Sampath Bank disburse Rs 5.7 b in N/E last year:
New products in pipeline
The Sampath Bank has disbursed around Rs 5.7 billion to the Northern
and the Eastern provinces during last year. Access to finance is a key
factor to the development of these provinces, Sampath Bank PLC Personal
Banking Deputy General Manager, Nanda Fernando told Daily News Business.
He said with the reduction of interest rates, financial discipline
and credit facilities has become more affordable to the public. Hence,
the current non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of the banks has come down
to less than one percent. This has resulted in more businesses and
circulation of money in the economy.
"Customer trends are evolving rapidly and keeping up with the
sprouting trend is essential to sustain in the industry. At present,
people are in search of convenient products and service such as internet
banking and cash withdrawals via cards. The customers compare the lowest
cost and the highest speed of the product or service deliverance. Thus,
we are focusing on both to cater to the customer requirement," Fernando
The performance of the personal banking sector showed a marked
growth. During last year the sector recorded a growth of over 50 percent
and is expecting a higher growth this year. The bank is also revamping
the existing products while introducing new products.
IT based banking products are less expensive and very time efficient.
Sri Lanka should look at developing the IT enabled products and services
as we need to improve this segment further. However, to cater to this
market segment; infrastructure development should take place in a faster
manner while introducing new products and services.
The customer accessibility modes and channels should be enhanced
according to the requirements of the clients. Introducing new products
are essential to sustain with the rapidly evolving environment since
consumers are keen on new products too. Therefore, regular market
researches should be done to add value and to benefit the end user, he
Sampath Bank is planning on several investments throughout the year
such as increasing the human resource base and expanding the banking
The bank expects to absorb around 300 new employees and to add value
to the existing employees by offering the training locally and
internationally. The company has also invested in immovable assets.
Emirates offers bonus miles on Colombo - Dubai route
Travellers with Emirates from Colombo to Dubai can now earn up to
10,000 bonus Skywards Miles by making their bookings in May.
An Emirates flight
The offer by the award-winning Dubai-based international airline via
its 'Miles Accelerator' feature is valid for travel in May, June and
July on Emirates flights EK651 and EK653 from Colombo to Dubai and on
return flights EK348, EK650 and EK652 from Dubai to Colombo.
It is open to all passengers who are members of Skywards, the
airline's frequent flyer programme.
Economy Class passengers on the designated flights from Colombo to
Dubai can earn up to 2,000 bonus miles in May and June and 1,000 miles
in July while Business Class passengers can earn 3,000 miles in each of
the three months.
First Class passengers can earn 10,000 miles in May and June and
9,000 in July.
Economy Class passengers on the designated return flights from Dubai
to Colombo can also earn 2,000 bonus miles in May.
Business Class Passengers can earn 3,000 bonus miles in May and 2,000
in June on flights EK348 and EK650 while passengers on flight EK652 can
earn 3,000 bonus miles in May and July and 2,000 in June, the airline
These bonus miles are in addition to the Skywards Miles that
passengers are already entitled to and the bonus miles they would
normally earn if they fly First or Business Class.
"The benefits of the Miles Accelerator offer, which has been extended
for purchases in May, will be enjoyed by a significant number of our
passengers who travel between Dubai and Colombo," said Emirates Sales
Manager in Sri Lanka Devika Ellepola.
"This value addition will further enhance the appeal of travelling
with Emirates and is an incentive to register for Skywards membership,"
Abans launch next generation LG Cinema 3D and smart televisions
Abans, sole agent in Sri Lanka for LG Electronics, a global leader
and technology innovator in flat panel displays and audio-video devices,
launched LG's 2011 TV range, delivering cutting edge innovations that
promise to transform the way consumers enjoy televisions at home.
Featuring LG's proprietary CINEMA 3D technology and LG Smart TV
functions, the new 2011 range features 11 series of LED, LCD and Plasma
TVs to suit the entertainment needs of every individual, with more to be
rolled out throughout the year.
LG CINEMA 3D Smart TV
Leading the lineup is the new LG LW6500, a Full HD edge LED CINEMA 3D
TV equipped with LG Smart TV. The sleek TV brings 3D enjoyment to a new
level with the employment of 3D technology similar to that used in
cinemas, thus bringing to consumers greater comfort and convenience
while enjoying their favourite 3D titles.
