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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012

Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012

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Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

May 2, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Hemas Holdings PLC group on Wednesday broke ground for their third hospital, catering to tens of thousands of people living in the east of the capital of Colombo, an official said.

Situated in Thalawatugoda, some 14 kilometers off Colombo, the 1.3 billion rupee 50-bed hospital is due to open in April 2013, Hemas Hospitals Chairman, Murtaza Esufally told LBO.

Hemas currently has hospitals in the southern town of Galle and Wattala, just north of Colombo.

"With four-years of experience in hospitals, the consultants, the patients are confident with our work. We have established a brand name that the board was confident of taking on the third project," Esufally said.

He said the Galle and Wattala hospitals combined, have a customer base in excess of 500,000, carried out some 5,000 surgeries, delivered 2,000 babies and conducted over 1.5 million laboratory tests.

"We are confident the business model will work for us in the third hospital,” he said.

Hemas, which has investments in personal care, manufacturing, power, pharmaceuticals and transport, is largely controlled by the Esufally family.

The company works with the Sri Lanka's Open University and Aquinas University College to train 250 nurses a year, to meet the demand for specialised nursing care.


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics

May 02, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's Treasuries yields rose across maturities at Wednesday's auction with 12.4 billion rupees of bills being sold, the state debt office said.

The 3-month yield rose 18 basis point to 12.11 percent, the 6-month yield rose 15 basis points to 12.20 percent and the 12-month yield rose 20 basis points to 12.36 percent.

The debt office, which is a unit of the Central Bank offered 12 billion rupees of debt at the auction and said 12.4 billion rupees of bills were sold.

The debt office sold 8.9 billion rupees of 3-month bills, 2.3 billion rupees of 6-,month bills and 1.2 billion rupees of 12-month bills.


Vice President - Equity Analytics
Vice President - Equity Analytics

many private hospitals every where ...but when you heard the doctors fees and prices for operation/medicine we are getting killed....

supply and demand theory going up side down ... Very Happy

4Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012 Empty Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012 Wed May 02, 2012 11:41 pm


Global Moderator

Bourse down but looks up in volume terms

The Colombo bourse was yesterday slightly more active on the volume side at least although both indices closed down, the All Share by a marginal 2.03 points (0.04%) and the Milanka by 20.51 points (0.42%) on a turnover of Rs.429.6 million, down from the previous day’s Rs.631 million, with 89 gainers running behind 110 losers.

There were four block trades for the day, all at previous prices, with none of the crossings showing any price change, brokers said.

These were 7 million Asia Asset Finance crossed at Rs.3.50, over 0.3 million JKH crossed at Rs.204, over 0.1 million Central Finance crossed at Rs.165 and nearly 0.3 million Infrastructure Developers crossed at Rs.175.

Swarnamahal Financial Services (nearly 2.9 million shares), ATL (nearly 8.1 million shares) and PC House (nearly 1.5 million shares) demonstrated volume, brokers said.

In value terms, Swarnamahal, down 10 cents to close at Rs.8.80, generated the day’s top turnover of Rs.25.9 million followed by Carsons closing flat at Rs.470 contributing Rs.18.6 million and floor trades of JKH, down Rs.2.10 to Rs.201, generating Rs.17.3 million were active.

"JKH closed lower on the trading floor than the Rs.204 price at which the big block was crossed," a broker said.


Global Moderator

The rupee strengthened against the greenback early Wednesday (02) with exporters seen converting their dollar holdings, but import demand later brought down the rupee to around Rs. 129.50 to a dollar, currency dealers said.

As reported last Tuesday, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera said there was no basis for the current volatility of the exchange rate and that the rupee should settle well below Rs. 125 to a dollar. In response to a query raised by The Island Financial Review during last Monday’s meeting with journalists, Dr. Jayasundera said exporters were naturally holding on to their dollar holdings speculating the rupee would weaken further. "This is the risk they take. What would happen to them when the rupee appreciates?" he asked.

On Wednesday, currency dealers said exporters were seen converting their dollars.

