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Shifting from Washington to Beijing consensus – have we got it right?

Shifting from Washington to Beijing consensus – have we got it right?

By Eran Wickramaratne The Sri Lankan economy grew at an average of about 5 per cent over the past two decades. However it achieved a GDP growth rate of over 8 per cent in 2010 and 2011 which has declined to 6.5 per cent by the third quarter in 2012. The post-war growth rates were [...]

Business Times

Economic fallout from Geneva could worsen this year

Religious intrusion for the first time in the marketplace By Quintus Perera Sri Lanka’s loss at this week’s UN vote in Geneva and religious intrusion into the market place was the main focus of a discussion on Monday organized by the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC). In all the crises building up in Sri Lanka, [...]

Business Times

MRIA commences flight schedules from Friday

MRIA commences flight schedules from Friday

By Sunimalee Dias The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) commenced its scheduled flight arrivals and departures on Friday morning, four days after it officially opened on March 18. The new airport had to go through a thorough clean-up prior to commencing operations after the opening day’s ceremony that took place amidst much celebration. MRIA Airport [...]

Business Times

Gota to head panel on dual citizenship

By Bandula Sirimanna A new, more rigorous scheme to permit dual citizenship in Sri Lanka will involve a powerful panel headed by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Senior government officials said pre-screening to check the eligibility of a person applying for dual citizenship would involve a one-to-one interview with this panel which would include the Secretaries [...]

Business Times

SEC DG tenders resignation

In another dramatic development at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), its Director General Dr. Hareendra Dissa Bandara tendered his resignation to SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa on Friday. “I have tendered my resignation and will be leaving by mid-May,” Dr. Dissa Bandara told the Business Times, an hour after he sent the letter. “I [...]

Business Times

NZ rugby captain in SL

New Zealand All Blacks rugby captain Richie McCaw is visiting Sri Lanka next week as the Fonterra (Anchor) brand ambassador. The veteran rugby player, who has led New Zealand (along with previous captains) to become the most powerful rugby-playing nation in the world, will be present at a media briefing on Wednesday to endorse Fonterra’s [...]

Business Times

More females get high in Sri Lanka

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera The percentage of Sri Lankan females who drink liquor has gradually increased within the last five years, a research study has revealed. According to a study conducted over two months amongst Colombo’s female working crowd and university students, it was concluded that in the post-war period most ladies had picked up [...]

Business Times

Geneva and SL’s ‘great’ resource grab

So the US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka in Geneva went through with a majority of 12 votes, up from a similar Geneva resolution in 2012. This was not unexpected not for anything else but a poor foreign policy strategy in recent times. The Government has rejected the resolution and will have its own ways of [...]

Business Times

Raj Rajaratnam’s brother charged with insider trading

Raj Rajaratnam’s brother charged with insider trading

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Raj Rajaratnam’s younger brother was indicted on charges of conspiring in the insider-trading scheme for which the founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund was convicted nearly two years ago, U.S. prosecutors announced on Thursday.Prosecutors said Rengan Rajaratnam, 42, conspired with his older brother to trade on non-public information concerning Clearwire [...]

Business Times

And then they came for the deposits

It had to happen. Given the moral hazard (profits accrue to a handful of cronies while risks and bailouts are socialised) that has already been created since 2007, a group of desperate policy makers beholden to big business interests had to come after th little guy. That it happened in so brazen a fashion as [...]

Business Times

Sri Lankan migrant workers to get houses within six months

By Bandula Sirimanna Sri Lankan domestic migrant workers are to be provided with low-cost houses built by the government within six months, officials said. One thousand, two-roomed houses with all facilities will be built under the first phase of this programme. The authorities will undertake the construction of these houses in accordance with the plans [...]

Business Times

Platinum 1 strategy of selling luxury apartments after completing the super structure sees success

Platinum 1 strategy of selling luxury apartments after completing the super structure sees success

Sri Lanka’s luxury condominium market segment has now been at the fore of renewed interest and it has an extremely optimistic future with the restoration of peace and political stability in the island. However the lack of clarity on government policy on condo property sale to foreigners will be a blow against the surge in [...]

Business Times

Sri Lankan businessmen honoured at COYLE 14th AGM

Sri Lanka’s top businessmen, members of a new chamber representing entrepreneurs, were recognized at the annual meeting of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) held recently in Colombo. Wasantha de Silva took over as chairman of the chamber at the AGM which was preceded by celebrations honouring excellence and achievement in Sri Lankan business. [...]

Business Times

Lankem’s ratings upheld due to diversity, market dominance : RAM

The corporate credit ratings of Lankem, a top player in the agrochemicals and paints industries and a major player in terms of bitumen, used for road surfacing; were upheld recently due to its diverse business interests, market dominance in key business lines and resilient agrochemicals demand. According to ratings agency RAM, Lankem controls 60 per [...]

