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G(row)ing green with envy

G(row)ing green with envy

Dr. Maithree Weerasinghe, a Sri Lankan doctor who ran a thriving business of medical centres in the US, has returned to his roots; growing green leaves for commercial use at (what he calls, in US-style) a ranch just outside Colombo. Pic by Susantha Liyanawatte. (See full story)

Low public float in listed firms concern for foreign investors

NDB Capital Holdings PLC could probably have the lowest free-float of shares in the Colombo Stock Exchange with just 0.34 per cent of its shares available to the public, raising concern again about the lack of sufficient shares in the market for public consumption. Analysts said the low public float in firms is a real [...]

‘Kelani Palama’ loan sharks disappear

‘Loan sharks on Kelani Palama’, the lead news item in the Business Times last week, drew a lot of public attention with leading bankers expressing concern on illicit money lending operations. A senior official of a leading bank called for stern action against unlicensed money lending syndicates as it will affect the formal lending operations [...]

Worker-shared management structure mooted for tea plantations

At a local human resources summit for Sri Lankan plantation companies, Mohan C Varghese, General Manager, Tea Manufacture, Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Co Ltd, (Tata Tea) in Kerala shared the success story of the Indian tea plantation, a model of which can possibly be adapted in the Sri Lankan tea plantations which at the moment [...]

Industry claims comedy of errors at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was abuzz this week on the recently concluded awards night that raised a few eyebrows in the selection of winners, though organizers believe this as purely “judgmental”. Sri Lanka Tourism Awards Grand Jury Chairman Prof. Uditha Liyanage speaking with the Business Times said on Friday the process carried out was “fairly [...]

MTD Walkers await better market conditions to broad-base share ownership

MTD Walkers is keen to broad-base its share ownership, but is bidding time for market conditions to improve, officials said. “We have always wanted to broad-base our shareholding, but this isn’t the most opportune time, owing to the current market conditions,” Jehan Amaratunga, Deputy Chairmen MTD Walkers told the Business Times. He said they would [...]

Struggling SL vehicle importers eye Myanmar market

Struggling SL vehicle importers eye Myanmar market

Sri Lanka vehicle importers are eying new markets in foreign countries as the country’s car market which enjoyed a brief boom has once again plummeted due to the recent tax revisions, vehicle importers said. Keerthi Gunawardene, Secretary of the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka told the Business Times that they are planning to enter [...]

Saving the plantations

At a local summit discussion on human resource management, an Indian expert explained how Indian companies overcame a major crisis facing tea plantations. Mohan C. Varghese, General Manager, Tea Manufacture, Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Co (Tata Tea) in Kerala was speaking in the context of the crisis facing Sri Lankan tea plantations. He referred to [...]

Indian company forays into SL’s infrastructure market

An Indian non-banking institution, SREI engaged in high end infrastructure development is looking to enter the Sri Lankan market initially for consultancy and advisory services. The Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited is looking at providing consultancy and advisory services but would focus on development projects particularly an IT park, roads, transportation and capacity building in the [...]

Sri Lanka needs a ‘State Service’ more than a ‘Public Service’

Sri Lanka needs a ‘State Service’ more than a ‘Public Service’

It was refreshing to read former Secretary –Ministry of Plan Implementation, Chandrasena Maliyadda’s article on the Public Service (PS). With his experience in the service, he has pointed out the changes and reforms that are needed in the service. I too agree that it’s not the independence of the service that matters, but the importance, [...]

God above only hope for GK depositors

Hundreds of depositors of Golden Key (GK) are still struggling to recover their money after the company crashed and led to the collapse of a section of the finance industry. Most of the depositors are lower middle class citizens who have invested all their hard earned savings which includes their provident fund balances in the [...]

