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Passport chaos

Passport chaos

Passport applicants sit on the steps of the Department of Immigration and Emigration on Wednesday waiting for their turn. The issue of the new biometric passport has caused confusion and chaos as this picture shows.  Pic by Amila Gamage.

EC’s guidelines sharply cut public cost for general elections

Total spending by the state on Sri Lanka’s general election tomorrow has been sharply reduced to around Rs.7.8 billion from Rs.10.5 billion spent at the January 2015 Presidential election as a result of enforcing stringent guidelines by the Elections Commission, preliminary estimates revealed. However spending to conduct the August 17 poll by the Commission alone [...]

Former CIFL chairman emerges from hiding in Cambodia

Former CIFL chairman emerges from hiding in Cambodia

Deepthi Perera, former Chairman, CIFL (Central Investment and Finance Ltd) on the run overseas for the past two years, was arrested on Monday after arriving with a bogus passport amidst objections by depositors of the failed company to any restricting plan. Depositors also threatened to surround the homes in protest of officials including former Central [...]

Over 2000 GK depositors receive their 41% repayment

With the government injecting Rs.544.3 million through the Treasury, 41 per cent of deposit money owed to around 2,200 disgruntled Golden Key (GK) depositors has been settled within 21 days after the July 24 launch of the new repayment process, GK company oficials confirmed. All 2,200 cheques were sent to depositors with deposits up to [...]

Ex SEC chief Nalaka skips FCID questioning on legal grounds

Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Nalaka Godahewa – who authorities want to question over a number of alleged irregularities – this week absented himself from being questioned by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) by raising legal objections, informed sources said. Dr. Godahewa, who has become an active campaigner for the opposition UPFA, [...]

Apparel exporters positive on regaining EU GSP+

Apparel exporters were positive about reaping the benefits of EU GSP + concessions next year should everything go according to plan following the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in September. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the industry that the much-awaited GSP + concessions would be a reality next year. Sri Lanka Apparel [...]

“Building the Skills for Economic Growth and Competitiveness in Sri Lanka”

“Building the Skills for Economic Growth and Competitiveness in Sri Lanka”

(By Halil Dundar, Benoit Milliot, Yevgeniya Savchenko, Harsha Aturupane and Tilakaratne A. Piyasiri, The World Bank Publication, 2014, pp. 211) Reviewed by Saman Kelegama In the past few decades, despite facing a number of difficulties, Sri Lanka has made relatively strong progress in economic growth and reduction of unemployment. From the year 2000 to 2014, GDP [...]

If promises are kept, ‘living wage’ is the best news for workers

It was almost like panic buttons being pressed this week by the two main contenders at tomorrow’s parliamentary poll – United National Party (UNP or UNF) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) – as they rolled out a list of dos and don’ts. A series of benefits, incentives and long term solutions were offered [...]

Central Bank in fresh explanation of controversial Treasury Bond issue

The Central Bank (CB) and its Governor Arjuna Mahendran, under attack over a controversial bond issue in February, took the bull by the horns on Wednesday in a lengthy defence of that bond issue. Citing many reasons why the issue and the interest rates were justified, the CB said in a statement that “…in view [...]

Ruchi Sharma joins Ogilvy Sri Lanka as Group Chief Creative Officer

Ruchi Sharma joins Ogilvy Sri Lanka as Group Chief Creative Officer

Ruchi Sharma, reputed creative person in the global advertising scene, has joined Phoenix Ogilvy Sri Lanka as Group Chief Creative Officer, overseeing the creative teams across the Ogilvy group in Sri Lanka – Phoenix Ogilvy, Neo@Ogilvy, Ogilvy PR, Geomety Global and Redworks. This is Ms. Sharma’s second innings as in 2003, she worked with Ogilvy [...]

New techniques created by Colombo University to monitor sea movements

New techniques created by Colombo University to monitor sea movements

Strict international standards are followed today in transporting goods and people by air or sea and if not following these rules transporters risk being blacklisted.  On the other hand these measures are enforced to safeguard lives. In this context, Sri Lanka is no exception and new measures are constantly being drafted to ensure standards are [...]

