Archive for May, 2015

The Global Economy in May

Global bond markets met with significant volatility in May as investors pulled money out of bond markets around the world. The sell-off was primarily triggered by inflation expectations following a rebound in oil prices and increased optimism in the euro area economic growth as the currency bloc continued to show positive economic momentum. Emerging markets fell victim to this sudden rise in bond yields across the world as investors withdrew funds close to $15bn from emerging market assets during the first few weeks of May. India was one of the worst hit Asian emerging markets which saw its currency plunging to the lowest level since 2013 on foreign fund outflows.

Positive economic data from the euro zone provided some respite to the weakening euro and triggered speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) may unwind its quantitative easing program sooner than previously expected. However, such speculations were proved to be short-lived after the ECB announced its plans to frontload asset purchases in May and June in anticipation of a liquidity crunch in August.

The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in April indicated that a June rate hike will be unlikely, however expectations that the lift-off will take place this year remain intact.

Galle – Food Review

The team at Frontier Research, in a fit of adventure last month took its food blogging expeditions 124 km south of Colombo to the beautiful city of Galle. The team put their chef hats on at four restaurants; the famous Amangalla Hotel, Rocket Burger, Pedlar’s Inn Café and Crepe-o-logy.

Amangalla Hotel

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Along the picturesque, narrow Church Street at the Galle Fort is found a serene hotel, Amangalla. Amangalla is a 5 star hotel belonging to the well renowned Aman Resorts franchise, which has been in service since 1988 and has a presence in around 17 countries. Amangalla is one of the more expensive places to stay or dine in and since we were on a budget so we did only the latter, but still we didn’t find as much value for money as we’d hoped for.

The hotel ambience and architecture was probably the highlight of our lunch. The hotel is beautifully redone but has maintained its previous identity, from its days of being known as the New Oriental Hotel. We selected a table on the wide verandah area of the hotel which hosts a dining area. The location provides a view that helps you to quietly gather your thoughts while you enjoy the light ocean breeze. All meals are a’ la carte with a variety of options.

Sitting down for lunch, we decided to steer away from the salad, burger and sandwich options. For our mains we went for 3 dishes: homemade pumpkin ravioli (with butter, parmesan and nutmeg), a lime roast organic chicken (with warm lentil salad and herb relish) and a steamed Asian sea bass (with sautéed water spinach, lime and thyme).

breadOur order was followed by the “Entrée”,some bread and butter.The bread was very freshly and crisply baked with an ideal touch of additional spice and was near perfect. Our drinks followed; one Banana Milkshake and Papaya Juice, not the most adventurous of options.However they were prepared to our expectations, making it a good start to our lunch and review.

 

 

Homemade pumpkin ravioli

ravioli

The presentation was nothing extraordinary, and since we are putting our chef hats on, it could have been less buttery with more flavors to enjoy so whilst it was pleasantly edible, it wasn’t entirely enjoyable.Overall an average dish which could have been prepared better,

 

 

A steamed Asian sea bass

sea bassThis was a very well presented dish of two Slices of Steamed Sea Bass laid on some tossed spinach with a tomato dressing on top. The fish was steamed to almost perfection and was soft yet tough enough to make it enjoyable. However the fish lacked a bit of extra flavor which could have made this an amazing dish. Then again, this might be our Sri Lankan palettes talking. We encountered a couple of bones in the fish which was rather unpleasant. The spinach was very nicely done and had a nice crunchy and sour flavor.

The quantity of the fish in the Asian sea bass was more than sufficient and we struggled to finish it. Overall the dish was above average and very well presented so we would give it a thumps up despite the fish bone incident, which was the only major letdown.

A lime roast organic chicken

chicken

The winner among the dishes was the lime roast organic chicken which was tender and went well with the salad. This was a well presented dish which had some sliced rolls of chicken on top of a lentil preparation and a salad dressing on the side. The chicken was amazing in taste and texture. The lentils got a mixed review. One of us enjoyed them while the other felt it had a pungent sour taste. Overall despite the lentil conundrum, the dish was easily the best dish out of the three and gets a thumbs up.

 

Chocolate and Mascarpone Cheesecake–Dessert

cheeseThe 3 main courses left us with little space for desert, but the Chocolate and Mascarpone Cheesecake (with a Hazelnut biscuit base) caught our eye. This didn’t look that great on the plate but it was certainly not the typical cheesecake that you find in Colombo cafés; because it wasn’t the cheesecake that was the focus, but rather the thick chocolate component within the cheese cake. The cheesecake also had a strong alcohol-like after-taste which we assumed to be from the Italian cheese used in the preparation since the menu had no mention of alcohol as an ingredient.

