The Sunday TimesBusiness

6th October 1996



CISIR building renamed

The Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISIR) building which houses the information centre will be officially named as the "Lakshman G. Ponnamperuma Block." This is in memory of Dr. Lakshman George Ponnamperuma who had the unique distinction of being both a past director and chairman of the Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research. Dr. Ponnamperuma conbributed in no small measure to the progress and expansion of the Institute, during his term as director from 1965-1970, having being instrumental in obtaining a renewed grant from the government at a time when its finances were at a very low ebb.

In recognition of his services to the Institute and to honour this internationally reputed scientist, the CISIR conferred on him an "Outstanding Recognition Award" last year.

Besides his leadership role at the CISIR, Dr. Ponnamperuma pioneered the Cement Industry in Sri Lanka, serving the then Cement Corporation first as chief chemist and Technologist, and later as managing director and chairman.

Dr. Ponnamperuma was the president of the Chemical Society of Ceylon (succeeded by Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon) in 1961 and a Member of the National Science Council from 1968 to 1970.

Two new unit trusts from Namal

National Asset Management Ltd., (NAMAL) plans to launch two new unit trusts shortly.

The first NAMAL Income Fund will invest exclusively in fixed income securities and focus on capital preservation.

"It aims to provide potential investors who are averse to risks and desire to have regular income from their investments in this fund", NAMAL said.

NAMAL's other new trust is Namal High Growth Fund which will invest exclusively in the stock market and provide higher growth prospects.

Namal already offers a range of diversified products for investors. On the lowest risk level are treasury bills which have no default risk but also subject to interest rate risk.

The Namal Income fund which will invest exclusively in fixed income securities where there is substantial opportunities for income will be another product where risk levels are low.

"Next in the risk profile is the National Equity Fund which is the largest unit trust in the country with more than 40% of all unit trust funds, Namal said.

New branch for Com. Bank

The new office of the Wennappuwa branch of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon was opened by the Bank's Chairman, M.J.C. Amarasuriya, recently.

Serving the people of the area since 1992, the Wennappuwa branch has been one of the fastest developing branches of the Commercial Bank out of Colombo. It was also the first branch of a private bank to serve the area which is well known for its coconut based industries.

Speaking at the opening, Mr. Amarasuriya said although a major component of the bank's business was in the corporate sector, the bank had now broadened its base to serve a wider clientele in Sri Lanka.

"We have been serving the people of Wennappuwa successfully for sometime and invested in more facilities to provide a better service to our customers by moving to our very own, spacious new premises," he said.

"The handpicked team of customer-friendly professionals at this branch will continue to provide a higher quality service," he added.

Planning to up port productivity

Minister of Ports and Shipping, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation M.H.M. Ashraff has decided to enlist the cooperation of all shipping agents to increase productivity of the Colombo Port.

Mr. Ashraff discussed this topic at a meeting last week with the Ceylon Shipping Agents' Association. A delegation from CSAA told the minister that the productivity of the Colombo Port should be enhanced. The minister requested the delegation to forward their suggestions within a week.

At the meeting, it transpired that the major setback to productivity in the port, is the prevailing acute shortage of equipment, necessary to accelerate productivity. Elaborating on this issue, Mr. Ashraff said that the present productivity rate has to increase, and he therefore requested their cooperation. He also appealed to the shipping agencies to cooperate after he has given them a hearing.

Those present were M.M. Junaid, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Sundra Jayawardena, Chairman SLPA, Faiza Hashim, President CASA, Parakrama Dissanayake, Treasurer CASA and others.

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