bourse witnessed a volatile nature during the week with improved retail
investor participation causing high activity levels. All Share Price
Index (ASPI) increased 59.4 points WoW to 1,821.2 while blue chip price
tracker Milanka Price Index (MPI) increased 35.2 points to 1,965.0.
Retail investors dominated the market with more attraction for
speculative counters while institutional investors too showed some
active participation during the week. Positive developments in the war
front boosted the investor sentiment despite the gloomy economic outlook
in the country.
The market commenced operations on Monday with ASPI gaining 56.25 points
to close at 1,818.1 and MPI jumping 93.2 points to stand at 2,025.9.
Active retail investor participation was cited throughout the day and
resulted in a turnover of Rs.278.6mn. John Keells Holdings was the top
contributor with a turnover of Rs.75.5mn (includes a crossing of 150,000
@ Rs.70.0). Seylan Bank non-voting registered the highest volume (2.4mn
shares) while Banking and Plantation counters were amongst the heavily
The positive sentiment did not continue on Tuesday while ASPI drop 17.1
points to 1,801.0 and more sensitive MPI lost 7.5 points to 2,015.4 due
to profit taking by retail investors. C.W Mackie was the mostly sought
counter for the day while John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank and
Seylan Bank were also contributed materially to the day’s turnover.
The market demonstrated mix results on Wednesday where ASPI gained 11.2
points and MPI shed 5.3 points to 1,812.2 and 2,010.1 respectively.
Retailers set the market direction with speculative buying on Lanka
Cement. Lanka Cement was the most actively traded stock for the day
while Palawatte Sugar and C.W Mackie were also positive on the day’s
turnover. Turnover amounted to Rs.96.1mn.
The bourse revived on Thursday and ASPI augmented 22.7 points to close
at 1,834.9 while MPI gained 2.1 to 2,012.2. Lanka Cement continued to
dominate the day’s turnover with heavy activity levels while trading on
Overseas Reality, Laxapana Batteries and Hotel sector companies were
also notable during the day. Turnover for the day stood at Rs.170.3mn.
This includes the Cargills crossing transaction (500000 shares at
Market could not retained the momentum on Friday, ASPI plunged 13.7
points to 1,821.2 while more sensitive MPI lost 47.2 points to 1,965.0.
The days turnover was recorded at Rs.300.9mn. Stocks which encountered
more trading volumes were Dialog, Keells Hotels, Lanka Cement, Asian
Hotel Properties (500,000 shares crossed hands at Rs.32.00) and Overseas
Average daily turnover for the week was Rs.189.7mn and average daily
volume was 12.8mn shares.
Net foreign sales stood at Rs.65.8mn while the foreign participation
represented a low 12.1% of the total market activity for the week.
CTC contributes Rs.
50 billion to govt. in 2008
Ceylon Tobacco Company, contributed Rs.50 billion to the
government in 2008, up Rs. Nine billion from 2007. The sales volumes
however declined in 2008, impacted by higher excise-led price increases,
and diminishing consumer affordability. The Rs. 50 billion contribution
to the government consists of Excise Duties, VAT, Provincial Council Tax
and Corporate Tax.
Last year, despite economic challenges faced by many Corporates world
wide, CTC remained one of the largest contributors to government
revenue. The Rs.50 billion contributed in 2008(up from a Rs. 41 billion
rupees contributed in 2007,) is mainly attributed to the excise led
price increases, and declining volumes of illegal and counterfeit
products in the local market. In 2008, more than 740 raids were carried
out by law enforcement officials, in a concerted effort to minimise the
presence of illegal cigarettes. The confiscated illegal tobacco products
amounted to the value of over Rs.335 million.
Bold and innovative initiatives in consolidating the distribution
network, further localisation of material inputs, and on going
organisational restructuring, have continued to deliver significant
savings for the company. These savings contributed to the profit after
tax increase of Rs.867Million in 2008.
The Company doubled its investments in its flagship community project;
Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme (SADP) which is targetted
at poverty alleviation, and has over the last three years touched lives
of 3578 families in rural Sri Lanka, unfolding a simple formula to
achieve sustainable development through their own effort. During the
year 2008, 205 families exited the programme achieving self sufficiency
and taking the project on to a different level. The Company has extended
its SADP project to the Eastern province in line with the Government’s
Re-building the East programme- “Nagenahira Navodaya”. The SADP formula
will be replicated in identified areas in the Eastern province. This is
expected to benefit a large number of families, now re-located in the
East of the country.