We definitely would not recommend this desert, and looking back the other options in the menu may have been better sounding choices.

The Service

The staff were dressed in national outfits but the service was not very hospitable. However, the great ambience compensated for the lacuna in warmth when it came to the service.

Overall the restaurant did not live up to our expectations of this highly reputed hotel. The food sported a few blunders, and there are definitely gaps in preparation and presentation. However we did experience a few positives as well, hence our overall view is that Amangalle is a definite try-out option,but don’t keep your hopes too high.

Rocket Burger

ATT_1430811136170_20150313_152306Located along Pedlar’s Street in the iconic Galle Fort, Rocket Burger reminds you of a tiny pre-school classroom with its grey and yellow benches and tables. The particularly bright colours and the jovial owner set it quite apart from surrounding establishments.

We went upstairs and selected seats on the balcony; which gave us a glimpse of everyday life inside Galle fort. All in all, this restaurant seemed like it could accommodate around 20-25 people in one go.

The menu showed reasonable variety, however it was unfortunate that they had run out of fish by the time we ordered (2pm). The menu has some interesting items listed such as Shipwreck, Grandma, and Texas Cowboy. The waiter was friendly but seemed a little un-informed. But they did warn us with a poster that said “Due to a shortage of robots, some of our staff are human”. So we supposed this was understandable.

We ordered a vegetarian Shipwreck which came with a side of tartar sauce and coleslaw; A Beef Gringo Combo, which included fries (because who doesn’t love fries!); a Peach Iced Tea and an Atomic Mexican Rocket Burrito.

The food took 20 minutes to arrive. Even though the portions appeared quite small, they ended up being very filling. The burrito wrap was exceptionally good but overall the sauces tasted a tad too sweet. The burgers were better than average, with very generous filling. The beef in the Gringo was well done.

On the downside, the fries were quite oily and soggy, and the Iced tea was rather strong but still refreshing on a hot day.

The most entertaining part of our meal was the delightful owner who made it a point to check up on us to make sure we were well served. He had a fairly amusing tactic of attracting passers-by by his friendly interactions and loud demeanour. Rocket Burger is definitely a place we would visit again.

Crepe-o-logy

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After our Rocket Burger adventure, we wanted to try a different place to have dessert, and we googled “Dessert places in Galle fort” and lo and behold the first suggestion was Crepe-o-logy. Not to be mistaken with Creep-o-logy.

Located a few shops away from Rocket Burger, Crepe-o-logy is a rooftop restaurant ideal for a laid-back evening with its comfortable seats and antique decor. The crepes were all priced between Rs. 450 and Rs. 600 and had catchy names.

We ordered a French Kiss, a chocolate filled crepe (with a side of chocolate ice cream for an extra Rs. 100), a Strawberry and Cream filled Wimbledon, and a Happy Ending with slices of banana and chocolate.

The crepes were presented very well and tasted equally good. Safe to say most us were sugar-high after the overdose of chocolate.

We also ordered a Papaya juice and a Black Current Soda. The Papaya juice was quite basic, but the Black Current Soda was a star.

The service was efficient and friendly. The receipt came in a fancy little box with a few treats of Milady mint toffees.

Pedlar’s Inn Cafe

pedlarPedlar’s Inn is a medium sized restaurant located inside an old building in a busy area of the Galle Fort. It is mostly frequented by foreigners.

Inside the restaurant is a little dark and decorated with old photographs and ancient local statues. Those unusual decorations give an aura of a museum to the place. There are wooden tables and sofas for the customers both within and outside the restaurant.

The service was OK and our orders didn’t take too long to arrive.

The uniform wore by the staff is quite similar to the usual hotel staff uniform which looked decent. All the staff people were polite and willing to provide an excellent service to us. Anyway we got the service properly without any issue.

pedlar2

We ordered the Chicken Club Sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich, Chocolate Milk Shake and Strawberry Milk Shake. The Club Sandwich was offered with chips and salad. The bread was toasted and there was cheese, chicken and egg within the slices. It was tasty but would have been tastier had the bread been only lightly toasted. However with the chips and salad, the chicken sandwich is quite filling and for Rs.850, quite reasonable for such a location.