World Cup winning team to get free apartments while foreigners buying apartments will get residence permits

Wills Realtors (Pvt) Ltd, a company formed under the chairmanship of Sri Lanka’s World Cricket Cup 1996 winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has paid a down payment of Rs.1.44 billion for a 3 acre block of land at the rate of Rs. 3 million per perch in Rajagiriya on 99 year lease from the Urban Development [...]

Rs. 18.3 bln revenue at Nestlé Lanka in 1stH 2015/16

Nestlé Lanka PLC this week reported revenue of Rs. 9 billion with year-on-year growth of 11.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year. The company, in a media release, announced a net profit of LKR 1.3 billion for the quarter. For the first half of the year 2015, the company announced revenue of Rs. [...]

Hayleys profits up in Q1

Hayleys PLC recorded a 9 per cent increase in pre-tax profits (PBT) for the quarter ending June at Rs. 1.2 billion, the company said this week. The Transportation and Logistics Sector sustained its strong growth momentum during the quarter with continued improvements to its benchmark on service delivery and new business innovations with PBT from this [...]

“Central Bank Bond fiasco-the simple facts” – CORRECTION

In the article titled “‘Central Bank Bond fiasco – the simple facts’ that appeared in the Business Times on August 2, an error had crept into the section called “Highlights”. There it was stated that the loss to the state from the auction is Rs. 35 billion over 30 years. This is incorrect and as [...]

Largest fair in Sri Lanka provides hopes for SMEs in the northeast

The Pro-Food, Pro-Pack 2015 – Ag-Biz Exhibition was held last week at the BMICH in Colombo turning out to be the largest trade fair in Sri Lanka with more than 300 stalls from more than 20 countries, in addition to the large number of local stalls. Visitors to the event would have noticed a pavilion [...]

Fitch affirms 7 Sri Lankan finance companies

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ratings of People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), Central Finance Company PLC (CF), Melsta Regal Finance Ltd (MRF), Siyapatha Finance PLC (Siyapatha), Senkadagala Finance PLC (Senka), AMW Capital Leasing and Finance PLC (AMC) and Singer Finance PLC (SFL). It said PLC’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and National Long-Term Rating reflect [...]

NAFLIA unites life insurers to launch national awareness campaign

Fifteen life insurance companies came together in Colombo last week to take the first step in a joint initiative to promote life insurance to a million people in September, designated Sri Lanka’s ‘Life Insurance Awareness Month.’ The initiative was launched at the sixth annual conference of the National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors (NAFLIA) at [...]

Lankan chambers, professionals urge political parties to foster racial and religious harmony during poll

A group of powerful Sri Lankan business chambers and professional organisations on Thursday urged political party leaders and candidates to ensure racial, communal and religious harmony during Monday parliamentary poll. The joint statement was issued by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), Joint Apparel Associations Forum ( JAAF), Ceylon National [...]

“Five strategic development projects including Krrish to lose concessions’ – Clarification

With reference to last week’s story headlined ‘Five strategic development projects including Krrish to lose concessions’, Dilip Samarasinghe, Director (Media & Publicity) at the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has sent the following clarification: “The BOI has written to the BOI enterprise AVIC International Hotels confirming that since the SDP process has been [...]

Aug 17 poll: Tourism alert helpline

A 24 – hour call centre will be in operation for the service of tourists and tourism industry members on Monday and Tuesday for any emergencies, the Sri Lanka Association Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) said. In the event of any eventuality during the General Elections, tourists and industry members could contact SLAITO Chief Operating Officer [...]

25th anniversary FACETS fair set to attract 10,000 visitors

25th anniversary FACETS fair set to attract 10,000 visitors

Premium quality precious stones, exceptional designs and unique pieces will be featured at FACETS Gem and Jewellery fair when the 25th anniversary edition opens from 3rd to 6th in September this year. The organisers, in a media release, said they expect 10 000 visitors, which – if so – would be the largest to be accommodated [...]

