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SriLankan Airlines’ marketing communication endeavors commended yet again

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SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld alliance, reaffirming the global appeal of its marketing communication endeavors, bagged a gold award at the PATA Gold Awards 2020.

Accordingly, the National Carrier was among the 20 winners announced recently at the virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020. SriLankan Airlines was awarded the title ‘Marketing Carrier’ for its Pan India campaign- Next Door Neighbor and Serendipity Next Door.

SriLankan Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer, Vipula Gunatilleka said, “Winning an award is a reason for celebration and an affirmation that we are heading in the right direction. Receiving this coveted title from PATA, specially under the prevailing circumstances, gives us hope that we are capable of facing the challenging times ahead and our remedial communication content aiming to garner long-term, universal appeal can have a strong impact on our business recovery.”

PATA CEO Mario Hardy said, “The winners of the PATA Gold Awards set industry standards for excellence and innovation and provides the association with the perfect opportunity to recognise and reward the very best the Asia Pacific travel industry has to offer,”

SriLankan Airlines’ General Manager Marketing Saminda Perera said, “We are delighted to receive this prestigious title at the virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020 and it is truly inspiring that our efforts are continually rewarded in this manner. This is a result of an extremely satisfying team effort and I take this opportunity to thank the celebrities who were part of these creations, the management which has been supportive of our endeavors, my team, and our creative agencies J. Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, without whom this will never be a possibility.”

The winning entry of the ‘Marketing Carrier’ category, ‘ Next door neighbors’ is a visual representation of multi-faceted attractions of Sri Lanka primarily targeting holidaymakers of India, with the underlying message that one does not have to look very far for exciting or serene getaways when Sri Lanka is right next door.

India being the Airline’s single largest market, it was vital that effective marketing campaigns were executed to retain the country’s appeal among the Indian travellers in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday tragedy which resulted in a massive 80 percent reduction of tourist arrivals in the country. Going by the rationale that in Sri Lanka, a traveler has the privilege of experiencing an international destination with the convenience of a domestic trip as opposed to travelling within India, the campaign reached out to the discerning Indian traveler through a 360 degree creative execution unfolding through a variety of media such as radio, cinema, digital, travel publications and outdoor advertising.

SriLankan Airlines’ brand videos- ‘Serendipity Next Door’ and ‘Ode to Paradise’ created ripples across social media platforms for its virality. ‘Ode to Paradise’ is a revival of the well-loved ‘Blue Waters’ song of the Air Lanka fame, which praises the island beauty of Sri Lanka, through the eyes of world-renowned Sri Lankan celebrities. ‘Serendipity Next Door’ is an extension of ‘Ode to Paradise’ specially crafted to appeal to the Indian audience. The two videos recorded a combined number of 73 million views on Facebook and 2.2 million views on Youtube, whilst the latter became the first Sri Lankan brand video to cross one million views within 11 hours and five million mark in two days.

This is the third time that the National Carrier made its mark at PATA, having received gold awards on two previous occasions in 2007 and 2019.

The PATA Gold Awards 2020 attracted 121 entries from 62 organisations and individuals worldwide. The winners were selected by an independent judging committee of 16 personalities from various destinations.


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Unlimited music streaming platform in Sri Lanka

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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

 

 

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Sri Lanka using ‘sovereign power’ over economy: CB Governor

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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

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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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