AIA recognised as Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company
AIA Sri Lanka is proud to be recognised as Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company in 2019, by the internationally acclaimed Global Banking and Finance Review. This prestigious recognition followed a detailed assessment of key performance indicators by the UK-based media powerhouse, that analyses the financial industry and the global economy.
‘The award is testimony to the significant contribution made by AIA Sri Lanka to the life insurance industry in terms of outstanding products and services, enhancing customer experience and serving local communities, a press release said.
‘AIA Sri Lanka has always remained strong and maintained financial strength and stability. The recent COVID19 pandemic proved that AIA Sri Lanka has indeed been built strong and built to last. With the highest Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) in Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry (of more than 600% and 5 times the required CAR by the regulator), AIA Sri Lanka has an unmatched ability to absorb risks and withstand crisis. This is supported by the company’s prudent investment strategy and high quality of investments., the release adds.
AIA Sri Lanka’s focus is always on delighting the customer. With a track-record of paying better than promised policyholder dividends for the past 30 years, the company is constantly evolving to meet customer expectations. The company’s pioneering digitalisation efforts and focus on ease-of-doing business has strengthened its reputation of being a truly customer focused insurer.
AIA Sri Lanka was the first and only insurer to win the LIMRA International Quality Award (IQA) for Growth in the world (2018) and also boasts IQA qualifiers for 2019- not to forget topping the number of MDRT qualifiers in Sri Lanka for 5 consecutive years, to date.
(MDRT is internationally recognised as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.) This is a fitting acknowledgement of the relentless commitment and high level of professionalism shown by the company’s advisors in both the Agency Distribution and Bancassurance channels.
The company has also been recognised as a Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka for eight consecutive years, in addition to being recognised as one of the ‘Best Workplaces for Women’ in Sri Lanka, in the inaugural awards presented by GPTW® Sri Lanka. These accolades demonstrate the company’s great workplace culture which encompasses equality, inclusivity and opportunity to grow.
Be it a donation to the Sri Lanka Heart Association, a partnership with the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, renovating underprivileged schools and hospitals around the island, saving lives during Poson or providing higher education scholarships, AIA Sri Lanka is a company with a big heart and giving back to the community has always been a priority. During the COVID pandemic, the company sprung to action in donating much needed PPE equipment to a hospital treating COVID patients, not to forget, providing free life insurance cover to all staff at three main hospitals dealing with the disease. The pandemic saw AIA Sri Lanka being the first insurer in the country to offer free COVID cover to all customers while also providing free telemedicine services to all customers during the curfew.
AIA Sri Lanka pursues its mission of helping people live healthier, longer, better lives through proactive efforts to promote health and wellness to all Sri Lankans, mainly through the AIA Vitality programme. This includes pioneering initiatives such as ‘Sri Lanka’s Healthiest Workplace Survey’ which aids workplace wellness.
Throughout it all, AIA Sri Lanka’s priority has been to help Sri Lankans become physically and financially strong, while enjoying life to the fullest, with those they love the most!
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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka
SLT-Mobitel, the nation’s ICT and Telecommunications Service Provider recently partnered with Spotify, to mark their launch in Sri Lanka. Spotify is a paid premium music streaming app which allows subscribers to listen to music to their hearts content. Both, SLT-Mobitel Post-Paid and Pre-Paid customers will now be able to enjoy Spotify by activating a monthly recurring subscription or one-time subscription plan and access unlimited music streaming and downloading facilities.
The subscription charges will get added to the user’s customary billing, where payment will be deducted in real time. Starting from the payment date, the user will be able to access Spotify and download their favourite songs, for the next 30 days. Users who sign up for their first monthly subscription will receive an additional one month, courtesy of Spotify. The one-month subscription plan is not applicable with one-time subscription plans. SLT-Mobitel data rates, depending on the user’s respective broadband charges, will apply.
Spotify also has some exciting features that will provide SLT-Mobitel customers with the opportunity to listen to ad-free music, access millions of uninterrupted music under one platform, play any song they like, anywhere they go, and also be able to enjoy their music offline.
