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Political discussion?

Political discussion?

At first glance this looks like a political event? Ministers and politicians from both camps – UNP and SLFP – who were invitees at an event on Tuesday hosted by the Pakistan High Commission to welcome visiting Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, were also involved in their own discussion as this picture by Amila Gamage [...]

Treasury grapples with practical issues on macroeconomic management

The Treasury is grappling with practical issues in handling the country’s macroeconomic management and financial transaction functions as it has become time consuming to coordinate with the Central Bank (CB), state banks – Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank – and several other key institutions which are not under the purview of the Finance [...]

SriLankan Airlines’ directors told “perform or quit”

The board of directors at loss-making SriLankan Airlines has been told to ‘perform or quit’ if the airline doesn’t return to profitability soon. Not mincing his words, Public Enterprises Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne warned this week that the national carrier should get its act together and stop the bleeding (losses) within two years and then [...]

Sri Lanka to ease land issues for investors

Sri Lanka government is reviewing existing laws on state-owned lands to broad-base ownership, relax the land use ceiling and remove restrictions on foreigners buying land. A new draft bill is now being prepared with the aim of providing provisions to provide ownership of land without being affected by the Land Restriction and Alienation Act. Local and [...]

Top SEC official sent on compulsory leave

Dhammika Perera, Deputy Director General (DDG) at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who has had several controversial issues, was served with compulsory leave orders by the SEC on Wednesday. This came on the back of the Commissioners conducting a thorough study of Mr. Perera’s activities. “After this they decided to send him on compulsory [...]

Mattala back on the radar

The government is planning to call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from foreign investors to run the commercial operations at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).Under this, a master developer would be sought to hand over the commercial operations of the airport, Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. Executive Director Johanne Jayaratne told the Business Times [...]

Sri Lanka’s recent Euro Bond issue: Success at a premium?

Sri Lanka’s recent Euro Bond issue: Success at a premium?

As widely reported in the national media, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) recently raised US$1.5 billion on behalf of the government by issuing 10-year International Sovereign Bonds. According to the CB media release dated 28 October, the annual interst (coupon) rate on these bonds is 6.85 per cent. As bonds were sold at [...]

Improving farmer incomes

Nearly two decades ago during Christmas with consumer prices skyrocketing, then Trade Minister Kingsley Wickremaratne ordered eggs to be imported from India.Indian eggs, sold at less than half the price of the local product, flooded the market and were eagerly grabbed by consumers. However the move was short-lived after local producers raised a hue and [...]

Strong performance from Hayleys amidst challenging environment

Hayleys PLC has reported a Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 2.7 billion for the six months ending September 2015, the company said. The bottom line was supported by strong results from Transportation and Logistics, Agriculture, Purification Products, Leisure, Textiles, Construction Materials and Industrial Inputs sectors, the company statement added. The Transportation and Logistics Sector [...]

JLanka Technologies introduces pioneering solar panel technology

JLanka Technologies, in another pioneering venture, has introduced the latest solar panel technology being used by its global partners Trina Solar which allows solar panels to be more efficient in their assigned tasks. A company announcement said in traditional solar panels when an electron reaches the back surface of the panel it loses its ability [...]

Errant broker licences hang in the balance

Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will ‘critically’ re-look at licences of some market intermediaries who have stepped out of line, a top official said. SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne told the Business Times that the regulator has many ‘issues’ but only with ‘very few’ market intermediaries. “We will have to evaluate their licences when [...]

4th SL Economic Research Conference to kick off next week

The 4th International Economic Research Conference organised by the Sri Lanka Forum of University Economists (SLFUE) will be held next week from 20-21 November at Hotel Janaki at Colombo 5. At a media briefing held last week, SLFUE former Chair, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said, “It is the ideal time for a conference like this where [...]

Following Maria Montessori’s vision

Following Maria Montessori’s vision

GALPOTTA ESTATE – At a well lit table at the Nienhuis factory floor at Panadura in southern Sri Lanka, two women – one with tresses (long hair) – are painstakingly hand painting scores of small globes. The paint lines are fine and so precise that there is no tell tale evidence of brush strokes. Quality [...]

