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Sampath Bank winner of the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2015’

Sampath Bank winner of the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2015’

Sampath Bank has won the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability award 2015’, an annual event organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). Singer Sri Lanka and National Development Bank PLC won second and third place in the competition. Awards were presented on Thursday. Picture shows Sampath Bank Managing Director Aravinda Perera  receiving the award from [...]

Tourism industry raises alarm bells on budget

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is alarmed over Treasury moves to stop direct tax collections into the four state institutions from the sector, following budget proposals to withdraw such payments. Two key industry associations, the Tourist Hoteliers Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO,) in a letter to the [...]

Shangri-La eyes third property in Sri Lanka

Shangri-la is eyeing a third property in Sri Lanka in the wake of announcing the scheduled opening of the Hambantota hotel next June. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, Sri Lanka General Manager Mehdi Serrour told reporters in Colombo on Friday that there will be a third property as well – in addition to the Colombo Galle [...]

George Soros here for Jan Euromoney meet

Famous capital market investor George Soros will be in Sri Lanka in January to attend the Euromoney Sri Lanka Global Investment Forum sponsored by business and finance magazine Euromoney, officials said. Mr. Soros, billionaire chief of Soros Fund Management, will be a key speaker at this event which will see the Ministry of Finance, the [...]

Singapore experts fine-tune Western Region Megapolis Project

The government’s ambitious Western Region Megapolis Project (WRMPP) – partly to attract foreign investors in large scale development projects – is now being fine-tuned by a team of Singapore experts of Surbana International. These investment areas are transport, infrastructure, industry, housing, education, and recreation fields, Chairman of WRMPP, Ajita De Costa told Business Times. The [...]

SL’s international promotions under one umbrella in future

Sri Lanka’s international promotions that were done through different ministries will in future be carried out jointly by a single, umbrella organisation. It will be coordinated by the Ministry of Policy Planning and likely to be executed by the Ministry of International Trade in a major public relations drive that will strive to promote and build [...]

Budget for Business: A red flag for the people

Budget for Business:  A red flag for the people

The 2016 Budget has been welcomed by the business and economic establishment. The big question is whether economic policies good for business are necessarily good for the economy and the people? To what extent are the economic policies in the 2016 Budget and the Prime Minister’s Economic Policy Statement different from the crisis-prone economic policies [...]

Giants in the tea trade lock horns in court

Two giants in the tea trade have locked horns and are battling it out in a Sri Lankan court to get a settlement on some issues coming under the Intellectual Property Act.In a case taken up for hearing a few weeks ago, Harry Jayawardena of Stassen Exports (Pvt) Ltd and Stassen International (Pvt) Ltd complained [...]

COPE and the “people’s budget”

The good news this week was that the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) got an opposition MP as its new chairman. JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi was elected chair of the committee, the first time in many years that an opposition member is heading the committee that examines the affairs of the state sector.The previous [...]

Sri Lanka could be hub for disaster relief in the region

Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned to be a hub for disaster relief across the region as the country is well equipped for this role, says a disaster management expert.Dr. Sinharaja Tammita Delgoda, Disaster and Emergency Warning Network (DEWN), Dialog Network, said the country’s hotel sector, insurance companies, media and the armed forces are in place [...]

SL agriculture exports to treble in value by 2020

Sri Lanka’s Department of Export Agriculture (DEA) has an ambitious programme to treble exports to US$1 billion by 2020 from $328 million now, according to N.K.A. Rupasinghe, DEA Director General.Speaking at the AGM of the Spices Council held in Colombo last week in which Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries was the Chief Guest, he [...]

Seizing the moment through third Generation Economic Reforms

Seizing the moment through third Generation Economic Reforms

The Third Generation of Economic Reforms (TGER) announced in the recent budget is intended to “improve and enhance the living standards of the people”. At last the well-being of the people has been emphasised after various unachievable and flamboyant goals like creating the ‘Wonder of Asia’.The objectives of the TGER are (a) creating one million [...]

SL women’s chamber hails allocation of 5% loan portfolio for women entrepreneurs

The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) has congratulated the government and the Finance Minister, for the important step taken in the budget to direct banks to lend 5 per cent of their total loan portfolio to women Micro, Small and Medium Enerprises (MSMEs). “WCIC is particularly thankful that their proposal under their advocacy [...]

Earnings from tourism up by 18 % in Jan-Dec 2015, CB says

Earnings from tourism in January to October are estimated to have grown by nearly 18 per cent, strengthening the external current account, while workers’ remittances recorded a moderate growth of 1.8 per cent in the first nine months of the year, the Central Bank (CB) said this week. Gross official reserves, which stood at US$ [...]