"The rupee opened the day at around Rs. 130/131 against the dollar and exporter conversions strengthened the rupee to around Rs. 126. But during the latter stages of the trading session, importers came into the picture, making use of the falling exchange rate to buy dollars. This drove down the rupee to close the day at Rs. 129.50," a currency dealer said.

Dealers said Dr. Jayasundera’s remarks had no real impact in the market.

"We believe the rupee would appreciate soon, and exporters perhaps are beginning to realise that this would be the case. However, there is still some demand from importers and until this eases down, we could see the exchange rate hover around this level," a currency dealer said.

Another dealer said narrow net open positions are not giving enough room for banks to negotiate trades.

"This causes a lot of volatility and even small trades can cause fluctuations in the market," he said.

Dr. Jayasundera told journalists on Monday that speculators were dominating the foreign exchange market, but he was convinced ‘sanity’ would prevail.

"We do not have to get worried about this. We need to give the market space and time to find the appropriate exchange rate. At the moment, the movement of the exchange rate is not backed by fundamentals. Speculators are leading the market. The recent measures we have taken should bring the exchange rate to well below Rs. 125 to a dollar. If speculation persists, the government is willing to intervene, but for the moment, we are adopting a professional approach and we will see what happens," he said.

Dr. Jayasundera said should the exchange rate fall to Rs. 140 to a dollar, or even Rs. 150,as some speculate, it meant that the economy could handle it because the demand was still there. "This will show that people are still willing to pay Rs. 150 for a dollar. However, the measures we have taken in the recent past will bring the necessary changes to reduce the trade deficit and I am optimistic that the rupee would begin to appreciate. By end May we will see more clearly the results of the recent policy actions," he said.

In 2008 and 2009 the exchange rate had come under the influence of speculators. "The government intervened then, and it would do so now, if the need arises," Dr. Jayasundera said.

"The currency hit an all-time low of 133.50 on April 25, but has since rebounded by close to 6 percent. Still, it is down 9.3 percent since the central bank stopped intervening to defend a specific price level on Feb. 9. It has depreciated more than 12 percent since Nov. 19, when the government allowed a 3 percent devaluation," a Reuters report said yesterday.

Meanwhile, benchmark Treasury bill yields rose across all maturities at yesterday’s primary market auction.

The Public Debt Department of the Central Bank issued maturing bills amounting to Rs. 12 billion for which bids amounted to Rs. 27.1 billion. The bank accepted bids amounting to Rs. 12.48 billion.

The three-months bill saw its yield increase to 12.11 percent from 11.93 percent a week ago, the six-months bill rate moved up to 12.20 percent from 12.05 percent and the 12-months bill saw its yield increase to 12.36 percent from 12.16 percent.NSB...

"The share price for a TFC share was highly undervalued owing to market conditions within the country and external factors such as economic factors on a global scale. Therefore, it can be safely said that the share price did not reflect the true worth of the company," added Jayawardena "This is a partnership for both entities. This was not a share bought over the counter and I am sure NSB would have done its homework before consideration. The benefits that would be reaped by the deal would augur well to all stakeholders of both companies and would provide horizontal integration to both companies in their future endeavours."

6Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012 Empty Value of TFC stake held with NSB falls Wed May 02, 2012 11:44 pm


Global Moderator

By Mario Andree

The major deal which took place last Friday (27) at the Colombo Stoke Exchange is drawing serious attention with brokers and bank employees questioning the deal. National Savings Bank has brought over 7,863,362 shares of The Finance Company gaining a stake of 13.2 percent for Rs. 391 million, but with the share price falling over two day’s the bank’s holding is now worth Rs. 259.5 million.

"NSB has been keen on purchasing shares of TFC and has paid a 66 percent premium, buying a share at Rs. 50 (Rs. 49.74) when the market price stood at Rs. 30 on Friday. However on what grounds the bank purchased these shares is yet to be revealed," several brokers told The Island Financial Review.

