comparison to the corresponding period in the previous financial year, the company recorded a profit before tax of LKR 66.4 Mn for the period under review. Furthermore, illustrating the Company’s stability, Orient Finance PLC recorded a total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 15.94% as at 30th June 2022 which surpasses the required total capital adequacy ratio of 14% stipulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the well-capitalised category with assets less than Rs. 100 Bn. As such, the company continues to ...
SMIB announces appointment of new CEO
Investments

SMIB announces appointment of new CEO

The State Mortgage and Investment Bank (SMIB), a leading state-owned bank in Sri Lanka with 90 years of history, announced the appointment of an experienced banker, Mr. Thushara Asuramanna, as the new CEO with effect from 01 July 2022. Prior to his appointment as CEO SMIB, Mr. Asuramanna was the Vice President of Commercial Credit Management Unit of Nations Trust Bank (NTB). Starting his banking career in 1999 with National Development Bank Plc, Mr. Asuramanna continued working till 2011 in various capacities attached to SME & Retail segments. He joined NTB in 2011 with exposure to Senior Management, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) & Retail Credit Risk in its Integrated Risk Management Department. Chairman of SMIB Dr. Udayasri Kariyawasam stated: “SMIB is a key player th...
Janashakthi Foundation partners with CEPA and YUMA Foundation to produce Sri Lanka’s first Trilingual Inequality Research Report
Business

Janashakthi Foundation partners with CEPA and YUMA Foundation to produce Sri Lanka’s first Trilingual Inequality Research Report

Janashakthi Foundation, the Philanthropic arm of Janashakthi Group, partnered with the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and YUMA Foundation, to jointly sponsor Sri Lanka’s first Inequality Report. An agreement was signed recently, between the partners by signatories Ramesh Schaffter, Managing Director / Group CEO of Janashakthi Group, Karin Fernando, Acting Executive Director of CEPA and Christoph Feyen, Director of YUMA Foundation. The research of the pilot phase of the project launched in July 2022 will be conducted over a 3-year period. The data of this study will be compiled and published as ‘The Inequality Report (TIER).’ The project intends to deepen the understanding of inequality, bringing together research, policy and dialogue. The first report to be launched in 2023 will sp...
Singer wins Retail Brand of the Year for the second consecutive time at Global Banking and Finance Review Awards 2021
Finance and Leasing

Singer wins Retail Brand of the Year for the second consecutive time at Global Banking and Finance Review Awards 2021

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC, the country’s premier consumer durables retailer was recently bestowed with the coveted “Retail Brand of the Year Sri Lanka 2021” award at the 11th Global Banking and Finance Review Awards-one of the most prominent events in the corporate awards calendar. Singer brought home this prestigious award for the second consecutive year, reiterating its resurgence in Sri Lanka’s retail sphere and affirming itself as the retail giant for a reason. Singer has been constantly featuring among the winners of top local and global awards events, further extending its winning run. The annual awards ceremony organized by the British based Global Banking and Finance Review Magazine is a highly sought-after awards event that seeks to recognize innovation, inspirational...
Class of COVID-19: Next generation of bankers fear for future
Banking and Insurance, Equity Market, Finance and Leasing, Fintech, FX Market, International Business

Class of COVID-19: Next generation of bankers fear for future

(Reuters) : It wasn’t the introduction to high finance that Adi Patel had once anticipated. The stage fright of walking into the imposing offices of a $607 billion asset manager in the heart of a historic financial district? Pandemic era: a five-day induction on Microsoft Teams. The rip-roaring intensity of the trading floor replete with sharp-suited money managers? Not quite - hunched over a laptop with comfy clothes in a flat-share. Client lunches, and perhaps swapping stories after work with fellow graduates embarking on first steps in finance? Not likely. The pandemic has put paid to many initial expectations of the financial industry's Class of COVID-19. That group includes new recruits at finance firms around the world, such as 22-year-old graduate analyst Patel and two ...
Banking Sector Lending Rates Hints a Comeback While Deposit Rates Continues to Fall
Banking and Insurance, Business, Economy, Finance and Leasing, Investments