The Roast Beef Sandwich was offered same as the Chicken Club Sandwich with a plate of potato chips and salad. The bread wasn’t as toasty as the chicken sandwich. It was instead, nicely baked. Both of the sandwiches were served pleasantly hot.

The Strawberry Milk Shake was good, but not good as the chocolate one. It could also have beenthicker.. At Rs.450 it is a little steeply priced. The Chocolate shake was thicker and we liked it more..

The ambiance was a little too dark for our taste. Perhaps one reason for most tourists to prefer the tables outside. The café has free Wi-Fi connectivity for its customers. The place is a primary  point of tourist attraction inside the Fort.

Skyline Eating

Previously, the Frontier team decided to use part of its annual budget for a neighbourhood watch, wholly executed through restaurant reviews. This time around, we decided to tweak our definition of ’neighbourhood’ to better reflect the city in which we’re based.

Colombo is changing: its dining options, skyline, and, quite probably, its coastline are undergoing a series of facelifts, and we at Frontier are determined to keep up. Sky Lounge at The Kingsbury, touted the ‘Epicentre of Colombo’s Nightlife’ at its very outset, seemed the perfect vantage point from which to begin our watch.

The Bar/Lounge is somewhat less crowded than its reputation suggests, especially in the late-evening Happy-Hours, and the traffic on Galle Road seems almost tranquil, from afar. We only truly noticed the volume at which the music was playing on our way out, and the seating arrangement allowed for plenty of conversation but not so much for tucking in, with the staff tactfully inconspicuous most of the time. Overall the furniture and the setup at least had the right ambience to serve its purpose.

As expected of a bar, the Bar Menu was quite extensive, although we missed having a good selection of Mocktails. Two Mocktails were suggested, and the Virgin Mojito (Rs. 450) we sampled was very good. The Jazzy Mint Tea (Rs. 360) was mintier than expected, and, like the chilled tomato juice (Rs. 390), may not be to everyone’s taste.

The starter, a portion of pizza rolls (Rs. 500), was unimpressive: many of us felt it was simply ‘alright’, although the giant prawns (Rs. 600) we ordered later on made up for it. For much of the evening, service was prompt, with our starters and mains arriving more or less together.

Of the salads, we had an Avocado, Prawn and Crab Cocktail (Rs. 700) and a Chicken Caesar salad (Rs. 700), and from the sandwiches, we ordered an ABLT (Rs. 520), a Rock Star Bagel (Rs. 580), and a Beef Happy Burger (Rs. 800). Once again, the seafood stood out, this time in the form of a very appetizing cocktail. The Caesar salad was unexceptional: a generous portion, but one lacking flavour. The beef burger, too, was filling, but the burger failed to impress. The bagel, with its heavy smoked Alaskan salmon, delighted; and the ABLT is sure to please any egg lovers, especially given its flavourful raw onions.

The most interesting items on the dessert menu were the House Signature Tiramisu (Rs. 600) and the Your Choice of Ice creams (Rs. 600) with just three basic flavours to pick from (Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry), both of which were ordered, but only the latter sampled: a minor mishap in an otherwise satisfactory experience at the lounge. And so, since the Tiramisu took very long to come, and the order was later cancelled, we can only comment on the ice cream. Our in-house ice cream aficionado played safe with chocolate and vanilla, but was pleasantly surprised by the rich, dark-to-the-point-of-bitter flavour of the chocolate ice cream!

Pricing at Sky Lounge is a bit expensive, with any item easily ranging to thousands, but the beautiful presentation, rich ingredients and the great Colombo-by-night view may suggest that it is worth the while, even if the taste and service indicate otherwise. If you’re looking to drop in for a night-cap with your romantic interest or a bunch of crazy stupid friends under the starlit sky, yes, Sky lounge is the place for you (weather permitting!). The standouts of our night were probably the seafood and ice cream, and our final words of advice are to drop in for the sunset, and stay on for those!

“Start with Why “ by Simon Sinek: Useful Insights By Amal Sanderatne

My previous blogpost was an account of my reflection on Sinek’s book, here I explore his concepts in depth and present a snapshot of useful insights.

To fully grasp Sinek’s concept we need to identify the WHY, HOW and WHAT in a COMPANY. The following extract from the book helps us visualize these elements.

