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For public consumption only?

Power behind Lanka’s economy : Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivaard Cabraal and Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, arguably the most powerful state-appointed officials, seem to enjoy a joke while moderator Mano Tittawela, a once-powerful administrator under former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, appears oblivious to the chit-chat (or was he pretending not to eavesdrop?). This happened [...]

Shareholder says threatened by top Carsons’ director

A group of independent minority shareholders at plantation stock Bukit Darah Plc (part of the giant Carsons Group) has complained to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that a Carsons’ director had threatened a shareholder. The hand-written complaint to Harshana Suriyapperuma, SEC Director of Corporate Affairs, claimed that Mano Selvanathan, Director Bukit Darah, had threatened [...]

Sri Lanka braces for austerity budget in Nov.

The government is now preparing the 2015 budget curtailing tax concessions and subsidies and ensuring development by creating more livelihood and employment opportunities, food and energy security with particular emphasis on low income and poor families,official sources said. Several new taxes will be introduced to raise revenue and restrict imports promoting protectionism, setting an ambitious [...]

State interference could destroy banks, says Indian banker

The issue of government influence in private banks, which the Business Times has been raising in the past few weeks vis—a-vis the situation at Commercial Bank and HNB, came up at this week’s Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). HSBC India Chairperson Naila Lal Kidwani, during her presentation at the conference, [...]

JKH-led, Sri Lanka promo at glittering Miss China finals

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts is leading the way with a Sri Lankan promotion at the glittering Miss China Universe finals in Shanghai on September 13 – succeeding through its new strategic marketing formula. The event, expected to attract many international celebrities, envisages a saree show by a Sri Lankan designer, a dance performance and the [...]

COPE denied all facts in oil hedging cases, Nihal Ameresekere alleges

Crucial facts about the disastrous oil hedging deals of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) have been withheld from the Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) which presented its latest report to Parliament last week, Sri Lanka’s top anti-corruption buster and public interest activist alleged this week. “(I observe that) the COPE Interim Report does not disclose [...]

Phase I of the Colombo Port city starts next month after clearing bottlenecks

Phase I of the Colombo Port city starts next month after clearing bottlenecks

Phase I of Sri Lanka’s proposed off-shore city, the Colombo Port City, is to start in September this year after completing all necessary requirements and legal documentation including Environmental Impact Assessment and signing of agreements with all connected parties of the project, a senior official of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) revealed. The land filling [...]

Sri Lanka needs more work on its own brand – expert says

Sri Lanka needs more work on its own brand – expert says

Sri Lanka needs to do more work on its own country branding, according to Chris Thomas, Chairman for the Asian, Middle Eastern and African regions of international advertising powerhouse BBDO. Elaborating further, he explained that one of BBDO’s most successful campaigns of last year, which won at regional advertising awards show Spikes Singapore, was “It’s [...]

Economic development balanced with rights

A popular story doing the rounds is the corruption involved in the massive road development taking place in Colombo city. The story goes that some favourite politicians and business buddies of the regime have been given the contract for road marking at Rs 25 per foot. The contractor then assigns the task to another at [...]

Many non-banks and banks submit proposals for mergers/ acquisitions under CB roadmap

Some 57 non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) and 12 banks have submitted plans for mergers/acquisitions and infusion of capital under the Central Bank’s (CB) roadmap consolidation, the CB said this week. The CB, in its review/update of the process where smaller finance/leasing companies and banks have to merge with their bigger counterparts or sell out in [...]

Stock market dilemma: Information important but too much could lead to ‘insider’ trading

While information is vitally important to invest in the stock market, there could also be problems in the sense that too much information could be considered ‘insider’ information – was the view of a top official of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). Vajira Kulatilaka, CSE Chairman, participating at the launch of the Institute of Chartered [...]

Kelani Cables new ‘Kelani Tube Bulb’ enhancing electrical bulb range

Kelani Cables PLC recently launched its latest product, Kelani Tube Bulb which could be obtained in two and four feet sizes. The introduction of CFL (Compact fluorescent Lamp) and GLS (General Lighting System) bulbs to the local market recently and the heavy demand those products have created motivated the company to introduce yet another innovative [...]

Indo-Lanka joint venture company to expedite the Sampur coal power project

Amidst Indian pressure to expedite work on the Sampur coal power project, the government has given the full responsibility to the Indo Lanka joint venture company, Trincomalee Coal Power Co. Ltd (TCP Ltd) to carry out all activities connected to the 500-W plant, a top government official said. Secretary to the Ministry of Power and [...]