NSB is a public bank and could only go ahead with such a transaction under direct supervision of the Central Bank. However the deal has met all regularity requirements of the CSE, but why did the bank pay a 66 percent premium is a question many market analysts are asking.

"NSB has won the heart of many Sri Lankans who are depositing their funds despite a minimum interest paid, and for the bank to even make a ten percent profit out of the Rs. 391 million investment the share would have to be sold at Rs. 55, however the market conditions seems to be disturbing with the value of The Finance shares held by the bank dropping to Rs. 270 million on Monday with a share price of Rs. 34.40, and declining further on Wednesday to Rs. 33, for a total value of Rs. 259.5 million," a broker said.

"If the bank really wanted to purchase shares it could have purchased the non-voting shares providing a slight relief to the depositors of The Finance who had some of their deposits converted into shares."

In March 2011 The Island Financial Review reported that the country’s largest non-bank financial institution has recovered from turmoil and is ready to make profits, ranking the company among the top financial institutions.

TFC Chairman Preethi Jayawardana also highlighted the opportunities and the success and how the company was going to perform in the future.

TFC bailed out by converting Rs. two billion in deposits to shares which the company if not had to pay interest for. Also the company so far has not paid dividends or payment to these share holders, brokers said.

With the difficulties faced by the Ceylinco Group in 2008 and 2009, TFC could be highlighted as a loss making company for the last three years, the broker said. In the 2010/2011 financial year the company made a loss of 87.5 percent and the loss per share also being 23.6 percent.

In the 2011/2012 financial year for the first three quarters the company had managed to make a profit of Rs. 15.85 million, it made a profit of Rs. 26.4 million in the first quarter followed by a profit of Rs. 6.96 million in the second and a loss of Rs. 17.5 million in the third quarter. The net assets per share are also at -23.57, the broker said.

In the same financial year the earnings per share for the nine months stood at Rs.0.10, brokers pointed out.

The share which closed at Rs. 30 on last Thursday made a gain of 46.67 percent to Rs. 44 by Friday after the controversial deal, brokers said.


Global Moderator

The director board of state-owned National Savings Bank (NSB) convened a special meeting yesterday as questions continued to be raised about the bank’s purchase of The Finance Company shares at an inflated price last week.

The Island Financial Review learns that the NSB employees’ union had questioned the deal, while several brokering firms too have taken a critical stance. Opposition legislatures have also voiced their concerns over the deal.

When asked for a comment, NSB Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam told The Island Financial Review that it was strategic investment made at the invitation of The Finance Company.

"They (The Finance) will call a media briefing shortly to explain the rational behind the deal. We (NSB) do not necessarily have to explain it ourselves. If the need arises, we would issue a statement later," Kariyawasam said.

Last week, NSB purchased around 7.8 million shares of The Finance Company at a consideration of Rs. 391 million. Shares were purchased at Rs. 49.74, around Rs. 20 above the market price when the deal was finalised, amounting to a 66 percent premium.

The Island Financial Review learns NSB have been offered two seats of the board of The Finance.

The Finance Company reported a Rs. 17.5 million loss for the December 2011 quarter, which translated to a Rs. 15.8 million profit for the nine months ended December 31, 2011.

"The investment by NSB was on the future of TFC. This is an institution with a long and prestigious history. However, after the Ceylinco debacle, there were doubts cast upon the company’s future. When I was appointed as Chairman of the company and the new Director Board took over, upon intervention of the Central Bank, TFC was in great financial difficulties. From a Rs. 1.7 billon loss-making venture, the company has witnessed a significant turnaround, making Rs. 15 million in profit during the last three quarters," TFC Chairman Preethi Jayawardena was quoted in a media report.

8Sri Lanka Newspapers Thursday 03/05/2012 Empty Fitch rates BOC’s international bond Wed May 02, 2012 11:51 pm


Global Moderator

Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC) USD500m senior unsecured notes due 2017 a final rating of ‘BB-’. This follows the completion of the notes issue and the receipt of documents conforming to information previously received.