Sitting at the top of the system, representing the WHY, is a leader; in the case of a company, that’s usually the CEO (or at least we hope it is). The next level down, the HOW level, typically includes the senior executives who are inspired by the leader’s vision and know HOW to bring it to life. Don’t forget that a WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief and WHATs are the results of those actions. No matter how charismatic or inspiring the leader is, if there aren’t people in the organization inspired to bring that vision to reality, to build an infrastructure with systems and processes, then at best, inefficiency reigns, and at worst, failure results. In this rendering the HOW level represents a person or a small group responsible for building the infrastructure that can make a WHY tangible. That may happen in marketing, operations, finance, human resources and all the other C-suite departments. Beneath that, at the WHAT level, is where the rubber meets the road. It is at this level that the majority of the employees sit and where all the tangible stuff actually happens.

As I mentioned in my previous blogpost, I struggled to identify the “why” to incorporate it into Frontier’s purpose statement.

Why is it so Hard to describe “WHY” ?

  • The Brain makes it hard

“The Limbic brain comprises of the middle two sections and is responsible for all our feelings, such as trust and loyalty. This area of the brain is responsible for all human behaviour and all our decision making. It is where our emotional connection takes place, and it has no capacity for language. It is this disconnection between these areas of the brain that makes it so difficult to articulate our feelings. Simon talks about how when you meet ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs Right’, how hard it is to put this feeling in to wordsSource

  • Because it’s a “Founder’s Why “ and the company is just one way of expressing it
  1. Shows Bill Gates as someone whose “WHY” in life is to remove obstacles to ensure that everyone can live and work to their greatest potential.
    Living through the computer revolution, he saw the computer as a perfect technology to help us all become more productive and achieve our greatest potential.
    Now he still believes that if we can help people, this time those with less privilege, remove some seemingly simple obstacles, then they too will have an opportunity to be more productive and lift themselves up to achieve their great potential.
  2. In the case of Apple, which is the main example Sinek uses in the book , he says Apple was a way for Steve Jobs to challenge the status quo and think differently,  just as what he did in his Hippie days

A comment I have is, this is a look-back, historical way of bringing everything together. I don’t think Bill Gates ever thought about his WHY when he started Microsoft or would articulate his current WHY the same way as Sinek has implied his “WHY” is now.  But it’s not a criticism, because again, it is something inherent, not something that can be communicated easily.

Is it enough to have a great “WHY”?

No.

“WHY” people need “HOW” people to succeed 

WHY types have the power to change the course of industries or even the world, if only they knew HOW.

WHY-types are focused on the things most people can’t see, like the future. HOW-types are focused on things most people can see and tend to be better at building structures and processes and getting things done

HOW-types don’t need WHY-types to do well. But WHY-guys, for all their vision and imagination, often get the short end of the stick. Without someone inspired by their vision and the knowledge to make it a reality, most WHY-types end up as starving visionaries, people with all the answers but never accomplishing much themselves.”

Bill Gates, for example, may have been the visionary who imagined a world with a PC on every desk, but Paul Allen built the company. Steve Jobs is the rebel’s evangelist, but Steve Wozniak is the engineer who made the Apple work. Jobs had the vision, Woz had the goods.

“HOW” people can be successful Entrepreneurs but not change the course of industries.

Although so many of them fancy themselves as visionaries, in reality most successful entrepreneurs are HOW-types. Ask an entrepreneur what they love about being an entrepreneur and most will tell you they love to build things. That they talk about building is a sure clue that they know HOW to get things done. A business is a structure—systems and processes that need to be assembled. It is the HOW-types who are more adept at building those processes and systems. But most companies, no matter how well built, do not become billion-dollar businesses or change the course of industries. To reach the billion-dollar status, to alter the course of an industry, requires a very special and rare partnership between one who knows WHY and those who know HOW.

The exercise of trying to figuring out the “WHY”  and  “HOW” helped me understand and prioritize what I need to do for myself and frontier.

At the end, after reading through the book, what I realized is that it’s not about incorporating a WHY into a purpose statement as I was originally trying hard to do, but rather about communicating that WHY in a broader way through all our communication as well as making sure the HOW happens and is reflective of the WHY.

“Start with Why “ by Simon Sinek: My Reflections By Amal Sanderatne

“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do…By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”

 “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

Extracts from Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

Inspired by these words I’ve been trying to improve Frontier’s purpose statement in relation to it, to incorporate WHY Frontier exists, but found it quite difficult to pin down one clear reason.

Then, I read the book. Though it was badly written and very repetitiveit was only after reading the book, with its specific examples that I understood the reason why articulating it was so hard and in fact that it is not important to “directly” put it into a grand “purpose statement”.