SLT-Mobitel customers can select their preferred premium package under four categories; Individual, Duo, Family, Student. Each category has recurring and non-recurring plans. After one month of free streaming, the package will activate once the offer period terminates. While both, the Individual and Student premiums are limited to one account user, the Duo package offers two accounts and the Family premium is accessible through six accounts. To view Spotify plans, users can log on to https://spoti.fi/3aLWvce
Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Anyone conversant with the elements of a political economy would know that Sri Lanka is using its ‘sovereign power’ to manage the different dynamics of the economy in a sustainable manner, Professor W. D Lakshman Governor of the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
“Some critics are saying that we adopt a so-called modern monetary theory. That’s not the case. In fact, Sri Lanka is using its sovereign power in a number of economic aspects to honour its external debt repayment commitments as well as to reduce its debt burden in the medium term as well as achieve resilient growth in the medium to long term, he said.
“We make policy decisions to boost our gross foreign reserves, meet our external debt servicing, to facilitate monetary expansion, to boost our GDP growth, to strengthen our current account balance and manage our domestic and external economic variables in a sustainable manner. This is not a modern monetary theory. This is an age-old tool used by central banks around the world when the circumstances demand it, he said.
“Certain trade-offs will be necessary when dealing with an economy which has a big fiscal gap to bridge. There are efforts to push Sri Lanka towards the IMF again which would in turn have influence on our policymaking. We have taken policy measures to stabilize the economy and we have adequate reserve levels to meet our debt repayments. Meanwhile, we are in negotiations with overseas central banks and multilateral agencies to further boost our reserve level and it would materialise within a matter of weeks,” he noted.
“One of the tools the Central Bank has introduced is in respect of repatriation of export proceeds into Sri Lanka and conversion of such proceeds into Sri Lankan rupees in order to strengthen the foreign exchange situation of the country,” he said.
The Governor made these remarks while delivering the keynote speech at a webinar organised by the Veemansa Initiative led by its Managing Director Luxman Siriwardene – the former Executive Director of Pathfinder Foundation.
The webinar revolved round the topic ‘External debt situation in Sri Lanka: Are we heading for a resolution or crisis?’
Professor Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. Nishan de Mel and Dr. Ravi Liyanage were the other speakers on the panel.
CSE on the rebound; indices close positive
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE produced signs of a rebound yesterday with both indices closing positive, though turnover remained low. Central Bank Governor W.D Lakshman’s recent statement on managing foreign reserves gave some boost to the market yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The index experienced a zigzag movement within the early hours of trading; thereafter, it recorded a slight up-trend as it reached its intraday high of 7,439. Later, the market witnessed a down-trend at mid-day, followed by a sideways movement and closed at 7,372, gaining 43 points during the month of February, market sources said.
It is said the banking sector dominated turnover with a contribution of considerable parcel trades in Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and HNB.
Further, the Commercial Bank’s impressive quarterly results during the recent turbulent period also built investor confidence. Commercial Bank was able to register a18 percent net interest income when other banks were reporting a decline. Its share price increased by Rs. 3 or 3.5 percent. On the previous day, its shares started trading at Rs. 85 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 88. Due to the positive growth results, the bank announced a Rs. 4.40 dividend per share, plus a Rs. 2 script divergent for every share.
Further, Sampath Bank shares also appreciated in both crossing and retail. In crossings its shares appreciated by Rs. 1.At the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 154.50. In the retail market, its shares moved up by Rs. 2 or 1.3 percent. Previously, its shares fetched Rs. 154 and at the end of yesterday they moved up to Rs. 156.
Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 104.48 points and S and P SL20 rose by 67.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where 3.9 million shares crossed for Rs. 602.2 million, its share price being Rs. 154.50, HNB 375,000 shares crossed for Rs. 39.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 105, Pan Asia Power 9.5 million shares crossed for Rs. 33.2 million, its shares traded at Rs. 3.50 and Access Engineering 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs. 28.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 24.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 450 million (10 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 205 million (1.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 199 million (34.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 191 million (1.2 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 137.7 million (2.8 million shares traded). During the day 101 million share volumes changed hands in 18046 transactions.
During the day, Expolanka, the biggest contributor to the turnover, saw its share price appreciating by Rs. 6.20 or 15 percent. Its share price quoted on the previous day was Rs. 41 and at the end of trading yesterday it moved up to Rs. 47.
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted wider at 193.50/195.50 levels to the US dollar in the spot next market on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the spot market at 194.50/195.00 to the dollar on Wednesday.