Govt must pursue Colombo Metro Master Plan prepared this year, CILT chief urges

Sri Lanka’s transport and logistics sector has urged the Government to revive a transport master plan that was drawn up for the Colombo Metropolitan with experts during the Prime Minister’s 100-day programme which appeared to have gone off the radar.Niral Kadawatharatchie, Chairman, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), speaking at the Annual International Conference [...]

Raban playing and coconut toffee add local touch to new Anantara Peace Haven

Raban playing and coconut toffee add  local touch to new Anantara Peace Haven

At first glance, the 152-keys Anantara Peace Haven opening on Tuesday, December 1 in Tangalle is like any other 5-star resort with an international brand to boot!But looking closer, the Bangkok-based Asian premium brand which is growing rapidly across the world has far more to offer than any other resort in Sri Lanka. The 21-acre [...]

Budget assumption of rapid GDP growth ‘overly optimistic’ – Fitch

Budget assumption of rapid GDP growth ‘overly optimistic’ – Fitch

With revenues relying on increased external trade taxes, Sri Lanka’s 2016 budget may be “overly optimistic” should it fall short of its underlying 7 to 8 per cent GDP growth assumption, according to Fitch Ratings Sri Lanka. Elaborating, Fitch said in a media statement that the government expects “total tax revenue relative to GDP to [...]

“Decent” seizure of vehicles by finance companies over unpaid lease rentals

Seizing of vehicles over unpaid lease rentals by finance companies has become a controversial public issue due to the methods adopted in grabbing these vehicles in public places.Tactics bordering on ‘thuggery’ are used in the seizure of vehicles causing embarrassment to vehicle owners and their passengers.The People’s Leasing & Finance Co (PLC) said that it [...]

Slowdown of SL motor vehicle sales by govt – Fitch

Growth in motor vehicle sales in Sri Lanka, and particularly in small cars, will slow in 2016 because of higher taxes as well as a weaker currency propelling vehicle prices upwards, according to international ratings agency Fitch.The ratings agency also noted, “Tighter regulation on vehicle loans will also impact affordability for buyers”.This, Fitch signalled, is [...]

Maskeliya estates and factories secure prestigious Rainforest certification

Maskeliya estates and factories secure prestigious Rainforest certification

Estate and factories of Maskeliya Plantations PLC, owned by the Richard Pieris Group, have obtained the Rainforest Alliance Certificate. The factories are Laxapana Estate, Maskeliya; Moray Estate, Maskeliya; Hapugastenna Estate, Maskeliya; Moussakelle Estate, Maskeliya; Brownlow Estate, Maskeliya; Glentilt Estate, Maskeliya; Glenugie (Deeside) Estate, Maskeliya; Mocha Estate, Maskeliya; Strathspey Esate, Upcot; St. Clair Estate, Talawakelle; Talawakelle [...]

MasterCard shares insights on fraud and risk issues

MasterCard recently hosted a Fraud and Risk Management workshop for electronic payments professionals in Colombo. In line with MasterCard’s commitment to sharing global best practices with its partners and gaining local insights from them, the workshop is a part of an ongoing series of knowledge-sharing sessions being organised by the payments technology company in the [...]

AmCham joins top corporates to combat counterfeit

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), as part of the ‘Stay safe from fakes’campaign to address the issue of violations of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Sri Lanka, is hosting a first of its kind briefing on December 1 in Colombo.AmCham said the participants will be provided with an understanding to counterfeit mitigation which will [...]

Sri Lanka beckons tourists for Kelaniya Duruthu festival

Sri Lanka beckons tourists for Kelaniya Duruthu festival

Sri Lanka is looking at promoting the Duruthu Perahera conducted at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya, a temple that has a key religious significance and would promote the rich cultural heritage of the country.The iconic Buddhist temple dates back to over 2500 years, and it is said that Buddha visited this site on his third [...]

TIME Hotels hosts first ever Dubai Waiters Race

TIME Hotels hosts first ever Dubai Waiters Race

Dinesh Warnakulasuriya, a 28-year old waiter at the Ristretto Café in Golden Tulip Al Thanyah, beat off stiff competition at the first ever TIME Hotels Dubai Waiters Race, which took place on November 20, 2015, a media release issued by the organisers said. Co-ordinated by Festivities Dubai, the starting point for the inaugural race was [...]

