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Landmark Celestial Tower sold at a bargain to new owner

Landmark Celestial Tower sold at a bargain to new owner

The revival of the state-acquired Celestial Residencies, better known as Celestial Towers, at Kollupitiya has taken a new twist with an entirely new company taking over with an investment of Rs.4.2 billion far less than the earlier valuation of Rs.9.2 bilion, official sources said. The site is one of the iconic properties of collapsed Ceylinco [...]

Harry J pays high bail of Rs 2 million in securities fraud case

Harry J pays high bail of Rs 2 million  in securities fraud case

Businessman Harry Jayawardena was released on Rs 2 million as bail on Wednesday, in a case involving his latest company Melstacorp Ltd when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took him and his directors to court. Questions also arose about whether Niranjan Deva Adithiya, director and a member of the European Parliament, has broken the [...]

US trade union ready to file another GSP case if needed

A top US trade union umbrella group has said it’s keeping its options open to re-file a GSP case against labour rights violations if the Sri Lanka government fails to ‘live up to its commitments’.AFL-CIO, which also has Sri Lankan unions as members, said it was concerned about the US government announcement that the Sri [...]

IMF meets on July 20 to decide final tranche

The dollar fluctuated between Rs 133-134 in the Colombo markets this week, raising few issues and concerns ahead of IMF approval of the final tranche on July 20, brokers said. They said the Central Bank was also cautious not to intervene or urge state banks to sell dollars to lift the rupee to the Rs [...]

Tourism industry scrambles over rupee fluctuations

A lack of consensus looms over Sri Lanka’s tourism industry about new changes proposed to permit transactions in dollars between hotels and travel agents. Expecting to make a ‘fast buck’ out of the recent frequent rupee fluctuations, the tourism industry has come up with a new problem as to who should benefit from all of [...]

F&G Trustees fail over 4,000 hapless depositors, warned by Supreme Court

Member of Trustees of the two trusts appointed to find a redress for over 4,000 depositors of failed Ceylinco companies, F&G Real Estate Company Ltd, (F&GRE) and F&G Property Developers Pvt Co. Ltd (F&GPD) are facing tough legal action for breach of trust, if they fail to implement the objectives of the two trusts within [...]

Drug company cheats and whistleblowing

The global business world was rocked this week after a hefty US$3 billion fine was imposed on pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), maker of popular pain killer Panadol, who pleaded guilty to cheating and criminal charges over the marketing of three drugs. It was the largest case of healthcare fraud in US history. Other reports [...]

Labour laws important to achieve social justice

Labour laws important to achieve social justice

An article published in last week’s Business Times authored by Franklyn Amerasinghe (former Director General, EFC)  titled “Employers’ group challenges sanctity of interpretations by the ILO (International Labour Organisation) committee of experts” refers to some controversial issues dealing with the definition, exercise and the applicability of international principles on the right to strike in Sri [...]

East West ropes in Marriott for Weligama resort

East West ropes in Marriott for Weligama resort

East West Properties PLC, owned by businessman Nahil Wijesuriya, has signed a hotel management agreement with Marriott International hotel chain to manage the company’s Rs 3 billion hotel in Weligama, which will eventually go public, officials said.  Mr. Wijesuriya, Chairman East West Properties PLC told the Business Times that Weligama Hotel Properties Ltd., a fully [...]

Dialog’s new location-based Mobile Deal App

Dialog Axiata is offering its subscribers D-App, a smartphone Application (App), which once downloaded would allow subscribers to get location specific special deals offered at partner merchants that vary from fine dining restaurants to electronic stores, the company announced this week. “Dialog’s ‘free to download’ app will update shoppers on offers such as buy one [...]

Landmark Sri Lankan entrepreneurial exhibition in Oman

Plans are underway to create a platform for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services to their counterparts in Oman with the hosting of the first “Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival 2012″, on October 9-11 at Al Falaj Hotel, Muscat. The event is organized under the auspices of the Embassy of [...]

Two Sri Lankan rebels with a cause: Propagating indigenous rice as a counter to climate change

Two Sri Lankan rebels with a cause: Propagating indigenous rice as a counter to climate change

An octogenarian has joined a former jailed militant in leading the propagation of indigenous rice and other plants in Sri Lanka as a perfect remedy to the ramifications of climate change on crops.The duo has, after a long search, found and successfully planted traditional paddy seed varieties that are drought resistant, need little water unlike [...]

Overcoming the smallholder ‘Quality Penalty’ in agriculture

The smallholder agriculture sector constitutes the largest segment of producers in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Increased performance of agricultural smallholders is a precondition for inclusive development. Smallholders have to be better itegrated in agricultural value chains, export oriented or otherwise. However the sector is plagued with structural issues that inhibit the effective integration [...]

Kelani Cables launches pre-packed antenna wire

Sri Lanka’s top cable manufacturer, Kelani Cables, recently launched a pre-packed antenna wire manufactured to the Japanese standards. The reason behind the creation of such a product is to address the common causes that hinder the picture clarity and low quality antenna wires in the market. “The outer wire mesh of an antenna wire is [...]

Police raid unnamed corporate firm for software piracy

The Colombo Crimes Division of the Police last week raided a top corporate entity in the banking and financial sector, suspected of using pirated and unlicensed software.The raid took place in Colombo week where the inspection and identification of suspected pirated software lasted over five hours. Thereafter, the police seized all the computers installed with [...]