"The final rating is the same as the expected rating assigned on 17 April 2012. The notes are rated at the same level as BOC’s ‘BB-’ Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (LT FC IDR). The notes carry an interest rate of 6.875% per annum," Fitch said.


Global Moderator

The highest oversubscription ever seen for a Sri Lankan international bond in April and KPMG’s latest positive Change Readiness Index ranking for Sri Lanka show the growing international investor confidence on the country, and Sri Lanka prefers patient investments to hot money, a top minister told a recent investor forum in Dubai

"Sri Lanka is has entered a new era of development. The Sri Lankan banking giant Bank of Ceylon’s $500 million international bond was immediately oversubscribed to $ 3.86 billion last week which is a 7.7 times oversubscription of the first international bond issued by a bank in the country which is a huge success. And I am pleased to inform you that we are also now better prepared and adaptable, in that, only on 26 April that Sri Lanka has been positively highlighted by the Global KPMG-ODI Change Readiness Index that shows, which countries are better prepared to face global change. Among 60 developing and emerging economies Sri Lanka achieved rank 22 which is even above the rankings of some BRIC countries thereby ensuring the capability of our government and the country as a whole to face international economic challenges" said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka.

He made these comments briefing the influential "Cross Regional Trade & Investment Roundup" Executive Roundtable on 01 May which was keenly awaiting for Sri Lanka’s investment message at Dubai Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) at the Maktoum Hall, Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center.

"AIM has now reportedly become the sought after international level foreign trade and FDI staple event for emerging economies and frontier markets, due to its special focus on FDI and international trading for emerging economies in a recession climate, and has drawn wider attention and more than 3,000 expert and investors, including 45 foreign trade and Ministerial delegations were present at 1 May’s event in Dubai, showing the growing importance of the event to which only 8 Ministerial delegations attended in 2011. Organised by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Dubai, AIM is reportedly the first event of its kind in the Middle East ‘to bring on one platform investment opportunities from all over the world," the ministry said.

During the Executive Roundtable and thereafter, strong interest was shown by both members of the Table and other international investment experts on FDI and investing in Sri Lanka. Interestingly, inquiries also focused on the investment facilitation procedure and processes and the nature and the term of investments Sri Lanka is looking for. Responding to these inquiries, Bathiudeen has said: "Sri Lanka encourages ‘patient investments’ of 10 to 30 year term, rather than ‘hot investments’ which are short term and also, environment friendly green investments. In 2011, FDI inflows exceeded the government’s target of $ 1 billion and the global banking giant HSBC reported that high numbers of potential investors from China, India and Singapore, making inquiries on Sri Lanka. International investor confidence on Sri Lanka was also evident when Sri Lanka recorded the highest ever gross inflows of FDI in 2011.

FDI including loans, increased to US $ 1,066 million in 2011 compared to US $ 516 million in 2010. During 2011 US $ 110 million of loans were received by the Board of Investment approved companies compared to US dollars 39 million in 2010. Initiatives taken to streamline the approval process by establishing the ‘one-stop-unit’ concept and speed up development of prime infrastructure facilities resulted in higher FDI inflows. In fact a noticeable change is seen in sector-wise composition of FDI inflows. Hotels and restaurant sector (20%), attracted most FDI inflows in 2011 followed by the Telecommunication sector (18%) which used to be the dominant sector in recent years. The World Bank Doing Business indicators show favourable values on the factors of "Starting a Business", "Resolving Insolvency", "Protecting investors", and "Trading Across Borders" for Sri Lanka. The Board of Investments (BoI) is the central facilitation point for overseas investors. Its companies account for nearly 65% of Sri Lankan exports. BoI carries a mandate encompassing the entire island.