MICE tourism gets spotlight in Budget 2016

The Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry has got a major focus in this year’s budget which has proposed to construct the largest capacity conference facility in Colombo.While plans are still being worked out on the proposed conference facility the key government body the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) General Manager Vipula Wanigasekara said [...]

Emirates introduces new generation in-flight entertainment system

Emirates has introduced a new generation in-flight entertainment (IFE) system reaffirming its commitment to continual product enhancement, a media release issued by the airline stated. The latest features include larger screens in First Class and Economy Class and three times the media storage – offering passengers an even greater choice of content onboard, the release [...]

Etihad Airways celebrates UAE innovation week

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, was hosting a series of events and activities to showcase its approach to innovation in technology and sustainability during the UAE Innovation Week being held between November 22 and 28, a media release issued by the airline said this week. The nationwide Innovation Week was [...]

Tourists may have to pay more to visit Sri Lanka

Travellers to Sri Lanka would be taxed up to around 3.5 per cent through the introduction of two new taxes as a result of which the industry would have to adjust their rates.Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that though the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) embodied in the Tourism Act of 2005 was brought in to [...]

Softlogic Finance continues high growth trajectory in 1HFY15

Softlogic Finance PLC continued its strong growth momentum in the first half of the 2015 financial year (1HFY15), recording “remarkable growth across the board, including double digit improvements in many key indicators”, the company said in a media release.Within the six month period ending 30th September 2015, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, Softlogic Finance’s Total [...]

Oxford Business Group teams up with First Capital Holdings PLC for report on Sri Lanka

A new report on Sri Lanka by the global publishing firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) will explore what’s next for the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), while tracking its activity and performance since the end of the war. It will trace the CSE’s expansion in terms of new listings, volume, market capitalisation and upgrades to trading [...]

CIFL depositors in the dark

Much is been said and done these days about the depositors who backed the failed Golden Key and F&G companies of the Ceylinco Group, etc with them being paid at least in part and in the process of getting all their money as the courts have intervened. But what about the CIFL depositors?? I am [...]

Mihin Lanka updates agents on latest product developments

Mihin Lanka updates agents on latest product developments

Mihin Lanka recently briefed its agents on the airline’s updated product and service offerings. The presentation to 102 agents dealt with Mihin Lanka’s latest product enhancements and productive usage of the airline’s Global Distribution System. “Greater awareness was also created about Mihin Lanka’s special fares and promotions. The presentation also highlighted the introduction of the [...]

Norway shifts to business brokering from peace brokering in Sri Lanka

Norway shifts to business brokering from peace brokering in Sri Lanka

In a shift from the role as a peace broker in Sri Lanka, Norway, the gateway to Scandinavia and the third highest per capita market in the world, is gearing up to promote business cooperation between the two countries focusing on the ICT industry, marineand maritime services, solar energy and tourism, etc.The Norwegian Embassy in [...]

Finance Minister agrees to correct budget flaw

Footwear makers are unhappy over a budget proposal to allow duty free shoe imports from the Rs.100 per pair tax earlier. But Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at a meeting with the industry on Thursday promised to resolve their issues. The industry says duty free imports will flood the market and sharply reduce the local share [...]

Banks’ bottomlines hurt by budget but boost for loan growth

Rationalising the leasing business of banks by june 1 2016, will see banks margins affected as leasing carries better interest yield than core lending. But the move may introduce loan products similar to leasing in the medium term, analysts say.NTB has the highest exposure of 24.6 per cent in leasing according to data this year, [...]

Central Bank’s 100 % guarantee on finance company deposits

In an unprecedented move, the Central Bank (CB) has been directed to provide a 100 percent guarantee on deposits of all registered finance companies with effect from end January 2016 to provide the depositors with a sense of comfort and security, the 2016 budget revealed. So far there hasn’t been any such CB guarantee although [...]

UK’s Wilkins Group opens eco-friendly Retail Packaging Factory at Mawaramandiya

Wilkins Spence Sri Lanka, a subsidiary of the Wilkins Group UK, recently opened a state-of-the-art factory to produce retail packaging solutions at Mawaramandiya. The opening was attended by the Board of Directors of Wilkins Group UK, dignitaries, factory officials and many esteemed customers, according to a company media release. The 40,000 sq. ft factory was [...]

Ravi tells private sector not to maintain two accounting books

Sri Lanka’s private sector was urged to discontinue keeping two accounting books – one to pay and the other to avoid, and to pay taxes while reaping the benefits of the proposals in the new budget.”The private sector had a feeling that there was nothing happening since the new government took over but the glaring [...]

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