Nadeem Shums – Head of Sales, John Keells Properties, Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes – Chief Marketing Officer, John Keells Properties, Nayana Mawilmada – Sector Head, John Keells Properties, Rushanka Silva – Chairman, Braybrooke Residential Towers, S. Renganathan -Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank, Sanath Manatunge- Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Bank, Hasrath Munasinghe – Deputy General Manager-Marketing , Commercial Bank, Dushmantha Jayasuriya – Senior Manager-Retail Products Dept, Commercial Bank
In a first for Sri Lanka, John Keells Properties (JKP) -through a strategic collaboration with Commercial Bank-has launched ‘Freedom Mortgages’, a new home financing solution which waives the interest on home loans for TRI-ZEN buyers for a period of two years, while also allowing minimal cash outlays during the construction period, JKP and ComBank said in a news release.
“This innovative financing instrument, available exclusively for customers of John Keells Properties, puts housing in the heart of Colombo within reach for aspiring homeowners,” it said. “Through this tie-up, those interested in investing in property can now avail of this landmark mortgage plan tailored exclusively for TRI-ZEN, the JKP smart-home concept development located at the heart of Colombo 02.”
It said potential homeowners will benefit considerably, with just a minimal down payment and no interest payments for two years. Additionally, buyers can also choose from a suite of mortgage packages with attractive interest rates starting from just 8.75% per annum, where the interest rates can be fixed for a five to twenty-year period.
With this new scheme, John Keells Properties continues to provide innovative customer friendly solutions, the release said.
“We are extremely excited to launch this landmark new product to the market,” said Nayana Mawilmada, Sector Head, Property Group, John Keells Holdings, of the new scheme. “This novel plan will give homeowners the opportunity to purchase a TRI-ZEN apartment without the burden of having to pay the interest on its mortgage for a period of two years during the construction period of the project.”
As the largest and most awarded bank in Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank has always set the bar high, as it does with its unmatched mortgage rate offering as well: a five-year fixed rate at 8.75%, and a ten-year fixed rate starting from 9.00%.
“We are pleased to partner with John Keells Properties to facilitate this pioneering plan, as we align in our understanding of the flexibility buyers look for when it comes to their home loan facility,” said Mr. S. Renganathan, Managing Director of Commercial Bank. “Commercial Bank has always been dedicated to helping investors and end-users find and secure the best, most suitable home financing solutions, tailored to their individual requirements.”
The one, two, and three-bedroomed apartment units at TRI-ZEN, the 53-storey development is a joint venture between Indra Traders (Pvt) Ltd and John Keells Holdings PLC. When complete in 2023, the development will have a total of 891 ‘smart home’ units, each tastefully designed and equipped with a suite of key amenities. With its enviable address, competitive price tag -starting at Rs 26 million-, and the range of conveniences and facilities afforded exclusively to its resident community, TRI-ZEN is slated to be the most anticipated property and living experience for urbanites looking to set up their dream home.
The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The bank, which won more than 50 international and local awards in 2019, operates a network of 268 branches and 865 ATMs in Sri Lanka.
Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.
(For further information John Keells Properties can be reached on +94702294294 or www.trizen.lk.)
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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.