Late Uni Walkers’ founder started business life as a shrimp exporter

Late Uni Walkers’ founder started business life as a shrimp exporter

Badra Wimalasekera, the well-known businessman who passed away last week, was one of the Sri Lanka’s first exporters who later branched into retail marketing. According to close associates of the founder of the Uni Walkers Group, Mr. Wimalasekera started off as an exporter of shrimps in the 1960s. He was a close friend of former [...]

MTD Walkers invites MTI to strategise future direction

MTD Walkers invites MTI to strategise future direction

MTD Walkers PLC has invited MTI Consultants to devise a strategic planning exercise to take the Colombo-based infrastructure company to greater heights in line with Sri Lanka’s economic development path. This strategic planning exercise which is based on MTI’s 8SR Strategising Model, was presented by MTI’s Bahrain-based CEO Hilmy Cader to the Senior Management of [...]

Former Combank chair Dinesh Weerakkody appointed to LRA board

Lanka Rating Agency Ltd (LRA) has appointed former Commercial Bank Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody to its board of directors. Over the years, Mr. Weerakkody has been on many government and private sector-listed boards and was an Advisor to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2002-2004. He has been on the Sri Lankan Board of GlaxoSmithKline [...]

Serendib Hotels says public stake falls below required CSE levels

Serendid Hotels informed the Colombo Stock Exchange on Tuesday that the public holding in the company had fallen to below the prescribed levels and noted that the company planned on a rectification plan in ‘due course’. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently enforced rules for the minimum required in the public float – the number [...]

Senaratne Insurance secures overseas awards

Senaratne Insurance Brokers Ltd was recently presented with awards from two institutions in Britain, the Global Banking and Finance Review, and the International Finance Magazine. The local firm was identified as the ‘Best Insurance Broker Sri Lanka 2014′. Senaratne Insurance Brokers, which traces its origins to 1979, has lent its expertise to the Sri Lanka [...]

SL’s Commercial Credit takes 96.8% stake in TFI

Sri Lanka’s Commercial Credit and Finance Ltd on Monday acquired a 96.86 per cent stake in Trade Finance and Investments Ltd (TFI) at a price of Rs 28 per share, the Colombo Stock Exchange was informed. The announcement said Commercial Credit will make a mandatory offer, under the Takeovers and Mergers Code, to buy the [...]

Cargills Bank buys smaller finance company

Sri Lanka’s Cargills Bank, which opened recently, has bought a majority stake of 73.39 per cent in finance company Capital Alliance Finance PLC at a price ranging from Rs. 15.40 to Rs. 15.50 per share, the bank announced on Tuesday. The deal is in line with the Central Bank’s financial consolidation roadmap where smaller finance [...]

Private banks with govt. directors

I am disturbed by your recent articles on the state of play within the private banks … especially with Commercial Bank. You mention the bank is packed with people connected to or working for the state. Prof. Uditha Liyanage is also attached to the university system; therefore, he is also a state employee. The government [...]

Etihad Airways offers promotional SL-US/Europe fares

Etihad Airways is offering early bird fares to popular holiday and business destinations in the United States and Europe from Colombo. These fares are valid till 14 August, 2014 for travel between 1 September and 30 November 2014. These exclusive fares are available for both Economy and Business Class from Colombo to 16 popular destinations [...]

New directors at Altair

New directors  at Altair

Indocean Developers (Pvt) Ltd., the promoter of the iconic Altair twin tower condominium development in Colombo, has announced the appointment of Pradeep Moraes and K. M. Sathian as directors of the company. Mr. Moraes is President Sales & Marketing, and Mr. Sathian is President -Projects. Mr. Moraes joined Indocean Developers after 10 years as Head [...]

Mackwoods sells electric vehicle charging units

For the majority of the general public to contemplate buying an electric car, they first need easily reachable public charge points near places they frequent in their daily life. In this backdrop, Mackwoods Energy PLC’s (MEP) sales of electric vehicle charging units to electric car importers and petrol station owners, will play a big role [...]

‘Dysfunctional’ public sector could limit private sector growth

With the onus for a country’s growth typically put on its private sector, what is “often ignored” is the public sector, and the potential for a “dysfunctional” public sector to limit private sector growth, said Fayez Choudhury, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Elaborating further, he added that “increasingly the [...]

Calls to ‘Sell Singapore, Buy Sri Lanka’ at CCC Economic Summit

Calls to ‘Sell Singapore, Buy Sri Lanka’ at CCC Economic Summit

“What is clear to me however, from a policy implementation perspective is that the present Sri Lankan economic story is under- told, often distorted and down played,” a top government official told a gathering of business elite at the inauguration of th Sri Lanka Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on [...]

SAARC Bank could be a possibility

SAARC Bank could be a possibility

If five countries from different continents can form a BRICS Bank, then it is better to think of forming a SAARC Bank along the same lines, HSBC India Chairperson Naina Lal Kidwai says. ‘BRICS’ nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa formed their own development bank to counter the West’s dominance in international [...]

