9th July 2000
Hatton National Bank (HNB) officials hinted of an ace up their sleeve which did not involve getting the controversial Sampath Bank Annual General Meeting (AGM) set aside legally. "We are not going to ask for the AGM to be set aside but will follow a different course of legal action," Managing Director, HNB, Rienzie Wijetilleke told The Sunday Times Business
While the Stassens/HNB combine will fight against a possible injunction preventing them from voting or holding shares in excess of 10 per cent legal analysts speculate that their shareholding will be off loaded on ten unconnected parties. While this would ensure Sampath Bank's articles restricting individual shareholding to five per cent, are complied with, it could also help circumvent the Takeovers and Mergers Code which requires an offer to be made to minority shareholders. The battle may take a newturn on July 12 when an judicial inquiry is expected to follow the enjoining order which restricted HNB,Smart Development (Pvt) Ltd, HNB EPF, the Distilleries Company, P N Daluwatta and M U D E Siva who held a 34 per cent stake in Sampath Bank to voting rights of 10 per cent.
The enjoining order was given on the basis that the Banking Act of 1988 and the Articles of Association of Sampath Bank had been breached.
The petitioners who are both shareholders and employees of Sampath Bank are expected to push for an injunction restricting the consortium's voting rights to 10 per cent and a specific performance order compelling the sale of excess shares.
eRunway inc, has propelled itself to height in the American IT industry by securing a $13 million investment by Sigma Partners. eRunway provides E business consulting and internet software development for the USA market.
After only four years of operations the company had been valued at a US$76million by the top tier venture capitalists Sigma Partners. Speaking at the media conference the CEO eRunway, Mr Kris Canekeratne said, " We have proved that Sri Lankan software engineers are of highest standard, within four years we were able to win customers in the stature of Unisys, Sungurd, Bell and Howell. eRunway signifies the coming of age of the Sri Lanken IT industry with more than 250 local IT graduates working for the company".
BOI chief Mr Thilan Wijesinghe said, "This is the first time a Sri Lankan owned IT company has made a breakthrough in the USA which is the largest IT market in the world. Even though India got a headstart in software development field eRunway has proved that Sri Lanka still can catch up.By securing investment from top tier venture capitalist Sigma Partners eRunway has gained recognition as a emerging player in the US IT industry" he added.
Panama City, (Reuters) - Like jungle plants vying for sunlight filtering through the dense rain forest canopy, Central America's nature-rich countries are locked in a struggle to win a share of the booming global ecotourism market.
While the region's tapering Meso-American Corridor occupies just 0.5 percent of the Earth's landmass, it holds around 7 percent of the flora and fauna. Now that dense biological heritage is starting to pay hefty dividends. Led by a vanguard of low-budget backpackers, visits to Central America's humid jungles and turtle-filled beaches
Regional leader Costa Rica, with dozens of animal-packed Web sites and a $5-million budget for tourist promotion, wooed more than a million visitors in 1999 and captured in excess of $1 billion in foreign earnings. With tourist growth of 16.4 percent last year and earnings in excess of 2.6 billion dollars, the region is moving to attract affluent visitors in search of "soft adventure" through a Darwinian mix of competition and collaboration.
Spurning a recent proposal for Central American nations to pool $3.5 million for a combined tourism campaign in key North American and European markets, Costa Rica opted to go it alone to consolidate its position as the region's No. 1 destination. Focusing on tourist security, better signs and support for small and medium-sized businesses that account for 70 percent of Costa Rica's 27,000 hotel rooms, the Tourism Institute is set to step up its promotional drive to attract moneyed visitors.
Cathay Pacific Airways, Colombo achieved its strongest growth figures in the South East Asian region, of the Port of Colombo for the month of May 2000.
Ranking of ports within the region is based on Passenger Growth, Revenue Growth, Front-end Growth and Yield Growth. The month of May has seen passenger growth go up by 43.1% and revenue has grown by 54.3 %, the airline said in a media release.
"This is the third time Cathay Colombo has been ranked No. 1 in the South East Asian region in the new Millennium," Manager - Passenger Sales and Marketing Cathay Pacific Airways, Manori Jayasekera said in the media release. The No. 1 ranking in May is most significant since not only passenger and cargo but also the Airport Services Department has been ranked No. 1 in this area, thus contributing to the overall port performance.