Cinnamon, IFC to grow tourism sector in eastern Sri Lanka

Cinnamon, IFC to grow tourism sector in eastern Sri Lanka

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts has tied up with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, as its strategic partner in promoting eastern Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destinationActivities under the partnership will be carried out with the financial support of the European Union’s Support to District Development Programme (EU-SDDP) which aims to [...]

LOLC Group credit rating upgraded by ICRA Lanka

ICRA Lanka Ltd, a group company of Moody’s Investor Services, has upgraded the credit rating of LOLC (Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC) and its financial services subsidiaries LOLC Finance PLC (LOFC) and Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC (CLC) to [SL] A wit stable outlook from [SL] A- with stable outlook. “The ratings continue to factor [...]

Virtusa to acquire 51.7% in Polaris Consulting & Services

Virtusa to acquire 51.7% in Polaris  Consulting & Services

Virtusa Corporation, a Sri Lankan-led global business consulting and IT outsourcing company, announced last week that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority 51.7 per cent stake in Chennai-based Polaris Consulting & Services, Ltd. (Polaris, a global provider of IT solutions primarily to the banking and financial services industry). For Massachusetts-headquartered Virtusa, [...]

Reading printed materials more ‘convenient’ than screens – SLAP President

Reading printed materials more ‘convenient’ than screens – SLAP President

People find it more “convenient” to read printed materials rather than content from a screen, which is why millions of people have visited the international book fair at the BMICH to date, according to Veerasamy Kumaran, President of the Sri Lanka Assocition of Printers (SLAP). He also added, “As I know, the newspaper readership is [...]

SLASSCOM supports National IT week

SLASSCOM will conduct two workshops and three technology discussions from November 16-23 focusing on cutting edge technology tools and concepts to support the ‘National Information and Communication Technology Week’ The focal areas covered in the discussions will address timely topics that are driving global technological disruption such as user experience, internet of things, scaled agile [...]

Colombo to host international disaster convention

Colombo is hosting its first ever International Disaster Convention on 16-18 November in a pilot event together with the UNDP and the Disaster Management Centre. “The aim is to establish Sri Lanka as a centre of excellence and knowledge on Disaster, Climate Change and Sustainability. The purpose is to share understanding and information,” the conference [...]

VAT – Throwing the “Baby with the Bathwater”

VAT – Throwing the “Baby  with the Bathwater”

A school of thought has gained pre budget momentum that Sri Lanka should abandon VAT and revert to Turnover tax (TT). Prudent analysts would agree that this is an ill-considered measure in the context of the “globalization of VAT” in addition to the reasons for VAT being a far superior form of taxation compared to [...]

Apparel officials oblivious to mourning

Organisers of the Sundown Meeting 2015, the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association, on Thursday was a state unto themselves when they went ahead and served cocktails to guests, completely ignoring the fact that the state had declared the day as a National Day of Mourning. The funeral of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera was held on [...]

Tourism stalwarts urge Govt to drop plans to scrap VAT

Tourism industry stalwarts appointed to the ministry’s advisory board urged that state plans to reintroduce taxes like Business Turnover Tax (BTT) in place of Value Added Tax (VAT) be dropped at the next budget highlighting that a one year grace period is needed prior for its implementation, a media release issued by the Tourism Ministry [...]

Second phase of new GK repayment delays due to lack of funds

The second phase of the new Golden Key repayment process initiated by the present government is to be delayed due to lack of funds, officials said. The Treasury is yet to release a sum of Rs.3.94 billion to the Golden Key Credit Card Company to resume the repayment of 41 per cent of the deposits [...]

CWE falls into debt trap

The Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) which operates 310 retail outlets countrywide is on the verge of bankruptcy with debts of Rs. 10 billion to two state banks the Bank of Ceylon and the Peoples Bank and Rs. 3 billion to suppliers.The Treasury has turned down a request by Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen [...]