CB Governor advocates “no excuses” policy

Sound macro-fundamentals and trends need to be maintained without ‘trotting out’ excuses, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal said, addressing the business community at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Tuesday. “The macro-fundamentals and trends need to be maintained with the assistance of private sector. A ‘no [...]

“Don’t leave the poor behind,” urges CCC Chairman

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Suresh Shah, during the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2014 on Tuesday highlighted some challenges the country will face in the transition from US$ 4,000 to $7,000. “The private sector will need to re-think. Imagine a consumer with double the per capita income of today, whom I shall [...]

INFOTEL to focus on awareness for the elders to use new technology

Several generations have passed since the evolution of technology and now looking back, there exists a generation which has never known the term ‘technology’ and unwilling to learn what it is all about. Theories and studies show that it is the mindset and misinterpretation of the generation that leads them to be reluctant in learning [...]

OMESTI Group and Microimage to bring cutting-edge HCM Solutions to Asia

Malaysia-based OMESTI Group, part of IT conglomerate Formis Resources Berhad, has formed a strategic partnership with Sri Lanka’s Microimage to bring leading-edge Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions to Asian markets. Known as MIHCM (Microimage HCM) Asia, the new venture will use Kuala Lumpur as a launch pad to deliver proprietary HCM solutions to South East [...]

Cyber crime and security market landscape

Cyber crime and security market landscape

In today’s technologically driven market, Sri Lanka forms an integral part of the global cyberspace. Internet penetration has led to an exponential growth in cyberspace due to the rapidly growing ownership of smart phones, access to Internet and online retailing trends have also increased the expansion of cyberspace. The Internet has also created borderless societies, [...]

Mobitel restores Nawagaththegama Regional Hospital prenatal, postnatal and labour wards

Mobitel restores Nawagaththegama Regional Hospital  prenatal, postnatal and labour wards

Telecom service provider Mobitel recently unveiled the newly refurbished prenatal and postnatal units of the Nawagaththegama Regional Hospital, along with the special labour ward which received a new facelift. The refurbishment was carried out as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative by the company for the the Nawagaththegama community.

E-tel Curiosity O9 debuts with SL’s first ‘Octa-Core’ claim

E-tel Curiosity O9 debuts with SL’s first ‘Octa-Core’ claim

A mobile phone has debuted recently with claims of being the fastest smartphone available in Sri Lanka presently, while also featuring the first “Octa-Core” chip sold locally. This device, the E-tel ‘Curiosity O9′, which comprises a MediaTeck 1.7 GHz “Octa-Core” Processor, and runs Android 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’, is being offered by its local agent Brantel. [...]

Taxi finder app ‘Dolawa’ tops MIT-GSL Sri Lanka 2014 challenge

Taxi finder app ‘Dolawa’ tops MIT-GSL Sri Lanka 2014 challenge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Start-up Labs (MIT-GSL) Sri Lanka 2014 challenge concluded recently with taxi finder “Dolawa” being adjudged overall winner, while electronic surveillor “EagleEye” and organic ingredients sourcer “Organic Hug” were placed first and second runner-up, respectively. It was also revealed that, going forward, each team would have the “opportunity to launch [...]

Venturengine runner up, OMAK Technologies to change restaurant operations landscape

Venturengine runner up, OMAK Technologies to change restaurant operations landscape

OMAK Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, following its success as first runner up of Sri Lanka’s premier business funding platform Venturengine 2014, is poised for growth. The tech startup provides bespoke software covering all aspects of running and managing a restaurant, it said in a media release. OMAK’s continuously monitored, function rich Software As A Service (SAAS) [...]

Colombo city-built environment to change vividly

The Colombo city-built environment is set to change vividly over the next four to five years, as the existing British and Dutch colonial buildings are being renovated, preserving ancient architecture. Several new hotel buildings are also coming up in the city conserving garden green natural environment, an Urban Development Authority official (UDA) revealed. By 2020 [...]

Double honours for Commercial Bank at Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards

Double honours for Commercial Bank at Asia’s Best CSR  Practices Awards

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has won double honours for its commitment to the community from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Asia Council, the local bank said. It received the award for ‘Support and Improvement in quality of Education’ and a Merit Certificate for ‘Concern for Health’ at the 4th Asia’s Best CSR Practices Awards [...]

Astron gets Gold at NASCO Awards

Astron gets Gold at NASCO Awards

Astron Ltd clinched the Gold Award for the Territory Manager category and the Gold and Silver Award for the Sales Executive/Supervisor category in the healthcare sector at the National Sales Congress (NASCO) 2014 Awards ceremony held at the Water’s Edge ecently. The Gold for the territory manager category was won by Roshan Karunathilake while the [...]

