Prudent financial planning with NDB Wealth

NDB Wealth, having studied and identified the gaps in the market for wealth management solutions, has shared an action plan to enable prudent financial planning, which can have an impact on the lives of investors as well as their immediate families. 

“Reviewing savings and investment accounts are vital to ensure they are in the right place and that your risks are controlled. Doing this on your own can be a challenging task to most individuals, both in terms of time and money. Funds sitting idle in a savings or a current account will not bring any long term benefit. Having the right wealth manager or investment adviser will help you make a prudent savings plan. Seeking the assistance of an expert financial advisor like NDB Wealth can help you to make sound decisions. Moving funds to a money market such as NDB Wealth Money Plus account will be one positive option,” the company said in a media release.

NDB Wealth also recommends that individuals look at the following areas to ensure financial planning is carried out efficiently. Advice and assistance can be sought from relevant persons as required. 

“Financial planning and fund management is increasingly playing a critical role in the life of every person. Whether you are planning for your retirement or are saving for a rainy day, it’s important to know that you are doing the right thing for yourself, your family or even your business,” said Indika De Silva, Assistant Vice President – Investment Management.

Commenting further, he said, “At NDB Wealth, our team of Relationship Managers are backed by a strong investment team who are continuously monitoring investment conditions in the market, understands the client’s needs through careful and thorough analysis and identifies the core purpose and supports the client plans on saving or investing by advising the client on the best savings or investment solution taking into consideration the potential risks associated with the investment. NDB Wealth management plays a very important role in managing such conditions that may impact clients negatively.”

Money Plus, a Money Market Fund, from NDB Wealth is an ideal savings plan with a current yield of 7.10 per cent (as at October 8) which will help individuals and families meet their short term and long term financial goals. 

Arpico Finance reaffirms its merger with AMF

With an ambitious drive to be one of the successful finance companies in the country, the planned merger between Arpico Finance Company PLC (AFC) and Associated Motor Finance Company PLC (AMF) does not come entirely as a surprise, Arpico Finance said in a media release. 

“Despite the transaction making little market overlap sense on the surface, it certainly hints at future strategic plans that will open doors to build one strong entity which will be safer for its depositors. It will also provide a pathway to enhance and strengthen its current capital position, complying with the objectives of the regulatory authorities,” it said.

The merger is also expected to enhance value through consolidating and administrating the operational infrastructures more efficiently while adding more value to all stakeholders, enabling the merged entity to emerge as a considerable force in the finance sector of Sri Lanka.
In his comments, Chandrin Fernando, CEO of Arpico Finance Company PLC said that formalities on the merger with its major shareholder AMF have been on-going successfully. The operational environment of the two companies is ready to proceed with the legal merger and it’s in progress.
Associated Motor Finance Company PLC CEO T.M.A Sallay added: “We anticipate the merger with AFC to be completed very soon. This will undoubtedly improve overall synergies, leveraging on each other’s key strengths and competencies.” 

AMF acquired 94 per cent shares in AFC in October 2014. Both the companies are regarded as two of the oldest finance companies in the country, achieving a consistent growth in a highly challenging and turbulent environment. AFC continues to rank as one of the leading licensed finance companies with the longest history in Sri Lanka with AMF following closely, claiming fourth position.

Cabinet decides to introduce three more amendments to 20A

The Cabinet of Ministers has agreed to make three more amendments to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera stated.

These amendments will be in addition to the ones submitted by the Attorney General to the Supreme Court during hearings into the petitions filed against 20A. 

Accordingly, the clauses in the 19th Amendment regarding the composition of the Cabinet and the Audit Service Commission will be retained. Additionally, Mr Amaraweera stated that Cabinet also agreed to limit the presentation of urgent bills to Parliament only to issues pertaining to national security and national disaster. 

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is due to announce the Supreme Court's determination on the 20th Amendment in Parliament today (20). 

COPE and COPA meetings postponed due to COVID-19

All meetings of Parliament's Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) have been postponed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COPE Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath told Times Online that he and COPA Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana took the decision taking into account health guidelines on public gatherings and social distancing. 

COPE and COPA were due to meet over four days this week from October 20 to 23. These meetings however, have now been postponed to a later date. Prof. Herath added that the proceedings, once they recommence, will begin from the meetings that were postponed. 

Angelo, Faf, Andre picked by Colombo in LPL Draft

Kandy picks Chris Gayle & Liam Plunkett; Malinga, Afridi go to Gale

Colombo: Former Sri Lanka captain in all formats Angelo Mathews, former South African skipper Faf du Plessis and Jamaican all-rounder with more than 300 T20 matches under his belt, Andre Russel are some of the top names picked by the Colombo Kings franchisee in the Lanka Premier League Player’s Draft today. Mathews is the Local Icon in the team while Faf and Russel are the two overseas icons.

