The Colombo Stock Exchange witnessed lacklustre trading activity during the three day trading week.
The benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 4,250.99 gaining 15.30 points week on week while the more sensitive Milanka Price Index (MPI) recorded a jump of 22.62 points WoW to end the week at 4,761.35. Several off the floor deals in blue-chip counters improved the turnover levels where the average daily turnover for the week stood at Rs.1.7bn. (+18.9% WoW). The foreign participation represented 22.5% of total market activity where foreign investors ended the week as net sellers with a net foreign outflow of Rs.676.6mn.
Market reopened for the week on a negative note with ASI and MPI recording a drop of 2.77 points and 6.61 points to reach 4,232.92 and 4,732.12 respectively. Turnover for the day recorded Rs.1.3bn, largely due to several off-the-floor deals especially in the banking sector counters. Hayleys Plc (Rs.272.8mn) emerged as the top contributor to the turnover followed by Hatton National Bank Plc (Rs.245.4mn) and Commercial Bank Plc (Rs.139.9mn). Retail investor favorites Ceylon Leather
Products, Lankem Development Plc and Colombo Fort Land Building Co.Plc were among the heavily traded counters for the day.
The negative momentum continued to Tuesday as well, where ASI recorded a dip of 6.43 points to 4,226.49 and the more sensitive Milanka price index witnessed a drop of 10.34 points to close at 4,721.78. Commercial Bank Plc (Rs.811.0mn), Confifi Hotel Holdings Plc (Rs.665.9mn) and Riverina
Hotel Plc (Rs.306.4mn) were the top contributors to the day’s turnover of Rs.2.8bn. Retail investor favorites Environmental Resources warrants (GREG.W0002, GREG.W0003 and GREG.W0006) traded heavily throughout the day. Further, hotel sector counters such as Eden Hotel Plc and Keells Hotels Plc were among the heavily traded counters after LOLC Securities which is owned by LOLC and Browns Investments Ltd) acquired 43% and 20% approximately of Confifi Hotel Holdings (PALM) and Riverina Hotel (BHR) respectively.
Market closed its weekly operations on a positive note on Wednesday as ASI gained 24.50 points to close at 4,250.99 and MPI reached 4,761.35, up by 39.57 points. The index heavy-weights Hatton National Bank Plc (Rs.87.9mn), John Keells Holdings Plc (Rs.87.8mn) and Hemas Holdings Plc (Rs.mn) were the top contributor to the daily turnover of Rs.1.0bn while retail investor favorites Environmental Resources warrants (GREG.W0002, GREG.W0003 and GREG.W0006) were traded heavily throughout the day.


Standard Chartered wins gold at ‘HRM Awards 2010 – Super 10’

Colombo - Standard Chartered Bank received a Gold award at the ‘HRM Awards 2010’ held on May 21 at the Cinnamon Grand hotel. The awards aim to identify and recognize outstanding human resource management practices in companies that focus on developing employees, improving business operations, and help the company to gain and sustain a competitive advantage. Additionally, Standard Chartered received a Special Award for its outstanding Rewards and Recognition practices.

Standard Chartered was among ten top local companies that clinched a gold award. Over 80 leading companies in Sri Lanka were reviewed and 10 Gold Winners selected. Other winners included Aitken Spence, Ceylon Tobacco, DIMO, Hatton National Bank, HSBC, John Keells Holdings, Virtusa and Unilever.
Speaking of this significant achievement CEO Standard Chartered Bank Simon Morris, said, “We are very pleased to have been recognised by the Association of Human Resource Professionals for our commitment towards investing in our most valuable asset; our people. This is the first time we have taken part in such an evaluation and we are very pleased with this result.”

The bank makes sure that employees are constantly encouraged to perform at their best for which they are duly acknowledged through focused development programmes, talent identification processes, cross-border moves to cultivate international exposure, bi-annual compensation reviews, above-market benefits for staff and numerous awards for outstanding performance and living the bank’s values.

Standard Chartered Bank is also committed to foster and maintain a diverse and inclusive culture. Employing over three disabled employees, the bank is the author of the Barrier Free Access Handbook; Sri Lanka’s only easy reference guide to employing special needs people. Standard Chartered Bank has maintained a long-term commitment toward Women’s Empowerment initiatives which it acknowledges as an integral part of its operations. The bank workforce consists of 47.5% female employees, including 50% at Senior Management level. Standard Chartered Bank is also responsible for launching Sri Lanka’s only All Women’s Branch offering its staff and customers greater financial and career empowerment. The bank’s female employees are encouraged to conduct best practice and experience sharing sessions for female customers and community members, including mentorship programmes for young female employees as part of its commitment to empowering females.
Over a very long history in Sri Lanka, the bank has also established itself as a leading advocate in the key fields of HIV Awareness, Vision Care, Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, and providing the community long-term and sustainable solutions. For this reason the bank provides each of its employees two days paid leave to contribute their time and skills towards one of the many community initiatives.

The bank’s Head of Human Resources, Deshika Rodrigo said, “We believe that the success of our bank, as a whole, depends upon the engagement level of its employees. This is what sets us apart from the competition. This award recognises how the bank has put the best theories of human resource management into practice in a way that adds long-term value to our employees and customers.”