Banking Sector Lending Rates Hints a Comeback While Deposit Rates Continues to Fall

Sri Lanka's banking sector's Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR) reached a new monthly high of 5.86 percent at-end April by gaining five basis points (bps) compared to the beginning of the month. On a Weekly basis, AWPR for the week ending 30th April increased by 32 bps to 5.86 percent compared to the previous week. At-end April, Sampath Bank had the highest AWPR among local banks at 7.38 percent followed by Seylan Bank at 6.85 percent, Union Bank of Colombo at 6.79 percent. The State-owned Bank of Ceylon, People's Bank along with Hatton National Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Pan Asia Banking Corporation, and NDB Bank maintained their AWPR below six percent. Among foreign banks, Citi Bank recorded the lowest AWPR of 4.92 percent at-end April. According to avila...
Basel Committee proposes amendments to rules on haircut floors for securities financing transactions
Banking and Insurance

Basel Committee proposes amendments to rules on haircut floors for securities financing transactions

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published for consultation two technical amendments to the standard on minimum haircut floors for securities financing transactions (SFTs). The technical amendments seek to address an interpretative issue relating to collateral upgrade transactions and correct for a misstatement of the formula used to calculate haircut floors for netting sets of STFs. Technical amendments are defined as changes in standards that are not substantial in nature but that cannot be unambiguously resolved based on the current text. Comments on the proposed technical amendments should be submitted by Wednesday 31 March 2021.
BIS launches second green bond fund for central banks
Banking and Insurance, Investments

BIS launches second green bond fund for central banks

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has launched a euro-denominated, open-ended fund for green bond investments by central banks and official institutions. The launch follows the successful introduction of a first BIS green bond fund denominated in US dollars in September 2019. Together, the two BIS green bond funds will manage some $2 billion in green bonds for central banks with the expectation that the funds will continue to grow considerably. The funds have been developed with the support of an advisory committee drawn from a global group of central banks. They are part of the BIS's green bond fund initiative, which helps central banks to incorporate environmental sustainability objectives in the management of their reserves and capital, in line with a growing de...
Fintech can drive a strong post-COVID-19 recovery in Asia
Banking and Insurance, Economy

Fintech can drive a strong post-COVID-19 recovery in Asia

By Bambang Susantono The pandemic has highlighted the power of digital technology. Now is the time to harness this power for inclusive growth so that communities, especially in poor and remote areas, can survive the crisis and thrive. o say 2020 has been a challenging year is a massive understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly undermined development gains from recent decades and slowed growth in many Asian economies. Yet, every crisis presents opportunities. One is the rapid advance in digital technology, which offers a way to recoup some of these gains and spur a strong economic revival once the pandemic has passed. As we all know, the pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology. Many of us have become adept at online video conferencing and other digital to...
HSBC to axe 82 UK branches, cut services in others
Banking and Insurance, International Business

HSBC to axe 82 UK branches, cut services in others

 (Reuters) - HSBC plans to axe 82 branches in Britain this year after a drop in footfall across its retail network and a surge in digital banking, the bank said on Tuesday. The lender said it would be left with 511 branches in the UK after the closures, with many of those to be remodelled and some to provide fewer services. A spokesman for HSBC said the bank would aim to redeploy affected staff to nearby branches where possible, adding that customers would see the removal of counter services in some of the retained branches. The COVID-19 pandemic has dented bank finances, putting pressure on lenders to cut costs, while more customers have opted to bank online after being encouraged to stay at home to combat the spread of the virus. HSBC said it had begun trials of differe...
Financial, industrial stocks raise Sri Lankan shares about 1% higher
Banking and Insurance, Business, Equity Market