CB clarifies on reserve position
The attention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is drawn to some
incorrect data with respect to the country’s foreign reserves, as
published in recent media reports, as those are grossly misleading the
public and business community. Therefore, this statement is issued to
clarify the position.
The country’s total reserves as at November 2008 end, stood at US
Dollars 3,914 million which is sufficient to finance 3.3 months of
imports. Country’s total external reserves include gross official
reserves held by the Central Bank and government, and external reserves
of domestic commercial banks. As already published, the Gross official
reserves as at November 2008 end stood at US Dollars 2,608 million which
was sufficient to cover 2.2 months of imports.
Despite the well known difference between country’s total reserves and
gross official reserves, some economic analysts contributing their views
to certain weekend newspapers have mixed up those two reserve figures
and provided a misleading analysis on external reserves, comparing
country’s total reserves until end 2007 with gross official reserves at
end November 2008.
World Prize for Sri Lankan student
at CIMA November 2008 exams
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) the world’s leading and
largest professional body of Management Accountants, announced that Sri
Lanka was only one of two countries worldwide to secure a World Prize
winner at the November 2008 examinations.
Dilshani Gunawardena won the CIMA world prize for P7 Financial
Accounting and Tax Principles at the Managerial level by obtaining 96
marks, proving that dedication and study can produce exemplary results.
This is the second Sri Lankan to win a world prize in 2008, the first
being Nilusha Fonseka for P2 Management Accounting Decision Management.
The November 2008 exam results which marks the eighth diet of exams for
CIMA’s current syllabus, has brought some welcome increases in pass
rates, at both the Strategic level and TOPCIMA (Test of Professional
Competence in Management Accounting). It also saw the emergence of 258
Passed Finalists making 2008 a very successful year for CIMA with the
passing out of 550 graduates.
Overall, the global and the Sri Lankan pass rates have improved
particularly for two of the three Strategic level papers and TOPCIMA has
improved when compared with May 2008. There were some good performances
at Managerial level, with global pass rates for Paper P4, Organisational
Management and Information Systems and P8, Financial Analysis their
highest ever. The significant improvements in the pass rates are a
testimony for the dedication and the competence of the CIMA tutors in
CIMA has an on-line dedicated area for student support, full of tips and
advice for exam success in the official student section of the
cimaglobal.com website. The site consists of student guides and
post-exam guides which focus on performance in all past papers. These
are invaluable tools for exam success, and CIMA recommends that this
area of the website is accessed regularly.
Birmingham Business School
Professor to address CIM Branding Summit
Prof. Leslie de Chernatony from the Birmingham University Business
School has been invited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Sri
Lanka Region to address the forthcoming CIM Branding Summit, scheduled
for February 6, at the Oak Room, Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Sri Lanka
Telecom is the Strategic Partner of this full day effort, which is one
of the key events for 2009, in The Institute’s calendar.
Leslie de Chernatony is Professor of Brand Marketing and Director of the
Centre for Research in Brand Marketing at Birmingham University Business
School. With a doctorate in brand marketing, he has a substantial number
of publications in American, European and Asian journals, and is a
regular presenter at international conferences. He has authored several
books on brand marketing: the two most recent publications being
‘Creating Powerful Brands’ and ‘From Brand Vision to Brand Evaluation’.
A winner of several research grants, his two most recent grants have
supported research into areas associated with high performance brands
and services branding. He is a Visiting Professor at Thammasat
University, Bangkok and University of Lugano, Switzerland. Professor
Chernatony is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing and a
Fellow of the Market Research Society.
Giving a preface to the programme, Prof. Chernatony says “In an era of
cost cutting and highly screened proposals for investments, managers
increasingly have to find more creative ways of leveraging scarce
resources to add greater value to their brands. Building more value into
brands necessitates organisations going beyond the competitive status
quo. A new type of corporation is now thriving, by refusing to accept
the old traditions of being driven by markets, and instead they are
driving markets. These new challenger brands are achieving leaps in
value by creatively redeploying assets, refusing to accept market
conventions and having new business models. In an e-based era, the
market driving brands are thriving by involving customers and making
them co-producers of value through open source platforms.”