Recycle-Sari Project in 2012 aims to support women headed families in war-affected North

Recycle-Sari Project in 2012 aims to support women headed families in war-affected North

Sari Connection – a subsidiary under PARCIC (PARC Interpeoples Cooperation) a Japanese NGO working with marginalised communities in Sri Lanka since 2004 – has a unique, carefully handcrafted product range made out of upcycled saris. These are meeting with aspirations of seamstresses from marginalised communities such as Jaffna and Mullaitivu, long affected by conflict or [...]

High risk borrowing a dilemma for Northern residents, study says

Northern residents have access to an abundance of formal credit offered by banks, finance companies and microfinance institutions that have recently entered that market, a new study on borrowing and ‘financial counselling (advice)” in Sri Lanka’s north has shown. Offering attractively packaged loans, banks entice people to borrow without much hassle. Even though borrowers are [...]

Oxfam-Monash report provides key insights into women’s participation in village economic activity

Initial results of a survey among 2000 women in the districts of Ampara, Hambantota and Polonnaruwa have provided critical insight into women’s participation in agricultural and non-agricultural livelihoods, and explores various factors that may impact on women’s economic empowerment.“A qualitative life course based study with 66 women drawn from these districts as well as local [...]

Janashakthi closes 3Q, 2015 with double digit growth

Janashakthi Insurance PLC has recorded a 15 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in consolidated Gross Written Premium (GWP) in the first nine months of 2015 to end the quarter with a consolidated GWP of over Rs.7.351 billion and Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 337 million, the company announced.The company’s life insurance business posted a [...]

Hemas and SLINTEC steer innovation in personal care market

Hemas Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd has entered into an agreement with the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) to expand the personal care product portfolio by adding a revitalising skin care solution. “The focus on innovation is centred upon the desire to push beyond the boundaries that Hemas has been respected for and this agreement harnesses [...]

‘Sweets’ industry in crisis over import duty hike

The Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA) has expressed concern that the recent hike in the import of confectionery fats (up sharply to 160 per cent from 60 per cent) has adversely affected the industry and those working in it. The increase in confectionery fats will significantly impact the cost of manufacturing of confectionery products like [...]

Local brushware and filament maker, Beira Group eyes Southeast Asia

Local brushware and filament maker, Beira Group eyes Southeast Asia

Sri Lanka’s leading brushware and filament manufacturer and exporter, Beira Parawood Products (Pvt) Ltd (BPPL) is looking at Southeast Asia as its next big market to tap.  The company’s CEO Anush Amarasinghe told the Business Times that the company was looking at the above region as the next level to take its products. He made [...]

New land policy urgently needed to uplift farming communities

While addressing the recent Sri Lanka Economic Association annual sessions, President Maithripala Sirisena said that efforts have to be made to replace the import of food to this country. It has to be mentioned with due respect that such a policy would be similar to the disastrous policy of import substitution that was followed in [...]

Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif to visit SL in Jan 2016

Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif to visit SL in Jan 2016

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz will be visiting Sri Lanka in the first week of January 2016 following the visit to Islamabad by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena earlier this year.The announcement was made by the visiting Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan at a reception in Colombo on Tuesday night at which several Sri Lankan [...]

Amãna Bank shows profit of Rs. 121.2 mln against last year’s Rs.168.7 mln loss

Amãna Bank is continuing its upward profitability momentum by recording a Q3 profit of Rs. 50.6 million following its Q1 and Q2 profit of Rs. 23.1 million and Rs. 47.5 million, respectively. The bank’s Operating Profit before Value Added Tax for the nine months ended 30 September 2015 increased to Rs. 225.2 million, a bank [...]

Musical chairs over SLIC’s top post

The state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd (SLIC) has become a ‘political’ playground with the former Managing Director refusing to quit.Two days after being asked to leave his position, former MD T. M. R. Bangsa Jayah on Friday morning locked his office room and left to ‘sort things’ out with the ‘minister’, officials said. It [...]

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