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13th September 1998

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Repos down

The Central Bank has reduced its overnight repurchase (repo) rate from 12.1 per cent to 12.0 per cent, with effect from September 10, 1998.

The repo rate is the rate at which commercial banks and primary dealers can invest their funds with the Central Bank.

It is thus a key interest rate which influences other short term interest rates in the market, a Central Bank release said.

The repo rate was raised earlier this year on several occasions in view of inflationary pressure in the economy.

In the past two months, the rate of inflation has declined, while at the same time, foreign exchange markets have shown greater stability.

Market yields on treasury bills at the primary auctions have also stabilized and showed a decline at the last two auctions.

In conformity with these developments, the Central Bank feels that a slight reduction in its overnight repurchase rate at this time is desirable, the release added.

CASA will abide by government tariffs

By Gunapala Ranasinghe

The Ceylon Association of Ships' Agents (CASA) at its executive committee meeting held recently asserted that the tariff of ACTDO (Association of Container Terminal & Depot Operators), ratified by the Controller of Exchange in 1990, and all such regulatory tariffs, should be adhered to by all parties concerned.

This decision follows a meeting between CASA and ACTDO previously on the importance of adhering to the ACTDO tariff.

A spokesman for CASA told "The Sunday Times" that they will abide by government regulations and will not condone the violation of such regulations.

In the meantime, the Ceylon Ship Chandlers' Association is calling for a special meeting to discuss the importance of adhering to all tariffs pertaining to the shipping industry.

This meeting will be called as soon as Mrs Devika Wijesooriya, President of the Association, who is on an overseas visit, returns to the country.

Call to shift container depots out

The Colombo City environmental Organisation has decided to request the Mayor of Colombo to remove all container depots and other such structures causing inconvenience and much hardship to the people from the Colombo Municipal area.

The previous government had ordered the shifting of all such container depots from Colombo Municipal to suburban areas. In spite of this ruling, a few container depots are still being maintained in the Colombo Municipal area causing great concern to environmental authorities, sources said.

These container depots contribute to noise pollution, road damage, cause traffic congestion and occupy large areas of prime city land.

The non-enforcement of the legislative acts in this regard is putting the rate-payer into hardship. The Colombo City Environmental Organisation strongly feels that all container depots in the Colombo Municipal area should be moved out.

Jeanette will boost US exports

Direct Container Line, Inc., (Carson, California) - Direct Container Line (DCL), the leading ocean freight transport provider, announced that Jeanette Bateman has joined the company as Vice President Full-Container Load Services (FCL).

Jeanette has more than thirteen years of comprehensive experience in the transportation industry, which includes trucking, intermodal, domestic ocean, CFS operations and international NVOCC operations.

In the past six years, Jeanette has developed and enhanced her expertise in the transportation industry by focusing on NVOCC operations. Jeanette received a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Davis as well as an MBA from Monterey Institute of International Studies.

In this new position, Jeanette will continue to strategically advance DCL's presence in FCL services. Jeanette will be responsible for augmenting DCL's current services and customer base in FCL.

21 years on the high seas

On March 25, Hanjin hosted a ceremony to celebrate its 21st anniversary. Since 1977 Hanjin Shipping has undergone rapid advancement to become one of the youngest global carriers in the industry, while at the same time maintaining service levels to our customers

Hanjin's strategic investments to establish main trunk routes, dedicated terminals and the development of its infrastructure, has helped establish it as one of today's top global carriers. Following the merger with Korea Shipping Corporation (KSC) in 1988, HJS has steadily diversified its business by introducing new container and bulk vessels and developing logistics operations in key service areas.

Deversifying Scope

Hanjin's second crude oil tanker christened

Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., has christened the 'Andhika Adinugraha', the company's second owned tanker vessel, at the Hanjin Heavy Industries Yongdo Shipyard in Pusan.

Over 100 guests were present to witness the ceremony, including Captain Arifin Hussein - Senior Manager of Shipping Division of Pertamina, S . Somantri and Ms. C. Hadikusumo - Directors of PT. Adnyana, and other distinguished customers and representatives from the industry and media.

Mrs. Roosita Hussein, wife of Captain Hussein, was chosen as sponsor to name the tanker as 'Andhika Adinugraha'.

Hanjin has been carrying LNG since 1995, and this event marked the beginning of a two-year wait of its new business relations between Hanjin and Indonesia's national Oil Corporation, Pertamina.