The provisions of an agreement with the BOI remain valid for the life of the enterprise and unlike in many countries successive governments cannot change these provisions which ensure the stability of your investments. The safety of investments by international investors from the 27 countries that signed bilateral Investment Protection Agreements with Sri Lanka is guaranteed by the Constitution. I am pleased to state that Sri Lanka reports single digit inflation in 2011 for the third consecutive year recording 6.7% inflation in 2011. In fact Sri Lanka believes that due to the uncertain outlook for global commodity prices a key challenge ahead for the country would be to maintain inflation at mid-single digit levels and has begun policy level adjustments to this end. Due to the new economic upswing since 2009 private consumption increased helped by demand for goods from North and Eastern provinces. The low level inflation continues to promote consumption and I believe this is good news for the representatives of international trading houses who want to enter our market as well."

Responding to what sectors are chosen, Bathiudeen said: "I am pleased to inform you that in 2011 incoming private investments focused on the sectors of tourism, telecommunications, manufacturing specially apparel, IT/BPO, housing and real estate. During the successful bilateral TIFA trade talks with the USA held in Colombo in the first week of April, Mr Michael J Delaney, the Assistant US Trade Representative of South and Central Asia announced that the US is pleased with the high quality of our apparel products and said that our Expo 2102 international mega show successfully concluded in March could help bring more apparel investments to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is also entering the Pharmaceutical manufacturing arena. Showing investor confidence in our pharmaceutical sector the global giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) started the first ever solid paracetamol production facility by a multinational in the country on 24 April. The facility located in the suburb of Colombo has an annual volume of 2.5 billion of any solid tablet. Also the first exclusive pharmaceutical manufacturing zone is coming up in the city of Kurunegala in the North Western Province. My Ministry has already commenced preliminary work on this zone and we invite you to invest here and be entitled to the valuable government buyback guarantees for your pharmaceutical production output, coming from this zone."


Global Moderator

The Rs. 1.2 billion Green Paradise Agro Eco Hotel, consisting 67 luxury villas, was declared open in Dambulla recently.

The Green Paradise Resort is located in Dambulla, in the central province of Sri Lanka. Nestled in the jungles of the Cultural Triangle, the resort offers 67 ecologically appointed villas offering ultimate luxury and isolation with access to the nearby historical sites like the Dambulla Rock Temple and other cave temples dating back hundreds of years ago, Sigiriya Rock fortress and the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, as well as a gateway to the East Coast beaches of Sri Lanka.

The Resort offers deluxe rooms, suites and garden suites, Deluxe rooms (17) are about 35sqm furnished with king size bed, teak furniture’s, shower with private bathroom , television , air conditioning , safe box , tea and coffee facilities and private veranda . Suites (40) are about 90 sqm, with a downstairs bedroom and sitting room area in the loft. 10 of these suites have Jacuzzi’s and one extra bed can be added. Garden suites (10) are similar to the suites, all with Jacuzzi and a considerable private veranda furnished with sofas, and dining table for private dining. Two extra beds can be added.

The Green Paradise presents a modern and fully equipped conference room capable of hosting 100 guests. The room is the perfect solution for meetings, conferences, theme nights and any other kind of celebration.

Dayasritha Tissera, Minister of State Resources and Enterprise Development, Wijedasa Rajapaksa, MP, Fabrizio Pio Arpea – Italian Ambassador in Sri Lanka also participated at this occasion.



Former Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and top professional Channa de Silva has been appointed to the Board of Pan Asia Bank Plc as a Non Executive Director, subject to Central Bank approval.

PABC also announced the appointment of G.A.R.D. Prasanna, a businessman to its Board, subject to approval of the Central Bank.

De Silva currently serves as the Group MD of LR Global Lanka Asset Management Company Ltd., part of the Logan Rockefeller Group based in New York.

He also serves on the Board of Delmege Group. He functioned as the DG of SEC for five years and prior to that as Executive Director of the BOI. He holds postgraduate degrees from Harvard University and University of Melbourne (MBA) together with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colombo. He is an Edward S Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management at Harvard University and has served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. He is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA – UK) and Fellow of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA-UK).

The other new Director Prasanna holds directorship in many companies and has experience in many fields whilst he has worked in Japan during 1990 to 1997, the PABC announcement said.

PABC Bank comes under the control of business leader deleted Perera whilst its business leader Chairman deleted Perera.

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