3rd September 2000

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  • CSE hands over training to SLASIA
  • Lanka Business Report CEO Forum
  • Malaysia Airlines on winning streak
  • signs up with
  • FCCISL at Business Leaders Summit
  • N-Car moves into new premises
  • Hesperous wins Quality Summit Gold Award
  • E-wis teams up with Netfinity
  • Iranian oil on short-term credit
  • Record in one night
  • Humans need challenge says Fayaz Saleem
  • LB Finance releases Annual Report
  • Munchee "Shishyadara" launched
  • New nutritious cereal from Nestle
  • All time record prices at Colombo Tea auctions

    Tea Update

    Massive leap over last year

    Tea export figures took a massive leap over last year. July export figures released last week show that the value of tea exported in the seven months increased by a whopping 20 per cent to Rs. 29.2 bn from Rs. 24.1 bn in the previous year.

    Brokers attribute the increase primarily to an equally massive increase in the volume of tea exports and a visible increase in FOB prices per kilo.

    However, as the case has been from the past, value added tea exports continue to whither away. But, officials remain very optimistic as the main reason for the decline was a drop in packed teas, while other value added categories improved marginally. Meanwhile, at auctions last week, most varieties of low growns took a beating, and hence brokers expect the low grown average to drop marginally from the substantial increase recorded in the previous sale. This comes despite low grown prices stabilizing towards the end of the sale.

    Other categories too lost ground, except for a few selected grades, which picked up marginally.

    CSE hands over training to SLASIA

    The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recently handed over its stock broker training programme to the Sri Lanka Association of Securities and Investment Analyst (SLASIA) to co -ordinate and conduct lectures. This facilitated us working closely with the industry, Director General, Colombo Stock Exchange, Hiran Mendis said at a ceremony to hand over the logistics of the training programme. Mendis was referring to SLASIA'' membership which consists of key players in the capital market including primary dealers, fund managers and stock brokers.

    SLASIA intends playing a proactive role in educating and creating awareness of capital markets and other savings instruments such as bank savings, President, SLASIA and Chief Executive Officer, DCR Lanka Ravi Abeysuriya said.

    SLASIA is expected to change the syllabus of the course to include a new dent module in addition to case study based teaching. It will also be involved in setting examination papers and grading them. The course content will include a module on regulatory aspects of the market in addition to risk and return analysis, economy and industry sector studies and share valuation. The panel of lecturers for the programme include Neomal Gunawardena, Rachini Rajapakse, Vajira Kulatilake, Manjula de Silva, Channa de Silva, Namal Kamalgoda and Seth Isaacs.

    Lanka Business Report CEO Forum

    Lanka Business Report (LBR) produced by Vanguard Management Services (Pvt) Limited and aired on Etv and ITN continues to enlighten the Sri Lankan business fraternity, policy makers and academics with deep insights into contemporary business and economic issues.

    LBR, with its unbiased, analytical and investigative business journalism is committed towards playing a catalytic role in the nation's economic development, a company release said.

    The LBR CEO Forum provides a rare opportunity for senior management to benefit from the wisdom of key business leaders. Mr. Ranjith Fernando, Chief Executive/Director of National Development Bank, will share his notable thoughts as the guest speaker of the next CEO Forum.

    Malaysia Airlines on winning streak

    Malaysia Airlines received the 'Five Star Diamond Award' conferred by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, from America, for outstanding commitment to service and hospitality.

    Next, ten of Australia's leading travel writers voted MA First in Inflight Service.

    And recently, independent airline research house, Inflight Research Services (IRS), based in the United Kingdom, voted MA as having the best cabin staff, says a news release.

    The research house's World First Class Survey 2000 voted Malaysia Airlines first in service attitude and enthusiasm, image portrayal and friendliness of service.

    In the same survey, the national carrier's other frontline products and staff service delivery standard were also given recognition when its 'Home Base Check-In' (Service Delivery Quality) was rated tops and its First Class Lounge (Product Facilities) was rated second among all the airlines under assessment.

    At a specially organised appreciation ceremony on 23 May, 2000 at MAA, Chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli thanked staff for their tireless contributions towards all the achievements attained to date.