Financial, industrial stocks raise Sri Lankan shares about 1% higher

(Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended nearly 1% higher on Wednesday, boosted by financial and industrial stocks. The benchmark stock index ended up 0.97% at 7,884.45. The index has now notched 15 sessions of gains out of 16 sessions. Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index fell to 287.96 million from 690.06 million in the previous session. The Equity market turnover was at Rs 9.37 billion, exchange data showed. Holding company Hayleys Plc and investment company Vallibel One Plc were the top boosts to the index, gaining 14.5% and 10.1%, respectively. However, foreign investors were net sellers, offloading Rs. 774.2 million ($3.97 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.  India’s foreign ministry on Tuesday announced that COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Sri Lanka...
Sri Lanka’s Worsening Credit Quality in the Household Sector Raises Concerns
Banking and Insurance, Economy, Finance and Leasing, Real-Estate

Sri Lanka’s Worsening Credit Quality in the Household Sector Raises Concerns

Sri Lanka's household sector credit quality continued to decline during the first half of last year signaling a plausible build-up of imbalances in the sector. The NPL ratio of the household sector has been rising since 2018 signifying a worsening of credit quality. The NPL ratio of the household sector rose to 20.2 percent by the end of 2020Q2 compared to 12.5 percent in 2019Q2 despite the moratorium granting relief measures for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank data indicated. The Bank cautioned on a high possibility of NPL levels rising significantly by the end of the moratorium period. Despite the banking sector is the main source of household sector debt, the non-performing loans (NPLs) were largely stemming from the non-bank financial institutio...
Licensed Banks to  come under requirements to implement Recovery plans
Banking and Insurance, Business, Finance and Leasing

Licensed Banks to come under requirements to implement Recovery plans

Sri Lanka's Licensed Banks come under requirements to implement Recovery plans in order to strengthen crisis preparedness and to enhance their ability to respond effectively to adverse scenarios with the expected rise in sour loans when COVID-19 related moratoriums are expired, the Central Bank (CB) announced today. "Directions will be issued in due course, providing necessary guidelines. The Central Bank will continue to adapt its supervisory approaches to suit the new normal," Central Bank (CB), Governor, Professor W D Lakshman said. He revealed this while presenting "the Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2021 and Beyond." Further, he also revealed that the CB would introduce a regulatory framework for technology risk management and resilience of license...
Sri Lanka’s Banks are unlikly to return to Pre-covid proftiability levels in 2021
Banking and Insurance, Business, Finance and Leasing, Investments

Sri Lanka’s Banks are unlikly to return to Pre-covid proftiability levels in 2021

Sri Lanka's Banks are unlikly to return to Pre-covid proftiability levels next year, Fitch Ratings said in a special report. "We expect this trend to continue in to 2021, albeit at a slower pace. Deteriorating asset quality and the associated higher credit costs are expected to keep banks' profitability lower in 2021 than pre-2019 levels, despite improvement from 2020 profitability," the Rating Agency said. It expects that sluggish economic activity, external and domestic vulnerabilities, muted private credit growth and the sovereign's weakened credit profile to pose significant downside risks to the operating environment for Sri Lankan banks. The rating Agency lowered its assessment of the operating environment score for Sri Lankan banks to 'ccc' with negative outlook from 'b-' ...
Justice K. Sripavan to become the New Chairman of Commercial Bank
Banking and Insurance, Finance and Leasing

Justice K. Sripavan to become the New Chairman of Commercial Bank

The Board of Directors of Commercial Bank has resolved to appoint Justice K. Sripavan as the New Chairperson of the Bank with effect from 21st of this month, upon the retirement of K G D D Dheerasinghe. Dheerasinghe is set to retire on 20th of this month, after completing his 9-year tenure as the Chairperson of the Bank. Justice K. Sripavan has been serving as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Board of Commercial Bank since April 2017. Meanwhile, Prof. A.K.W.. Jayawardane is set to take over as the Deputy Chairperson of the Bank from 29th of December this year, following the retirement of M P Jayawardena on 28th of this month. Prof.Jayawardane has been serving as a Non-Executive Independent Director of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC ...
Central Bank Promotes Yvette Fernando, Dhammika Nanayakkara as Deputy Governors
Banking and Insurance, Finance and Leasing

