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3rd October 1999

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Ceybank pays second dividend

The Ceybank Century Growth Fund, have announced on a dividend of 25 cents per unit as at September 3oth 1999. The dividends will be paid out of the accumulated income for the period ended August 30th, and 52% of the dividend paid will be tax exempt in the hands of the unit holders. The dividend has been declared out of the dividend received from listed shares and the net interest income earned by the trust, accompany release said.

The price of Ceybank Century Growth Fund will be quoted ex-dividend with effect from 1st October 1999. The dividend of those who have opted for re-investment will be units at the offer price on October 1st, 1999.

Ceybank Century Growth Fund seeks to provide capital appreciation to the unit holders in the medium to long term by investing primarily in listed equity. However, the fund will declare dividend from time to time at least to the equivalent of 70% of the assessable income in order to benefit from the recent amendment to the tax legislation to avoid income tax liability of the fund. Accordingly, the fund requires to distribute at least 6 cents per unit wihtin one year from March 31st, 1999, to enable the profit for the year 1998/99 to be exempt from corporate tax.

Nonetheless the fund has distributed 25 cents per unit along with dividend income earned by the trust. This the second dividend payout of the fund since launch in December 1996. The fund declared the first dividend on September 30th, 1998 out of the income earned for the period ended 31st, 1998.

Boya roves again

Debt market specialist Mangala Boyagoda will move once again to Head the Treasury at Standard Chartered Bank. He is presently DFCC's Vice President/Head of Treasury. Mangala Boyagoda or 'Boya' as he is fondly known, is a name synonymous with Sri Lanka's capital markets and began his career at Bank of Ceylon in 1970. He then rose to the position of the Bank of Ceylon's chief dealer. He is a trailblazer in bringing short/medium term money instruments into the local debt market. Boya was involved in structuring the first ever commercial paper, a pro note when he was at Mackinnon and Keells Financial Services and speaks of it almost like his favourite child.

Conformity awards' for garment industry

Phoenix Fashions Ltd. and L. M. Collections won the first first two certificates of conformity at the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SAEA) awards. The companies were recognised for their compliance with Sri Lankan laws relating to labour, industrial relations, health safety and welfare and environment standards an SAEA a press release said.

Consumers are now showing a keen interest in the working conditions and environmental conditions under which products are manufactured.

The "business conscience" has become a selection criteria in the consumer purchasing process. Buyers are increasingly concerned about the satisfactory performance of suppliers in these critical areas, the release said.

In 1998 the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association offered members the opportunity to be examined by an independent panel on conformity to laws relating to labour, industrial relations, health safety and welfare and environment standards. The association formulated a certification and examination procedure where independent examiners evaluated and recommended members for certification. A pilot project was launched with Ceylon Knit Trends Ltd, L M Collections (pvt) Ltd, Orient Garments Ltd, Phoenix Fashions (pvt) Ltd, Shadowline (pvt) Ltd and Unichela (pvt) Ltd volunteering for the initial examination.

The association has invited the general membership to apply for certification as the procedure has now been formulated.Certification is expected to be a starting point for companies to compete in a global market where business ethics, integrity and social accountability are important.

High flyers receive Eagle Scholarships

Thirty one Eagle High Flyers received scholarships for higher education at the "Eagle Higher Education Scholarship Awards" held on September 17 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) under the patronage of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sri Jayawardenapura University Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam.

Under this scholarship scheme, students will receive financial benefits for higher education once they register for the Advanced Level course and this will continue to benefit until the end of their university career.

The scholarship scheme was inaugurated by President Chandrika Bandara–naike Kuamaratunga in 1995. The continuity of this scheme is ensured with a 17 million trust fund for which the Bank of Ceylon operates as trustee.

The winner who received the highest marks in an all Island basis was B W H A Rupasinghe from D S Senanayake College (Colombo District). Since its inception a total of 137 students have been benefited by this scheme.

UNCTAD puts foreign direct investment on top

The latest UNCTAD report has identified foreign direct investment (FDI) as the most dynamic component of international resource flows to developing countries as globalization proceeds and the attraction of FDI becomes increasingly important for developing countries.

The report, however, says that the extent to which FDI contributes to the social and economic development objectives of a country depends also on policies pursued by the countries concerned, a news release says.

The United National Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his preface to the report says;

"To promote the development of their own countries, Governments need to maximize the positive contribution that FDI can make to development, and minimize any negative effects it may have."

The report notes that for a sound regulatory framework for FDI, the policy administration and problem resolution are not less important than the existence of appropriate government institutions for FDI.

Corruption and pervasive red tape are highlighted as factors that represent disincentives to FDI while increasing the costs of investment. Commenting on the rapid escalation of competition among countries to attract FDI, the report warns countries of the dangers in "engaging in a financial incentive competition race towards the sky; of a fiscal incentives - competition race towards zero."In consequence, governments could face a situation in which higher levels of subsidy packages produce diminishing returns.