Business Times

Top state-sponsored medical fair promotes private medical services

The ‘Medicare 2013 National Health Care exhibition held last week at the BMICH in a way demonstrated how the government is attempting to distance free medical services from the people. The 3-day exhibition organised by the Provincial Director of Health Services of the Western Province, almost entirely saw representation by private health care services while [...]

Business Times

Sri Lanka’s contract workers permanency issue runs into troubled waters

By Bandula Sirimanna Labour unions in Sri Lanka are to launch an agitation campaign countrywide demanding the government to implement proposals relating to contract work which has been endorsed by all stakeholders, trade union leaders revealed. Anton Marcus, convener and General Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ&GSEU) told the [...]

Business Times

Sri Lankan migrants promote investment in Australia

By Quintus Perera Three Sri Lankans in Australia who have floated a company in that country -Dwellings Property Group Pty Ltd – are now offering opportunities to Sri Lankans to invest in Australia and assures good returns. At a media briefing in Colombo last week Navin De Silva, Director, Dwellings Group said that terms of [...]

Business Times

CMA celebrates ‘Founder’s Day’

The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) celebrated its ‘Founders Day’ recently at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo. Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, Founder President CMA, in his speech gave a brief account of the objectives in setting up CMA in 1999. He said it was mainly to fill the gap that existed in not [...]

Business Times

Recycling Entrepreneur recognised with Asia-Pacific award

Recycling Entrepreneur recognised with Asia-Pacific award

Sri Lankan industrialist Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa who runs a successful recycling business – Kalhari Enterprises – in Heiyantuduwa, was recently awarded the Most Promising Entrepreneurship Award by Enterprise Asia. The Most Promising Entrepreneurship Award is awarded to recognise individuals in the Asia-Pacific region who have shown very promising efforts, perseverance and growth in their business, [...]

Business Times

Ceylinco Insurance records 24% growth, post-tax profit at Rs 1.65 bln

Ceylinco Insurance has reported a post-tax profit of Rs 1.65 billion for the year ended 31st December 2012 for which General and Life divisions contributed Rs. 657 million and Rs. 996 million, respectively. In a media statement, the company said its pre-tax profit was Rs. 1.8 billion. “Consolidated results too recorded impressive growth figures, with [...]

Business Times

Hameedia, Dialog bring smiles to underprivileged children

Two reputed corporates have joined hands to help poor, destitute and abandoned Sri Lankan children in promoting their education and helping them to come up in life. Helping children and the needy was first mooted by Fouzul Hameed, MD, Hameedia Group, specialists in men’s clothing following the footsteps of his father, but later he found [...]

Business Times

TRC setting up data base to tackle mobile phone thefts, counterfeit trade

Sri Lanka is to establish acomprehensive data base containing a list of mobile phones with all details including its international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) which is a unique identification code for each mobile device, the country’s telecommunication regulator said. The planned Central Equipment Identify Register (CEIR) connects to the IMEI database of all the mobile [...]

Business Times

Allianz Lanka says strong performance in 2012

Allianz Lanka, reporting the results for 2012, said last week that its Life company business grew to Rs. 532 million, up 51 per cent over 2011. “This laudable achievement notched yet another ‘first’ in Allianz Lanka’s belt as the first insurer to attain the half billion mark in just four years of operations,” a company [...]

Business Times

Dialog offers 407 mln shares to employees in new deal

Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s biggest mobile telecom service provider, is floating new, employee-liked share issue totalling over 407 million shares. In a stock market announcement on Wednesday, the company said the shares under a proposed Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) would amount to 1 per cent of the total number of shares issues so far [...]

Business Times

Dialog’s own Smartphone launched at Rs. 9,900

Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s top mobile phone service provider, has launched its own (Dialog-branded) Smartphone series at an entry price point of Rs. 9,900. Dialog’s i-Series Smartphones, set to herald an era of mass adoption of Smartphones across the country is the first service provider-branded Smartphone to be launched in Sri Lanka. “Dialog has [...]

Business Times

Conferences and weddings in SL’s newest conference facility

Conferences and weddings in SL’s newest conference facility

KANDALAMA – Picture a conference being held in the sky or being wedded amidst the clouds! That’s the feeling you get when seated inside the conference facility on the topmost, 7th floor of the iconic Heritance Kandalama. The new facility, coming on the back of a marked growth in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) [...]

Business Times

SL garment sector concerned that state losing focus

By Quintus Perera Sri Lankan garment industrialists are perturbed over statements allegedly made in parliament implying that this sector is not as important as before. These issues were also raised at this week’s Exporters’ Forum headed by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, where a representative from the Apparel Exporters Association urged that Sri [...]