3-day INFOTEL 2012 from Nov 16 at BMICH

Popular Sri Lankan ICT exposition INFOTEL will be opening its 2012 edition to the public for three days from November 16 at Colombo’s BMICH, according to organisers the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), Briefing the media last week, INFOTEL 2012 organising committee chairman B.S. Lakmal revealed that the event was expecting about [...]

SEC says concerns about media glare on probes on share trades

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), now under a new chairperson Nalaka Godahewa, this week expressed concern over media articles on current investigations by the SEC. “The SEC is concerned about certain daily and weekly newspaper articles which appeared recently giving an impression that a number of companies are under investigation by [...]

Dubai-based gold trader plans $50 mln investment, 30 sales outlets in Sri Lanka

Dubai-based gold trader plans $50 mln investment, 30 sales outlets in Sri Lanka

Pure Gold, a multinational jeweller based in Dubai, is investing in Sri Lanka with an initial US$50 million investment and opening 30 sales outlets. “We warmly welcome Pure Gold Group to Sri Lanka. Their entry strongly enhances our gold industry profile. Pure Gold’s initial investment here is $ 50 million,” noted Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of [...]

Entrepreneurs get due recognition under HSBC-British Council award scheme

Entrepreneurs get due recognition under HSBC-British Council award scheme

The combined efforts of the British Council and HSBC Bank to encourage university students to become successful entrepreneurs is gathering momentum and at the HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards (YEA) 2012 held for the second year in succession, last week in Colombo two undergraduate groups and one undergraduate were adjudged winners among 127 applicants. The first [...]

Nawaloka Hospital Radiology Department revenues up 40%

The Radiology and Imaging department at Nawaloka Hospital says it has recorded a significant increase in radiology investigations to 100,000, for the 12 months to end-August 2012, compared to last year. As a result, revenues for the Radiology Centre have also risen by 40% year-on-year, the hospital company said in a media statement. According to [...]

Jetwing Hotels and Rotary Club sponsor cataract surgeries

Jetwing Hotels recently sponsored 52 cataract surgeries for underprivileged persons from Negombo and Deraniyagala which were held at the Vijaya Kumaratunga Memorial Hospital in Seeduwa in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Colombo West. The surgeries were conducted by Dr. Shamintha Amaratunge, one of Sri Lanka’s leading eye surgeons, the hotel group said. “The Rotary [...]

Airtel broadband says fastest data network in Sri Lanka

Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, this week announced that in the speed test results of the periodical survey conducted by Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC) on August 20, Airtel Lanka was recognized as the leader in the category of 3G Mobile Broadband. [...]

Expolanka Freight rebrands global identity as EFL

Expolanka Freight Ltd (EFL) this week unveiled its new identity, consolidating its position as a key global freight forwarder, “taking its brand to the next level and making it one to reckon with in the world of international freight”, according to a company statement. “Our goal is to become a truly global company. We aim [...]

Deutsche Bank helps JKH streamline payment processes

Deutsche Bank this week announced the implementation of a hybrid payment solution for John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) that will streamline the company’s payment processes managed by its shared service centre, InfoMate (Pvt) Ltd. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of JKH, InfoMate (Pvt) Ltd. serves as a shared service centre for JKH and its businesses. “Due to [...]

Local ceramic industry has achieved global recognition: ADB Country Rep

Sri Lanka’s ceramic industry has achieved global recognition and though it contributes a small component of global demand, it has made its mark in the world market, according to the ADB Representative in Colombo, Rita O’Sullivan. Addressing the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council affiliated to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce [...]

Better economic times through the concept of ‘winning’

Sri Lanka’s economy has been rattled by severe volatility, significant deteriorations in equity values and difficult credit markets in recent times, but the optimists are hopeful that signs do point to improving financial conditions that will lead to better economic times as next year unfolds by inspiring the business community to understand the concept of [...]

Substitute for cocoa butter which could be grown in Sri Lanka

Substitute for cocoa butter which could be grown in Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka’s tea industry heads into one crisis or another, the current discussion is on how to make the industry more productive and sustainable and ensure a fair return on investments. Along with this have emerged some suggestions, among other views, on replanting or replacing unviable tea bush with more economically-viable commercial crops. Tea [...]

