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Business


HSBC to sponsor CCC’s conference

A discussion on legal developments in the financial services sector

Taking the lead in promoting and sharing best practices in the financial sector, HSBC is sponsoring a conference on Legal Developments in the Financial Services Sector. The conference, organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), will be held on 23-24 October at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo.

The objective of the conference is to educate the members of the CCC with regard to the implications of recent regulatory changes and legislative reforms, and to broaden the understanding of concepts and principles of law applicable to banking, finance, leasing and insurance sectors. Eminent personalities in their respective fields are slated to participate in the conference which will provide a dynamic forum in which to exchange ideas and information on this crucially important area of business.
The conference will focus on Corporate Governance Standards introduced by CSE, Impact of the companies act on the financial sector, Implications of the new Accounting standards introduced by ICA of SL on the banking, leasing and insurance sectors, BASEL 11 Developments and compliance etc.

“As a bank that strongly believes in strict adherence within the legal and ethical framework of the countries in which it operates, HSBC is pleased to sponsor the Conference on Legal Developments in the Financial Services Sector,” an HSBC spokesman said. “We believe that being constantly updated on the legal developments in the financial services sector is essential to all players in the industry.”

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NTB launches Nations Variable Lease

Nations Leasing, the leasing arm of Nations Trust Bank PLC recently launched the ‘Nations Variable Lease’ - an innovative new variable lease product.
The newly launched Nations Variable Lease is structured to reflect current market interest rates. Keshini Jayawardena, Deputy General Manager Leasing at Nations Trust Bank PLC commenting on the launch said, “In this era of high interest rates, traditional financing products do not always best serve the customer. Fixed term leases lock customers into a fixed interest rate and a fixed repayment period while floating rate loans mean that when the interest rates move, the amount of the monthly repayment changes, making cash planning difficult”. The Nations Variable Lease has been structured in order to provide customers with a clear advantage in managing their finances.

Speaking further Ms Jayawardena added “the Nations Variable Lease is linked to a market interest rate, allowing customers to obtain a medium term funding line that will move in line with the prevalent market rates. However, rather than changing the monthly payment amount, the change will be reflected in the tenure of the lease. In the event the benchmark rates decline, the customers will be able to pay off his lease in a shorter period, while in a rising interest rate scenario the number of rentals may increase, but the monthly payment amount will not increase.” This product has been structured in a manner that is convenient to the customer. Adjustments will be made on a quarterly basis having regard to movement of the 3-month SLIBOR/Gross Treasury Bill rate, and customers will be advised in writing of their remaining number of rentals.

Zulfiqar Zavahir, Director/CEO of Nations Trust Bank PLC commented, “Nations Trust Bank has always had a firm commitment in delivering innovative services and products that add value to our customers. The launch of the Nations Variable Lease further reiterates this. We are indeed proud to include yet another value added product to our growing portfolio of services to our valued customers.”

In addition to the Nations Variable Lease, the Bank’s range of leasing products also include the Nations Fixed Term Lease, Nations Professional Lease for executives and professionals, and the Nations Hire Purchase Lease.
Nations Trust Bank’s leasing arm has branches in Negombo, Bandarawela and Kuliyapitiya as well as Leasing Counters within the Nations Trust Bank branches in Kandy, Kohuwala, Kiribathgoda, Kurunegala and Panadura. More information and assistance is available at any Nations Trust Bank branch, the Nations Leasing Centre in Nawam Mawatha or via telephone on 4 218 218 or 4 791 777.

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Bank of Ceylon, only bank to win a SLIM Brand Excellence Award

Bank of Ceylon was the only bank to reach the finals of this year’s SLIM Brand Excellence Awards and win a Bronze. All three entries submitted under the categories Service Brand of the Year, Turnaround Brand of the Year, and Local Brand of the Year reached the finals, and Bank of Ceylon won the Bronze award for the Turnaround Brand of the Year for its innovative and award-winning ‘Ran Surekum’ pawning campaign. Radio advertisements used in this ‘Ran Surekum’ pawning campaign has already won two nominations and a Bronze at the 2007 Chillies Advertising Awards earlier this year – again the only award winner in the Banking & Financial Services category for radio advertising.

Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) organises Brand Excellence Awards every year to reward outstanding efforts of the best-performing brands in the country. A SLIM Brand Excellence Award is regarded as the ultimate reward for high-performing brands and their marketers in Sri Lanka. There are eight different SLIM ‘Brand of the Year’ award categories for Product brands, Service brands, Innovative brands, Turnaround brands, Local brands, International brands, etc. A distinguished panel of judges, under the guidance of renowned Marketing Guru Dr. Uditha Liyanage, judged each entry’s claim to brand excellence using stringent evaluation criteria. The highest-scoring three brands in each category received Gold, Silver & Bronze awards.

Commenting on Bank of Ceylon’s outstanding performance at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards as a first-time entrant, the Project Chairman, Mr. Dinesh Nanayakkara, said, “Bank of Ceylon made excellent and convincing presentations for their three entries and defended their claim for brand excellence in each category very successfully. As a result, all three entries obtained high scores from the panel of judges and reached the finals. Out of these, Bank of Ceylon won the Bronze award for the Turnaround Brand of the Year for their ‘Ran Surekum’ pawning brand. I am very happy to see the dynamism and marketing savvy of a state bank competing and winning against all other commercial banks and some of Sri Lanka’s biggest and most successful brands.”

The SLIM Turnaround Brand of the Year award goes to the brand that has most successfully overcome a downturn, through outstanding brand management. Bank of Ceylon’s Corporate Communication Officer, Dr. Ashoka Jinadasa, was the architect behind the re-launch of the ‘Ran Surekum’ pawning brand. Explaining the thinking behind this award-winning turnaround brand, he said, “Bank of Ceylon’s pawning loan portfolio was relatively small when compared with that of our main competitors. In mid 2006, we decided to increase our share of the pawning market. We carefully profiled our primary target group, women, and came up with an innovative strategy to reposition our pawning brand within a broader scope of financial empowerment of women.
“They could borrow money against their gold jewellery without requiring permission from anybody. We explained and that this was the cheapest, fastest and most flexible option available when compared with temporary overdrafts, credit card cash advances, personal loans, etc. A key secondary objective was to promote financial literacy and financial inclusion among the lower income groups and wean them away from unscrupulous moneylenders,” he said.

“To match the vulnerable emotional profile of a woman in financial need, we developed non-intrusive and non-selling radio & TV commercials, in which women share their experiences of meeting unforeseen financial needs in different real-life situations. Usually, marketing awards and advertising awards don’t go together. Therefore, I am very happy about winning a SLIM Brand Excellence Award for our ‘Ran Surekum’ pawning campaign, which has already won two Chillies Advertising Award nominations and the only Bronze for radio advertising in the Banking & Financial Services category, earlier this year”

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Many Lankans nominated for CIMA award

A record number of Sri Lankans have been nominated for the CIMA Financial Management Awards 2007. The nominations for this year see six Sri Lankan tuition providers, employers and individuals, recognised for contributing significantly to the profession of management accountancy on a global scale and a tribute to the worldwide reach of CIMA in the local market.
The CIMA Financial Management Awards, in association with the Financial Times UK, is an annual event which celebrates the key players in the business and finance sectors globally and honours those who have been instrumental in developing the finance profession and the organisations that operate within it. This includes the people, the teams and the organisations who through their determination and dedication deliver results that promote and develop the management accountancy profession.

CIMA has gone from strength to strength in Sri Lanka since its inception forty years ago culminating last year in recognition at the Financial Management Awards 2006 when Gajendra Liyanaarachchi of the Virtual Business School, Colombo, won the Tutor of the Year award – the first time ever a Sri Lankan received this award. The nomination shortlist for 2007 yields further credit to the global reach of CIMA in Sri Lanka and sees Sri Lankans recording a total of six nominations.
More than a hundred key players in the accountancy arena placed nominations this year including Morgan Stanley, Reuters and Ford Motor Company, the winners will be revealed at a black-tie dinner on 29 November 2007 at The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.

Commenting on the achievement Mr Aruna Fernando, President of CIMA Sri Lanka said:
“The consistently high standards and dedication demonstrated by our nominees has helped place the Sri Lanka business community at the centre of the world stage and as a nation we should be very proud of the recognition they have afforded us. Each has contributed directly to the high profile and influence CIMA maintains in Sri Lanka today and on behalf of CIMA I thank them for their commitment and support, may many more Sri Lankans continue along their path to success”.

