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Monday, 22 November 2010

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HNB wins Best Corporate Citizen Award

Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) was among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens of Sri Lanka, identified by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at the recent Best Corporate Citizen Awards.

HNB won three awards on this occasion namely

a) First Runner-Up - Best Corporate Citizen

b) Top 10 Best Corporate Citizen

c) Winner - Employee Relations Category


HNB Human Resources and Administration Deputy General Manager J R P M Paiva receiving the award.

“The Best Corporate Citizens awards serve as a measure of the sustainability of the bank and demonstrate our commitment to our customers, shareholders, employees, environment and the community and we are honoured to be chosen once again. It is a reflection on our commitment to best practices and encourages us to constantly improve our standards”, said Human Resources and Admin Deputy General Manager J R P M Paiva.

HNB has always been in the forefront of creating opportunities, with significant investment in CSR over several decades, starting from a village adoption project in Debarawewa. The Bank’s unique micro finance scheme was implemented after the youth insurgency in the late 80s in a bid to negate such events by providing opportunities to under privileged communities. Twenty years later this scheme has created more than 100,000 entrepreneurs. Financial literacy and promoting savings are integral to this scheme and have expanded to include children in terms of student saving units, student bankers, school libraries (160 to-date) and computer centres.

HNB, for the past three years has conducted competitions among school children to encourage creativity in six areas - art, singing, drama, speech, essay and short story writing. The competition is held in collaboration with the Education Ministry and is the only one of its nature that encompasses all the schools in the country with over 300,000 children taking part.

The bank has also invested heavily to alleviate the suffering of cancer patients. HNB was instrumental in setting up a Counselling Centre at the Maharagama National Cancer Institute, sponsoring the training of counsellors, funding the maintenance of a ward, as well as providing financial assistance to cancer patients and their families. Further HNB staff also volunteer their personal time at the Counselling Centre.

To date, HNB has invested in seven water and sanitation projects thus providing relief to more than 1000 families as well as numerous pilgrims to Kataragama.

HNB was amongst the first few local corporates to lead the cause for environment conservation activities.

The Bank’s first “Green Building” is expected to be completed by end of this year and would be the first Green Building for a bank in Sri Lanka. In addition HNB has invested in energy efficient buildings and is making significant inroads towards converting existing buildings to be more eco-friendly. All staff of HNB have taken a “Green Pledge” to assist this cause.

HNB has also commenced a tree planting program which would be continued.


New diabetes clinic at Healthy Life

A multi-specialty channelling centre, Healthy Life Clinic emphasises on prevention, health and disease management and lifestyle modification for improved health. Established as the Healthy Life Diabetes Clinic, the patient centre provides complete diabetes care, from educating a patient about their illness, to providing treatment and addressing complications.

The clinic is located at Deal Place Colpetty.

Having identified this need, Healthy Life Clinic, since its inception in 2005 has been committed to promoting healthy living, especially among working individuals. “We believe that healthy living is key to preventing or treating diseases such as diabetes.

If you are not healthy, you might end up losing everything you have,” Consultant in charge of Health Life Clinic Dr. Kayathri Periasamy said. A healthy lifestyle is essential for a successful professional life.

However, in today’s fast changing world, health is given the least priority as many aspire to climb the corporate ladder. Busy work schedules and business appointments have left little room for medical check-ups, while irregular eating habits, lack of physical activity, smoking and stress have led to diseases and complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

All these have serious consequences on a person’s health and quality of life, drastically reducing their work potential and affecting them economically as well.


ODEL evokes the nip and warmth of Christmas

Childhood fantasies of delightful picture-perfect Christmas will be revived for shoppers at ODEL this festive season, with its trendy outlets receiving elegant make-overs in hues of silver and blue.


The elegant Christmas decor at ODEL’s Alexandra Place outlet

The flagship Alexandra Place store has been adorned with stylized snowflakes, ice, crystals, baubles and conical Christmas trees in a classy and subtle transformation that radiates the ‘chill and the warmth of the season’ to mark the beginning of another Yuletide shopping season. This decor is in the process of being extended to all other ODEL outlets in stages.

The cool tones evoked by the snowflake theme runs through collaterals, from shopping bags, gift vouchers, greeting cards, hampers, signage and advertising, making ODEL’s annual seasonal metamorphosis powerfully symbolic yet tasteful. The company’s calendar for 2010 will also be launched during the season.

“Even in the tropics, Christmas is associated with a nip in the air and silvery snowscapes,” ODEL’s Marketing Head Upendra Gunawardhana said. “The use of Blue, Silver and Glass reinforces the image while our communications recall the warmth of giving and celebrating with loved ones which is what the season is about,” he said.

