MBSL index revised
The Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka Ltd has revised the MBSL Midcap Index with
effect from January 2. The index, launched in 1999, is revised every year.
The criteria for selecting the 25 stocks for the index remain unchanged
a) Market capitalisation - between Rs. 200 million and Rs. 2 billion
This revision is expected to bring more liquid stocks into the index,
an MBSL statement said. Liquidity of stocks will help the index reflect
more realistic market movements and will also make the re-balancing of
index funds more efficient.
MBSL said the revision has resulted in the replacement of 12 stocks
with new ones. The additions to the index are Central Finance, Lanka Ventures,
National Trust, LMF, Tea Smallholders, Ceylinco Seylan, Asian Hotels, Trans
Asia, Grain Elevators, Tokyo Cement, Bogawantalawa and Asiri. The outgoing
stocks are Sampath Bank, CIC, Ceylon Oxygen, Caltex Lubricants, Balangoda,
Haycarb, Kegalle, Maskeliya, Pelwatte Sugar, Richard Peiris, Talawakelle
and Union Assurance. The 13 companies that remain unchanged are Asia Capital,
LOLC, Seylan Bank, Cold Stores, Distilleries, Dockyard, Dipped Products,
Lanka Walltiles, Royal Ceramics, CT Land, Lanka Tiles, Kelani Valley and
MBSL Midcap Index has the base at 1000 as at 31 December 1998 (which
is the same as the Milanka Index) which stood at 1009.28, 785.05 and 1303.94
as at 31 December 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively.
The highest value of the index was 1432.99 recorded on 10 December 2001
whilst the lowest of 738.72 on 17 August 2001.
During the recent pre-election rally, the MBSL Index reached 1000 on
November 14 while the Milanka Index reached 1000 on December 7.
Golden thread to promote investment and exports
"The Ministry of Industrial Development, Board of Investment (BOI) and
the Export Development Board (EDB) will form a golden thread in working
for the development of the economy, by developing industries, promoting
investments and increasing exports," Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Enterprise
Development, Industrial Policy, Investment Promotion and Constitutional
Affairs told staff of the Export Development Board on Monday.
He said Sri Lanka has to target a high level of investment. A favourable
climate should be created for investment inflows for accelerated economic
growth. In this process the first step is peace for which the initial steps
have already been taken. "There will be no promises, we will not give false
hopes to people. It is not going to be a rosy path, there will be obstacles
but we will go ahead," Prof. Peiris said.
The Ministry of Industrial Development, the BOI and the EDB would be
the tripod on which economic development of the country will stand, he
Peiris said he and ministry secretary Ranjit Fernando have prepared
and submitted to the prime minister a programme on how these three organisations
should work together for development. Emphasis will be placed on different
sectors such as rubber-based industries, ceramics and electronics.
More cash for mOre card winners
The first draw of the "mOre Katha, mOre wasana" lottery draw, conducted
by mOre Mobitel for its customers was held at the Mobitel head office on
December 21, 2001.
The "mOre" Mobitel lottery gives an opportunity to all its customers
to win cash awards monthly, proportionate to the value of the cards purchased.
"mOre" Mobitel phones with free connections are also offered as consolation
"This is a unique value-added benefit that we have extended to our customers,"
says Mr. Nalin Perera, General Manager, Marketing. "Every card that is
purchased has in it a value.
The more you use the card, the more chances you get to win".
Once the card is activated, the network automatically registers the
serial number of the card, and enters it to the relevant monthly draw.
Mr. Perera also pointed out that Mobitel is the only network that offers
these benefits to the customer.
Those who possess the 350-rupee card are eligible to win Rs. 35,000,
while Rs. 75,000 is offered for the 700-rupee card.
The cards with denominations above 1000 rupees stand to win 100,000
rupees on a monthly basis.
Examination results on-line with Dialog Internet
The Sri Lanka Department of Examinations goes on-line with Dialog Internet,
offering the public the unique opportunity of obtaining examination results
via the World Wide Web a press release said.
Results would be available on the World Wide Web immediately upon their
release, making this state of the art medium the most convenient vehicle
for accessing results of examinations conducted by the Examinations Department
of Sri Lanka the press release further said.
An unique extension to this achievement is the availability of examination
results even from a Dialog GSM mobile phone, using WAP technology.
This is just one of the innovations to be introduced under the new education
reforms the Commissioner General of Examinations, Mr. A. M. R. B. Amarakoon
said. "The Department of Examinations is the first and only government
department to use mobile internet technology," he further said, adding
that the department would continue to introduce other innovative ways of
delivering examination information to the public in the future.
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO, MTN Networks said that this was yet another
first in the innovative use of Internet Technology and that Dialog Internet
was proud to be associated with the Department of Examinations and the
Ministry of Education in this unique initiative. The website dedicated
for examinations information and designed and hosted by Dialog Internet
"We are happy that the Department of Examinations has taken a bold step
towards a total innovative solution of this nature, and we hope it will
be the forerunner to many other government institutions," Dr. Wijayasuriya
Since the launch of this three-pronged solution recently, the website's
hit rate has exceeded 200,000 and is an indication of the numerous ways
in which mobile communications technology can benefit the community.
New Chairman at Merc Bank
Mr. Benedict Trevor Eliatamby, President's Counsel, was appointed Chairman
of the board of Merc Bank with effect from January 3, 2002. Mr. Eliatamby
was a founder Director of the bank.
