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Ignorant Sri Lankans

Ignorant Sri Lankans

Ignorance of the law is no excuse as many Sri Lankans have discovered. It is pure ignorance that led many people to crowd round a pavement vendor in Pettah this week selling wallets made out of fake 5000-rupee notes. The purses are said to have been imported from China. Reproduction of a currency note in [...]

Gold licences: Joy for some, agony for others

A special committee appointed by the Central Bank (CB) will be tasked with considering applications and granting licences to 50 gold importers amidst growing concern that the move would result in a monopoly in the business. The proposal in the 2016 budget provides for a limited number (50) licences to be issued to businessmen allowing tax-free [...]

Sri Lanka finalises ETCA framework with public private sector consultations

Sri Lanka is now in the process of finalising the Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Agreement (ETCA) framework and to have final agreements ‘in place’ for signing by May next year by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. A top level Sri Lankan official delegation will visit India to attend a meeting [...]

SL’s GSP + application in Jan

The government is expected to re-submit in January its application to regain trade concessions from the European Union (EU) under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus.During a meeting with the apparel industry on December 14 International Development Minister Malik Samarawickrama had said the government is scheduled to re-submit the application to regain the GSP [...]

Megapolis team visits Singapore for advice

A team from the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development is now in Singapore on a study tour of the Temasek Model, as a precursor to implement the Megapolis project here in Colombo, sources said. This follows a visit to Colombo from the Singapore urban planning consultants Surbana, two months ago. Lakshman Jayasekera, Project Director/Team [...]

Efforts to hire Singapore capital markets expert peter out

Questions are being raised over repeated attempts to rope in Magnus Bocker, former CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange, to assist Sri Lanka’s capital market reforms, particularly since the reforms process is already underway. “It was suggested that he become a consultant to a project grant which was awarded by a multinational donor agency for [...]

Will CB increase interest rates?

The Central Bank (CB)’s Monetary Board will be undertaking its monthly economic review on Wednesday with a report to be issued later that night. The CB said it would be reviewing developments in December and announce its decision on policy rates, keenly awaited in the money market. “Will the CB raise interest rates in line [...]

2016 economic growth seen lower at 5.0-5.5 per cent, says IPS chief

2016 economic growth seen lower at 5.0-5.5 per cent, says IPS chief

As the year comes to a close, the Business Times this week sat down with economist and Head of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Dr. Saman Kelegama to discuss the economy in 2015 and the prospects and challenges for 2016. On the year 2015, the global economic recovery and global growth prospects [...]

Challenges for business in 2016

As small and big businesses ring in the New Year, enormous challenges are ahead according to economic projections pertaining to growth, inflation and interest rates.One of the most-followed events would be as to how US interest rates – a trend-setter for global rates – would unfold next year. Last week red flags were raised in [...]

Those were the days: Jayarajan’s TOTTENHAM BIBLE

“Well,” Paul Marcus Jayarajan said, handing me a huge tome. “This is the Tottenham Manual of Office Procedure. I will be testing you on this from time to time.” This was my first day of work (6th November 1958), and I had just reported to my ultimate boss – Paul Marcus Jayarajan, formidable Secretary of [...]

India-based green energy firm gets green light for bamboo venture in Vavuniya

India-based green energy firm gets green light for bamboo venture in Vavuniya

Sustainable Green Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan company headed by an Indian entrepreneur, has received the green-light from the government to launch its ambitious industrial venture of going green with a bamboo cultivation project in the North.The company has already started a massive bamboo cultivation and Dendro power project with an investment of US$20 [...]

BOC offers schols to 2000 Grade 5 high flyers

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) Ran Kekulu is offering 2000 scholarships each worth of Rs.10,000 for 2015 Grade 5 Scholarship achievers for the 14th time. This annual programme is one of the bank’s key Corporate Social Responsible programmes to uplift the country’s education by supporting and encouraging school children to make an extra effort in [...]

SLANZBC holds its annual Christmas Fellowship

SLANZBC holds its annual Christmas Fellowship

The Sri Lanka – Australia- New Zealand Business Council (SLANZBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its Annual Christmas Fellowship dinner on December 10 at the Waters Edge. The event was graced by Robyn Mudie High Commissioner of Australia, Grahame Morton, High Commissioner of New Zealand and Shelly Whiting, High Commissioner of Canada, [...]

