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Mobile phones: Safe or unsafe

Mobile phones: Safe or unsafe

Sujeewa Karunasekera, CEO Softlogic Communications speaks at a panel discussion organized by the Sunday Times Business Club on Thursday on the safe use of mobile phones. Other panellists in the picture are from left – Feizal Samath, Business Editor (moderator), Dr Raveen Hanwella, Consultant Psychiatrist, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Lakshitha Wijesinghe, Product Manager – [...]

Tax noose tightens round errant wholesale and retail traders

The noose is tightening on wholesale and retail traders as tax authorities enforce a new campaign against those attempting to evade the two per cent Nation Building Tax (NBT), Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officials said. In a new, virtually fool-proof initiative, the department is now cross-checking the volume of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) sold [...]

First Capital aims to raise Rs 2 bln in private placements

First Capital plans to raise long term funding through private placements (PP) for finance companies, banks and corporates, which will fetch some Rs 2 billion, officials said. “We have about six entities lined up for PP and we plan to raise some Rs 2 billion – maybe more,” Jehaan Ismail, CEO First Capital told the [...]

LOLC pulls out of Fitch rating contract

The LOLC Group has pulled out of a Fitch Rating contract, after an 8-month dispute, with the latter saying on Friday that it has withdrawn its rating assessment. LOLC had said earlier it won’t withdraw from the Fitch contract. “Fitch has withdrawn the ratings as the LOLC group of companies has chosen to stop participating [...]

Pearson Lanka plans to hire 150 IT engineers in 2013

Pearson Lanka (formerly eCollege Lanka), providing software development and remote infrastructure management services to multiple technology groups across its parent, Pearson PLC plans to hire some 150 IT engineers by next year, officials said. Nalina Wijesundara, General Manager and Director Pearson Lanka told the Business Times that their rebranding will aid the impending recruitment drive [...]

Rs 300,000 monthly wage for typists, stenographers!

Rs 300,000 monthly wage for typists, stenographers!

Contemporary typists cum stenographers have come in for big demand lately with a private Colombo security firm recently advertising for two personnel, either male or female. The wage offered is an (unbelievable) monthly salary of Rs.300, 000 plus a chauffeur driven car with additional perks by the company which has offices in eight countries around [...]

Govt. keen on more new companies in the stock market

Stock-market stakeholders in Sri Lanka were confronted with a challenge by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on Tuesday: For every new large company that seeks a listing, the Government will match it with the listing of a large stake entity. The Treasury Secretary gave this assurance to the capital market industry stakeholders at a meeting [...]

Life gets that much harder for NRFC holders

Life gets that much harder  for NRFC holders

In the movie “It’s a wonderful life”, George Bailey is a fictional businessman who shifts from despair to intense motivation. Undoubtedly holders of foreign currency accounts locally can relate to the mood swings. Counterfactuals helped George Bailey in the movie. NRFC depositors may also benefit from such counterfactuals about the actions of global central bankers. [...]

Creation of assets and maintenance of assets

Buddhism teaches us that lesser the greed greater the happiness. We act in a manner just opposite to that. People as individuals as well as a society crave and have a craze for collection/creation, possession and further showing off assets. This may be due to the fact that an asset is treated as a symbol of [...]

Sri Lanka: From tailor-shop to own brands

The launch of a local brand of clothing is not much to talk about particularly when there are many other brands in the market. However the launch of MAS Holdings brand- amanté-, a range of intimate wear or lingerie, last week in Colombo is a time to reflect on the progress of the garment industry [...]

Unions have at last woken up!

I was happy to read in your news paper recently that six or seven powerful unions have gone to the Supreme Court to protest against the plundering of the EPF and other state funds. The lonely voice of Dr Harsha De Silva has finally got a kick up from the unions. In the glaring TFC [...]

SLIC’s ‘strong’ competitive position to continue : RAM

The Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) will maintain its strong competitive position, supported by its brand and the introduction of new products and channel distribution, according to ratings agency RAM. The agency also noted; “SLIC continued to maintain its strong competitive footing, commanding a market share of 25.6% in the general insurance segment in FY [...]

IFC plans to double investments in Sri Lanka

IFC plans to double  investments in Sri Lanka

World Bank-affiliate, the International Finance Corporation plans to double its investments in Sri Lanka on the back of the current economic boom the country is witnessing now, an IFC official said. “Now is a good time to invest in the emerging economies and Sri Lanka stands prominent as it’s economy is on the growth path,”CountryManager [...]