HP drives “Business-First” approach to mobility

HP drives “Business-First” approach to mobility

HP last week unveiled a new commercial mobility solution that will transform the workplace and unlock the power of productivity. The all new HP Pro Tablet EE an Intel Atom based device is the ideal solution for the education sector as well as for companies. The HP Pro Tablet will streamline and simplify their operations [...]

HNB looks forward to strong post-election economy with ‘enabling’ budget

Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) this week reported a ‘strong’ performance in the first half of 2015 with profit after tax increasing by 27.5 per cent to Rs. 4.3 billion, saying it was looking forward to a strong post-election economy. Commenting on the first half results, HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles said “HNB has continued [...]

PwC fined for protecting bank that it monitored

FORTUNE, Monday, AUG 10 – Giant accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers was fined $25 million and accepted a two-year ban from some businesses to settle allegations by New York state regulator Benjamin Lawsky that PwC failed to get Bank of Tokyo-Misubishi to comply with regulators. Also, PwC will continue to do plenty of work helping banks comply [...] marks 1st year with revamped website

Rich content digital platform, has launched an upgraded version of their website, as the startup celebrates their first year in operation.  Set up in July 2014, the new streamlined platform now has content grouped by interest areas. Readers can select from stories focusing on startups and initiatives, technology, culture, art, health and lifestyle. In [...]

DVB ends first half of 2015 on an excellent note

DFCC Vardhana Bank PLC (DVB) last week reported a profit after tax of Rs. 635.5 million for the first half ended 30 June 2015, with profit growth up 85 per cent over the corresponding period of 2014. Net interest income recorded a growth of 28 per cent over the previous period due to the reduction [...]

Hemas posts earnings growth of 68.2 per cent

Hemas Group said this week that group revenue rose by 22.9 per cent to Rs. 8.8 billion in first quarter 2015/16. Earnings stood at Rs. 415 million. The FMCG sector achieved revenues of Rs. 3.8 billion, up by 33.2 per cent with growth driven by personal wash, personal care, feminine hygiene and home care brands, which [...]

Singer revenue up 28 % at Rs. 18 bln in 1stH2015

Singer Sri Lanka recorded Rs. 18 billion in revenue in first half 2015, up by 28 per cent from the first half of the 2014 year. The group’s continued initiatives and expansion plans and overall improvement in the business environment has contributed to this impressive growth momentum, according to a company statement. Establishing new shops and [...]

AIA Sri Lanka half year results shows growth

AIA Insurance Lanka PLC (AIA) announcing its first half 2015 year results this week said consolidated revenue was up 5 per cent to Rs. 7,105 million with the increase due to “higher net earned premiums in both life and general insurance businesses”. It said in a media release that composite gross written premium (GWP) income [...]

Sirio Ltd conducts CSR initiative at 28 childrens’ and elders’ homes in a single day

Sirio Ltd conducts CSR initiative at 28 childrens’ and elders’ homes in a single day

Sirio Ltd, a leading garment manufacturing and exporting company in Badalgama, recently engaged in a gigantic CSR initiative where employees, in a single day, visited 28 Children’s’ and Elders’ homes in Western and North Western provinces to provide the inmates with their requirements and entertainment. The initiative was spearheaded by company CEO Felix Fernando. The [...]

Popular ‘Uswatte’ steps in to next level of business expansion

Popular ‘Uswatte’ steps in to next level of business expansion

Uswatte Confectionery Works (Pvt) Ltd, pioneers in the confectionery business and best known for the Glucorasa brand for more than 58 years, steps in to the next level of business expansion under the guidance of company Chairman/CEO Quintus Perera with the support of the third generation of the Perera family. The company is now planning [...]

Pettah traders seek new laws to tackle ‘bouncing cheques’

Pettah traders have asked the government to bring in new legislation to penalise customers issuing fraudulent cheques as the present system allows most to get away with it. The traders formed under the Progressive Traders Association in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena signed by its President A.H. Sabreen has stated that the cheque system is [...]

