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IMF says no to budget support due to timing issue

IMF says no to budget support due to timing issue

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera Inconclusive negotiations over a specified time period to implement a set of reforms were amongst the multiple reasons that talks between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) failed. This was revealed by an IMF delegation here this week to discuss possible financial support for Sri Lanka’s economic reform agenda [...]

Business Times

SL seeks other options to raise US$1 bln

Says Not prepared to bow to conditional aid By Bandula Sirimanna Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped authorities, following the refusal by the IMF to lend US$1 billion, is considering raising a bond of the same amount in the international market. On Wednesday, the IMF said they were unable to accede to a request from the Treasury for [...]

Business Times

Cabraal, EPF officials to be grilled again by COPA

Central Bank (CB) Governor Nivard Cabraal and senior officials of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) are to be summoned again before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) soon, to continue an earlier inconclusive meeting which was abruptly halted without a valid reason, a member of the committee said. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva [...]

Business Times

Govt. powwow over GSP +

By Sunimalee Dias The government is looking at the possibility of re-applying for EU GSP plus concessions that would assist the apparel industry, which was recently feeling the pinch from the lack of it. The Commerce Department is in discussion with exporters on this matter, Trade and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told the Business Times. [...]

Business Times

SLAITO focus on marketing Jaffna

The Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLAITO) will be heading to Jaffna next week seeking opportunities and possibilities of marketing the destination for upcoming seasons. The tourism industry together with Sri Lanka Tourism would be conducting a tour of Jaffna and its environs in this regard, Mahen Kariyawasam told the Business Times. During the [...]

Business Times

Rising cost of living makes Government unpopular, BT-RCB poll reveals

The cost of living in Sri Lanka is going one way: UP, and that impact is reflecting on the popularity of the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Government, an islandwide poll conducted by the Business Times (BT) and the Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) has revealed. Asked whether the cost of living (COL) would rise this year, 100 per [...]

Business Times

Mystery as Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rise amidst falling occupancy levels

By Bandula Sirimanna Whilst the tourism authorities have been celebrating the arrival of one million tourists in the island in 2012, the travel trade has been rather skeptical over the statistics projected by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLDA), a tourism expert revealed. The paradox of hotels registering lower occupancy during the month of [...]

Business Times

What’s the real story over failed loan bid?

What’s the real story behind the failed bid to secure a US$1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)? The Central Bank (CB) on Wednesday announced that Sri Lanka was not pursuing the loan request. It said “the IMF has indicated that the Fund may not be in a position to consider any [...]

Business Times

Death of local apparel manufacturing is nigh

The problem with being emotional and political about an argument is that one misses some important cues that in hindsight can cause disruptive change. The current discussion on the hard hit local manufacturing sector is a case in point. In their eagernss to find an excuse for their falling fortunes, management, especially in the apparel [...]

Business Times

Rs 64.7 bln spent on advertising in 2012, top ad official says

By Sunimalee Dias Advertising in the Sri Lankan media has been on the upswing with spends at approximately Rs.64.77 billion in 2012 and with new age thinking a new pattern is setting in breaking away from the traditional norms. Advertising has taken on the new age concepts and innovations to suit the ever changing world [...]

Business Times

Australian grant to help 4 mln Sri Lankan students

By Quintus Perera The Australian Government in a bid to assist Sri Lanka achieve the ‘Knowledge Hub’ status is granting Australian dollars 34 million which in turn would help four million Sri Lankan students to further their studies. This was stated by Ms Robyn Mudie, Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka as Chief Guest at [...]

Business Times

Deccan airline renamed ‘Simplifly’

Deccan Aviation Lanka (DAL), a Sri Lankan domestic airline and helicopter operator, has changed its airline name to ‘Simplifly’ from Deccan. The company name has also been changed to Millennium Airlines Ltd, Deccan said in a media statement. It said the external livery of all its aircraft and helicopters have been rebranded with the ‘Simplifly’ [...]

Business Times

Piramal Glass revenue rises in 3Q 2012–13

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) has reported a revenue growth of 10 per cent to Rs. 1,502 million for the quarter ended 31st December 2012 from Rs. 1,369 million in the same FY12 period. The 9-month figures showed turnover at Rs. 4,095 million as against Rs. 3,760 million of the previous year. “Though we saw [...]