Standard Chartered PLC recently announced a seventh successive year of record income ($15.18 billion) and operating profit before tax ($5.15 billion) during 2009, demonstrating the underlying strength and momentum across markets and businesses, despite the ongoing adverse global economic conditions.
The HRM Awards are conducted every two years by the Association of Human Resource Professionals (HRP) in partnership with Hewitt Associates, India. The evaluation process of the Awards places emphasis on the efforts and strategies adopted by companies in the past two years to improve HR processes.


NTB-SLC to conduct ‘talent search in Jaffna’

Sri Lanka Cricket together with Nations Trust Bank will carry out a talent search programme on June 4 and 5 in Jaffna to identify the finest fast and spin bowlers in Under 15 -19 age groups. The objective of this programme would be to promote the game in all parts of Sri Lanka including the North and strengthen the future of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team.
This talent search programme will be held at St. John’s College, Jaffna at which promising bowlers will be selected from a number of schools and these young cricketers will be given an opportunity to exhibit their talent.
A MoU between Sri Lanka Cricket and Nations Trust Bank was signed at a ceremony at the Cricket Headquarters.


HSBC’ s ‘Swipeout’ gives over 15mn. cash refunds

HSBC’s popular ‘Swipeout to Wipeout’ seasonal promotion resulted in a huge success with more than Rs.15 million, given away as cash refunds at the recently concluded promotion from April 1 to 30.
In addition to the 20% cash rebate offered, cardholders were able to earn HSBC Rewards points, and super discounts through the bank’s ‘Cardholder Privilege Programme’, each time they used their credit card.
Cardholders who were delighted of this promotion stressed, that HSBC is an innovative bank that provides a life full of privileges to its loyal credit cardholders. Of the many lucky cardholders who entered the promotion and received cash refunds of up to Rs 20,000, Louis De Andrado a loyal cardholder for nine years said, “Swipeout was a wonderful promotion that not only offered cash refund of 20% but also entitled cardholders to special discounts, where we saved more. I hope the bank continues to hold similar promotions for the benefit of customers.”
Nimali Jayawardene, who is a longstanding cardholders for over 15 years, stated, “The promotion helped me sort the maximum benefit on my purchases for Avurudu as my spending was mostly on gifts for family and friends and Swipeout was very convenient.”
The promotion in its short period has paid in excess of Rs 15 million worth of cash rebates to lucky cardholders who were required to swipe their credit card for 20 days with a minimum spend of Rs.2000 to enter the promotion.


HNB strikes gold at the HRM awards 2010

HNB was adjudged as one of the top ten companies following the best HR practices by winning a Gold Award at the recently concluded HRM Awards.
Designed to showcase excellence in Human Resources Practices, the awards were aimed not only to reward outstanding achievements but also to stimulate higher aspirations among HR practitioners.
The awards ceremony was jointly organised by the Association of HR Professionals and Hewitt Associates to benchmark best HR systems and processes in Sri Lanka. An eminent panel of judges comprising of local and international experts together with Hewitt Associates were responsible for the selection process.


Continental Insurance appointed insurance partner for IIFA

Continental Insurance has been appointed as the Insurance Partner for the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards to be held, July 3 – 5 in Colombo.
The IIFA Awards are held in different locations the world over each year in an attempt to reach out to the world; Sri Lanka has been chosen to host the awards this year from among countries such as South Africa, South Korea, Australia and the UAE being closely contested as the other countries to stage this mega event.
The event will see some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry gracing the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium at the three day event that will also feature a Twenty20 match between Indian Cinema Stars and Asian Cricketers.

“We are happy to partner with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and WizCraft International in this event as this will indeed reposition Sri Lanka on the map. After a three decade war and peace returning to the country we need to see this as a marketing exercise for Sri Lanka and the government’s initiative to push this is indeed encouraging as these awards are considered to be on par with the Oscars. Continental Insurance is proud and privileged to be a partner of this mega event”, said Chaminda de Silva Director Continental Insurance.

Continental Insurance Lanka Limited was launched in mid March 2010; it handles Motor, Fire, General Accident and Marine insurance segments. Despite being new, the team behind Continental is no stranger to the insurance industry and the company also has the advantage of being backed by the Distilleries Group of Sri Lanka (DCSL), which handled the management of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation during its privatisation.
Being part of the DCSL group which has the distinction of being on Forbes Asia’s ‘200 Best Under a Billion’ list for the last three consecutive years, as well as being one of the top five corporates in Sri Lanka, brings added stability to Continental Insurance.

The Continental team was responsible for a number of bold steps taken in the Insurance sector in the past, and they are recognised as trailblazers and trendsetters in the local insurance industry. They have also been responsible for several past milestones achieved in the industry. With this experience behind them Continental is currently engaged in offering their valued customers unparalleled products in insurance.
“We are committed to taking the Sri Lanka brand forward and letting the world know that we are now one of the safest places on earth and we would like to encourage visitors be it business and leisure. Our partnership in the IIFA Awards is not accidental; it is a deliberate attempt to be a part of the engine of growth for this new beginning in our beautiful country SRI LANKA”, says Chaminda de Silva.


People’s Bank Western Zone 2 felicitation ceremony

The 2009 Task Force Felicitation ceremony organised by the People’s Bank Western Zone 2 was held recently at Janakala Centre, Battaramulla. The People’s Bank Battaramulla branch manager and the staff were able to win 10 Task Force Felicitations awards in outer Colombo Provincial category awards at the ceremony. The Battarmulla branch Manageress Saroja Samarasekera is seen receiving a felicitation award from the Chairman of People’s Bank, W. Karunajeewa