Cathay Colombo has concentrated on carrying passengers to and beyond Hong Kong. High Yield Revenue distinations such as the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, the Philippines and Korea have seen an increase with the airline carrying business as well as leisure travellers. Convenient connections to these destinations are through the airlines Superhub in Hong Kong.
By Akhry Ameer
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) announced its plans to organize its Annual Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Programme for the year 1999, at a press conference held during the week.
The annual awards scheme was first launched in 1995 with the objective of recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs for their contribution to the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. This year's event, which will be the 5th in succession, is being organized with a wider scope. The provincial award ceremonies will be held in eight provinces for the first time and the entry criteria expanded to accommodate a larger number of participants.
The National Awards Ceremony will be held on the 3rd November 2000 with the winners at provincial level being evaluated for the national awards.
Applications for the awards close on August 15th with the FCCISL and will be categorized into the industry, agriculture and services sectors and by the size of the business. The evaluation will be done by a panel of 12 judges nominated from institutional bodies like the Central Bank, BOI and professional bodies like CIMA, ICSA, SLIM.
The FCCISL is the apex body of private sector trade associations and chambers of commerce and industry in Sri Lanka and has more than 30 constituent member bodies representing over 7,500 businesses throughout the country. Ceylinco Consolidated will be the grand sponsor of the awards programme together with many electronic and print media sponsors.
Nations Trust Bank launched a new branch in Colpetty recently. This was followed by the opening of a new branch in Kandy together with the launch of five In-Store units at selected Keells and Park & Shop supermarkets, last week. The In-Store units offer a complete array of banking services and are intended to elevate supermarket banking to a new level in Sri Lanka, a Nations Trust Bank press release said.
'Advanced technology allows us to constantly innovate and craft products and srvices to serve our clients', Iftikar Ahamad, Assistant General Manager, Private Banking, said.
The Bank has launched a raft of products that echo its philosophy of offering un-complicated products that can be tailored to the customers individual requirements. The Investment Planner for example, allows individuals to define a savings target and a tenor.
The Bank's systems comes up with a customized savings program. "We have also looked at traditional products and looked at how they can be re-engineered to add value," Ahamad said. The four year CD with detachable coupons for example permits a regular income stream whilst retaining the benefits of tax efficiency.
For those people who find it a chore to keep track of their bank balances and efficiently re-allocate money between accounts, Nations Trust Bank has come up with the ideal solution.
The Cash Manager Product allows customers to select a preferred set of thresholds after which the Bank will automatically sweep money between a current, saving and fixed deposit account.
The Standard Chartered Bank recently added "Overnite Loans" to its range of products.
Processed within 24 hours if the person qualifies, this loan scheme takes away the usual time lags and the anxiety a customer has to experience, to obtain a loan. These are replaced by easy access to this scheme and smooth processing procedures, a Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) press release said.
This unique loan scheme is available to indididuals of select companies. A staff member earning a minimum salary of Rs. 20,000 with one year's permanent employment with the current organization is eligble to apply for this loan.
"Overnite Loans are primarily geared to meet the needs of the wage earning majorty in the market. Loans range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 500,000 or to a maximum of 6 months salary", Head of Consumer Banking, SCB, Sabry Ghouse said in the press release. The Top-up facility of this scheme allows an individual to re-borrow what he has already repaid. Additionally, the Take-over facility allows you to transfer any other loan to our bank and take advantage of the competitive interest rate that is offered.
Repayment period can be chosen from 6 to 36 months. However, salary confirmation from the employer is necessary. The applications received before 31 July 2000 will carry no interest in the first month of the loan period.
By Akhry Ameer
A National Agribusiness Council was inaugurated on June 29th in Colombo. The National Agribusiness Council (NAC) is a part of the National Agribusiness Trust set up by the AgEnt Project.
The AgEnt (Agro-Enterprises) is a USAID funded project, which has been involved in the local agribusiness industries over the last eight years. The main objective of the NAC is to function as the apex representative body of the local agribusiness sector.
The NAC initially will comprise of 20 trade associations, chambers of commerce, financial institutions and various other organizations and will be governed by a Board of Trustees drawn from these members associations. It will initially be supported by AgEnt and will take over its work. The support will consist of operating budgets for the first year, a stabilization fund, furniture, office equipment and facilities, vehicles and experienced AgEnt staff.