The report observes an increase in the dominance of TNCs on an unprecedented scale in developing countries as they invest around the world and integrate their organizations. The increasing liberty they enjoy with regards to their global production activities accelerated the changes in the worked economy in an uneven manner increasingly margina–lizing many developing countries in the international production system. Accordingly the UNCTAD report casts certain corporate social responsibilities on TNCs. The business community's aversion to international legal standards governing corporate operations contrasts with its strong advocacy of international law commitments applied to the obligation of governments towards foreign investors.

CSE & you

An English Radio program on " the Stock Market and you " sponsored by the Securities and Exchange commission of Sri Lanka will be aired on Radio Sri Lanka at 8.15 a.m. Every discussion will be aired on Radio Sri Lanka at 8.15 a.m. every Sunday beginning today.

Emirates enhances its stopover programme

Emirates has taken bold steps to promote Dubai across the world by introducing further incentives to the airline's already attractive Emirates Stopover in Dubai Programme.

From October 1, the revised Emirates stopover programme can be bought through travel agents worldwide in conjunction with any Emirates ticket, regardless of fare paid, thus opening up the stopover programme to even more passengers. Passengers will also be allowed to use the Dubai stopover package on either the inbound, outbound or both legs of the journey, a company release says.

This will mean, for the first time, that most passengers whose journeys originate from points in the Gulf and Middle East to points beyond Dubai, can now avail of the value-for-money offer, which is valid until 30 September, 2000.

The Emirates Stopover in Dubai Programme, priced from US$29 per person per night for hotel accommodation, breakfasts, two-way transfers in chauffeur-driven cars, arrival meet-and assist and 72-hour transit visas (where applicable).

It is available to those passengers who travel via Dubai, for example, between London and Singapore, or Melbourne and Amman or Damascus and Male. The stopovers are not available for journeys which originate or end in Dubai, such as between Dubai and Frankfurt, or between Bangkok and Dubai.

Already, Emirates averages between 1,500 and 2,000 passengers on these stopover packages each month. With the October 1 enhancements, the airline expects the figure to increase to up to 2,500 a month, the release added.

Passengers have a choice of 15 properties in Dubai, ranging from self-catering apartments to five-star hotels. Arabian Adventures, the Destination Management Company and an Emirates subsidiary, organises all land arrangements, including the transfers and airport meet-and-assist. All Emirates Stopover passengers will also receive the Arabian Adventures' exclusive Privilege Discount Card for shopping or dining out at a wide range of outlets in Dubai.

Diploma course in apparel production

The Open University's Department of Textile and Apparel Technology has launched a Diploma Programme in Apparel Production and Management, in the year 2000. The programme is designed to cater to those who intend to join, or those who are already employed at a supervisory, executive or managerial level in the apparel industry. The medium of instruction of this programme is English, a news release said.

Areas such as "raw material for garments, garment costing, quality assurance and testing, production planning, garment manufacturing process, merchandising, marketing and international environment of the apparel business", are covered.

This two-year programme is offered in the distance mode. Those employed will also be able to follow the programme without disrupting their day to day work. Day schools and examinations are held during weekends and/or on public holidays. Use of printed material along with audio-visual aids, characterises the teaching methodology in distance mode.

Union Assurance's 2020 Pension Plan

Union Assurance Ltd. has introduced a pension plan designed to take the anxiety out of ageing. Known as the Union 2020 Pension Plan, it assures the policyholder comfort and stability in a lifestyle he/she would wish to adopt on retirement. 'Ageing is a process we all have to face up to, so why not plan for it now?' declared a company spokesman.

Easy on the purse, easy to purchase and flexible, the Union 2020 Pension Plan can be tailor-made to suit individual requirements. Distinctive features include the option of collecting the pension policy on a monthly basis, or quarterly.

Policy holders can also purchase a plan that increases pension income, essential in the time of inflation. Multiple pension policies can also be purchased once earnings increase. There is also the option of purchasing a plan which matures as the policyholder reaches either 55 or 60 years of age, depending on the requirement.

The Union 2020 Pension Plan has several other striking features. Take, for instance its Ten Year Guarantee, which ensures that, should the policy holder die within ten years from the date the policy matures, his/her nominee will continue to receive the pension during the remainder of the ten year period.

The Union 2020 Pension Plan pays the accumulated bonuses to the policy holder even before he/she begins to receive the pension. Guaranteeing a full and active life on retirement, the Union 2020 Pension Plan offers a safehouse in old age and gives policy holder the choice of making his dreams a realty, adds the news release.

Bosses day on October 22

The Sri Lanka Association of Personal Secretaries will celebrate Bosses Day on October 22 at Hotel Intercontinental.

The association will invite many chief executives of the public, private and the banking sectors.

The bosses will be afforded the opportunity of interacting with the secretaries, who have been waiting to show their gratitude for the guidance, encouragement and support extended to them in the past.

Bosses Day is sponsored by M/s FedEx (Mountain Hawk Express Pvt Ltd. Licensee of Federal Express) and co-sponsored by Gestetner of Ceylon Ltd.

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