Sri Lanka’s potential demand for senior living housing

Sri Lanka is a country with a discreetly ageing population because of an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in birth rates. The demographic transition that is taking place is expected to result in the old and young representing a lopsided share of the population. According to the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), [...]

Predicament of the security trade

The Budget Relief Allowance had been approved for the private sector in the form of a draft bill calling it “An Act to provide for the payment of Budgetary Relief Allowance” by the employers to workers and for matters connected and with or incidental to. It is learnt that it has been drafted by the [...]

Global tea shortfall and currency depreciation silver lining for Sri Lanka tea in 2016 ?

A global tea shortfall of approximately 80-100 million kg of tea in early 2016 should, in normal circumstances, boost prices, with a further depreciation of the Rupee against the US dollar provide a mixed-bag future for Sri Lanka’s struggling tea sector, industry analysts say. According to tea broker Forbes & Walker (FW), global tea production [...]

‘Christmas Fest’ launched as first in a series of annual events to attract tourists

The Government last Saturday launched a mega campaign aimed at offering tourists seasonal and regular events, with “Tourism Fest 2015” linked to the Christmas season being the first such event.The Ministry of Tourism and state agencies are actively working on a calendar of weekly and monthly events across a 12-month to attract high-spending tourists as [...]

US-based Millennium Challenge picks Sri Lanka among others for financial support

WASHINGTON DC – The US- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors last week picked Sri Lanka and many other countries to provide support through its programmes. “Sri Lanka has embarked on a remarkable effort over the past year to reinvigorate its democratic institutions, improve governance, and restore protection of human rights,” MCC said in [...]

Listing SOEs will be a game changer next year

Listing SOEs will be a game changer next year

The signals for Sri Lanka’s stock market for the next quarter in 2016 range from confusing to hopeful, according to industry analysts. They say that while the famous capital market investor George Soros, slated to be in Sri Lanka in early January, and the setting up of the Megapolis in two months will augur well [...]

Sri Lanka’s motor tax policies seriously questioned

The vehicle registration momentum continued into November due to the pre-November 20 budget surge and relaxation of loan-to-value (LTV) rule, a JB Stockbrokers research report said. “Total motor cars registrations recorded 10,054 units in November slightly down from 10,349 units in October, but significantly higher than 2,419 units recorded 12 months ago,” it said, adding [...]

November cautious month for traders

The month of November saw the UNP-led coalition government announcing its maiden budget for the year 2016 with market activities remaining low during the first half of the month as investors were seen adopting a cautious approach prior to the budget, anaysts said, analysing events in the market in the past month. Despite the budget [...]

SEC’s recent actions praised by good governance activist

Good governance activist and stockmarket investor K.C.Vignarajah has praised the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for taking steps to create investor interest and confidence, once again, in Colombo’s stock market.In a letter to SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne, he said the criticism that the wrongdoers and the mafia had got around the powers that be, to [...]

Import duty cut doesn’t affect RCL – report

Royal Ceramics Lanka PLC (RCL) posted a 37.5 per cent year on year (YoY) growth in Q2 FY 16 bottom line, resulting in a recurring Earnings Per Share (EPS) of Rs. 6, a Bartleet Religare report said. “The growth in tiles, sanitary ware and aluminum sector volumes, coupled with the group’s cost saving initiatives, aided [...]

Ringing in the New Year with uncertain economic prospects

Ringing in the New Year with  uncertain economic prospects

If 2015 could be classified as the year of political change, signs are that 2016 would be a year where economic volatility and uncertainty prevails. In 2015, politics trumped economics and by the time political stability was reached or at least moved to an even footing, the economy saw a depreciation of its currency in [...]

Bureaucracy at the CSE

I was prompted to write this letter after seeing the recent response by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to a 6th December story in the Business Times titled “Hapless Depositors caught in a web of red tape spun by the CSE”The issue I have with the CSE is that its officers are either slow in [...]

Price controls hit Sri Lanka’s small poultry producers

Sri Lanka’s small poultry producers will be hit badly owing to the price control imposed by the government without giving any concessions to the industry, poultry producers complained.Due to the high prices and shortage of raw materials for poultry feed production, chicken meat production was not within the control of poultry producers.Imposing a control price [...]

“Come invest with us” – message from Sri Lanka’s eastern region

Plans are underway to set up a Tourism Authority in the Eastern Province to boost tourism in that region.Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Naseer Ahamed said that plans are afoot to convert the Valaichchenai Paper Mills into a golf course in the near future. He also said that if more publicity is given to [...]

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