The objectives of the NAC include providing advice, assistance and direction to the agricultural community, the public and the government; uniting of the agricultural sector for improving viability and profitability. The member associations will benefit by services in the form of policy and regulatory reform support, secretariat assistance, business information through monthly newsletters, website linkage for e-commerce and general advice and information to producers, processors and exporters.
AgEnt in its eight years among many of its achievements has created almost 21,000jobs, increased export sales up to US$ 374 million, developed 300 new processing and production technologies, implemented 800 agro-enterprise development grants. It has also been supporting many of the associations of the different agricultural areas like the All Island Poultry Association, Vanilla Growers Association, National Horticultural Association, Coir and Allied Products Manufacturers Association. The AgEnt Project term ends in September and it will ensure its presence in the agribusiness sector by supporting the NAC. The NAC will transform into a self-sustaining federation-style voluntary organization.
The inauguration of the Society of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka was held on the 3rd June 2000 at the Hotel Ceylon Intercontinetal. The chief guests at this function were the Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris Minister of Justice, Constitutional Affairs, Ethinc Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. Kingsley T. Wickremaratne Minister of Internal and International Food and Commerce, and Her Excellency Ruth Archibald High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka.
The Society was set up with technical assistance from the Society of Certified Management Accountants of Canada and financial assistance from CIDA.
Sri Lanka Telecom's latest "SLTFLY" - the Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) service, will transmit the upcoming One-Day International Triangular Series with Pakistan and South Africa, to the rest of the world, in a matter of nano seconds. It will also include the Test Series with South Africa, which will follow the Triangular Series, a news release said.
Sri Lanka Telecom has been selected by TV New Zealand (TV NZ) to provide these Up-Linking Services at these important international events. TV NZ was awarded this major contract by SONY Entertainment. "SLTFLY" is a hi-tech mobile Satellite Earth Station, which is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka. It has a set-up time of just 30 minutes by two persons. It can uplink and transmit audiovisual programmes, such as news items or events of significance, live, as it happens, from one location to another in the world via satellite. It provides point to multi-point uplink of digital compressed video material at speeds of 2 Mega bits per second (Mbps) - 16 Mbps, through this portable state-of-the-art equipment.
From a fast breaking news items in the north, to a cyclone in the east, to a sports event in Galle, from an exposition in Kandy, to a conference in Colombo, "SLTFLY" can uplink and transmit these live coverages of events via satellite, to anywhere in the world in a split second.
The Chemical & Environmental Technology Division of the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) has recently acquired a Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) system from Hewlett Packard (HP) with an in-built diode array detector for viewing spectra in three dimension. The equipment that cost approximately USD 60,000 was purchased through the UNIDO Integrated Industrial Support program for Sri Lanka on the component 'Quality, Standardization and Metrology.'
This component of the UNIDO project has the main objective of strengthening the quality, standardization, metrology and testing capabilities in the country, with particular emphasis on certification of quality and environmental management systems and development of accredited chemical and microbiology testing laboratories a news release said. The Capillary Electrophoresis technique is well established in many modern laboratories throughout the world due to its high efficiency and resolution, rapid analysis time, ease of sample preparation and minimal sample and solvent requirements. The diode array detector incorporated in the HP CE system offers quantitative and qualitative analysis with excellent sensitivity, wide linear detection range and full spectral capabilities. The CE system that has much flexibility covers a broad range of applications in a wide variety of fields. The fields covered include bio-science, pharmaceuticals, environment, food and chemicals. Some of the potential applications are detection of cyanide in tea, analysis of herbicide breakdown products, artificial sweeteners and preservatives in carbonated drinks and beverages, carbohydrates in fruit juices, minerals in natural water and ions in yogurt and wine. The system can also be used in the semi-conductor industry to detect low levels of ions in process water as well as for monitoring the lifetime of plating baths in the metal finishing industry.
The new CE facility that has now been acquired by the ITI will be a boon not only to industry but also to Regulatory bodies and Government departments involved in crime detection, drug abuse, drug control and forensic sciences.
Hayleys Electronics recently presented a Cellular phone to Tony Greig, the main commentator involved in the current Test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as the oncoming Triangular One Day series among Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa.