"We are proud to be able to set new standards in the market with the
launch of LG's new CINEMA 3D TVs and LG Smart TVs," said Abans Beheman
"These new features will enhance the home entertainment experience
for our consumers without compromising on visual quality for both 2D and
3D images. Along with upcoming Blu-ray players and home theatre systems
equipped with the latest Smart technologies and advanced features, LG is
set to cement its lead in the local market", he said.
Taking 3D to new heights, the LG CINEMA 3D TV is set to greatly
improve 3D experience for home viewers with crisper images and wider
viewing angles that was not previously possible with active shutter
technology. The use of Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) technology in LG's
CINEMA 3D TVs brings about a more comfortable viewing experience with a
polarized plate on the panel, coupled with the use of polarized glasses
by viewers. The technology optimizes the separation of images for the
left and right eye, and the images are then filtered through the glasses
to give viewers a better 3D effect with minimal cross talk.
The new LG CINEMA 3D TV is also able to display brighter and clearer
3D pictures than conventional 3D displays with the inclusion of the new
Light Boost technology. This brightness enhancement film maximizes
lighting from LED backlight to maintain the full brightness and picture
quality of the original source.
Compared to conventional 3D displays, the Light Boost technology is
able to deliver brightness of 150 nits, twice of what conventional 3D
TVs can deliver, without increasing power consumption. For the
reproduction of smoother 3D images, TruMotion 200Hz is featured on the
flagship LG LW6500 series, which results in elimination of image blur
and enables consumers to enjoy even the fastest action sequences in 3D.
Consumers who are worried about the loss of image quality of
high-definition content in 3D need not worry with the new LG CINEMA 3D
range, as the new TVs are able to ensure no signal loss in Full HD 3D
source with LG's very own 3D picture enhancement algorithm.
A common challenge faced by consumers using active shutter 3D
technology is the inflexible viewing positions and limited viewing
angles. With LG's CINEMA 3D TV, consumers can experience 3D images
without restrictions on positions as the viewing angle has been
increased to 180o horizontally. Users may sit, lean or even lie
comfortably on their couches to enjoy true-to-life 3D images, and up to
20 viewers are able to enjoy 3D on LG CINEMA 3D TVs.
For users who find discomfort in viewing 3D on active shutter models,
LG's CINEMA 3D technology delivers a virtually blur-free and
flicker-free 3D picture, which reduces the possibility of dizziness or
nausea. Also, LG's CINEMA 3D TVs are the world's first 3D TVs to be
confirmed to deliver flicker free and crosstalk free images.
The new LG CINEMA 3D TVs also employ the use of affordable,
lightweight polarized glasses that weigh only 16 grams, almost half the
weight of conventional active shutter glasses. These glasses do not need
to be powered by batteries, helping consumers to save in the long run.
Additionally, the LG LW6500 (LG 47LW6500) series with CINEMA 3D has been
awarded with the CNET Asia Editor's Choice Awards for delivering "one of
the best 3D performances around".
A working model of the amazing LG Cinema 3D TV can be viewed at Abans
flagship Elite Showroom at 498, Galle, Colombo 3.
Maliban introduces Hi-Cal Gold non-fat milk powder
Maliban Milk has earned substantial consumer confidence and become a
houshold name today. The company has seen a remarkable three-digit
growth in the recent past.
As part of innovative business drives the best Maliban Milk
distributors have been given an opportunity to win tours in Australia
and Malaysia along with a stay in a five star hotel in the 'Aussie
Challenge' competition organized by the Maliban Milk Products (Pvt) Ltd.
The winners of this competition are now enjoying their Australian
Tour at the Murray Goulburn Factory and Farmyard. In 2011, The 'Aussie
Challenge' competition was extended to include shop owners selling
Maliban Milk Products (Pvt) Limited, which is a hundred percent local
company who provide Sri Lanka with economical and high quality milk
products are now on the verge of taking another massive step forward by
introducing for the first time in Sri Lanka Maliban Hi-Cal Gold non-fat
milk powder which contain 100 percent milk calcium.