    "Winning an award once can be a flash-in-the-pan, but winning awards continuously is testimony to the service 'par-excellence' dished out by dedicated staff", said Tan Sri Tajudin. signs up with - a business-to-business (B2B) portal has signed an agreement with, the pioneering search engine in the world for B2B trading. This alliance will enhance the trading facilities already being offered by and, a company release said., is strategically located at the Multi-media Super Corridor at Cyberjaya, Malaysia. It provides a comprehensive set of trading services in a user-friendly Web-based environment. Outsourcing, procurement and payments are all handled over the Internet.'s innovative features include automatic buyer and merchant matching, a directory service for buyers and merchants, promotional and marketing facilities for B2B trading, a trade agent network, and a negotitation facility through the message- handling gateway.

    This virtual trading system is designed to enhance the business of small and medium Asian industries including Sri Lankan industries that lack the infrastructure for global trading.

    The agreement is being signed with our strategic partner KoreanSource, an Internet-based firm which has developed a search engine, T-Page. is the world's first search engine for B2B international trade. It has a database of 1.2 million and is spread over 129 countries. The company also offers facilities to participate in the world's first virtual trade exhibition on the Internet. members will now be able to enter chat rooms for further discussions and direct contact with buyers. boasts an array of more than 3,000 products and the system is compatible with eight spoken languages - English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. Very soon we will develop brands in Sinhala and Tamil.

    FCCISL at Business Leaders Summit

    Sri Lankan delegation to the South Asian Business Leaders Summit held in Bangalore from August 8-10 was led by FCCISL President Lal de Mel and comprised 25 leading businessmen in the country. Chairing the business session on Sri Lanka FCCISL Vice President Macky Hashim made a case for inviting SAARC countries to invest in Sri Lanka, a news release said.

    Anura de Silva. Executive Director of Bureau of Infrastructure investment made a presentation on Sri Lanka's investment potential and investment climate in general covering the areas of Information Technology, Textiles and Infrastructure.

    Anura de Silva also highlighted in his presentation of the Special Investment incentives available for SAARC and Indian investors under the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

    FCCISL delegation also made use of the opportunity to focus on Sri Lanka as the most attractive tourist destination in the SAARC region.

    Making the keynote address at the Summit, Nihal Rodrigo-Secretary General SAARC Secretarial said that SAARC was an enabling framework for economic co-operation among its countries. Making his argument in favour of a regional approach in South Asia, he said that, "International laissez faire will operate distinctly against South Asian countries. He further said a Collective Approach would be necessary to ensure a degree of protection for "our regional interests in the face of other global collective entities and interests".

    The summit was inaugurated by Mr. S. M. Krishna, Chief Minister Karnataka. Mr. Krishna said in his inaugural address that if economic compulsions had brought countries together elsewhere in the world, why shouldn't it happen here.

    He added the unsuccessful attempt at SHATTLE to reach a broad consensus on WHO was acknowledged by President Clinton early this year. He emphasized that Regional "conveniences and strategies would have to be considered if a consensus were to be arrived.

    A.C. Muthiah, Senior Vice-President FICCL in his special address said that trade facilitation should be ensured by plugging loopholes in the information linkages between countries.

    N-Car moves into new premises

    A grand ceremonial opening for the trade and the public, marked the moving of N-Car Travels & Tours Limited into their own premises at No. 45, Ananda Kumaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 3 recently.

    Well-wishers from the travel trade dropped in at the new venue. To create the perfect ambiance for this happy event, live classical music flowed through the premises, while the Ceylon Inter Continental provided the catering.

    Hesperous wins Quality Summit Gold Award

    By Udeshika Dissanayake

    Hesperus Marketing ( Pvt) Ltd. sole distributer for Restoria, Vicco and Sherome products were recognised for excellence and business prestige at a summit in New York recently.

    The company was awarded the quality Summit Gold Award at the 14th International Quality Summit organised by Business Initiative Directions.

    The award scheme attended by 88 countries included well known international companies Coca- Cola, British American Tobacco, K-Mart and many other companies in the Fortune Global 500 list. Mr. Stacey Moses, General Manager of the company proudly announced that they were a young company among the giants to receive this award. He pointed out that they were the only company to receive this award among companies in the cosmetics and personal care sector in the country.

