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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008

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In Brief

Union Assurance posts impressive results in 1Q, 2008

Union Assurance (UA) reported impressive results in the first quarter of 2008 recording strong growth in both turnover and profitability. General and life insurance premiums for the quarter grew by 15%, from Rs. 1.4 billion in 2007 to Rs. 1.6 billon in 2008. Consolidated profit after tax also increased by 100% to Rs. 41 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

Union Assurance PLC was the first insurance company in Sri Lanka to introduce the most convenient “Call and Go” motor insurance policy, which allows customers involved in an accident to log an entry with the call centre and drive off without waiting at the scene of the accident for an assessor to inspect the damage.

The company has built on this platform by launching a “Call and Replace” service whereby motor insurance policyholders can have any damage to windscreens, side mirrors and lamps repaired or replaced at their home, office or any other location at a convenient time. UA has tied up with a number of leading suppliers to provide this service. All expenses related to accidental repairs are borne by UA.

To further enhance customer convenience, UA has made motor insurance accessible via the internet as well. A combination of substantially discounted premiums, cutting edge technology and ability to print a motor certificate 24 x 7 x 365 makes this product - “Click and Go” an ideal motor insurance solution for a busy executive with an internet connection at home or office.


Elected SLIM President

Regional Head, Greater Colombo Region, Hatton National Bank R.M.P. Dayawansa has been elected President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) for 2008/9 uncontested, taking over from Sarath Fernando who completed a successful year.

Dayawansa, the twenty-ninth President of the Institute follows the footsteps of Stanley Jayawardene, Lalith de Mel and Eardley Perera who had been guiding lights of the institute in the past.


New Secretary Ministry of Tourism

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed K. A. George Michael, Addl.Secretary (Tourism), a senior member of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) as Secretary, Ministry of Tourism from May 5. Michael obtained the BA Degree from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura and Masters in Public Administration from the Post Graduate of the same University.

He holds a Diploma in English from the Aquinas University College and a certificate in Public Administration from the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) and a Certificate in Journalism from the Open University.


Changes in Singer senior management

The following changes, will take effect in Singer at the Senior Management:

Asoka Pieris, Finance Director of Singer (Sri Lanka) Ltd., will take up duties as Chief Accounting Officer of Singer Asia Limited based in Hong Kong. He will be replaced as Finance Director by the present Credit Director, Priyath Salgado, effective July 1.

Ravi Balraj, Deputy Marketing Director, Singer Sri Lanka Ltd. has moved to India to set up a new Retail Channel for Electronics and Home Appliances in South India, under the auspices of Singer India Ltd. and has been appointed General Manager of their new Retail Project. Kumar Samarasinghe, Singer’s Marketing Manager replaces him as Deputy Marketing Director.


Captain resigns from JKH Board

Rusi Captain has resigned from the Board of Directors of John Keells Holdings Plc. with immediate effect.

In a letter to Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of John Keells Holdings Plc., Captain said that his resignation was due to his greater involvement in his varied business interests. He said;

“Being a part of the JKH Board has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience for me and I wish to place on record that I am most confident in you and your team and hence it is our intention to remain significant shareholders.”

Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, John Keells Holdings Plc. said that Captain and his connected parties have been very supportive shareholders all along and expressed his appreciation of his contribution to the Group during his tenure as a director and thanked him for the confidence expressed in the company and the management team.


HSBC trade seminar in Kandy

HSBC in a bid to educate Business Enterprises in Kandy organised a Trade seminar at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel.

This brought together eminent local businessmen, and prospective customers from the Kandy and Kurunegala districts.

The seminar was conducted with the aim of educating customers on the many services made available to businesses through HSBC’s Internet banking service and the ever evolving product mix.

Customers were given an opportunity to gain important insights in to HSBC’s global reach and local expertise which provided customers with the support to grow their businesses locally and globally.

The seminar also focused on educating customers on how to reach global markets and mitigate risks in International Trade whilst maximising profits.

A spokesperson for HSBC said, “Business customers are looking for innovative and cost effective methods to manage their funds to minimise opportunity costs. A Customer Survey in 2007 revealed that firms are seeking new products, cost savings and convenience for their business.

The survey also revealed that firms consider speed and flexibility as an important factor when they consider banking.

With our internet banking service, customers can avail themselves of benefits offered through this user friendly solution, offering reliability and convenience to customers”.


Winners of Tigo Nokia 3110 promotion

Tigo as part of its first year celebrations launched the ‘ Win a Nokia Everyday’ campaign thus taking SMS competitions to the next level.

As a result of this promotion Tigo subscribers were able to win a brand new Nokia 3110 every day.

To participate in this competition a Tigo subscriber had to simply SMS the word GPRS to 7272. With just one SMS a subscriber can enter the draw, while sending more SMS, which will increase the chances of his or her winning.

Millicom International Cellular launched a successful new 3 As business strategy with the central themes of Affordability, Accessibility and Availability through investments in network and distribution with the objective of bringing to the market innovative first time services, friends and family offerings and reliable business solutions.


ABC Barakah credit card launched

ABC Investments Ltd., (Barakah Islamic Financial Services) launched its first Islamic Credit Card in Sri Lanka at the Holiday Inn Hotel recently.

The Card ‘ABC Barakah Credit Card’ is the third Islamic Credit Card in the region. The first Islamic Credit Card in the world was launched in 2002 by ABC Islamic Bank in Baharain.

ABC Investments Managing Director M.I.M. Razeek told the launching ceremony that the ABC Group organised from shipping, freight forwarding, plantation, insurance convention, credit card and islamic investments under ABC Investments Ltd. ABC Investment Ltd., (Barakah Islamic Financial Services) is being operated strictly following the principles of the Islamic Shari’ah Board. The Board is led by Ash Sheikh Niyas Moulavi.

The cards are issued in four types:

ABC Barakah - Thahab (Gold) Card, ABC Barakah - Zaitoon (Olive) Card, ABC Barakah - Balaateen (Platinum) Card, ABC Barakah - Mala (Elite) Card.

The ABC Barakah has set up branches within eight months at the City Branch in Colpetty, Main street and Kandy.

They hope to open more branches in the Eastern Province in Kattankudy, Eravur and Kalmunai.


Gravitas 2008 on May 31

The inaugural Hoteliers’ Ball, Gravitas 2008, will be held on Saturday, May 31, at the Water’s Edge. organised by the Ceylon Hotel Schools Graduates Association (CHSGA), it will feature the cream of the industry, both locally and internationally.

President of the Association and Director, Water’s Edge, Sarath Fernando said, “I’m sure many people would wonder ‘Why Gravitas’. The rationale behind the branding is that this event is going to be the centre of gravity - the occasion that will attract the best possible individuals and elements of the industry - creating an unparalleled experience for all who are a part of it.”

The star attraction at the event would be Douglas Ankara, the world-renowned mixologist from the UK, who will showcase his talents, ably assisted by the best mixologists and bartenders in Sri Lanka.


Future Waves quiz program

The Future Waves Brain Teaser 2008 quiz program will be held on May 25 from 5.00 pm - 9.00 pm at the Trans Asia Hotel.

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