Central Bank Promotes Yvette Fernando, Dhammika Nanayakkara as Deputy Governors

The Central Bank (CB) announced that Yvette Fernando, Dhammika Nanayakkara promoted as Deputy Governors to fill the positions vacated by Deputy Governors Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe and H.A. Karunaratne upon their retirements in September. "The Monetary Board, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, has promoted Assistant Governors, Mrs. T M J Y P Fernando and Mr. N W G R D Nanayakkara to the post of Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) with effect from 14th December 2020," the CB said. The most senior CB officials, Dr. Weerasinghe and Karunaratne left the CB in September this year, taking three-month prior to their retirements. Fernando has over 30 years of service in the CB in the areas of supervision and regulation of banks, foreign exchange managemen...
Financial Regulators to face dilemma once the withdrawal from Covid-19 measures begins
Banking and Insurance, Economy, International Business, Opinion

Financial Regulators to face dilemma once the withdrawal from Covid-19 measures begins

The Financial Regulators across the World will face a dilemma once the withdrawal from Covid-19 measures begins as to how and when to exit from regulatory relief measures in balancing the benefits of economic relief with financial stability considerations. "The challenge will be how and when to exit from regulatory relief measures. In terms of timing, authorities need to steer a course between Scylla and Charybdis. Acting too early may remove much needed credit to support economic growth. Waiting too long may delay necessary resource reallocation and put additional long-run pressure on the financial sector as the solvency phase of the crisis could expose any depletion of loss-absorbing resources, potentially undermining confidence in the post-crisis regulatory regime and its abilit...
Binance adds Sri Lankan Rupee to its P2P trading list
Economy, FX Market

Binance adds Sri Lankan Rupee to its P2P trading list

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the World has added Sri Lanka Rupee to its peer-to-peer trading list. The Exchange announced additions of Myanmar Kyat [MMK], Lao Kip [LAK], Cambodia Riel [KHR], and Sri Lanka Rupee [LKR] to its P2P trading platform. The announced fiats are expected trade against Bitcoin [BTC], Tether [USDT], Ethereum [ETH], Binance Coin [BNB], Binance USD [BUSD], and DAI. Further, it noted that fiats including LKR would be tradable with zero transaction fees. Sri Lanka Rupee reported a higher period of volume in the past seven days.  Binance also announced that it is looking for local P2P merchants who have a stable source of cryptocurrencies and MMK, LAK, KHR, or LKR. Asia Pacific has been the second-largest continent in terms o...
Sri Lanka’s banks became more flexible in lending in 3Q
Banking and Insurance, Business, Economy

Sri Lanka’s banks became more flexible in lending in 3Q

Sri Lanka's banking sector was more open to lending for borrowers in retail, corporate, and SME categories in the third quarter of the year amidst improved risk perception and improved liquidityposition. However, due to the impacts from the second wave of COVID-19 on the credit supply, the Central Bank (CB) expects the banks to become more conservative in lending in the current (Q4) quarter. In the third quarter, the demand for loans was significantly up across all categories driven by the sharp reduction in interest rates. "Loans demanded by the corporate category for the purposes of working capital and debt restructuring showed an increase in 2020 Q3," CB said. Meanwhile, the CB expects the demand for loans to increase further in Q4 with the optimism prevailed on the re...
Swiss National Bank moves closer towards digital assets
Banking and Insurance, Finance and Leasing, Fintech, International Business