Transworks Towers, mixed development project, to transform Colombo Commercial District

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has signed an agreement for a project for a mixed development tower complex with India’s Krrish Group at the old Transwork House property in Fort. “Krrish Group is a diversified company whose activities span a wide range of sectors. One of its best known products is Cobra Beer, [...]

Bank of Ceylon supports ‘Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2012’

The Bank of Ceylon is supporting the “ Sri Lankan Entrepreneur of The Year Awards 2012” organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) for the 17th successive year. The bank is the silver partner of the award which is the biggest event recognizing entrepreneurs islandwide.  Speaking at the [...]

Prasanna Jayewardene honoured at Sri Lankan tourism pioneer

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority recently honoured Prasanna W Jayewardene with the ‘Pioneer’ in Tourism Award. Mr Jayewardene has 45 years of experience in the tourism industry both locally and internationally. He is being recognized for his services as a pioneer in the field, his office said. Starting in Sri Lanka in the opening of [...]

Power Cuts: Colombata Kiri Apita Kekiri

We are small entrepreneurs located in Dehiwela and have been coming under the continuous power cuts for the last one month from 8.30 am to 11.45 am everyday affecting the moral of our staff and creating a heavy backlog of work . Now almost all SME companies are going to face a severe financial crisis [...]

Ebert Silva Holidays wins tourism award for Colombo city tour

Ebert Silva Holidays (Pvt) Ltd, won the Tourism Award for the “Most Improved Tourism Service of the Year” at the 5th Annual Tourism Awards held at Water’s Edge recently. Sri Lanka Tourism said in a statement that the award was presented for the Colombo City Tour, the first-ever open deck sightseeing service in Sri Lanka, [...]

MTI completes Pakistan’s Export Strategy assignment

The Government of Pakistan, through its Trade Development Authority (TDAP), has concluded a project aimed at mapping Pakistan’s National Export Strategy with MTI Consulting responsible for conceptualizing, research, advising and coaching the TDAP. Over a period of four years, MTI said in a media release that it had an international team of consultants and analysts [...]

Media and communications faces global challenges

Kantar Group UK CEO Eric Salama visiting Colombo this week said its media and communications company was faced with challenges in Sri Lanka similar to those globally. The digital technology in the media sphere was an issue grappled by most clients, he said at a media and senior business leaders gathering on Tuesday. The Kantar [...]

Vallibel Finance reports Rs. 107 mln pre-tax profit in 1stQ

Vallibel Finance has seen improved growth in first quarter 2012/2013 reporting a pre-tax profit of Rs. 107.9 million, up 23 per cent from the same period last year. Total assets rose by nine per cent to Rs. 7.2 billion in the same quarter. A company statement said total deposits ‘swelled by 16 per cent to Rs. [...]

3M global Health Care expert conducts workshop in Sri Lanka

Scott Sardeson, Manager of International Regulatory Affairs at 3M USA, recently conducted a workshop on trends in global medical device regulations in Sri Lanka attended by participants from relevant organizations in the country. The Health Care division of 3M’s global network works closely with the industry and relevant authorities through various international organizations, the company’s [...]

Mike’s Ranch at Polgasovita grows green leaves

Mike’s Ranch at Polgasovita grows green leaves

A Sri Lankan doctor in the United States, owning seven medical centres in Los Angeles, has temporarily set aside his stethoscope to nurture an agri-business at his native village Palagama in Polgasovita. Dr. Maithree Weerasinghe grows green leaves at a 15-acre block of land deploying around 30 rural youth most of them were from Palagama, Anuradhapura [...]