In 1996, Hanjin Shipping and its partners in Indonesia won two crude oil tankers in the bidding for a 12- year long-term time-charter to Pertamina. They will be chartered out for a period of 12 years to supply stable crude oil to Southeast Asia and Indonesia.The Andhika Adinugraha is the second of two 17,500DWT Tanker ships powered by advanced engines that economize fuel and reduce emissions to the environment. Be\pard

COA renewed with Karana Line

The signing ceremony for a contract of affreightment (COA) between "K" Line and Karana Line, an Indonesian shipping line, was held at the offices of "K" Line Singapore.

Pursuant to the COA, "K" Line will annually transport some two million tons of iron-ore pellets from Brazil and Norway to Indonesia's state-owned steel company, Krakatau Steel, located on Cigading Harbour, which opens to the Sunda Straits on the western coast of Indonesia's Java Island.

This is the 13th year for the COA, which has been renewed every year since 1986.

In fact, between 1986 and last year "K" Line has transported a cumulative total of over 22 million tons of iron-ore on a total of some 330 voyages.

Although there is concern, the execution of the COA may be impeded by the economic slump and civil unrest stemming from Indonesia's currency crisis From a long-term perspective we cannot help but believe in Indonesia's potential for economic development and growth in raw material imports.

"K" Line and Year 2000

In order to be ready for the 21st Century, "K" Line implemented a Year 2000 Compliance Programme in 1995, and has finished replacing the core of its computer system for a major business and network system throughout the company.

Based on the programme, we are taking all necessary steps in order to accomplish the plan, and we are quite confident that it will be completed by the end of this year.

Our Year 2000 Compliance Plan covers business application software, communication network hardware, network server, each PC and its software as well as our E-mail system.

"K" Line finished replacing all of these in 1997 and they are now Year 2000 compliant.

Regarding agent companies and affiliated companies both in and outside Japan, "K" Line has completed a study of all the related communication network and computer systems and has started to amend their programmes.

All agent and affiliated companies are scheduled to have those tasks accomplished by the end of this year. In addition, to the computer system on the vessels which "K" Line operates, we have already accomplished investigations for necessary replacements to be finished by the end of this year.

"K" Line took early action in recognizing the need for necessary action to be prepared for the inherent problems which the Year 2000 poses, and will continue to monitor their programmes in order to provide double assurance of successful compliance.

CGC posts more profits, turnover

Ceylon Glass Company Ltd., (CGC), manufacturer and supplier of glass container requirements, has reported a significant growth in profit and turnover in the first quarter ending June 30.

According to figures released last week, the company's profit after tax rose to Rs 16.94 million in this period, reflecting a growth of 157 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Net turnover had also grown by 32.7 per cent to Rs. 157.18 million, the company announced.An increase in local demand, coupled with enhancements in production efficiency and the implementation of damage reduction methods had contributed to this performance, the company's Managing \pardThe Board of Directors of Ceylon Glass Company are: E.M. Wijenaike (Chairman), Dr. C. T. S. B. Perera (Managing Director), J. M. C. R. Jayasinghe, M. R. Prelis, T Inoue, S. de Silva, I. O. K. G. Fernando and U. N. Jinasena.

'Chartered' status for Marketers

Marketing has joined the select number of professions able to award chartered status to individuals, a right granted by the Privy Council. Following a successful application by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), marketing practitioners meeting stringent criteria established by the CIM will be entitled to the status of 'Chartered Marketer'

Marketing professionals will now be able to use the prefix 'chartered' enjoyed by Chartered Accountants since 1880 and chartered surveyors since 1881, a company release said. David Chapman, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing commented. "In a deregulated and technologically advanced economy, marketing is more crucial to commercial success than ever before. We are delighted that the importance of marketing as a professional discipline has been given t\pard"If it leads to more marketers in the boardroom of British companies, the economy as a whole will undoubtedly benefit".Around 2,000 individuals are expected to attain chartered marketer status initially, but CIM expects this to rise to 10,000 within five years.

The Privy Council Order comes into effect from October 1.

After October 1, 1998, the eligibility criteria will become even more stringent with chartered marketer status only being awarded to full members who have completed the CPD programme and attained CIM's Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing or an equivalent or higher level qualification.

The local branch will have their Chartered Marketers investiture on October 12. 1998. Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, David Chapman will be present.