Abans in mega Shopping Mall project : Fitch report

Abans Pvt Ltd, despite a slowing macro-economic environment and higher inflation levels, is likely to maintain a satisfactory credit profile and strong market position in the domestic consumer durables segment over the medium term, according to Fitch Ratings Lanka. For this reason, Fitch said it was affirming Abans’ National Long-Term rating at ‘A-(lka)’ with a [...]

Dilmah Tea saga marred by disappointments, pain, sorrow, insults – says its founder

Dilmah Tea saga marred by disappointments, pain, sorrow, insults – says its founder

Merrill J Fernando of Dilmah fame who has been fighting an unending and enduring battle for the last six decades, virtually single handed, to turn the Sri Lankan tea trade to be the hallmark of fully value added, single origin ethical pure Ceylon Tea, spoke of his arduous journey to success at the Sunday Times [...]

Encourage more local cement manufacture- urges Tokyo Cement

Encourage more local cement manufacture- urges Tokyo Cement

Sri Lanka’s biggest cement maker, Tokyo Cement has urged the government to encourage more domestic manufacture of cement given the rising demand for this product and the drain on foreign exchange from imports.Cement use in calendar 2011 rose 21.6 per cent to 4.58 million metric tonnes. Local production of cement rose 13.6 per cent to [...]

Young leaders discuss Sri Lanka vis-ŕ-vis global economy at CCC economic summit

The final session of the 13th Sri Lanka Economic Summit to be held on July 10-13 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo will be a panel discussion featuring a number of young leaders on the theme “Positioning Sri Lanka in the Global Economy.” Organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, this annual summit brings together a [...]

Absence of Registrar General of Companies disrupts new business start up

Sri Lanka’s new business start-up process has been disrupted in the past few days as the Department of Registrar of Companies is now operating at snail’s pace since the June 28th retirement of Registrar General D.K. Hettiarachchi, several applicants who visited the department for business registrations, told the Business Times. Mr Hettiarachchi retired on June [...]

Sunil Wijesinha retires from Dankotuwa Porcelain

Sunil Wijesinha, long-time managing director at Dankotuwa Porcelain who also served as its chairman, has retired from the company with effect from 30th June 2012 and from all positions he holds, the  company announced on Monday.Sitendra Senaratne has been named the new chairman  while K.S. Mallawa Arachchi has been appointed acting CEO. In other appointments [...]

UAE firm wants to revive KKS cement plant

UAE-based Ras Al Khaimah Cement Company (RAKCC), has expressed interest in reviving the Kankesanthurai Cement Factory (KCF) in Jaffna with a US$ 100 million investment, officials said. “A Memorandum of Understanding was sent in May to the Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development to restart this factory which ceased operations some 20 years ago,” [...]

Questions over basis of new Sri Lankan accounting body

Confusion reigns over plans to grant degree awarding status to a new Sri Lankan accounting body amidst allegations that the committee of this proposed body consists mostly non-accounting individuals. A private members bill has been presented to Parliament recently seeking the incorporation of the proposed Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) which ‘aspires to prescribe [...]

Commercial banks get aligned for World Bank and tourism project

The World Bank-funded project with Sri Lanka Tourism is expected to engage local commercial banks to support SMEs in the tourism industry, a project that hit a snag for two years. The project titled “Sustainable Tourism Development Project” was mooted by the government and gained the bank’s acceptance as it was interested in enhancing the [...]

Managing pavements and RDA priorities

Managing pavements and RDA priorities

These days the Road Development Authority (RDA) is involved with asphalt overlaying the Kadawatha–Ragama road) (B168). Even for a layman it would be easily understood, that existing the pavement does not warrant an overlay at this stage. If RDA feels that the B168 road warrants an overlay, then what is Director Planning, G. Bandara’s response [...]

External auditors for finance firms

I refer to your news item in the Sunday Business Times on the appointment of external auditors (to finance and leasing companies) by the Central Bank (CB). In the editorial you expressed an opinion that this move would ensure proper governance and transparency! From past records of the CB it is evident that there will [...]

Central Bank and EPF investments

EPF investments in the stock market were published in a recent newspaper report as saying, “The EPF is making handsome profits”. According to these figures published in this report, had this money being invested in Treasury Bills even at a rate of 7.0%, the members of the fund would have earned Rs.4,265 million a year, [...]

Role of Central Bank and bogus auditors

A shocking revelation has been made by a Central Bank official that “auditors cook up figures to hide the true financial position” (Business Times 24th June 2012). If so shouldn’t the Central Bank (CB) report these auditors to the Auditing standards Monitoring Board so that appropriate action can be taken against them? Why is the [...]

World-class tourism hub coming up near the BIA

Sri Lanka’s first large scale tourism zone, in the Katana area, just adjacent to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, has been proposed with an agreement signed between the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) and Katana City Developments (Pvt) Ltd.The investment is over $3 billion. The airport will be connected to the Katana City by [...]

Doubts cast over reaching $5 bln tea export target by 2020

Doubts were raised by Treasury Secretary Dr P. B. Jayasundera on whether tea production could be increased to reach a target of US$5 billion tea exports by 2020 as earmarked by the Export Development Board (EDB). Speaking at the 118th AGM of the Ceylon Tea Traders Association (CTTA) in Colombo last week, he said the [...]

Smart investments

There is a wise old saying; “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.” In the modern setting such advice becomes more valid as the avenues for investments are many and intricate for making rational decisions in terms of which, where, when,  how, how long and how much to be invested.  Therefore, the most [...]

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