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17th May 1998

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Ceylinco Insurance sets new record

Ceylinco Insurance, has reported substantial growth in the company's life insurance business for year ending December 1997. Premium income exceeding Rs 940 million is a growth of 15 percent over 1996 and resulted in Ceylinco Insurance's share of the private sector life insurance market growing to 42 percent, a company release says. The company's life premium income during the period was Rs 108 million higher than that of its nearest competitor and Rs 611 million more than the third placed private insurance company, the release claims.

According to the latest figures released by the company, Ceylinco Insurance's Life Fund grew by a healthy 51.32 percent to top Rs 1.5 billion, and the value of investments have grown by 59.72 percent during the period under review.

Ceylinco Insurance has the highest earnings per share of Rs 7.60 among the listed private insurers and the highest net asset value per share of Rs 51.44. The company's dividend yield is 8.71 percent and 2.56, the release says. The net asset value per share is over 2.5 times the current market price of stock, reflecting the solid asset backing of the company.

Ceylinco Insurance's Life division has sold over 37,800 individual life policies during 1997, which is the highest number of policies sold by any private insurance company during this period. The company has paid out a total of Rs 37.4 million as claims during 1997 bringing the total value of claims paid to Rs 123.44 million since the company commenced operations in 1988.

Playing a big role in road safety

Janashakthi General Insurance Co. Ltd., heeded the call of Dy. Minister of Defence Anuruddha Ratwatte to take a leadership role in the campaign for road safety by helping the CMC to install and maintain instruments that would help both pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the city of Colombo.

As an insurance co., Janashakthi had a dual role to play. It was taking a step towards reducing its own claim cost, but more important a tremendous step forward in protecting the lives and limbs especially of children and the aged, was what was foremost in their minds.The company therefore has selected this social welfare programme to work with the Municipal Council to try and help the council's endeavour to have more organized traffic in the streets of Colombo.

The programme will include installation and maintenance of pedestrian crossings, guard rails on both sides of the roads near pedestrian crossings, Belisha Beacons (Yellow flickering lights indicating that there is a pedestrian crossing ahead) and safety islands.

Greenlanka welcomes Uniglory service

IN mid-March this year, a party was hosted by the Nanayakkara family in Colombo to celebrate the launch of a new direct service from Colombo to Arabian ports by Uniglory Shipping Corporation, a fully owned subsidiary of Evergreen Marine Corporation of Taiwan.

The 1,194 teu Uni Accord made her maiden trip to Colombo and was welcomed by a host of dignitaries, including Sri Lanka's Minister for Ports, Shipping and Rehabilitation, H. H.M. Ashraff, and the ministry secretary M. Junaid. They were taken onboard by Mrs. Nanayakkara, who heads, Greenlanka Shipping, the largest of the agencies for mainline operators in Sri Lanka.

"lt was after sustained efforts over two years that we convinced Uniglory to include Colombo in their scheme of things," says Raju Radha, director with Greenlanka, and son- in-law of the owners.

lnitially they will operate four westbound vessels per month, gradually increasing their service which will include both westboun and eastbound sailings out of Colombo."

Greenlanka is quite a unique outfit in Sri Lanka's shipping annals. The paternalistic attitude shown by the owners towards the employees is exemplified by the fact that Mrs. Nanayakkara, head of the company, personally cooks the afternoon meal for the entire office staff!

For the three years between1994 and 1996, Evergreen was the No. I shipping line in the matter of containers handled in Colombo by a transhipment carrier. It has since had ceded the position to Sealand, but Evergreen remains the single largest client of the island's top feeder operator, Sea Consortium.

"Teamwork between the local staff and our Taiwanese principals has been the key to our success,'' says Mr. Radha.

"We get tremendous backing from our principals. Their in- ternational reputation as a top carrier has been further strengthened by their performance and our support service in Sri Lanka."

The main strategy adopted by Greenlanka is to deal direct with big-time shippers and support the small-timers through freight forwarders. This has helped small and medium sized exporters substantially.

Celltel, HNB join for national development

Celltel Lanka Limited, recently signed a major financial deal with the Hatton National Bank worth Rs. 420 million.

Describing the financial deal as significant for both organisations, Managing Director of the Hatton National Bank, Rienzie Wijetilleke said: "As the largest private commercial bank in Sri Lanka, the Hatton National Bank is also playing a major role in national development. We are pleased to be in this transaction which will finance the expansion of Celltel's network which finally contributes to the development of the telecommunication infrastructure of Sri Lanka. The transaction was structured on terms which were of benefit for both organisations".

Serge Guevel, the Chief Executive Officer of Celltel Lanka Limited, said that these funds will be used to expand the network to accommodate the ever increasing demand of Celltel subscribers.

Oxygen's Rs. 400m plant gets to work

Ceylon Oxygen Ltd., (COL) commissioned their new Air Separation Plant at the Lanka Industrial Estate, Sapugaskande. Minister of Industrial Development C.V. Gooneratne commissioned the Plant, while the directors of Norsk Hydro A.S. Norway Paul Petter Aas, President Industrial Chemicals Division [ICH] - a division of Norsk Hydro, Jon Reutz, President Hydrogas [a sub-division of ICH], Alvin Rosvoll Vice President Hydrogas and Per Arne Nilsson, Regional Director Asia Hydrogas, also flew in for the occasion.

Built at a cost of Rs. 400 million, the new Plant will increase the present production capacity of COL's manufacture of Oxygen and Nitrogen significantly, thus enabling the company to meet the present increased demand as well as cater to the future demands for the next 6-7 years.

The new Plant is funded largely by internally generated funds, augmented by a concessionary NORAD loan and Right Issue.

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