Too often firms adopt incremental ways of enhancing their brands, rather
than thinking more creatively and devising radical, innovative
strategies. “Outside the box” thinking appears to be constrained,
amongst other reasons, by benchmarking against current competitors in
the current category, and thinking a value added route will emerge
primarily because it builds on internal competencies which only
superficially add to customers’ value.
The programme will radically revisit the concept of “value” and educate
the participants on how their brands can add genuine value through
Hayleys MGT’s 3 Q profits decline
Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills, the Hayleys Group’s cotton and synthetic
manufacturing business has posted a turnover of US$ 46.5 million for the
nine months ending December 31, 2008, a growth of four per cent over the
corresponding period of the previous year.
Turnover in the third quarter however, reflected a decline of 10 per
cent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
This growth was achieved in the face of postponements and reductions in
orders from customers as a result of a downturn in retail business in
international markets, Hayleys MGT Joint Managing Director Bandula
Weerasinghe said. This softening of demand, coupled with higher furnace
oil costs in the first two months of the third quarter had impacted
adversely on profit growth in the period under review, he disclosed.
According to results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange this week,
Hayleys MGT’s profit after tax and Economic Service Charge (ESC) at $
2.115 million reflected a decline of 48 per cent over the first nine
months of 2007- 08, due to the erosion of margins and lesser demand.
However, margins are expected to improve in the final quarter of the
year due to a reduction in energy costs as a result of a revision in
furnace oil prices, Weerasinghe said. The abolition of the fuel
surcharge in January 2009 and depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee would
also help the company, he said, but cautioned that overall results for
the full year would not match those of the previous year.
In order to offset the rising costs of energy, Hayleys MGT Knitting
Mills is setting up a biomass steam generator which will be operational
in the new financial year,. Weerasinghe said. This is believed to be the
biggest firewood fuelled steam energy generator in the country.
A major supplier to top international brands such as Marks & Spencer,
Next, Nike, Reebok and Decathlon, Hayleys MGT is the first fabric
manufacturer in Sri Lanka to be certified as compliant with the world’s
most stringent Social Accountability Standard, SA8000. The standard
represents a comprehensive and flexible system for the management of
ethical workplace conditions throughout global supply chains and assures
a humane workplace through respect for workers rights.
Hayleys MGT has a production capacity of 4 million metres of fabric per
month at its state-of-the art plant at Narthupana Estate in the Kalutara
District. The company is a key supplier of high quality knitted fabric
to the Sri Lankan apparel industry and to export markets.
SLT and SLT
Mobitel partners with EDEX 2009
Telecom, the nation’s number one integrated communications service
provider and Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the national mobile services
provider entered into a partnership with EDEX 2009, the largest and most
prestigious national higher education and careers exhibition in the
island, as the Platinum sponsors of the recently concluded exhibition.
The EDEX 2009, which was held at the BMICH between January 23 and 25,
and in Queens Hotel Kandy from January 27 and 28, housed over 30 stalls
and was visited by thousands of viewers.
Commenting on the significance of SLT’s sponsorship of EDEX 2009, Leisha
De Silva Chandrasena, Chairperson of SLT said, “SLT wholeheartedly
supports EDEX’s vision of empowering Sri Lankan youth to be globally
competitive, as we have recognised that Sri Lanka’s future is in the
hands of its youth. Keeping this in mind, we have focussed greatly on
education as one of our main corporate social responsibility aspects
under the theme of empowering education. Thus sponsorship of this
exhibition was thus in line with this theme, through which SLT has
continuously strived to support the country’s educational institutions
and its youth to build and further develop capabilities towards a better
The SLT stall at EDEX 2009 featured some of the latest emerging
technologies available in the market such as SLT’s breakthrough
communications services provided through Wizz. This included Wizz
Personal, which gives you “one number for your life”, video calls, wiz
to wiz free calls etc.; Wizz Family through which each family member is
given extension numbers no matter which part of the country they are at
and free outgoing calls between those numbers; Wizz Duo Unlimited for
you and your buddy/lover; Wizz Conferencing which is an easier way of
scheduling meetings through a user friendly web portal; other services
demonstrated include CDMA, mobile PBX as well as games and 3D displays.
The most important aspect of the exhibition was that visitors were given
a chance to experience these technologies and services for themselves at