Lanka Canneries Limited have introduced yet another new product into the local market. Diabetic Jams from MD is manufactured without the addition of sugar and only from 100% pure natural fruit, a news release said.
Low in fat and cholesterol with 35% less caloires than regular jam it is most suitable for diabetics, and the active health conscious individual.
MD Diabetic Jam does not contain any artificial colours or flavours and is currently available in the following variants: European Strawberry, European Raspberry, Seville Orange Marmalade, Lime Marmalade, Passion, Pineapple, Mixed Fruit, Woodapple, Mango and European Apricot.
The ICASL is to launch a course in taxtation.
The Course is due to start on 17, July 2000 and will be conducted 2 days a week in the evenings in order to enable members of the accounting profession and other professions to attend without disrupting their office work. The duration of the Course is 4 1/2 months and the lectures will be conducted by eminent professionals well versed in Taxation, said in a media release.
President M Boyagoda (Head of Treasury Standard Chartered), 1st Vice President Senerath Seneviratne (Head of Treasury HSBC), 2nd Vice President Brindley Kroon (Asst. Snr Manager FOREX Grindlays Bank), Sectretary R M P Ratnayake (Senior Manager Treasury HNB), Assistant Secretary Ashan Dassanayake (CEO First Capital Money Brokers Ltd), Treasurer Sunil Karunaratne (Senior Dealer ABN Amro Bank), Assistant Treasurer N K Dahanayake (Dealer Bank of Ceylon). Committee: Mrs. Manohari Gunawardene (Manager Treasury NDB), W Dambawinna (Senior Dealer Sampath Bank).
Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association
Chairman : Mr. Mahesh Amalean - Unichela (Pvt) Ltd. Deputy Chairman : Mr. Gihan Nanayakkara - Forbes Textiles (Pvt) Ltd. Immediate Past Chairman : Mr. Ashroff Omar - Mast Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Honorary Treasurer : Mr. Ranjan Casie Chetty - Aitken Spence (Gmts) Ltd. BOI Sector Committee Non-BOI Sector Committee Bernard Boteju Industries Ltd. Butani Exports Ltd. Creations (Pvt) Ltd. Clark Spence Garments Ltd. Fascination (Pvt) Ltd. Fashioware (Garments) Inds. Ltd. Favourite Garments Ltd. Garment Group 5 (Pvt) Ltd. Hemas Garments (Pte) Ltd. Kalacraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. Hirdaramani (Inds) Ltd. M. & M. Apparel (Pvt) Ltd. Maxin Limited. Midsnip Garments (Pvt) Ltd. Orient Garments Ltd. Samson (Exports) Ltd. Polytex Garments Ltd. Union Strand Ltd. Ranliya Garment Industries Ltd. Readywear Industries Ltd. Smart Shirts (Lanka) Ltd. Star Garments Ltd. Swastik Textile Industries Ltd. Tri-Star Apparel Exports (Pvt) Ltd.
The National Insurance Corporation Ltd. has launched a new life Insurance Policy which provides a monthly pension at the age of 55 or 60 years.
The "Jathika Digasie" pension insurance policy will provide relief to people who are not entitled to a permanent monthly pension, a news release said.
The person insured can obtain the monthly pension from the Digasie policy from the time he or she reaches 55 or 60 years of age as wished. The policy holder is entitled to this pension till death and it will increase annually at the rate of 5 percent compound interest.
If the policy holder dies at the agreed age of 55 or 60 years a total sum amounting to 10 years pension will be paid as a single lump sum to the dependents.
The Digasie Pension will also carry annual bonuses. These bonuses can be obtained as a single payment at 55 or 60 years of age. The person insured can get an enhanced pension by adding this bonus too to the pension if desired.
If the insured becomes permanently disabled on account of an accident or critical illness no premia will be charged from then on. However he or she will receive the pension from the scheduled date onwards.
If the person insured dies before the date on which the pension is due, the premia paid by him or her up to that date will be reimbursed to the dependents.
A medical examination is not necessary to obtain a Jathika Digasie Pension Insurance Policy.
The Insurance premium can be paid monthly, quarterly, biannually, annually or as a single lump sum premium.
The launching ceremony of the Jathika Digasie Pension Insurance Scheme was held at the National Insurance Corporation Head office at "Avaranaya", No 120-124, D. S. Senanayake Mw., Colombo June 8.under the patronage of Corporation Chairman, Mr. Ashley T. Herat.