Business Times

Orient Finance lending rises despite drop in vehicle imports

Orient Finance PLC has recorded top results for the quarter ended 31 December 2012 with income growing by 64 per cent to Rs. 216 million. The company announced that income for the 9-month period to 31 December 2012 also recorded a 70 per cent growth at Rs. 598.5 million against Rs. 352 million for the [...]

Business Times

Access gearing to begin construction on Access Tower 2

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera The Access Group, which just signed a letter of intent to import Land Rover/Range Rover international vehicle brands under the umbrella of its latest acquisition, Sathosa Motors is gearing to begin construction on Access Tower 2, officials said. “Our subsidiary, Access Realties (Pvt) Ltd, the catalyst for the iconic Access Tower, [...]

Business Times

Revamping Liberty Plaza

Revamping  Liberty Plaza

Business Times

Hayleys’ export sectors perform well for nine months despite challenges

Hayleys PLC’s turnover for the nine months ending 31st December 2012 improved by a 12 per cent to Rs 52 billion, and profit before tax grew 63 per cent to Rs 3.6 billion from Rs 2.2 billion before capital gains, reported in the corresponding period of the previous year, a company statement said. Net profit [...]

Business Times

Hemas’ third hospital at Thalawathugoda on schedule

Construction of Hemas’ third hospital at Thalawathugoda is on schedule, and the company expects to serve the first patient on 1st May 2013, Husein Esufally, Chairman Hemas Group has said in his quarterly review up to 31st December 2012. “During the quarter, we concluded preliminary discussions to introduce dialysis services at our hospitals, a key [...]

Business Times

Richard Pieris’s retail sector buys some goods at lower prices

Richard Pieris and Company PLC’s retail sector has been able to re-negotiate with suppliers to procure some goods at lower prices bearing the tax in part, according to analysts. “We expect the retail contributions to be the key growth driver for Richard Pieris. However we foresee some erosion of Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) [...]

Business Times

Local hotel rates expensive compared to more mature tourist locations

Sri Lanka’s average room rates are now competitive compared to the regional peers such as Maldives on the basis of the growth and the size of the industry, although the Sri Lankan hotel rates would seem expensive compared to the more mature tourist locations such as Thailand and Malaysia, analysts say. “This is purely due [...]

Business Times

India ousts Japan as largest vehicle supplier to Sri Lanka

India has ousted Japan from the latter’s long, established pedestal as the single largest supplier of vehicles to the Sri Lankan market. According to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), India continued to dominate the market for imported vehicles in 2012 accounting for 50 per cent of the total imports. Japan, the CCC said, has [...]

Business Times

Knowledge Process Outsourcing is the way forward, industry officials say

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera The appetite for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in Sri Lanka will saturate in time and the country should thus look towards more value addition (in this sector) in a bid to attract foreign investors, according to industry officials “Over time, Sri Lanka’s cost advantage (in terms of low labour) will rise. [...]

Business Times

BBDO Lanka MD speaks at inaugural TEDx event in Mauritius

BBDO Lanka MD speaks at inaugural TEDx event in Mauritius

BBDO Lanka Managing DIrector Santosh Menon was one of five international and local speakers at the first ever TEDx event in Mauritius held in Mauritius on January 31. Mr Menon opened the floor with his well received talk about ‘Brand Magic’ – about brands making a positive difference in the communities they operate in and [...]

Business Times

World Bank invests $75 mln in Combank

CLARIFICATION An error crept into the headline of a story in last week’s Business Times which referred to the World Bank-owned IFC investing in Commercial Bank. The headline should read as ‘World Bank unit investing $ 75 mln in ComBank” instead of “World Bank unit investing $745 mln in ComBank”.

Business Times

Dialog strengthens ties with young Lankan entrepreneurs

Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Sri Lanka’s largest telephone services provider Dialog Axiata PLC, has become the preferred telecommunications partner for the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE). COYLE consists of the top 110 Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who are chairpersons and controlling shareholders of a wide array of Sri Lankan enterprises, while Dialog [...]

Business Times

SLASSCOM hosts international compliance seminar for exporters

The SLASSCOM’s Legal Centre of Excellence is hosting an introduction to international anticorruption compliance specifically tailored to the concerns of local firms exporting or looking to export to the international market. The event will be held on February 20 at the Dialog Auditorium at Excel World Entertainment Park in Colombo. The speaker is Albert Kim, [...]