Hameedia opens at the upmarket Race Course mall

‘Planet Fashion’, Sri Lanka’s only multi-branded shop for men conceived by Sri Lanka’s leading menswear specialist Hameedia opened at Colombo’s much-hyped Race Course Promenade last week. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rakjapaksa did the honours when the mall was ceremonially opened to the public on Saturday. Joining Hameedia in this [...]

Deepal invites you to travel Inward Bound

Inward Bound- Mindfulness as an executive capability, the latest book by Deepal Sooriyaarachchi published by Olympia Publishers UK was released in London recently. Written under the pen name Deepal Soori, the author presented a copy of the book to John Rankin, British High Commissioner in Colombo, The book is being distributed by Sarasavi Book Shops [...]

Lafarge Mahaweli Cement and Microsoft partners Sarvodaya in IT project

Lafarge Mahaweli Cement and Microsoft partners Sarvodaya in IT project

Lafarge Mahaweli Cement and Microsoft Sri Lanka, joined hands with Sarvodaya, one of Sri Lanka’s top non-governmental organizations, to establish an Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Centre in Gampaha. The Centre aims to improve ICT skills among youth in the Gampaha district, according to a Lafarge media statement. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with regard [...]

Sharp drop in vehicle imports (54%) in Aug 2012-CB says

The decelerating trend in the trade balance continued into August 2012, the Central Bank (CB) said this week, adding that the trade balance recorded a year-on-year increase of 6.3 per cent for the first eight months of 2012. “The deceleration in the trade balance reflects the decline in imports since April this year, amidst the [...]

John Keells Holdings wins top place in Business Today top 25 corporate performers

John Keells Holdings wins top place in Business Today top 25 corporate performers

John Keells Holdings (JKH) won top position in the Business Today top 25 corporates at the award ceremony held recently in Colombo. Business Today magazine, in a media statement, said that it expanded the ranking to 25 “in order to acknowledge and encourage new entrants while appreciating the strong and established blue chips of the [...]

Sri Lanka’s top revenue collector to double efforts on eve of budget

Sri Lanka’s major revenue collector, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has been directed to double its efforts in collecting the revenue target of Rs. 512 billion this year by changing its attitude towards taxpayers, Finance Ministry sources said. The department should intensify its efforts motivating tax collection officers and modernizing systems while minimising their overhead [...]

Did Kotelawela’s charity come from Golden Key money?

I have no deposit at the GK but my grandfather lost Rs. 2.3 million. However, independently I would like to share with your readers my random thinking on their issue. Lalith Kotelawela and his wife had a ‘show-off’ TV programme in which they were promoting many charitable organizations and this was seen by thousands of [...]

Local bank with an exclusive service for women

Amana Bank, Sri Lanka’s premier bank to operate in complete harmony with Islamic banking principles, has the country’s only bank with a branch that caters exclusively to the banking needs of ladies. Located at 480, Galle Road, Colombo 3, the Ladies’ Branch offers its customers the convenience and flexibility of conducting their transactions in a [...]

Ceylinco Life first to launch Tele-underwriting in Sri Lanka

Ceylinco Life has launched tele-underwriting in Sri Lanka, adopting an industry practice in developed markets to improve communications between prospective policyholders and the insurer. Intended to minimise misunderstandings between insured and insurer, and eliminate non-disclosure related issues at the claims stage, tele-underwriting is carried out by a team of 25 trained professional underwriters, the company [...]

Corporate sector must help in skills development of rural youth

A humble plea has been made to the country’s private sector and corporate entities to set aside a small portion of their CSR funds for the purpose of ensuring rural youth are provided with an education that brings them career opportunities, leading to becoming future employees of the corporate world. This plea was made by [...]

Provide land to each estate household in 2013 budget : Citizens’ group

Provide land to each estate household in 2013 budget : Citizens’ group

Seven perches of land has to be allocated for every estate household in the 2013 national budget, according to citizens’ group Active Citizenship for Development Network (ACDN). The group, which recently issued a report, entitled “Budget 2013: Proposals from the Active Citizenship for Development Network”, has also proposed that “37,000 hectares of unutilised estate lands [...]

Sri Lanka to unveil a National Policy for Human Resource Development and Employment soon

Sri Lanka is to unveil a National Policy for Human Resource Development and Employment for the first time soon with the technical assistance of the International Labour Organisation. Senior Minister of Human Resource Development DEW Gunasekera told a gathering of economists government and private sector officials and foreign diplomats at Sri Lanka Economic Association Annual [...]