Corporation's Executive Director Mr. Kamal Ratwatte, General Manager Mr. Nimal R. Perera, Marketing Consultant Mr. Nalin Attygalle, Publicity Manager Mr. Ariyasena Handuwala and Marketing Manager Mr.M. Karunaratne were also present on this occasion.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce launched its pilot Mentoring and Vacation Placement Programme for University Undergraduates on Saturday 8th July 2000 at the Auditorium of the University Grants Commission. This project demonstrates the private sector's commitment to play a key role in the development of young people in this country.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce's Human Resources Sub- Committee has initiated this dialogue with the University Grants Commission, a news release said.
The mentoring programme is one such activity and will have a duration of 2 years beginning the second year of an undergraduates academic programme. Each mentor will be assigned 2 to 4 undergraduates and shall take the undergraduates through a pre-determined programme, meeting, coaching and guiding them for two hours every month. The mentor shall also arrange suitable placements for the students with his/her company during the university vacations. The placement shall provide the students with good quality exposure to the working environments and business methods of the private sector. The pilot programme will have 50 students drawn from the Universities of Kelaniya and Sri Jayewardenepura and 15 mentors selected from leading private sector companies. The programme has the total commitment of the Chief Executive Officers of six leading companies - C.W. Mackie and Company Limited, Carsons Management Services (Pvt) Ltd., Green Lanka Shipping Ltd., Haychem Ltd., HSBC, Singer (Sri Lanka ) Ltd. and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. HSBC has offered to sponsor an English teaching programme for the undergraduates on this pilot project.
"Global Finance," one of the most prestigious publications serving the international business community has rated the Commercial Bank of Ceylon as the Best Bank in Sri Lanka, for the second consecutive year. The New York based monthly, which circulates in 145 countries, has selected the Commercial Bank on the basis of its financial performance last year, its prudent use of resources and technology, solid capital and capital adequacy ratios, a Bank release said.
This year's Global Finance survey of the "Best Emerging Markets Banks in the World" ranks Citibank as the best international Bank in emerging markets and best in the world. Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is the publication's best in Asia.
In its profile of the Commercial Bank, the magazine says, "By the end of 1999 the Commercial Bank of Ceylon had 68 branches, of which 67 were linked by a modern computer system. It has also established a branch that's open every day of the year and installed one of the country's most sophisticated online banking systems. It permits clients to conduct a variety of banking transactions through their personal telephone, personal computer or laptop."
Global Finance is a publication that delivers the full story on direct investment, money management, corporate finance, joint ventures, country profiles, capital markets, investor relations, currencies, banking risk management, custody, leading edge technology and all the rest - specifically tailored for its 50,000 subscribers in more than 145 countries. The magazine is published by Gobal Finance Media Inc. of New York, and is targeted at CEOs and Senior Managers of global companies.
Richard Pieris & Company has announced a bonus issue of one new ordinary share for every six held at the A.G.M. last week. The bonus issue was to be satisfied by the capitalisation of Rs. 33,184,960 from the company's capital reserves and the issue of 3,318,496 new ordinary shares of Rs. 10/- each in satisfaction thereof.
Following the bonus issue the issued capital of the company will increase from Rs.199,109,760/- to Rs. 232,294,720/- a company release said. The company's Chairman Mr. Henry Pieris has indicated that the bonus issue was recommended in the interest of the shareholders as it was the company's policy to maintain its issued capital in line with the increase in the company's net asset value, through periodic bonus issues.
The previous bonus issue of 1 for 7 was made in May 1998. The company achieved a net profit of Rs. 230.5 million for the year ended 31st March 2000. A tax exempt divident of Rs. 2.75 per share was approved by the shareholders at the AGM. The divident provides a tax free yield of 5% on the year end market price. The company's total assets were valued at Rs. 3.3 billion whilst its capital and revenue reserves were reflected at Rs. 1.6 billion the release added.
The Banker, the international banking magazine of the Financial Times Group has just nominated Sampath Bank for "The Bank of the year" Award, scheduled to be held in London in September 2000 a news release said.