Antyra Solutions launched as Sri Lanka’s new digital advertising agency

Antyra Solutions, an end-to-end Sri Lankan digital advertising agency, has been launched in the digital world. Founded by Niranka T. Perera and Rohan Jayaweera (formerly consultant at Google), Antyra has entered into a strategic partnership and investment agreement with Microimage Mobile Media (Pvt) Ltd. The partnership augments Antyra’s digital services portfoli with mobile platform development, [...]

Sri Lankan Chartered Accountants known for honesty and integrity across the world, says FCA member Shantha Fonseka

Chartered Accountants are well known as a brand of unique and versatile professionals, who are sought after both locally and globally. However Sri Lankan Chartered Accountants, who have been produced by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka(CA Sri Lanka), are known and respected as well as have been in demand for their honesty, [...]

CA Sri Lanka’s 51st Annual Report Awards to kick off in December

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) has opened entries for its 51st Annual Report Awards which is to kick off on 3rd December this year. The event is one of the most sought after corporate level competitions in the country that promotes transparency, accountability and good governance. This years’ theme [...]

BOC Ran Kekulu’s 2,000 scholarships for achievers of year 5 scholarship examination

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) Ran Kekulu this year is offering 2000 scholarships, each worth Rs.10,000, for high flyers of the year 5 scholarship examination 2015, it said in a media release, adding that it applies to bank account holders. As a part of the bank’s strategic Corporate Social Responsibility, the BOC conducts this annual programme [...]

Haycarb to strengthen coconut shell sourcing from industry

Haycarb PLC is planning a third plant in Indonesia, while considering plants in the Philippines and India in the medium term in a bid to meet growing demand, official said.  ”Haycarb’s strategy will be one of consolidation and restructuring Sri Lanka operations to develop, manufacture and market value added and specialized activated carbon products whilst [...]

Banking sector challenging, severe competition amidst slower-than-expected credit growth, says NDB

Sri Lanka’s banking sector was challenging with credit growth slower than anticipated and severe competition posed by a large number of banking and non-banking institutions, NDB Bank Group said in revealing its financial results for first half 2015. The macro-economic outlook also carries uncertainty with the parliamentary elections due tomorrow, it said. Discussing financials, the [...]

Mad room rush slashes Sri Lankan hotel rates

Hoteliers in the Southern coastal belt and Colombo city hotels are feeling the pinch of trying to attract travellers and have resorted to undercutting at a time when there is a mad room rush. Slashing prices on room rates has become the norm in the five stars in Colombo and the Southern hotels of three and [...]

Jetwing eyes improved western ties for growth

Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray has pointed out that the changed political climate has improved relations with countries in Western Europe that serve the island nation’s highest arrivals during winter. In releasing the Jetwing Lighthouse financial results for 2014/15, he noted that with relevance to Jetwing Lighthouse, Western Europe is a key market and that during the [...]

Browns Beach Hotels Group profits dip

Profits dipped at Browns Beach Hotels Group compared to the previous year, financial results released by the organisation stated. During the financial year, the Browns Beach Hotels Group reported a profit after tax of Rs.93.2 million mainly on the interest income earned from the investments of the funds raised from the Rights Issue. However, profits [...]

Cox & Kings eyes Colombo push post elections

Cox and Kings, one of the leading and oldest global travel companies is betting on Sri Lanka in the wake of numbers coming out of India, the highest into this island nation and were eying the upcoming elections results. At Cox and Kings “we place a large bet on Sri Lanka,” the company’s Relationships and Supplier [...]

Tourism sector profits at Aitken Spence slide

The tourism sector profits at Aitken Spence have declined by 1.2 per cent mainly due to the decline in profits from hotels both in Sri Lanka and overseas, Group Chairman Harry Jayawardena said in a statement made in the Annual Report in releasing the 2014/215 financials. However, the destination management segment was said to have [...]

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