The companies highlighted as having a great “WHY”in his book, use it inherently, but don’t really have it in their “purpose” statements. This understanding, did not come directly from the book but after I actually researched further into it.

The real message for me is the importance of communicating your “WHY” in different ways as opposed just having it written in a document, giving it primacy in your communication and with that taking the actions (the HOW’s) needed to realize the “WHY”.

Even in the book and the video, it is not about expressing it as a “purpose” but rather as your “Belief”. My own view is that the words “Why/Purpose” is also often misinterpreted and thus have to be careful in making “WHY” a “Purpose”

In a small segment of the book, he talks about where this fits in a public declaration

“The vision is the public statement of the founder’s intent, WHY the company exists. It is literally the vision of a future that does not yet exist. The mission statement is a description of the route, the guiding principles—HOW the company intends to create that future.”

Thus for me, what I could try to say is I that I believe in the primary value of time as our most precious and finite resource. Therefore, I believe that anyone dealing with me or Frontier should be making the best use of their time. And we must strive to ensure that this belief is reflected in our HOWs (the way we do things) and that this is communicated properly to all stakeholders.

Please refer to my next blog post which explains Sinek’s concept in detail, aided by examples from the book for a better understanding of this concept.

The Story of the Time Twister

From “Amal’s Daily News Update” to a time saver for everyone

Given how critical it is to be fully informed, before the Time Twister, every team member at Frontier went through several news sources individually, for very similar information, which in retrospect was not the best use of our time as a team.

Looking for something better, we set up a system for some team members to browse through a few critical sources of news and then disseminate it among the rest. Interestingly it was called “Amal’s Daily News Update”

This worked out well and we started introducing this to our close acquaintances and clients. Great feedback was received and incorporated in the Daily most of you see today. This has included expanding the sources we go through significantly, monitoring the Sinhala press, having a much earlier timing, using different formats and adding specific sector based newsletters.

We learnt that different readers have different information needs. Some like it in one long email, others broken up in different ways. Some only want certain types of news, others would like a PDF attached, and some would like the daily only when travelling. We cater to all this.

We are on a mission to save time.

We will filter out the noise, so you hear what’s important to you, and deliver it in a way that works best for you.

 

Amal’s Daily News Update

Frontier has a a curated email news product, which helps a reader ‘fly through’ all key local news. It started off as an internal daily news update within Frontier, known as ‘Amal’s Daily News Update’ , as early version of which is displayed here. This covered only a few main sources and was very much less comprehensive than what we have now.
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Customized News Summary                                                                                              9-May-14
 
Essential – A category
 
Politics
 
Provincial council elections are important: TNS Lanka countrywide poll in LMD
The May issue of LMD reports on a nationwide survey carried out by TNS Lanka on the public’s perceptions of local elections, with the recently-concluded provincial council elections under the microscope.
“In the latest LMD-TNS Lanka survey, nearly seven out of 10 respondents confirm a belief that local provincial council elections are very important, with only 20% failing to accept this premise while another 11% are simply ‘unsure’ as to whether it is a worthwhile endeavour,” the pioneering business magazine reports.
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Economics
 
WB supports urban services improvement with $ 147 m support
The World Bank said yesterday it approved a credit of $147 million to help rehabilitate basic urban services and improve liveability in two major cities beyond Colombo – Kandy and Galle city regions.
The project seeks to produce a more spatially balanced distribution of economic opportunities, while at the same time reducing congestion in the capital and improving overall liveability.
These improvements will enhance liveability for local residents and reduce congestion for commuters employed in the city. The project will also reduce flooding in Galle and create more public spaces to improve the quality of life for residents.

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India’s Adfactors PR expands to Sri Lanka
Adfactors PR, an India based public relations firm that has a strong focus in financial and corporate communications has set up an office in Sri Lanka.
“As a multi-speciality firm with expertise in sectors such as banking and financial services, infrastructure, transportation, energy and natural resources, we will be able to provide expert counsel to Sri Lankan, Indian and multinational businesses operating in this beautiful island nation.”

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Stocks
 
Bourse rise to near 11-month closing high
Stocks rose on Thursday to a near 11-month closing high as foreign inflows and a lower interest rate regime helped boost sentiment, but the lack of credit growth has raised concerns over earnings of listed companies, stockbrokers said.
“We see retail investors coming into the market due to the current lower interest rates and activating their inactive accounts,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.
“But lower credit growth has raised questions over growth and earnings. Still the consumer spending is low and that is why we don’t see companies borrowing and expanding.”
Some traders are speculating about another reduction in the Central Bank’s key interest rates if credit growth remains sluggish.