    Good Look, Tip and Toes, Imperial Leather soap are some of the other products distributed by the company.

    E-wis teams up with Netfinity

    E-W Information Systems (e-wis) is promoting Netfinity servers through an innovative, new concept in IT marketing. In an initiative to enhance brand value and extend value added services to customers, e-wis organized a comprehensive presentation on the Netfinity server, an authority in IT titled, "Why Netfinity with e-wis?". The presentation in two sessions was empowered by experts from the IT industry and comprised an active participation of IT specialists and consultants from both government and private organizations.

    Through Netfinity e-wis is yet again keeping its promise of delivering innovative integrated solutions to meet consumers' global needs. The Netfinity server integrates value-added features and x-architecture innovations such as: Advanced Systems Management Processor for comprehensive remote management; Predictive Failure Analysis, for rapid pre-failure altering and maintenance and Light Path Diagnostics for easy monitoring through precise isolation of failing components. These value-added qualities enhances the reliability, availability and scalability of the Netfinity server. All the above features combined reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), thus enhancing its affordability.

    Iranian oil on short-term credit

    Iran has agreed to consider a Sri Lankan request for credit facilities of six months to one year's on its purchase of Iranian crude oil supplies. Sri Lanka currently lifts one (1.0) million metric tonnes of crude oil per annum from Iran on contract between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the National Iranian Oil Company, a ministry release said.

    Commerce & Food Minister Kingsley T. Wickrema-ratne discussed the matter of credit facilities with the Iranian Oil Minister who agreed to discuss the matter with the Central Bank of Iran as the provision of credit facilities lay with that institution.

    Minister Wickremaratne asked for one year's credit.

    Meanwhile, Iran also expressed its readiness to co-operate with Sri Lanka in the areas of oil, gas and petro-chemical industries and the transfer related technologies.

    These crucial discussions transpired at a meeting of the Sixth Session of the Sri Lanka-Iran Joint Commission on Economic Co-operation held in Tehran recently. Minister Wickremaratne led the Sri Lanka delegation that comprised public and private sector representatives who jointly and severally sought to increase Sri Lanka's competitiveness in the Iranian market, and beyond, in the newly-independent Central Asian republics to the north-east and north-west.

    Record in one night

    Hayleys Electronics Limited, has recorded Rs. 25 million in sales in just one night at an unveiling in Colombo of some of the latest audio and video products from the Dutch electronics giant Philips.

    The achievement, believed to be an all-time record in the electronics sector, was possible by the sales of 750 Philips television sets and 200 Philips audio systems in the course of one evening, the company said, in a news release.

    The event themed "Philips Digital Experience" saw the unveiling of the latest Philips Plasma TV, flat screen colour TVs, MPEG3 compatible Hi-Fi systems, VCDs and DVD players.

    For some of these products, the event marked their launch in Asia.

    A highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to dealers who placed the highest orders and a raffle draw at which prizes worth over Rupees one million were on offer.

    Humans need challenge says Fayaz Saleem

    How to sell yourself in the market place was the focus of a presentation by Fayaz Saleem at a recent Celltel/Sunday Times Business Club meeting. Saleem is the managing Director of Maritime International which has been involved in executive searches for almost a quarter century.

    "What do employers look for?" Saleem questioned. A heap of qualifications, how nice you look, social status or communication skills?, he said asking his audience to take their pick. Employers look for nice people. "People you can invite home for dinner, who carry on a conversation," he said. It's all about being a nice loveable personality, he concluded.

    It is also important to be ambitious. Too long in one job and it becomes a comfort zone. Humans need challenge it is good for their self esteem.

    Staying too long in one job is a definite no, no. Unless you are working your way up and exploiting your potential. Employers recruit smart people.

    And smartness is brought about by intelligence background and breeding, Saleem opined.

    Good listeners make good leaders but it is essential that you be proactive at an interview. W is for workaholic and your Curriculum Vitae must show what you have achieved. Ideally a CV is one and a half to two pages long but I see books, Saleem lamented.

    LB Finance releases Annual Report

    LB Finance Limited, a public quoted Company incorporated in 1971 has released its Annual Report for the Year 1999. The company has recorded an after tax profit of Rs. 22.1 million which is a 15% increase over the previous year. The Company's turnover has also moved up to Rs. 416.1 million from Rs. 395.8 million recorded in 1998 and Rs. 309.4 million in 1997, a company release says.