Mr. Eliatamby was educated at Royal College, Colombo and called to the
Bar as a Barrister at law of Gray's Inn on February 4, 1964 and was thereafter
enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court on November 5, 1964. Mr. Eliatamby
who has an extensive practice has had the privilege of appearing before
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in the United Kingdom with
the late Dr. H.W. Jayawardene, Q.C. in March 1971.
Mr. Eliatamby has been a Director of Bank of Ceylon from May 1988 to
February 1989. He is currently a Director of East West Enterprises Ltd.
Mr. Eliatamby will be a non-working Chairman and will continue his practice
as a Senior President's Counsel.
Keells Super 'Goes Bananas' on New Years Eve
The Grand Finale for the biggest ever supermarket promotion conducted by
the Keells Supermarket chain was held at Crescat Boulevard on New Years
Eve with the grand prize being a Volkswagen Beetle worth over Rs. 2.3 million
a press release said.
This promotion, which was launched to reward loyal shoppers at Keells
Super outlets, proved to be very popular and resulted in a tremendous increase
in sales for Keells Super the press release further said.
In an atmosphere filled with excitement, Chairman John Keells Holdings
Mr. Vivendra Lintotewala drew the lucky winner of the grand prize, the
Volkswagen Beetle, the delighted winner being A.G.S.S. Ananda. Other valuable
consolation prizes included Hewlitt Packard computers and printers, Asia
Miles from Cathay Pacific equivalent to 5 return airline tickets to Bangkok,
a Sharp TV, a Sharp mini-stereo system, Moulinex vacuum cleaners, and gold
necklaces from Abdeen Jewellers.
The 'Go Bananas' promotion also featured monthly prizes which included
Moulinex food processors, jewellery from Abdeens, and vouchers from Keells
Hotels, the Hilton Colombo, and Pizza Hut.
Present at this event were Director John Keells Holdings Mr. Sumithra
Gunesekara, Director Ceylon Cold Stores Ms. Raji Gunewardena, General Manager
Mr. Rajev Dharmendra, Marketing Manager Mr. Suresh Jayawardena, Brand Manager
Shevanthi Rajanathan, Marketing Executive Dilshan Perera of JayKay Marketing,
as well as other company officials.
It was indeed a fitting manner in which to end the old year with Keells
Super giving the best of prizes to their valued customers.
The biggest Supermarket promotion ever conducted by the Keells Supermarket
chain, came to a grand finale on New Years Eve at the Crescat Boulevard.
Laundry service at Bairaha Super Marts
Bairaha Super Mart, the Bairaha Group's innovative supermarket chain, has
announced the launch of comprehensive laundry facilities at two of its
main outlets in Colombo, the company said.
Made possible through a collaboration with Uniwash Laundry Services,
the laundry facility is now operational at Bairaha Super Marts in Kollupitiya
and Millennium Park, offering shoppers washing, dry cleaning, pressing
and carpet cleaning, the company said.
According to Saman Warnasuriya, General Manager Bairaha Super Marts,
the new laundry service will observe virtually the same hours as the Super
Marts, closing just an hour earlier, and will be available seven days a
week for the convenience of customers.
The service supplier, Uniwash Laundry Services, has also undertaken
to make completed laundry available for pickup within 24 hours, he said.
He said the laundry facility will be extended to the Bairaha Super Mart
in Jaela very soon along with other unique facilities.
The United National Front government will present its first budget on March
6, Cabinet spokesman G.L. Peiris announced last week. The budget, widely
expected to include radical reforms to revive the economy, would be debated
and passed by April 11.
Lanka Orix Leasing Company Ltd has decided to set up a subsidiary to conduct
business as a finance company under its strategy of diversification. The
new company will be called LOLC Finance Company Ltd.
Shell Gas Lanka Ltd said it has agreed to consider reducing the price of
domestic LPG cylinders in response to a government request but added that
it was still too early to give a commitment because international LPG prices
have increased. The company said it intends to adopt a pricing policy like
that of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in which the price of gas could rise
or fall every month in relation to international LPG prices and the value
of the rupee against the dollar.
Gamini Fonseka, who last month became the single largest shareholder of
the troubled merchant bank Vanik Inc., paid a premium price to increase
his stake in Kapila Heavy Equipment Ltd of which he is chairman. He said
he expects to be appointed to the Vanik Board and that he has confidence
in the Vanik brand name. Fonseka also expects growth in the construction
sector under the new government in which he can take advantage of synergies
between Kapila Heavy and Vanik's funding expertise.
With water levels rising in hydropower reservoirs, the Ceylon Electricity
Board said it will continue with one hour power cuts till January 13 when
the position will be reviewed, despite earlier expectations of extended
power cuts from last week.
Inflation last year more than doubled compared with 2000 owing to higher
international and domestic prices, supply constraints caused by drought
and the lagged effects of the previous year's wage hikes, the Central Bank
said. Annual average inflation rose to 14.2 percent last year from 6.2
percent in 2000.
Tea production last year is lagging behind the previous year when Sri Lanka
achieved a record crop.
The Tea Board said black tea production up to November 2001 amounted
to 268.2 million kg, down by four percent compared with the same 2000 period.
It forecast an annual crop of just under 295million kg.