Swiss National Bank moves closer towards digital assets

The Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Innovation Hub joined the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and financial infrastructure operator, SIX, in an experiment that integrates tokenized digital assets and central bank money. SNB announced that it has carried out a successful test of a centrally-issued digital currency. According to BIS, the test which is named 'Project Helvetia' explored the technological and legal feasibility of transferring digital assets through issuing a wholesale CBDC onto a distributed digital asset platform and linking the digital asset platform to the existing wholesale payment system. "The initiative demonstrated the feasibility and legal robustness of both alternatives in a near-live setup," BIS said. However, it ackowledge several challenges that cou...
Sri Lanka’s gross financing requirements top $20 billion next year – EMFI Securities
Economy, Finance and Leasing, FIscal Policy

Sri Lanka’s gross financing requirements top $20 billion next year – EMFI Securities

Sri Lanka's gross financing needs are projected to top $20 billion next year, a 22.3 percent increase compared to this year, according to EMFI Securities. London-based Financial Provider in a recent report said that the government may have underestimated current expenditures (mostly salaries and wages) and overestimating revenues. Therefore, it projected that the country's gross financing requirement to increase to 22.3% of GDP in 2021 (or USD 20.9 bn), by two percentage points of GDP higher than in 2020. Further, it highlighted that Sri Lanka's external debt service payments amount to a 'very compromising' $ 4.2 bn in 2021, which represents 71% of its international reserves.
Sri Lanka to introduce new laws to protect investments
Business, Chinese, Economy, Investments

Sri Lanka to introduce new laws to protect investments

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa vowed to bring in new laws to protect both local and foreign investors as the government aims to encourage investments to reduce reliance on borrowings. "Our overreliance on loans must come to an end. That is why the focus ofthe Government is on fostering investments. We must attract more Foreign Direct Investment and encourage more local investment to drive our economic growth. With this in view, the Government is bringing in new laws to fully protect investments," Rajapaksa asserted at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Further, he stressed that the government is committed to enhancing the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka. The President noted that delays in projects funded by foreign parti...
Sri Lanka’s banks to show reluctance to absorb their subsidiary Finance Firms – Fitch Ratings
Banking and Insurance, Business, Economy, Finance and Leasing, International Business

Sri Lanka’s banks to show reluctance to absorb their subsidiary Finance Firms – Fitch Ratings

Sri Lanka's banks would be reluctant to absorb their finance and leasing companies (FLC) due to the significant difference between their risk profiles and underwriting practices which could lead to elevated challenges in achieving effective management, According to Fitch Ratings. The government's budget speech, presented on 17 November 2020, reiterated the importance of consolidation in the FLC sector, which has been on the cards since 2014 when the Central Bank (CB) announced its 'Master Plan for the Consolidation of the Financial Sector'. It led to several banks acquiring FLC subsidiaries in 2014 and 2015, including the acquisition of HNB Finance (then Prime Grameen Micro Finance Limited) by Hatton National Bank and Serendib Finance (then Indra Finance Limited) by Commercial Bank of ...
First Capital Research predicts a 50% chance for a policy rate cut
Banking and Insurance, Business, Economy, Finance and Leasing

First Capital Research predicts a 50% chance for a policy rate cut

First Capital Research predicted a 50% chance for a policy rate cut by the Central Bank (CB) at its upcoming Monetary Policy Review Meeting this month. "We believe that CB will maintain same policy stance in this monetary policy review, but given the concerns around economic growth, CBSL is likely to retain the monetary policy stance at “accommodative”, Colombo-based leading Research House, First Capital stated in its Pre-Policy Analysis Report. Arguments against further relaxation in monetary policy Improvement in high-frequency indicators with surplus liquidity in the system As a response to the measures taken by the Govt, private sector credit has improved to LKR 87.4Bn in Sep while the market liquidity has reached LKR 140.0Bn by 13th Nov indicating that there is surplus l...
Central Bank defers  repayment plans submitted by two illegal Finance Companies to depositors’ liabilities
Business, Economy, Finance and Leasing

Central Bank defers repayment plans submitted by two illegal Finance Companies to depositors’ liabilities