    The Company's plans to expand its branch network has resulted in branches being opened in Badulla and Negombo. The diversification of its activities to Pawn Broking has seen two pawning centres being opened in Maradana and Grandpass.

    The Annual Report records an increasing share of income from Pawn Broking which is also done through its branches in Kandy, Badulla and Negombo. Turnover from Real Estate development and sales has continued to grow with new projects located in Divulapitiya, Horana, Mirigama, Alawwa, Delgoda, Avissawella and Wadduwa. Its traditional business of lease and hire purchases finance has maintained its share of turnover.

    Emphasis has been placed on the recovery of non-performing loans with the Company having succeeded in recovering Rs. 24.6 million from non-performing loans for which provisions have been made in previous years.

    The Company continues to enjoy the confidence and trust of its depositors, with the deposit base growing by a moderate Rs. 23 million to reach Rs.1.1 billion at the end of the year. Many depositors have been holding their deposits with the Company for over a decade. The Company intends to launch a number of new products primarily focused on providing additional benefits to its valued depositors in the Year 2000 and beyond.

    Munchee "Shishyadara" launched

    For the fourth consecutive year, Ceylon Biscuits Limited, the manufacturers of "Munchee Tikiri Munchee" have launched their annual Shishyadara Student Assistance Programme to give financial relief to students. The programme operates like a competition where any child who buys 100 grms of Munchee Tikiri Marie (packeted or loose) is eligible to enter.

    All they need to do is send in their name and address along with a coupon that is available with dealer, plus an empty 100 gram wrapper to Ceylon Biscuits. At the end of this campaign, a draw is held and 120 lucky winners are picked, a company release said. Each of the lucky winners will receive a sum of Rs. 750/- per month for a period of one year. This works to a sum of Rs. 9,000/- per student annually. A special account is opened for each student with the National Savings Bank which has branches around the country. The money is deposited in the branch nearest to the child's home.

    Entries come from all over the island including the North and East. A Company spokesman said that most of the children come from low income homes, so the financial assistance they receive is of great benefit to them. The winners and their parents are invited to a special awards ceremony at the BMICH. Each winner is also presented with a certificate from Ceylon Biscuits. The Shishyadara Programme began on August 1st and will continue until the 31st October 2000.

    New nutritious cereal from Nestle

    Nestle has come up with a new cereal, in addition to Nestle Cereal with Green Gram, which includes the culturally and traditionally accepted ingredients - red rice and gotukola. This innovative new variety contains the natural goodness of high quality red rice, which was the staple diet of our forefathers who built vast kingdoms and nutritious gotukola, which is Sri Lanka's most popular green herb. Both red rice and gotukola have been consumed widely for generations, across all age groups and are renowned for their wholesome goodness, a company release says.

    Growing children such as toddlers and pre-schoolers require an increased amount of energy and nutrients, which are essential for strong and healthy growth. However, children have finicky eating habits as well as relatively small appetites. Therefore, it's very important to provide them with nutrient - dense foods - those which supply plenty of nutrients in a small volume of food to ensure proper growth.

    The new cereal is also enriched with 8 essential vitamins and 5 key minerals that will assist in building a stronger and smarter generation of children. In fact, 2 feeds of Nestle Cereal with milk per day provide half of the dietary requirement of proteins, Vitamins D, B2 and B12 and the full 100% dietary requirement of Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron for growing children.

    Nestle Cereal with red rice and gotukola is competitively priced at Rs. 88 for every 300g pack.

    All time record prices at Colombo Tea auctions

    We are pleased to announce the all time record prices achieved by the following two estates at the tea auction of 30 th August 2000. Each of these estates surpassed the previous best of Rs 240.00 per Kg. for the BOP grade in the medium growth category.

    Kenilworth estate managed by Watawala Plantations Ltd., registered Rs.260.00 for a parcel of its BOP special grade, purchased by Tea Tang Ltd., whilst, Dotel Oya estate managed by Kegalle Plantations Ltd., sold an invoice of BOP Special at Rs.242.00 to Stassen Exports Ltd. John Keells Ltd., are brokers for the produce of both estates.

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