The Sampath Bank nomination is based in the Banker's survey. The Banker's survey covers over 80 countries and the assessment is based on a number of criteria which include growth and performance measures, the use of technology, particular achievements in the past year and overall strategy. Speaking on the nomination, Anil Amarasuriya, Chief Executive Officer, Sampath Bank Ltd said, "This nomination is a tribute to the standards of banking excellence maintained by us. It also inspires us to tirelessly work towards our mission of being the most innovative, trusted and best process-quality provider of financial services in the region."
Mr. Ryle Perera - Chairman, Council of Management Liberty Plaza exchanging documents with Mr. Jayantha Sittampalam CEO of Cameron Media. Also in the picture from left Ramesh Rasanayagam Sales Manager Cameron Media, Nishamani De Mel Director Cameron Media, Jerome Thiele - Member, Council of Management Liberty Plaza, and B. Dhanwatte - General Manager Liberty Plaza Management Corporation.
Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd., has been in the field of insurance for the past 39 years. With the liberalisation of the field of insurance in 1988, the corporation faced stiff competition from the private sector, as well as companies with foreign collaboration.
Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation has achieved its highest ever premium income since its inception. The total premium received during the first quarter of the year 2000, amounts to Rs 1682.6 million.
When compared to the corresponding period in 1999, the corporation has been able to increase its premium by Rs 202 million.
This is an increase of 13.7 per cent. The total life insurance premium achieved during the period of January to March 2000, amounts to Rs 611.1 million. This is an increase of 11 per cent over the corresponding period in 1999.
This achievement has been possible due to the efforts made by the field staff combined with the internal staff of the corporation.
A greater contribution to the life insurance premium has been made by the high sum assured policies. Furthermore, it is observed that the premium income generated through group life insurance, has also shown a increasing trend.
The policies which have shown a great increase during the period are: Divithilina, Minimuthu and Yasa Isuru. The number of life policies sold during the first quarter of 2000 amounts to more than 21,000 policies.
The corporation also achieved another milestone in the form of the highest general insurance premium amounting to Rs 1071.5 million in the first quarter of 2000. This is an increase of 15 per cent when compared to the corresponding period in 1999.
During this period, the portfolios of fire, marine and general accident have recorded a significant increase over the corresponding period in 1999.
This increase demonstrates that the business sector has placed their trust and confidence upon the leader in the field of insurance.
Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation settles general insurance claims to the value of Rs 4.7 million on average per day.
The corporation has embarked on an expansion scheme involving information technology, with a view to upgrade its services to match competition and to provide a superior service to the public.
Initially, 40 branches have been selected for the installation of the on-line system. Providing further details, Dhammike Amarasinghe, Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd., also stated that steps would be taken to improve the present systems and also to equip the field staff in order to penetrate business segments which have not been tapped so far.
He also said that the performance achieved during the first quarter, 2000, will further strengthen the corporation, and pave the way to upgrade existing systems providing superior service to clients.
Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort participated in the ITB Berlin 2000 Tourism Fair held in Berlin Germany, in March this year. At the fair, Siddhalepa was selected as the best ayurvedic health resort by SFD Radio Station, Berlin, with the Managing Director of Siddhalepa being interviewed live for approximately 60 minutes.
Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort is the first local entrant in the hotel industry to have its brochure in CD form, in both English and German, with virtual reality video imaging.
The health resort in Waduwa is a star-class luxury hotel with 50 spacious rooms in chalet-type cottages, with all modern facilities in an enchanting location on the southern coastal belt, 30 kms from Colombo.
It offers ayurvedic rejuvenation health care packages ranging from one day to three weeks for executives who are desirous of availing of such facilities, details of which could be obtained from the resort. The variety of therapy offered includes head, body and foot massage, facials, oil therapy, steam baths, sauna, meditation and yoga.
Today's business world has become highly dynamic and professionalised and in this context the position of a secretary is of vital importance.
Therefore, the Sri Lanka Association of Personal Secretaries has been instrumental in organising many events in order to promote professionalism, encourage the establishment of a secretarial association in Asian countries, promote friendship and leadership, which are necessary ingredients for a successful professional career.
With this in mind SLAPS is finalising arrangements to host the 14th ASA Congress in Colombo. The congress will begin with a welcome dinner on September 17, at the Colombo Hilton and continue in session until September 22, 2000. All foreign participants will be accommodated at JAIC Hilton.