A special feature of Maliban Hi-Cal Gold non-fat milk powder is that
the milk calcium it contains is natural and since it has good solubility
it can be well absorbed by the body. Milk calcium is also a trusted
source of Calcium.
As a Sri Lankan corporate entity respecting Sri Lankan culture, the
company has shown that it cares deeply about our society by introducing
their CSR initiative of choice - the Maliban 'Abhayadana' programme
which is also a model for other Sri Lankan corporates. In this
initiative, a cow earmarked for slaughter is rescued by purchasing the
animal and donating it to a needy farmer.
It's a brilliant way of taking care of animal welfare and poverty
alleviation at one and the same time.
STC, Etisalat to boost ICT literacy with e-learning platform
Sri lanka's ICT sector, a key driver of the country's socio-economic
development program envisioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be
provided a boost through the joint efforts of the Education Ministry,
the co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry, Etisalat, and the State
Trading Corporation (STC). This project was officially launched on May
12 at Taj Samudra by signing the MoU. Education Minister Bandula
Gunawardena, Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston
Fernando, STC Chairman Pradeep Gunawardena and Etisalat Chief Executive
Officer Dumindra Ratnayaka attended the occasion.
Etisalat will provide their 3.75G services and connectivity to Sri
Lanka's education sector via the STC, providing a special bundle offer
to all Sri Lankan schools, students and children at an affordable price
and scheme. A sophisticated Notebook PC, a high speed Etisalat Internet
connection with their 3.75G HSPA+ mobile broadband connectivity,
educational e-learning content which comprises the school curriculum
content on an e-learning platform and a HSPA+ modem unit, providing
unmatched speeds both on up-link and download shall be included in the
bundle offer. In addition, easy payment schemes from government and
non-government financial institutions will be provided by STC to
students and teachers at an affordable price.
Furthermore, extensive research reveals that one of the main barriers
for Internet growth in Sri Lanka is the caution exercised by parents due
to the misuse of this service. This has been addressed by incorporating
world renowned parental control software known as NetNanny into this
special bundle offer. This software can protect students to the maximum
level while making valuable internet resources available to them, which
will be good news for parents in Sri Lanka.
As a CSR initiative in partnership with STC, Etisalat has come
forward to donate this full-fledged educational system to all Sri Lankan
schools. This initiative will take this technology to the grass root
level, aiding in bridging the gap between urban and rural whilst
expanding various possibilities.
School curriculum-based e-learning content shall be provided on an
e-learning platform powered by Etisalat. This e-learning content will be
developed with the direction and endorsement of the Education Ministry
and the quality of the service will be ensured by utilizing the best
qualified and trained resource personnel in the country, with strictly
monitored standards. This portal shall be equally important to teachers
and students, and teachers can use this service as a reference prior to
teaching, thus improving the service delivery of teachers. Further this
can be used as an innovative teaching medium to make the classroom
experience more interesting and interactive. As a whole, the teaching
community in Sri Lanka will greatly benefit through this initiative on a
major scale, and students can also use this as a supplementary mode of
education for revision. Parents who are concerned of the time spent on
travelling and safety of children while attending tuition classes can
use this platform as an alternate method of education without
compromising on quality. All ground work related to this innovative
e-learning platform is currently underway and the service will be made
available in a short span of time.
The exclusive distribution channel in this regard will be the State
Trading Corporation (STC) and these products will be sold through the
Corporation's extensive distribution channel. The services will function
on a tri-lingual platform, thereby breaking language barriers and
enhancing accessibility and availability for all. With the farsighted
objective of developing ICT literacy in Sri Lanka, this endeavour backs
up Sri Lanka as it reaches the grass root level via STC's extensive
The proposed concept being "Internet for Everyone," it is on par with
this broad vision of the state sector, aiming at making the internet
available to all, thereby establishing it as a 'necessity' as opposed to
a 'luxury'. Having understood the invaluable role of the Internet in the
education sector, The State believes that new generational trends and
habits should be revolutionized and it should begin from the education
sector. The project will primarily target teachers and secondly the
students, ensuring that the education sector will be strengthened on all