Business Times

Flying a 100 years aboard Sri Lankan skies

Flying a 100 years aboard Sri Lankan skies

By Sunimalee Dias Flying is a daring experience and it stays with you even if you never do it again. Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) made headway in joining its friends in the sky 100 years back when it took off on December 7, 1912. Since then flying out of Colombo has never been a dream [...]

Business Times

Earnings from tourism top a billion dollars in 2012, Central Bank says

Earnings from tourism exceeded US dollars one billion in a calendar year for the first time in 2012, the Central Bank (CB) said this week, as statistics for December 2012 rolled into the economy. Earnings for the whole of 2012 totalled $1.03 billion, an impressive growth of 25.1 per cent. Expenditure on imports declined considerably [...]

Business Times

Visitors say Colombo city better than New York city : Defence Ministry official

By Quintus Perera The regeneration of urban development of Metro-Colombo region is making the Colombo city a ‘green haven’ and to prove it, Rohan Seneviratne, Additional Secretary, Technical, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, — at a Colombo event recently, gave examples of well developed areas like the Independent Square, Galle road, well-done pavements, etc. [...]

Business Times

Insurance industry amendments to introduce new method to measuring risk appetite

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera Amendments to the Regulation of Insurance Industry Act (RII Act) which are due this year will feature a more scientific method of measuring an insurer’s risk appetite, which is the Risk Based Capital (RBC) method, an official said. “The current supervisory system which is commonly known as the “Rules Based Supervisory [...]

Business Times

Once, run-down tea factory fetches top auction price for CTC tea line

A run-down Sri Lankan tea factory that was on the verge of collapse and closure in 2009, recovered under a new owner and recorded a top price at the Colombo tea auction last week. A line of Pekoe Dust grade from Brombil Tea Factory equalled an all time record price of Rs. 645 per kg [...]

Business Times

Sarvodaya-Fusion founder recognised by FAO for e-agri contribution

Sarvodaya-Fusion founder recognised by FAO for e-agri contribution

Harsha Liyanage, founder and Managing Director of ICT organisation Sarvodaya-Fusion has been recognised as ‘a contributor of the year by e-agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’. The company successfully launched world leading projects such as the Android Village Hubs alongside telecommunications leader Etisalat. Dr. Liyanage who established Sarvodaya-Fusion in 2006 [...]

Business Times

NDB reports Rs 8.8 bln gain by divesting insurance arm

The financial year 2012 proved to be a year of record performance for NDB as it reported a 37 per cent and 45 per cent increase in profit before tax (PBT) and profit after tax (PAT) respectively, with its asset base recording an increase of 17 percent over December 31, 2011. “These growth levels resulted [...]

Business Times

ISF welcomes pay hike for security professionals

The Industrial Security Foundation (Sri Lanka-ISF)) Inc. representing the commercial and industrial security trade, has welcomed the pay hike granted to security personnel (private security). ISF said that the decision made by wages boards representing 37 trades to increase the minimum wages by 30 – 40 per cent, approved by the Minister of Labour and [...]

Business Times

Aitken Spence posts Rs 3.1 bln as profit

Aitken Spence PLC said they posted Rs 3.1 billion as profit before tax, which is an increase of 18 per cent for the nine months ended 31st December 2012, amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions. Profit attributable to shareholders rose by 24 per cent to Rs 2.1 billion, over the previous year, a company statement said. The [...]

Business Times

Gamini Senerath, new People’s Bank Chairman

Gamini Senerath, Chief of Presidential Staff, was appointed as the new Chairman of People’s Bank by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday, Mr. Senarath earlier served as Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, resigning in January 2012. He is currently Chairman of state-owned Litro Gas and Sinolanka Hotels and Spa Ltd, which owns the Hyatt hotel [...]

Business Times

Knowledge Conglomerate conducts workshop on financial issues

The Knowledge Conglomerate (TKC) steered by MTI Consulting recently conducted an executive educational programme on ‘Financial Analytics for Operating Excellence’ in Colombo. The workshop was attended by companies including McLaren, Amana, First Capital Markets, Macbertan, Finlay’s Rentokil Ceylon, Perera and Sons Bakers and Analytical Instruments to understand working and operational differences of finance management and [...]

Business Times

DFCC actively pursuing tax free budget proposals

Access to diversified sources of long term funds at a reasonable cost is important for DFCC to prudently leverage its franchise in the project lending space in post war Sri Lanka, according to Nihal Fonseka, CEO DFCC. Reviewing the results for the nine months ended 31 December 2012, he said the credit ceiling that applied [...]

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