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Esssential for Anlaysts
 
CPC in JV with Malaysian firm for Rs. 1 b lubricant plant
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is to form a joint venture with Malaysia’s Hyrax Oil to set up a lubricant blending plant with an investment of $ 9 million.
The venture will cater to the growing local market as well as to the export market. A proposal to this effect submitted by Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa was approved by Cabinet this week.

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Dipped Products Group remains resilient in face of difficult year
The Hayleys Group subsidiary, Dipped Products, has recorded a consolidated turnover of Rs. 23 b in the financial year ending 31 March 2014.
In a statement the Company said despite numerous challenges encountered during the year – including the forced closure of the latex glove manufacturing factory at Rathupaswala, since 30 July 2013 – DPL sustained its revenue base with a marginal 2.4% decline in turnover.
Group Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the reporting period declined by 29% to Rs. 1.5 b, in comparison with Rs. 2.2 b in the previous financial year. Contribution to PBT from the Hand Protection sector was Rs. 910 m, compared to Rs. 1.3 b in 2012/13, thus recording a decline of 32%.
The reduction is directly attributable to the losses in production at Rathupaswala manufacturing facility. Contribution from Plantations to PBT witnessed a reduction of 20%, declining from Rs. 928 m in the previous financial year to Rs. 747 m during the reporting period, due largely to the combined effects of adverse weather and wage increase.
Group Profit After Tax (PAT) declined by 35% to Rs. 1.2 b down from Rs.1.8 b in the previous financial year.

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SLT floats property management subsidiary to realise full value
SLT floated this new subsidiary to focus on property management in order to streamline and maximise the utilisation of the group’s extensive property portfolio scattered island wide, including in all the main cities in Sri Lanka.
The main focus of SLT PML is to develop SLT’s own properties through joint ventures and partnerships. The company will also look at opportunities available to lease/hire its facilities/venues to different parties for different purposes such as trainings, seminars, workshops, recreational purposes as well as for other business activities. The company website www.sltproperty.lk enables all interested parties easy access to view its wide range of services.
Given the growing demand for property in Sri Lanka, it was strongly felt that such unutilised or under-utilised lands could ideally be channelled towards more lucrative avenues that would not only enhance the value of the property, but also have a positive impact on the SLT Group’s bottom line.

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Talawakelle Plantations, Sri Lanka March net down 60-pct
Profits at Sri Lanka’s Talawakelle Plantations Plc, fell 60 percent to 34 million rupees in the March 2014 quarter from a year earlier as margins on tea estates declined and hydro power revenues fell, interim accounts showed.
Revenues rose 2 percent to 1.0 billion rupees in the March quarter from a year earlier and cost of sales rose at a faster 11 percent to 899 million rupees sending gross profits plunging 40 percent to 105 million rupees.

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Useful – B category
 
Politics
 
‘Terrorism took away all the rights of young people; we are restoring all of them’: President tweets
“Terrorism took away all the rights of young people. We are restoring all of them,” stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa participating in a Twitter Q & A session yesterday.
Commenting on steps taken by the Government to get youth involved in the decision making process, he tweeted: “Youth Parliament is one. When I make the country’s budget, I consult youth and women. My Government has a large number of young MPs. Also, there are many in other elected political bodies.”

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Economics
 
Secondary bond market activity moderates as liquidity dries up
The surplus liquidity in money markets on an overnight basis remained low at Rs. 4.87 billion yesterday from its one month low of Rs. 2.24 billion recorded on Wednesday while the total amount was deposited at CBSL’s Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) of 6.50% as the Open Market Operations (OMO) department of Central Bank continued to refrain from conducting any OMO auctions for a third consecutive day. This led to overnight call money and repo rates increasing further to average at 6.95% and 6.61% respectively.

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Social
 
Sri Lanka Vs. Ireland 2nd ODI – results
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Mothers day activities & deals
 
 

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Findmyfare and American Express partners to reward Cardmembers with super savings
 
Enjoy a holiday in your favourite resort without hesitation or check into the best business hotel in the world, American Express and findmyfare have partnered to offer a fantastic promotion to American Express Cardmembers from 01st to 30th May 2014.
This latest promotion offers a 20% savings on all your international hotel reservations made on findmyfare .com using your American Express Card. The offer is valid for all international accommodation options available on the website.

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