Sri Lankan nominees for the CIMA Financial Management Awards 2007:
Tutor of the Year
Senaka Kakiriwaragodage, Achievers College
M M Clancy Peiris, Wisdom Business Academy
Hasitha Premaratne, Wisdom Business Academy
Part Qualified of the Year, sponsored by FSS
Thanushka Jayasundera, HSBC Sri Lanka
The Financial Management Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, sponsored by Financial Management Magazine
MAS Intimates Division
Employer of the Year, sponsored by Hays Accountancy and Finance
Amba Research Lanka (PVT) Ltd

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NDB Bank and Eagle sign eZ pay agreement

Eagle policyholders to enjoy the convenience of paying premiums via mobile

Eagle Insurance and NDB Bank signed the eZ Pay partnership agreement in a revolutionary service that allows Eagle insurance policyholders to pay their premiums via their mobile phones. In Eagle’s constant endeavour to add value to policyholders and to make their lives more convenient, Eagle joined with NDB Bank on their eZ Pay facility to provide a convenient, secure and reliable payment option to its customers. Now, policyholders have the advantage of paying their premiums through their mobile phones in the comfort of their homes or offices, or simply while they are on-the-go.

“We constantly strive to improve ourselves and serve our customers even better.” said Managing Director Mr. Deepal Sooriyaarachchi. “We endeavour to constantly innovate and improve our service standards and product offerings.’ We are glad to sign-up with NDB Bank in this revolutionary innovation‘. he added. “We also provide our policyholders with an array of premium payment methods including the options to make payments, online, via ATM’s, through salary, bank and credit card standing orders and also through tele-banking facilities.” he continued.

“On rare occasions the power of technology combines with economic forces to transform society” said Mr. Nihal Welikala Chief Executive of NDB Bank. “The impact of the mobile phone on the banking industry has the potential over time, to bring about fundamental change, to transform the way we do business, and with whom. eZ Pay will definitely add value to Eagle’s policyholders and make their lives easier. This is South Asia’s first Mcommerce (mobile commerce) initiative between NDB Bank and Dialog Telekom, a revolutionary service that allows customers to purchase goods, pay bills, transfer money and perform banking transactions via their mobile phones”.

Consumers can avail themselves of eZ Pay facilities by obtaining an eZ Pay enabled SIM card from Dialog Telekom. eZ Pay is available to Post-paid as well as Pre-paid Dialog subscribers.

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Ceylinco Insurance dispels tsunami, earthquake fears

Ceylinco Insurance – General Division announced recently that the Sri Lankan public had nothing to fear from damages arising from natural disasters, including Tsunamis and Earthquakes, as long as they have a Traders Combined or Householders insurance policy from Ceylinco.

At a recent gathering, Ceylinco Insurance reminded the Sri Lankan public that climate-related catastrophes were on the increase, recalling the Tsunami disaster of 2004, adding that the island nation is increasingly facing the risk of further disasters, such as earthquakes. A spokesman for the company indicated that any customer, who had obtained either a Traders Combined or Householders Insurance Policy from Ceylinco Insurance, was automatically covered, for not only Tsunamis and Earthquakes, but any natural disaster.

The Ceylinco Traders Combined Policy, which is the market leader, in the sphere of business insurance, covers numerous eventualities, including: fire and allied perils, burglary, money in transit, glass breakage, public liability, electrical fluctuations, loan repayments, business relocation expenses, along with automatic covers for catastrophes, such as earthquakes and Tsunamis.
Similarly, the Householders Insurance Policy from Ceylinco, ensures that customers enjoy comprehensive benefits, covering fire, lightning, floods, burglary and theft, while providing life and personal accident covers for the insured and spouse, along with workmen’s compensation for domestic helpers, and much, much more. The Householders Policy also provides cover against Tsunamis and Earthquakes, at no extra charge!

The spokesperson for the company, reminding the gathering that they paid all insurance claims On The Spot, went on to say that Ceylinco Insurance also offered a comprehensive natural disaster cover, which provided protection against floods, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, storms and tempests, tornadoes, earth-slips, and several other eventualities. He added that Ceylinco had passed on these benefits to the Sri Lankan people, as they believed in providing the best cover for their customers, and as they firmly believed in providing innovative and affordable insurance solutions, so that one day, all Sri Lankans may enjoy the security of insurance. He went on to say that Ceylinco Insurance was committed to providing even more benefits to the Sri Lankan public in the near future.

Ceylinco Insurance is the market leader in the insurance industry in Sri Lanka, and over the past several years, the company has invented, re-invented and revolutionised the insurance market, for the benefit of its customers. In recognition of their efforts, Ceylinco was chosen as the ‘Most Innovative Insurance Company In Asia’, twice over. Ceylinco Insurance is an integral part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerates – Ceylinco Consolidated.

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