The facilitators for the congress are Nalin P Jayasuriya — CEO Worldwide Global Education Ltd., Nicolaas Bakker — senior management trainer and Director MDF South Asia, Viji Aravind Shanka — management consultant at management Consultancy Net, Dr Sriani Basnayake — Medical Director of the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, T M Jayasekera, Candy Daniels — International President Elect, International Association of Administrative Professionals, Mallika Manuratne, AGM (training) at HNB and Rose Shepherd — LCCI Representative.
Brochures have been posted to all overseas members, while local members will receive a brochure with relevant details including the registration form shortly.
Foreign registration can also obtained on-line at www.cdcconv/asacongress/.
Local participants may contact the SLAPS office for information.
Singapore-based wapOA.com announced the beta availability of its revolutionary and free Internet-based communications and productivity platform to users across Asia recently. wapOA.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sri Lankan company, Media Solutions.
wapOA.com combines communications tools such as e-mail, fax, ICQ, messaging, and chat with popular personal information management (PIM) functionally that includes calendar, contact manager, tasks lists and file storage.
Users have the added freedom of using their wapOA.com features off line through the 'wapOA Briefcase' application, which also allows import of data from Netscape, Eudora, Act, Outlook, Lotus Notes and other popular PIM applications as well as synchronisation with Windows CE devices.
Support for live Palm Pilot synchronisation will also be available shortly. wapOA.com's unprecedented feature set will be further strengthened by the introduction of other leading edge features that are currently in the pipeline.
"wapOA.com is the first service of its kind to offer Asian consumers their own personalised infocomms portal that provides 'anytime, anywhere, any device' access to all their most critical information," said Oliver Wingrove, Managing Director of wapOA.com.
wapOA.com intends to cater to the next generation of consumers, primarily Internet users in the emerging post-PC era. A fundamental strength of wapOA.com's offering is its platform and technology independence.
wapOA.com empowers users so that they control their own one-stop personal infocomms hub that is accessible from any inter-enabled device, be it a PC, laptop, PDA, or wap-enabled phone.
The user can switch easily from one device to another, at his or her convenience to manage and access the same information.
wapOA.com's feature set is expected to have wide appeal in Asia, where mobile phone and Internet adoption rates have gone off the charts.
Business Solution Systems (BSS) in association with its parent company Seven Seas Computers, UAE, organised a seminar and a workshop on 'managing information strategies in the knowledge economy', recently at the Colombo Hilton.
A cross section of participants from leading organisations attended these sessions.
This event featured presentations by representatives and specialists from Hewlett-Packard, Brand-Rex, Alcatel internetworking, Seven Seas Computers and HP Open View.
BSS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Precision Tech Services (Pvt) Limited (a member of Seven Seas Computers Group, Dubai, UAE).
The company's core competencies are in providing meaningful and cost-effective information technology solutions to government and corporate sectors in the areas of enterprise systems integration, including client-server applications, structured cabling for intelligent buildings, wide area networking, voice data communications, video-on-demand applications, and Internet and e-commerce applications.
Bata, one of Sri Lanka's top footwear manufacur-ers celebrated 50 years of successful operation in Sri Lanka last month.
The Bata Shoe Organisation, founded in the Republic of Czechoslovakia on August 2, 1894, is the world's largest manufacturer and marketer of footwear, presently operating in 66 countries spanning all continents.
In Sri Lanka Bata began their operation from a small warehouse at Grandpass with a workforce of 53 employees. This warehouse produced 75000 pairs of shoes annually — all of which swiftly transformed Bata into what it is today: a popular household name in Sri Lanka. Innovative, a closer-to-the-customer shoe line, backed by excellent marketing strategies soon expanded Bata's market share.
Today the firm markets over eight million pairs of shoes annually and even markets to Europe.
Bata has a shoe for every occasion — be it party, picnic or play — and a shoe for every member of the family. Bata provides a stunning variety of choice for anyone walking into a showroom.
Bata won the National Quality Award in 1997 under the large scale manufacturing companies category. Thereafter, Bata obtained ISO 9001 certification, thus becoming the only company in Sri Lanka to have this double honour.
In view of their fiftieth anniversary, Bata in collaboration with a popular radio station has planned an exciting line up of interactive promotions at selected outlets. In addition, selected Bata outlets will offer discounts, stickers and souvenirs to all who purchase shoes. Bata invites their valued customers to be a part of these events and win valuable prizes.
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