Food for the rich and poor, how prices affect these two segments

Adequate supplies of food for everybody in the world has been a major issue in the world and many countries individually have been grappling to sustain the challenges they are often encountered with. In a backdrop of the world’s poor rising where around one billion go hungry every day, and to coincide with the World [...]

Asia Leisure to announce plans for hotels in Galle by year end

Asia Leisure, a fully owned subsidiary of the Asia Capital Group, having announced a strategic tie up with Japan Capital (Pvt) Ltd to build a hotel in Wadduwa earlier this year, will announce plans for another two such properties in Galle by year end, officials said. “Japan Capital will be making an initial investment of [...]

Ceylinco Healthcare to import Sri Lanka’s first TomoTherapyR Treatment System

Ceylinco Healthcare to import Sri Lanka’s first TomoTherapyR Treatment System

Facilities in Sri Lanka for radiation treatment for cancer will undergo a quantum upgrade with the acquisition of cutting-edge TomoTherapyR equipment by Ceylinco Healthcare Services Limited (CHSL), the company that introduced the Linear Accelerator (Linac) to the country. The company, a subsidiary of life insurance leader Ceylinco Life, is investing US$ 3.725 million (Rs 500 [...]

MAS brand- amanté, unveiled in Sri Lanka

amanté, Sri Lanka’s first brand of world-class intimate wear was unveiled in Sri Lanka this week. Gracing the Sri Lankan market for the first time after a ground breaking launch in India in October 2007, amanté offers Sri Lankan women access to international-standard intimate wear, customized to suit the unique contours and preferences of the [...]

HealthFest to publish healthy snack recipes from the public

Healthy eating awareness event HealthFest, which is being organised by Sri Lankan public health experts the College of Community Physicians, has called for the general public to suggest more nutritious snack recipes, which it will then publish. According to a recent advertisement, HealthFest made clear its intention to ‘help the nation eat sensibly’ by creating [...]

Pre-tax profits at Seylan Bank exceed Rs. 3 bln

Seylan Bank said on Friday that pre-tax profits reached Rs. 3.1 billion for the 9 months ended 30 September 2012, up 120% growth from the corresponding period last year. In a media release, the bank said post-tax profit for the same period was Rs 1.6 billion. “Despite controlled credit expansion, the bank’s strong performance continued [...]

Courtesy at Sri Lanka Telecom

Entering the Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Tele Shop in Fort was literally akin to entering the pearly gates. From the starting point at the entrance where a security guard opened the door and was keen to help, to the assistant near the door directing me to the correct counter to get a new landline connection, [...]

Checking out taxes at the Tax Dept

Checking out taxes at the Tax Dept

Heading towards the entrance of the Inland Revenue Department, I saw two security guards having a small chat but since I walked in through the wrong gate they were quick to direct me to the “In” gate. Entering the building you find three receptionists seated to attend to any visitors. Since the first one was [...]

Visit to the ID office

Visit to the ID office

Hopping onto a three-wheeler from office I headed to the famously known “ID office” or the Registration of Persons Department on Keppetipola Mawatha which was lined with several vehicles on one side close to the office and a security check point just opposite it. The following dialogue was in Sinhala. Walking into the office I [...]

Private and state websites don’t respond to public queries

Private and state websites don’t respond to public queries

As a part of the Business Times impact study considering government services, a number of e-government service websites were visited to determine whether they were, in fact, user friendly and customer feedback oriented. This follows ongoing efforts by the government of Sri Lanka since last year to up their ranking as it pertains to the [...]

Checking a faulty water meter

Checking a faulty water meter

My assignment under this unusual reporting exercise was to check out the service at the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) head office at Ratmalana, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Deputy General Managers Office at Ratmalana and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). Just as I was about to enter the NWSDB office [...]

Friendly Customs Department

Friendly Customs Department

Entering the swanky new Department of Customs building at No. 40, Main Street Fort, I was pleasantly surprised at the security check point when a convivial female security officer requested for my identification with a pleasant smile. She was quick to direct me to the ground floor to obtain information on importing items into the [...]

Govt. offices: Are you being served?

Govt. offices: Are you being served?

Are you being served at key government departments and institutions either in person or through the websites? The Business Times took the unusual step this week of undertaking a survey of key state departments and institutions that regularly deal with the public. We took two approaches: visits to the organizations on the pretext of being [...]

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