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) has thrown out the time-bound repayment plans submitted by two illegal Finance Companies to settle the depositor liabilities in full. "The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka at its meeting held on 21.10.2020 decided that the submitted repayment plan was not acceptable. Further, a report was sent to the Attorney General’s Department on 02.11.2020 by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka requesting to institute criminal proceedings in this regard under the provisions of the said Act on the advice of the Monetary Board," the CB said in a notice to the public. The CB in September determined that Atapattu Mudiyanselage Dammika Kumara Atapattu and Eyon Lanka Investment and Film Production International Company (Pvt) Limited both at ‘Saman ...
The government to offer tax concessions for investments in REITs
Business, Economy, Real-Estate, Taxation

The government to offer tax concessions for investments in REITs

The government plans to exempt investments in the housing market through Sri Lanka Real Estate Investment Trusts (SLREIT) to be exempted from capital gains tax and reduce stamp duty up to 0.75 percent from the current stamp duty of 4 percent. The measures proposed in the budget 2021 to prmote SLREIT to attract investments into Sri Lanka's Real-estate market. It is proposed to simplify taxes on capital gains, where such taxes will be calculated based on the sale price of a property or the assessed value of a property, whichever is higher. The Dividends are also to be free from Income Tax. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) published Rules of SLREIT the Gazette on 31st July 2020.
Sri Lanka announces tax concessions for new listings at CSE
Business, Economy, Equity Market, Taxation

Sri Lanka announces tax concessions for new listings at CSE

The government announced a proposal to grant 50 percent income tax relief for new listings at Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Delivering 2021 Budget speech Prime Minister & Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced these plans which are aimed at boosting performances of CSE. In addition, these firms are to be only subjected to a 14% income tax rate for the next 3 years from 2021, as per the proposal.
Sri Lanka announces Special Goods and Services Tax
Business, Economy, Finance and Leasing, Taxation

Sri Lanka announces Special Goods and Services Tax

The government announced a Special Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be introduced for telecommunication, alcohol, cigarettes, vehicles, and betting from 2021 onwards while maintaining most of the other taxes and duties at the current rate. Delivering 2021 Budget speechPrime Minister & Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced plans to cut the budget deficit ratio to 4 percent in the medium term from the projected 9 percent this year. WIth a mepahis on tax complinace side, the goverment plans to introduce new laws against auditors and companies that prepare false tax records. Further, a simplified Online Income tax system is also on the cards for income tax payers.
CHEC Port City Says no Colombo Port City Employees tested positive for COVID-19
Business, Chinese, Economy, International Business

CHEC Port City Says no Colombo Port City Employees tested positive for COVID-19

The project company of the Port City, CHEC Port City Colombo today stressed any employees at the Port City site has been tested positive for COVID-19 while clarifying that the two local workers and four Chinese who tested positive for COVID-19 were employed at a different project in Kotahena(Colombo 13). "This accommodation facility was only used by the workers employed for that project and not employed or engaged in any interaction with Port City Colombo site or its employees," the company said. Following the confirmation of the cases, the company noted that the mentioned accommodation was put under lockdown, and movement in and out of the site was restricted. It further stated that since Port City Colombo resumed day to day operations, all Port City staffs have gone through PC...
First Capital Holdings PLC Delivers Strong Financials to December 31, 2023.
Business

First Capital Holdings PLC Delivers Strong Financials to December 31, 2023.

First Capital Holdings PLC (the Group), a leading investment institution, and a member of the Janashakthi Group, announces its strong financial results for the nine months ended December 31, 2023. The Group reported a Profit after Tax of Rs. 9.4Bn, marking a significant increase compared to Rs. 1.7Bn recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year. Despite a loss of Rs. 237Mn in the 3rd quarter of 2023/24, primarily attributed to withholding tax on inter-company dividends totalling Rs. 825Mn, the Group's overall performance demonstrates resilience and strategic growth. The dividend payout is the highest in the company's recorded history for its shareholders. The Primary Dealer division emerged as a key contributor to the Group's success, reporting a Profit after Tax of Rs....