Amãna Bank-sponsored mountaineer Elmo Francis breaks 4 Sri Lankan records

Amãna Bank-sponsored mountaineer Elmo Francis breaks 4 Sri Lankan records

Mountaineer Elmo Francis, sponsored by Amana Bank, recently climbed Mt. Everest and was successful in achieving four altitude records for Sri Lanka. Having planned to reach an altitude of 7500 meters by climbing the south side of Mt Everest, Mr. Francis’ bid was stalled in the wake of the tragic incidents which occurred atop the [...]

World-renowned course on conference organisation held in Sri Lanka

World-renowned course on conference organisation held in Sri Lanka

IAPCO (International Association of Professional Conference Organisers) in collaboration with SLAPCEO (Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organisers) and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), recently held its first-ever taining course in Colombo in conferences’ handling and organization. Titled ‘The Bid and Beyond ‘ the event was held on July 20-24 at Heritance [...]

GK repayment plan faces cash flow crisis

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris’s action to step down from the Golden Key (GK) case with the CIESOT order pending has affected GK company’s cash inflow of around Rs.5.4 billion from the intended sale of CIESOT shares in Ceylinco Insurance PLC, a director of the company Dushanthi Hapugoda said. The company had planned to raise another [...]

Kiwlegedera returns but assets yet to be submitted

Touchwood Investments former Chairman/CEO Lanka Kiwlegedera has agreed to submit assets-related documents to the company liquidator by August 25, following the Commercial High Court warning him of serious consequences for failing to do so by the said date. Court will resume hearing the case on August 27. Mr. Kiwlegedera had not submitted these documents pertaining [...]

Standard Chartered wins Best eSolutions Partner Bank Award

Standard Chartered wins Best eSolutions Partner Bank Award

sStandard Chartered’s Transaction Banking was awarded the “Best eSolutions Partner Bank” by the Asset Magazine’s Asset Asian Awards 2014 for its innovative solutions delivered through its Internet banking channel, Straight2Bank, at a recently held ceremony in Hong Kong. The award is for the most effective electronic banking infrastructure that supports a client’s cash and treasury [...]

Free coffee this August at Barista in 12th anniversary celeb

Barista Lavazza to celebrate its 12th anniversary is opening its doors for the whole month of August with free coffee between 7 am and 12 noon to anyone walking into its outlets; however only after purchasing at least one other item. The offer is available at Barista outlets situated at the World Trade Centre, Laksala [...]

HDFC Bank – CB to promote commercial scale dairy development among small farmers

HDFC Bank – CB to promote commercial scale  dairy development among small farmers

HDFC Bank of Sri Lanka recently country signed an MOU with the Central Bank (CB) which enables HDFC to further diversify its loan portfolio towards the dairy development industry. The new scheme ‘Commercial Scale Dairy Development Loan Scheme (CSDDLS)’ will focus on medium and large scale entrepreneurs who are engaged in the dairy development sector, [...]

Aggressive marketing in China pays rich dividends for Lankan tourism; Chinese arrivals up 144.2% in Jan-July ’14

Chinese arrivals to Sri Lanka continued to surge for the seventh successive month this year, growing by a phenomenal 144.2 per cent to 67,408 in the January to July 2014 period, official figures showed on Monday. Total arrivals for January-July was 861,34 vs 690,589, up 24.7 per cent from last year. According to Sri Lanka [...]

WorkInSriLanka continues to draw the attention of expat community

WorkInSriLanka continues to draw the attention of expat community

WorkInSri Lanka, a volunteer-led brain gain initiative that aims to position Sri Lanka as an attractive work destination, for highly skilled individuals and high calibre businesses, held its quarterly meeting in Colombo recently. The event was attended by nearly 100 expatriate Sri Lankans who have recently returned to Sri Lanka from countries including Australia, USA, [...]

Krrish deadline for lease payment nears

The Krrish Group is most likely to make the final payment for the land lease in its Transworks Tower project before or by the September deadline, a senior official said. Deputy Director General Urban Development (UDA) Nihal Fernando told the Business Times that Krrish is drawing up designs of the project and unlikely to withdraw [...]

John Elkington “Father of Triple Bottom Line” in SL next month

John Elkington “Father of Triple Bottom Line” in SL next month

Sri Lanka’s top telecom provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, is presenting John Elkington – creator of the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ in Colombo next month. A world authority on sustainability and corporate responsibility, Mr.Elkington has written and co-authored over 17 books which include The Green Consumer Guide, Cannibals With Forks, The Power of Unreasonable People, The Zeronauts: [...]

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