Business and Economics
Microsoft partners with Sri Lanka’s first Education Institute dedicated to the field of applied AI, AI Academy

With the need for a one-stop connectivity and collaborative technology becoming increasingly mainstream, Microsoft today announced a strategic partnership with AI Academy to empower students and business professionals to digitalize, innovate and transform in the domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Located at the Colombo Innovation Tower, AI Academy is an incubator for students and business professionals to implement innovative ideas, apply emerging technologies, and embrace lifelong learning. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs, executive part time courses and knowledge sharing forums; also providing collaborative projects to support industries, start-ups and governments.

As part of the arrangement, Microsoft will provide AI Academy with cloud-enabled software and tools for teaching and learning through Microsoft Hands-on Labs and other industry-recognized programs such as Microsoft Learn, AI Lab, AI School, and AI Business School to ensure its students and working professionals are exposed to practical applications of AI.

Hayleys Fabric bags bronze at Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards

Hayleys Group subsidiary and pioneering textile manufacturer Hayleys Fabric PLC, bagged the bronze award for the Best Integrated Report Design at the Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards (ASRA) 2019 in Singapore.
Hosted virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Swedish Ambassador to Singapore, Niclas Kvarnström was guest of honour at the event which was attended by over 200 senior business leaders, sustainability partners, academia, trade associations and advocacy organisations across the region.
“The concept of sustainability plays a central role in ensuring that businesses are able to survive and thrive in increasingly volatile conditions. Therefore, the ability to transparently report on sustainability within our organisation is an essential prerequisite to showcasing our commitment and building engagement around these vital initiatives.

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S&P SL 20 Index Marks its Second Historic Gain in a Week

The S&P SL20 Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) gained 6.28% during trading today (21), bettering the record for the highest ever daily percentage gain of the index which stood at 5.25%, which was set on 18th May 2020. This development marks the second occasion the S&P SL20 Index has made historic gains during this week (week starting 18th May 2020).

Having recorded negative returns on the 11th and 12th of May 2020 upon reopening the market for trading following an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the All Share Price Index (ASPI) and the S&P SL20 Index have made consistent gains on trading sessions that have followed. The ASPI and the S&P SL20 Index which ended trading today at 4,784.80 and 2,037.04 respectively, recorded the highest levels in both indices since 13 March 2020, indicating that both indices have returned to pre-market closure levels while recovering the negative returns on the 11th and 12th of May 2020, which were experienced immediately after recommencing trading.

The CSE recorded high volumes in terms of turnover during the past nine days recording Rs.1.73 Billion daily average turnover which is 45% higher than the YTD daily average of Rs.1.19 Billion as of today. This is an indication of an improvement of trading activity since recommencing market operations on 11th May 2020.

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