“We want to offer an extra special Christmas experience for shoppers by capturing the very essence of the season, the spirit of joy, excitement, sharing and celebration,” he said. “This year was an extraordinary one for us in which we enjoyed tremendous success and we want to share and celebrate this with our loyal customers,” he said.

A regular shopper at ODEL Sandra Jayasuriya, wife of Sri Lankan cricketing legend Sanath Jayasuriya said. “The transformation is magical and elegant, and immediately elevates the shopper’s mood. It brings back the ‘Christmas feeling’ very effectively.”

This year children will be entertained by and can take photographs with the busy Santa from December 4 to 31 at his grotto at the Alexandra Place outlet. Santa will also visit the Kohuwala, Mount Lavinia and Battaramulla ODEL outlets on weekends and throughout the last week of Christmas.

A range of stylish Christmas theme gifts, gift vouchers, greeting cards and hampers will provide shoppers plenty of variety. Special discounts can be obtained on bulk purchase of hampers and gift vouchers.

Free drop off services within Colombo for purchases of Rs 35,000 or more and free delivery within Colombo for purchases over Rs 7,500 will be available for shoppers from December 1-31. On weekends in December free shuttle services will operate from Town Hall for the convenience of those who park in the vicinity of Alexandra Place.


LB Finance Al Salamah:

Declares highest profit rates

LB Finance Al Salamah recently declared the highest Mudarabah profit rates in the country for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. Offering what are now emerging as the most lucrative Mudarabah investment accounts as well as a wide range of other Shari’a-compliant financial services including leasing and gold loans, Al Salamah works hand-in-hand with a well-respected Shari’a Supervisory Council in making its services available to all Sri Lankans based on the ideals of fairness and brotherhood.

The profit rates on Al Salamah’s three-month and six-month Mudarabah Fixed Deposits stood at 11.46 percent and 11.79 percent respectively, whilst the 12-month Mudarabah Fixed Deposit profit rate stood at an unprecedented 12.07 percent. Al Salamah has further recorded a massive growth of over 100 percent on all portfolios in September.

“The remarkable results Al Salamah has recorded for the last quarter are a sound indication of our dedication to our customer and to Shari’a,” said Al Salamah Head S H M Faraaz. “Al Salamah represents safety, security, and integrity. Our operations are not only very profitable, they are fully monitored by a qualified Shari’a Supervisory Council to ensure that everything we do is one hundred percent within the Shari’a Law,” he said.

According to Faraaz, Al Salamah is currently planning to boost their already impressive array of Shari’a-compliant services in the near future with several new products, including asset-backed trade financing. “Of our four main products, our Mudarabah services have performed phenomenally well and the other three, consisting of Murabaha Trade Financing, Ijarah Leasing and Ar Rahn Gold Loans, have all enjoyed an outstanding response from the public since we launched,” he said.


AVIVA NDB gives more schols

The presentation of AVIVA NDB Higher Education Scholarships to Year 5 students who qualified by topping the batch in each of the 25 districts in Sri Lanka in 2003 was held recently. The students have entered Advanced Level class and are now entitled to receive the scholarship benefits and will receive a regular bursary amounting to a total of Rs 60,000 to Rs 84,000, depending on the degree course. Those who do not enter university receive a lump sum as a life-starter.


Higher Education Scholarship recipients with the chief guest, Professor Sarath Wijesooriya and AVIVA NDB Insurance Managing Director Shah Rouf

The chief guest at the presentation, Colombo University Sinhala Professor Sarath Wijesooriya delivered an inspiring speech to the young students and their parents. “While you must endeavour to pursue academic excellence, you must also maintain and uphold our sublime cultural values of respect for your parents and only then can you strive for and achieve real success with the blessings of your elders” he said.

AVIVA NDB Insurance Managing Director, Shah Rouf said, “I congratulate the scholarship winners who are of exceptional caliber and a pride to the nation. Your achievements deserve honour and recognition and AVIVA NDB is pleased to encourage you in keeping with the innovative spirit of Aviva that has a history of over 300 years.”

The company initiated the Higher Education Scholarship as far back as in 1994 and this is the tenth batch to benefit from this award and the total number of students who have qualified is now 375. The Higher Education Scholarship is unique because AVIVA NDB unconditionally recognizes academic excellence on merit alone. Students who qualify are not required to be children of AVIVA NDB policyholders.

More importantly, the company initiated a trust fund of Rs 10 million to ensure the continuity of the scholarship. This fund has now grown more than five-fold through prudent investment and with this batch, 250 students have started receiving the scholarship.

Another unique feature of this scholarship award is the recognition of the contribution made by the teachers and Principals in nurturing excellence. Certificates of appreciation have been presented to the Grade 5 class teacher and school Principal of each of the students in a rare occasion where their dedication is acknowledged.

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