Sri Lanka-born former Australian players and coach, Dav Whatmore, the man who took Sri Lanka to the top of the world in limited overs cricket when the Island Nation won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996, is part of the coaching set-up of the Colombo franchisee in the League. Apart from Sri Lanka, Wahtmore has coached Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Among others, Kandy Tuskers picked up Kushal Janith as the Local Icon while Chris Gayle and Liam Plunkett were picked as the two overseas signing. The team will be coached by Hashan Tilakratne. Galle Gladiators have Lasith Malinga as the Local Icon while Shahid Afridi and Colin Ingram are the two overseas signing. The team will be coached by Moin Khan. Dashun Shanka is the Local Icon for Dambulla Hawks while David Miller and Carlos Brathwaite are the overseas signing.  The Hawks team will be coached by Jon Lewis. Meanwhile, Jaffna Stallions have Thisara Perera as the Local Icon and Dawid Malan and Wanindu Hasaranga as the overseas signing.

The Draft was held online and in attendance during the draft were IPG CEO Mr Anil Mohan, SLC VP Mr Ravin Wickramaratne, SLC CEO Mr Ashley de Silva, franchisee owners and head coaches of each teams. The Lanka Premier League is scheduled to be played from November 21 to December 13, 2020 at two venues—Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota. Teams will compete in 23 matches over a 15-day period for the title.


In Pictures: Heart disease drug Clopidogrel to be produced locally

Under the "New medicines for a new country" concept aimed at producing medicines in the country, a ceremony to launch the local production of the medicine "Clopidogrel" was held today at the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) premises in Ratmalana. 

The launch was attended by State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Prof. Saroj Pathirana of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo University and SPMC Chairman Dr Uthpala Indrawansa. 

Clopidogrel is a blood thinner used to treat heart disease and strokes. A spokesperson of the State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals stated that the spends about Rs 317 million each year to purchase this drug for the state sector while the private sector spends about Rs 400 million each year to import the drug. 

Text and Pix by Reka Tharangani Fonseka

In Pictures: Rishad remanded till October 27

Following are images from the Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court this evening (19) when MP Rishad Bathiudeen was produced in court after his arrest in Dehiwala earlier today. 

Mr Bathiudeen and six others who aided and abetted him to evade arrest were remanded in custody till October 27 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate after being produced in court. 

Pix by Amila Gamage

CID was told to place Bathiudeen under surveillance 24 hours prior to order on arrest – AG

The Attorney General had verbally informed senior officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to place MP Rishad Bathiudeen under surveillance 24 hours prior to issuing written instructions to arrest him, Attorney General's Coordinating Officer, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated. 

Had the CID followed the AG's verbal instructions to place the MP under surveillance, he would not have been able to escape the CID's net, she insisted. 

Mr Bathiudeen was taken into custody from Dehiwala earlier today. He and six others who aided and abetted him to go into hiding were remanded until October 27 after being produced before the Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court this evening. 

State Counsel Jayaratne added that the AG met with senior CID officers today after the arrest and during the discussions, it emerged that the CID was conducting investigations against Mr Bathiudeen in relation to at least 10 more incidents, she further said. The AG briefed the Acting IGP at length over these incidents and instructed the CID to conduct further investigations into all these incidents under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and to appoint a specialised team of officers with expertise in investigating incidents of money laundering to probe these cases. 

Ms Jayaratne noted that the AG also instructed the CID to investigate and report to court, regarding all those who aided and abetted the MP to go into hiding, and to also investigate persons who held press conferences during this period to confirm that Mr Bathiudeen is in hiding and evading arrest. The CID has been instructed to submit a report to a report on these investigations within two weeks, the AG's COO added. 

Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs Association launched in Qatar


The Sri Lankan importers based in Doha, Qatar have established the Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs Association affiliated to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Doha. The vision of the association is to ensure a significant growth of Sri Lankan imports to the Qatari markets, the embassy said in a media release.
The association will promote the imports from Sri Lanka to Qatar by creating a link between the Sri Lankan importers in Qatar with the Sri Lankan exporters and motivate the importers in Qatar to diversify the range of imports to the Qatari markets.
They will also create a platform for importers in Qatar to raise concerns relating to import business and find viable solution with the support of the embassy of Sri Lanka and Qatari authorities.

The Charge d' affaires a.i. of the Embassy Ratnasingam Kohularangan presented the affiliation letter of the embassy to the President of the Association Prince Stephen (see picture below). Receiving the letter, the president stated that the association will connect all Sri Lankan importers and businessmen based in Doha and act as a platform to diversify and increase the imports from Sri Lanka. 
The General Secretary of the Association Anoja Jeevani mentioned that the association will connect potential importers of Qatar with the Sri Lankan exporters and authorities. The association will update the Qatar market availabilities to the Sri Lankan exporters.