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HNB Singithi ‘Giftober’ Savings Month begins with exciting new offers



Sri Lanka’s most customer-friendly bank HNB PLC announced the return of its highly anticipated Singithi Giftober Savings month with a wide range of exciting gifts from jumbo tills and stationery packs to gold sovereigns and gift vouchers of up to Rs 100,000 for its minor savers in celebration of Children’s Day.

HNB will provide its minor account holders with the opportunity to obtain maximum benefits on their deposits with the HNB Singithi Giftober promotion which will run for an exclusive 47 day period from 17 September through to 2 November.

“It is our pleasure to announce the start of the HNB Singithi Giftober month for 2020. This event has long been one of the most anticipated annual promotions carried out by the bank as this provides our most valued depositors with unprecedented benefits, while enabling HNB to rejuvenate the savings habit among our youngest customers and guide them on the path towards a financially secure future.

“Singithi Giftober Savings month is always an exciting time for all of us at the bank too, so even though it has been a very challenging year, we wanted to do our utmost to make sure that our children can still have something to get excited about when it comes to savings” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail & SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

In keeping with its mission to offer Singithi depositors the best value for their savings, this year’s savings promotion provides an unprecedented range of gifts starting from items such as stationery packs or jumbo caps for a deposit of Rs. 5,000 to backpacks, trolley bags, sports bags, MI bands or vouchers from DSI for deposits between Rs 25,000 to Rs. 100,000.

Additionally, deposits of Rs. 250,000 will receive a bicycle voucher from Lumala or a DSI Bike for Rs. 15,000. HNB has partnered with Abans, Singer and Softlogic to provide vouchers for deposits of Rs. 500,000 and above with vouchers ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 100,000 which can be redeemed at any of their outlets.

HNB’s extensive branch network will also be decked out to impress during the Singithi Giftober month with decorations celebrating children’s month.

“We have taken on the responsibility of ensuring that all our minor account holders have the option to live out their dreams as they grow up with the necessary financial backing.

HNB Singithi has been driven by three key pillars to encourage the habit of savings. The extensive gift scheme offers minors an incentive to save, while the Diri Daru Grade 5 scholarship provides students with further motivation to commit to their studies enthusiastically. We also took measures to financially back the future of our minor savings account holders with a free-standing order guarantee insurance scheme. The new initiative ensures that the standing order set to the child’s account continues until they are 18, in the unfortunate circumstance of a parents’ demise,” HNB Head of Deposits, Viranga Gamage said.

Singithi account holders taking the Grade 5 scholarship exam will be eligible for cash rewards when they pass the examination. Additionally, working in partnership with HNB Assurance, the bank now guarantees that in the unfortunate event of a parent’s demise – due to natural or accidental causes – HNB will continue to remit the monthly standing order set to the child’s accounts until they reach the age of 18.

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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



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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.

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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.

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