Business Times

Tripoli market to become a ‘knowledge park’

By Bandula Sirimanna The Colombo’s famous Tripoli market will be transformed into a ‘knowledge park’ by the end of this year, housing a cluster of private Information Technology (IT) firms, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told a seminar organised by The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) in Colombo this week. This will [...]

Business Times

Flights at Mattala this month

The flight schedule from the new airport at Mattala for March is as follows: March 22: -Air Arabia G9 508/509 – ETA 0350/ ETD 0430 (from Sharjah – HRI – Sharjah ) -SriLankan UL 898 – ETA 1255/ETD 1355 (Colombo—HRI -Bangkok -Beijing) -SriLankan UL 114 – ETA 1300/ETD 1400 (Male – HRI -Colombo) March 24: [...]

Business Times

JICA pledges to continue aid to Lanka, shifting from earlier focus

JICA pledges to continue aid to Lanka, shifting from earlier focus

By Bandula Sirimanna Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) pledges to continue its financial assistance to Sri Lanka shifting from basic infrastructure development to disaster management, health, education and per capita improvement areas, JICA officials said. Hiromi Ao, JICA’s Chief Representative in Sri Lanka made these comments to the Business Times on the sidelines of a [...]

Business Times

H-One debuts cloud-based Office 365

Local IT company H-One recently claimed to be the first to bring Microsoft’s cloud-based enterprise offering, Office 365, to Sri Lanka. Elaborating, the company’s Chief Executive Samath Fernando said that H-One had “introduced the cloud to Sri Lanka abou nine months ago”, when the company had outfitted top local conglomerate John Keells Holdings with Office [...]

Business Times

Disappointed foreign broker looks for strategic investor

New World Securities (NWS) is scouting for new investors to settle its debts, according to stockbroking circles. The company owned 80 per cent by Japanese investors and lead by Japan’s a2Media Corporation with prominent investor Takashi Igarashi as its Chairman, has Sri Lankan investors holding some 15 per cent. “All stockbroking houses including NWS are [...]

Business Times

Hambantota port needs to be made commercially viable

Focus By Peter Barbut The present government of Sri Lanka under the visionary leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has now embarked on a very aggressive development plan to regain the country’s past glory as the first nation in the ISC-Region (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives) to have opened up the country to a [...]

Business Times

Three hospitals worth US$ 30 million for Hemas during next five years

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera Hospitals (Pvt) Ltd plans to build or acquire two to three more hospitals, which will cost them around US$30 million, according to officials. “These will be 60-bed capacity hospitals. Building them as well as acquiring and renovating (as they did with the hospital in Galle) is on the cards,” Murtaza Esufally, [...]

Business Times

Textured Jersey adds new clients

Textured Jersey Lanka (TJL) is in the process of broadbasing its client base and has added Decathlon and Tesco to a list that includes Victoria’s Secret, Marks & Spencer and Intimissimi, according to officials. “We are now adding on new customers and recently added Decathlon and Tesco (as customers),” Hasitha Premaratne, Director TJL told the [...]

Business Times

People’s Leasing Rs 6 bln debenture issue oversubscribed on opening day

Sri Lanka’s People’s Leasing & Finance PLC said the entire Debenture Issue of Rs.6 billion was oversubscribed on the issue opening day, March 19. The issue comprised 30,000,000 Listed, Senior, Unsecured, Redeemable and Rated Debentures at a par value of Rs. 100 each, amounting to Rs. 3 billion and a further 30,000,000 Debentures totalling up [...]

Business Times

Janashakthi reports record profits with highest ever 62 % growth

Janashakthi Insurance PLC said this week it posted ‘record profits’ for 2012 and reached Rs 8.26 billion in total net income. Stringent cost control coupled with the company’s strategy of prudent underwriting resulted in a record profit of after tax of Rs 800 million, up by 62 per cent from the previous (2011) year. “This [...]

Business Times

Sampath Bank records Rs 5.1 bn post-tax profit for 2011/12

Sampath Bank records Rs 5.1 bn post-tax profit for 2011/12

Sampath Bank says its growth momentum continued in 2012, securing a post-tax profit of Rs. 5.1 billion growth, up 51.6 per cent from 2011. In a statement issued last week, the bank said pre-tax profit rose to Rs.7.2 billion, a rise of 45.5 per cent over 2011. The banking group’s post – tax profit totalled [...]

Business Times

Sri Lankans more into hard liquor

Sri Lankans, unlike in the other regions of the world, consume more hard liquor than beer and wine, according to a report by TKS Research. In 2011, hard liquor consumption stood at 61 per cent out of the total legitimate liquor industry whilst the remaining 39 per cent was held by beer. “Out of hard [...]

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