Discount Card from Agatha

By Sanath Weerasuriya

A 'Discount Card' has been launched in the local market by Agatha International (Pvt) Ltd.

A 'Discount Card' is a facility to purchase goods and services from a nominated department store at a discount rate which is exclusive for the card holders.

Agatha International offers a discount card at values ranging from Rs.1000(Silver), Rs 2000 (gold) and Rs 5000 (Life) for the usage of the discount facilities for a period of one calendar year.

'Serving the corporate sector and individuals through innovatiove products is a speciality in our company, and now we have come out with the Agatha 'Discount Card', which is a concept that has been created through many brain storming sessions with the ultimate objective of extending the best benefit to the corporate client and the individual', said Kumar Mihindukulasooriya, the sales director of the company.

A cardholder could forward a card' at nominated dealers for, which the dealer will extend a special discount on all purchases.

The holder will have to inform the company of the list of dealers that he / she is entitled to get discounts from.

The uniqueness of the discount card is that a member could surrender his/her membership card during the first three months and obtain a refund of 75%, if he/she is not satisfied with the service offered on this discound card.

There are no limitations on the value of a discount an individual can obtain.

A corporate client can enroll as a member for a fee of Rs.3000/= valued for one calendar year that is renewable every year.

With Fiserv Seylan Bank becomes one of 350

Seylan Bank has awarded a contract to Fiserv (ASPAC) Pte. Ltd. to install, service and support its International Comprehensive Banking System (ICBS) software in 50 of the bank's branches across Sri Lanka. Fiserv is the leading provider of data processing and information management products and services to the financial industry. Fiserv International Comprehensive Banking System (ICBS) is a powerful, fully integrated, real-time retail banking \pardKhavan Perera, IT and Project Director, Seylan Bank has said, ''In the new era of globalisation and the need to provide satisfactory service to our customers, one must invest in technology.

"The investment by Seylan Bank will secure a system for our retail banking environment which will allow us to provide better and more comprehensive financial services to our individual customers by allowing us to develop and quickly bring to market new retail banking products.''

"Fiserv will provide Seylan Bank with a total retail banking solution on a cost-effective platform. We pride ourselves on the ease with which our programmes operate and can be managed.

"The product flexibility and continuous research and development applied by Fiserv will allow Seylan Bank to upgrade in an evolutionary manner, with minimum impact on operations,'' Mr.Hill has said.

Fiserv ICBS includes a comprehensive range of products that covers customer lending, commercial loan and deposit products providing the total customer relationship management.

Fiserv ICBS is targeted at delivering high powered, effective toools for providing customer services anywhere in the bank.

To fulfil both the technology and business needs of virtual banking, Fiserv has recently released the Alliant tm Architecture, which expands the products processing capabilities of ICBS by offering multichannel transaction delivery and customer servicing, the release says.

For example, Fiserv ICBS software supports all the basic product types in different currencies. The system provides extensive customer and product management facilities with the ability to record detailed information relating to customers, products and accounts.

Business in Gold: new from HNB

Hatton National Bank has launched another innovative product,the "Gold Investment Account"

Gold is sought as a hedge against economic and political uncertainties. With the relaxation of restrictions on possession and sale of fine gold in Sri Lanka, the resident individuals are also allowed to purchase and possess gold as part of their investment portfolio.

With this concept in mind and in keeping with the Hatton National Bank's tradition of introducing innovative banking products to meet the needs of the customers, the bank has launched the "Gold Investment Account".

Hatton National Bank is the first commercial bank in the private sector to begin the "sale of gold". It also provides "pawning" facilities through its branch network spread out in almost all the districts in Sri Lanka. It has in its product portfolio two other gold related products, namely, the "Certificate of Gold Deposit" and the "Pledge Facility Against Gold"

Under the "Gold Investment Account" scheme, an individual will be entitled to buy gold denominated in grams and hold it in his account without the need to carry the commodity in physical form. He will be entitled to withdraw the accumulated gold lying in his account when any real necessity arises or he will have the option of selling the gold back to the Bank.

The account holder will be issued with a monthly statement indicating the quantity of gold lying to his credit in the account and the equivalent in Sri Lanka rupees as at the date of the statement. Accounts could also be opened in joint names.

The high network individuals who have large sums of investable funds will also be offered the opportunity of investing lump sums in gold. This option will also enable the account holder to trade in the commodity of gold.

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