Cinnamon Lodge and Chaaya Wild win bigtime at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards

John Keells Resorts bagged three coveted awards at the recently-held Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2011. Winning the award for the ‘Best Five Star Resort’ was Cinnamon Lodge Habarana. Situated just 176 kilometres from Colombo, the resort is luxurious, but remains uncompromisingly eco-friendly. It is the only five star resort located within the cultural triangle. Chaaya Wild [...]

Indonesian lives risked on ‘world’s most polluted’ river

(AFP) -With dozens of bright green rice paddies, flocks of kites in the sky and children laughing nearby, at first glance the village of Sukamaju in western Java has all the charms of rural Indonesia. But the idyllic setting is spoiled by a strong stench rising from the Citarum river that flows in the distance, thick [...]

Workshops for Management Consultants

Wonwill Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, a new service group in Sri Lanka, has entered into a strategic partnership with the Institute of Management Consultants of India (IMCI), the apex body of management consulting professionals in India, to offer training courses in management consultancy for the first time in Sri Lanka. IMCI is a member of the [...]

LECS wins tourism award for 4th consecutive year

Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (LECS), won the Tourism Award for the best professional exhibition organizer, for the fourth consecutive year, the company said. LECS was winner of the prestigious awards for the past three consecutive years resulting in the company being inducted into the hall of fame. The organization which has a long-standing and [...]

Brandix Eco Index set for its launch in January

Green initiatives by Brandix in its 38 local factories resulted in a 30.4% reduction in its carbon footprint even as revenue increased by 40%, the company said on Tuesday.The company had targeted towards a 30% reduction in 2012 of its carbon footprint but had already achieved this six months ahead of schedule in addition to [...]

Tea Association to spearhead new strategies

The tea industry was on Thursday challenged to take stock of changing trends and to develop a strategic plan as it embarks on a promotional drive amounting to Rs.2 billion. Sri Lanka Tea Exporters Association (SLTEA) outgoing Chairman Niraj De Mel addressing the SLTEA’s 13th AGM in Colombo said with consumer tea drinking habits changing [...]

Federation of Chambers hosts two-day SME Forum

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) hosted a two-day SME Forum in involved trilingual aimed at providing a platform for a productive dialogue between the SME’s, policy makers and other stakeholders. The Forum was held concurrent to the ‘SME 2012, Machinery, Technology & Services exhibition which was held at [...]

Zillione Technologies celebrates 10th anniversary

Sri Lankan IT company Zillione Technologies earns 70 per cent of its revenues as a result of its Microsoft LAR (Large Account Reseller) licence sales, while the balance is from solutions it provides on various Microsoft platforms such as registry server Active Directory and email server Exchange, according to the local company’s Chief Operating Officer [...]

Cairn Lanka organizes Vendor Partnership Conference

Cairn Lanka organizes Vendor Partnership Conference

Cairn Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the Indian-based oil and gas exploration company, organized a vendor partnership programme in Colombo this week. The objective of the conference was to encourage local business partners to join Cairn in the growth of Oil & Gas sector in Sri Lanka. The ‘Colombo Partnership Meet’ emphasized how local entrepreneurs and organization [...]

LankaClear clears Rs 6.3 trillion worth of cheques in 2011-12

LankaClear clears Rs 6.3 trillion worth of cheques in 2011-12

LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd cleared cheques worth over Rs 6.3 trillion while reporting a rise in net revenue by 12 per cent and post-tax profit growing by 39 per cent at the end of the latest financial year. Net revenue was Rs. 390 million while post tax profit was Rs. 126 million, according to a company [...]

Improving agricultural productivity: Increase farmer incomes, reduce prices of food items and increase exports

Improving agricultural productivity:  Increase farmer incomes, reduce prices of food items and increase exports

Raising productivity involves the production of greater outputs and higher earnings using lower quantities of inputs and through value addition and innovation to cater to customer needs. Improvement of productivity would therefore bring down unit costs of agricultural and fisheries products, while generating surpluses and raising the incomes of about 17 million people living in [...]

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