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DateLine Wednesday, 4 February 2009

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‘Unit Trusts record Rs 3.2 m in 17 funds

The Unit Trust industry while celebrating its 17th year in 2008, recorded Rs 3,242.6 million in 17 funds in the year to December 2008 which are managed by the members of the Unit Trust Association of Sri Lanka, a media release stated.

This inflow mitigated the impact of the downtrend in the stock market consequent to the global crisis in the financial markets in general and stock markets in particular.

As a result the equity funds in the industry contracted in value during the last quarter of the year. The inflows in to the funds are mainly attributable to the launch of new close ended gilt funds during this period.

The member companies offer equity, balanced, income, gilt, money market and index type of funds to the public to effectively plan their financial needs by selecting appropriate funds.

“The Unit Trusts provide safety through a trustee and custodian mechanism where the funds are held by a reputed bank in Sri Lanka and our member companies provide expert management of those funds to achieve the stated investment objective of each fund”, said President of the Association S. Jeyavarman.

In 2008, the Colombo Stock Market fell by 40.8% as measured by the All Share Price Index. The Unit Trust funds which invest in listed shares in average only suffered 26.3 % in this period.

This illustrates the importance of diversification of investments to protect our savings from adverse fall of markets. Unit Trust managers select investments prudently to ensure safety within the regulatory guidelines for the industry while optimizing the returns to investors.

The general interest rates had been higher in this period and helped the fixed income investors to generate better returns in a higher inflationary environment.

“The Unit Trust funds which invest in pure fixed income instruments such as government securities, corporate debt and trust certificates paid good return to investors while providing safety to the capital to the investors,” he said. Investors in Unit Trusts can enjoy professional management at low cost and other benefits of liquidity, tax advantage and diversification of investments.

It is an appropriate investment for small investors, professionals and others have no time to manage their financial affairs and institutional investors to enhance their tax adjusted returns.

The Unit Trusts are subject to proper external audit and comes under the regulatory supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka. Unit Trusts are required to submit its reports to the investors every six months.

The investors can invest in open ended Unit Trust Funds on a regular basis or lump sum at once at the prevailing selling prices and can withdraw at the prevailing buying price. Most of our funds are for long-term savings and the facility to withdraw is a feel good feature for investors.

Meanwhile, investors can participate in close ended schemes at the time of Initial Public Offer (IPO), the release stated.


NCCSL mega Ayurveda exhibition in May

The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka in partnership with Ministry of Indigenous Medicine and other related government organizations will hold “Ayurveda 2009” Exhibition from May 23 - 25 at the BMICH.

The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka held “Ayurveda” Exhibition and Symposium in 2007 for the first time in Sri Lanka which was participated by many local and foreign exhibitors from India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Pakistan and Germany. At the request of those participated at “Ayurveda 2007” the Chamber has decided to have this Exhibition in 2009 as well.


Here the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, E.M.M.R.K. Ekanayake, Ayurveda Consultant- Dr. Danister L. Perera, Chairman - Ayurveda Organizing Committee/Deputy President, NCCSL- Asoka Hettigoda, Minister of Indigenous Medicine- Tissa Karaliyadda, Consultant, Ministry of Indigenous Medicine- Jayasiri Mendis and Senior Deputy President, NCCSL Lal de Alwis.

“Ayurveda 2009” Indigenous Healthcare Exhibition is an ideal platform for everyone involved in Ayurveda and Indigenous medical sector to meet each other at one platform and exchange their views to enhance their professional knowledge and increase their businesses for mutual benefit.

Exhibitors representing ayurveda hospitals, ayurveda products manufacturers, doctors, ayurveda product exporters, importers, ayurveda related machinery suppliers, ayurvada herbal growers, health food and beverage manufacturers and tourist hotels that have native treatment systems are expected to participate at “Ayurveda 2009”.

We are happy that the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine has already taken several steps to popularize native treatment systems among the Sri Lankan population and enlighten the public of the specialized treatment available in the country, an official said.

By conducting Ayurveda 2009 Exhibition, we will make every effort to publicize our Ayurveda products and services among the population in foreign countries as well.

There is an increased interest among the population in Western countries to travel to Sri Lanka and spend time in Ayurveda related hotels and also to get treatments from Sri Lanka Ayurveda specialists. We expect to get many delegates from foreign countries so that they can see for themselves the advanced native treatment methods available in the region.

In concurrent to the Exhibition we will also conduct specialized seminars addressed by Ayurveda specialists from Sri Lanka and foreign countries such as India and Japan. These seminars will be an ideal opportunity for the Sri Lankan Ayurveda Doctors to exchange views with foreign specialists.

In addition, a number of sessions will also be held for the benefit of general public who could get to know the miracles available in the native treatment sector.

This venture will help us earn foreign exchange and also save foreign exchange that goes for importation of Ayurveda products. “Ayurveda 2009” will also help develop the socio economic conditions of the country, the spokesman said.


Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit launches IMRT

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a relatively new technique in Sri Lanka for the treatment of cancer, is now available as a routine feature at the Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit, the country’s state-of-the-art private radiation treatment facility.


The Linear Accelerator at the Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit

This would help hundreds of cancer patients to save substantial amounts of money that they would normally spend on travelling overseas for this treatment, the Centre said this week.

IMRT is one of the safest and most advanced radiation therapy techniques for the treatment of many forms of cancer. It treats the tumor with precision, thereby reducing harm to the non-cancerous cells.

This treatment enables radiation oncologist to deliver tightly conforming high doses of radiation directly to the tumor irrespective of its shape.

The Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit offers IMRT at an affordable rate significantly lower than rates charged at medical centres overseas, the Chairman of Ceylinco Healthcare Services R. Renganathan said.

“Offering this treatment as a standard feature demonstrates that our radiation treatment unit has been brought on par with those in developed countries,” he said, pointing out that the Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit had performed Sri Lanka’s first ever IMRT in early 2008.

Renganathan added that besides the foreign exchange saving, patients can undergo treatment in the company of loved ones which could have a very positive effect on their ability to cope with the disease and the treatment.

IMRT is performed by a state-of-the-art Linear Accelerator or Linac which is the international Gold Standard in the delivery of accurate 3D conformable and intensity-modulated radiation therapy for the treatment of many forms of cancer.

The Ceylinco Radiation Treatment Unit was the first medical facility in Sri Lanka to import a Linear Accelerator.

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