Sri Lanka economy is currently in a transitional phase to a new growth model and one of the leading and pioneer Unit Trust Management Fund – Namal Acuity Value Fund’s (NAVF) Investment Managers believe the government will take necessary steps to address short-term risks in the economy with the assistance of international development agencies and relevant policy reforms.

In the lately released annual report of NAVF, the company’s investment managers note that structural and policy reforms introduced by the new government will gain traction during 2016 providing a strong platform for the economy to grow in future years.
NAMAL Acuity Value Fund (NAVF) is a growth fund listed on Colombo Stock Exchange which aims to provide long-term capital appreciation by investing in equity. The Fund can allocate a maximum of 100% to equity and the investment strategy is market neutral and based on fundamental research to identify stocks trading below intrinsic value.
The Fund has invested in fundamentally strong companies that are exposed to the key sectors of the economy. The Fund aims to deliver consistent capital appreciation to investors whilst ensuring preservation of capital. The Fund invested 85.8% in Equities and 6.6% in Commercial Papers, with the balance invested in Debentures and Repos as at 31st March 2016. The main sector allocations in equity are Banks, Finance & Insurance (34.4%), Manufacturing (22.4%) and Diversified Holdings (16.1%).

The latest result outlines that the fund generated a negative return of 8.1% while the Sri Lanka’s All Share Price Index decreased by 11.0% for the year ending March 31, 2016. The Fund outperformed the ASPI by 8.5% and 24.6% on a 24 month and 32 month basis, respectively. The Net Asset Value (NAV) of the Fund declined by 9.8% during Financial Year 2016.

Mutwal Shipyard expansion  to be complete by November
Titled as Sri Lanka’s second Shipyard, Wlakers Colombo Shipyard’s Shipyard at Mutwal, Colombo will be completed by November this year, MTD Walkers PLC Group Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman Jehan Amaratunga notes in the latest review of the company’s annual report.

According to him, the construction of its shipyard at Mutwal Harbour together with the installation of the ‘Shiplift and Transfer System’ is expected to be completed by November with full scale operations commencing in December this year.

“The expansion into the Marine Engineering sector will be one of the growth drivers of the Group in the future and we are pleased with the rapid progress in setting up our first shipyard,” he says in the review.

MTD Walkers group acquired a ship-repair and ship building entity to expand its existing presence in the marine engineering sector in November 2015 which enable them to access the Mutwal Harbour-Colombo which spans across 3.5 acres. That time the group said that Walkers Colombo Shipyard would invest US$ 8.5 in Mutwal ship repair and ship building entity.

According to the company, the Mutwal Shipyard of Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd will be fully equipped to accommodate a broad range of vessels for dry-docking and afloat repairs. For the first time in Sri Lanka, a modern Syncrolift and Transfer System will be installed in Mutwal Shipyard to upgrade the quality of marine engineering services in the country. In line with the high capacity shiplift system a Boatlift System will too be installed catering to small vessels up to 50 tons in weight.

Walkers Colombo Shipyard is poised to become the preferred marine service provider in the South Asian region. The target segment would include vessels up to 1300DWT in the region including – Tugs, Small offshore support vessels – up to 70 meters in length, Yachts and pleasure crafts, Fishing boats and trawlers,  Small tankers, General cargo carriers and Small bulk carriers.

Further Amaratunga notes that the Group’s foray into the Real Estate sector was received well with the commencement of sales in its pilot project, Richmond Hill Residencies Galle. The sale of the 512 apartments has progressed at a satisfactory pace, with the apartments ready for occupation.

He also highlights that the sector through Walkers CML Properties (Private) Limited, has secured a pipeline of exciting projects, with construction and marketing expected to commence shortly.

The MTD Walkers Group had reported a revenue of Rs. 12 billion for the year under review down 14.7 per cent Year-on-Year from the revenue of Rs. 14 billion reported last year. Revenue generated by the Civil Engineering sector, which accounted for a majority of revenue during the previous financial year had fallen substantially during the year due to the slowdown witnessed in the construction industry at large. The Group has reported a loss of Rs. 121 million during the financial year down by 111 percent Year on Year from the profit of Rs. 1,107 million reported in the previous year. The loss is in part attributable to the higher than anticipated cost from the absorption of overheads.

New Chairman at  Lanka Orix Finance
Leading financial services sector giant LOLC group’s registered financial arm, Lanka Orix Finance (LOFC) in a disclosure to Colombo Stock Exchange on Thursday said that the company has appointed Justice Suresh Chandra as the company’s new Chairman.

The statement added that upon the company’s meeting held on July  27, the board approved changes to its directorate and accordingly having concluded the permitted tenure under the Central Bank Finance Companies Corporate Governance Direction Kapila Jayawardena relinquished duties as Chairman on July 29, 2016. Further the disclosure added that on August 5, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka granted approval on the new Chairman Justice Suresh Chandra’s appointment.

Justice Suresh Chandra was appointed to LOFC Board as a Non Executive Independent Director in July 2012. He was admitted to the Bar as an Advocate in 1972 after having obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree from the University of Colombo. He obtained his Master of Law (LLM) Degree from the University of Colombo.

He was a practitioner at the Private Bar from 1972 to 2008 and was a Consultant to several leading banks, private and public institutions. He served as a Member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the National Arbitration Centre. He was also a Visiting Lecturer, Course Director and Examiner of the Faculty of Graduate Studies of the Colombo University, at the Open University of Sri Lanka, Moratuwa University and the Sri Lanka Law College. He was the Senior Consulting Editor of the Colombo Appellate Law Reports. He was a Consultant to the World Bank on the Land Titling Project in Sri Lanka, a Consultant to USAID projects and was instrumental in structuring the Coir Council, the Ceramics Council and the Spice Council. He also served as a Legal Consultant to the Tea Sourcing Partnership of London.

He was the Senior Legal Consultant to the Southern Development Authority and the Board of Investments on Industrial Relations and was a member of the National Labour Advisory Council of Sri Lanka and a member of the Labour Law Reforms Committee. He served as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to United Nations in New York in 2009 and was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in June 2010 and retired from that position in July 2012.