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Money can buy happiness

Money can buy happiness

A series of garlands made up of 20-rupee notes adorn a statue of Lord Amman at a Hindu Kovil at Kochchikade in Colombo. Hindu devotees place these garlands of currency notes in the belief it would bring them happiness, help recover from an illness or in seeking a promotion. Pic by Anuruddha Bandara  

Vehicle tax relief plan for select few foiled

The Finance Ministry’s attempt to grant special tax concessions for selected few persons for the import of luxury vehicles has been thwarted by the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Public Accounts. The country would be deprived tax revenue of Rs. 104 million by granting these tax concessions, officials said. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by [...]

Government go-ahead for controversial Uva- Wellassa sugar project

The government is going ahead with the Uva- Wellassa sugar plantation project which was abruptly halted by the previous Rajapaksa regime in 2007 following vigorous protests of residents and environmentalists. The Cabinet has approved the resurrection of the project to cultivate sugarcane in around 62,500 acres of fertile land in Maduruoya reserve area instead of [...]

NDB probes plan to buy Seylan parcel in 2015

A probe into a move to purchase a large block of shares of Seylan Bank by NDB Bank in mid-2015 is now underway at NDB. A NDB source told the Business Times that this transaction is pertaining to a large block of Seylan shares that was to be bought at a premium. At the time, [...]

SriLankan no longer only ground handler at BIA, MRIA

Sri Lanka is considering opening up ground handling services, a lucrative business at international airports, to global airlines in a bid to ensure competitive pricing. “Several airlines have complained that ground handling charges in Sri Lanka are high, so in order to be competitive we need to open it up. With two it will be [...]

Batti airport to open for commercial flights

The Batticaloa airport, up to now accommodating only military-controlled flights, will be opening by end May for private jets once the regulator awards certification as an internationally approved facility. The domestic airport in Batticaloa will be given approval by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) next week to operate civil commercial flights, CAA Director General H.M.C. [...]

Fighter to the end

Fighter to the end

A sad ending. This was the fate of Lakshman Croos Moraes, a depositor of the failed Standard Credit Finance Co and one of the leaders of a campaign to recover their deposits, who died at the National Hospital, Colombo, last week a broken man. Moraes and a group of depositors campaigned vigorously on behalf of [...]

Poor Norochcholai management led to opposition over Sampur coal power, report says

Poor Norochcholai management  led to opposition over Sampur  coal power, report says

Local opposition to coal power generation in general, and the earlier proposed coal power plant at Sampur intensified largely due to poor track record of environmental management at Norachcholai – the only coal power plant in Sri Lanka, a recent report of experts has said. “It is true that neither ‘worst’ cases nor the ‘best’ [...]

$620 to 970 bln drained from developing world in 2014 –study

WASHINGTON DC – Illicit financial flows (IFFs) from developing and emerging economies kept pace at nearly US$1 trillion in 2014, according to a study released recently  by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization. The report pegs illicit financial outflows at 4.2-6.6 per cent of developing country total trade in 2014, [...]

China emerges as Sri Lanka’s main import source replacing India

China has emerged as Sri Lanka’s main import source replacing India, the country’s major import origin since 2001. China became the main import origin of the island in 2016, accounting for 21.7 per cent of total expenditure on imports recording an increase by 13.6 per cent to US$ 4,215 million, Central Bank(CB) statistics showed. The [...]

Chemanex and KAO to launch new construction chemicals to Sri Lanka

Chemanex PLC, one of the leading producers and importers of industrial chemicals and intermediates in Sri Lanka, recently introduced a new construction chemical product line to the market at a ceremony held at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. The launching ceremony was held under the patronage of Prof. Anura Nanayakkara from the University of Moratuwa. The [...]

Shangri-la Hotel, Colombo searches for talent

Shangri-la Hotel, Colombo searches for talent

Management and staff from Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo recently concluded a 3-day talent acquisition campaign at the BMICH. The career exposition was held on May 4-6 attracting a large group of job seekers eager to join the hotel due to open later this year, the company said. The management also took it upon themselves to present [...]

Cyber-attacks increasingly emerging from sophisticated groups and governments

Cybercrimes are on the increase and the risk is high compelling companies to be more serious about cyber security. Steve Walker, Chief Information Officer, Asia Pacific, Global Warehouse Management COE at DHL Supply Chain, quoting Russian Multinational Cyber Security and Anti-Virus provider, Kaspersky statistics, said that 38 per cent of the 4,000 companies in 25 [...]

SriLankan to cater to new aviation job potentials

SriLankan Aviation College, the national carrier’s training arm, is hoping to attract an increased number of students catering to the large number of vacancies in South Asia and West Asia. With plans to expand its reach with a facility in Hambantota, branches and introducing degree level programmes, the Aviation College is looking at the growing [...]

Marketing is not dead, but the people (marketers) are

One of the most or rather prominent topics debated in today’s context within an organisation is ‘marketing’. Are organisations doing the right thing, the right way, tapping the right market and the people, while adapting to new changes? Is digital or traditional physical marketing the right move? Questions, doubts, ideas, opinions are discussed and shared [...]

HNB joins with e-commerce WEBXPAY to enhance SMEs and micro businesses

HNB joins with e-commerce WEBXPAY to enhance SMEs and micro businesses

HNB PLC has announced a breakthrough partnership with e-commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, WEBXPAY, to launch an integrated e-commerce platform aimed at helping micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs) Sri Lanka to adapt to e-commerce. In a media release, HNB said it would be launching a island-wide programme across all of its 252 [...]

LOCWID’s new eco-friendly fibre reinforced polymer roofing technology

Traditional flat roofs have long been the bane of the construction industry. They are slow to install and once finished are extremely heavy, adding deadweight to the roofing structure and possible damage. Now, Ceylon LOCWID High-Tech Building Materials (Pvt) Ltd, says it has introduced a modern and eco-friendly solution to the problem; Fibre Reinforced Polymer [...]

Conflicts galore in SL banking sector

A recent media report shows that banking sector capital levels have slipped down drastically. The capital adequacy of most banks have fallen and as well as core capital. The record private sector credit growth showing big profits is short sighted by bank CEOs and boards. One of the big banks with a history in the [...]

IAOP recognises VirtusaPolaris as an ‘Outsourcing Leader’

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., – VirtusaPolaris, the market-facing brand of Virtusa Corporation and Polaris Consulting and  Services, Ltd, and a leading worldwide provider of information technology (IT) consulting and outsourcing services, announced that IAOP has recognized the company in its 2017 Global Outsourcing 100 list, in the Leader Judging Size category. Reinforcing its market-leading position as a [...]

Central Bank expects more foreign inflows soon

Sri Lanka will be receiving US$450 million syndicated loan next week for debt servicing and to bridge government finances, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy announced at media conference in Colombo this week. This announcement was made by him amidst the delay in securing International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) third tranche of Extended Fund Facility amounting to [...]

Kilinochchi social enterprises empower northern women, opens it to the world

Kilinochchi social enterprises empower northern women, opens it to the world

For social enterprises anywhere in the world starting up and surviving in the highly competitive profit driven globalised economy poses many challenges. When the enterprise is situated in a former conflict zone and employs people who were deeply affected by that conflict the challenges multiply. In Northern Sri Lanka one such organisation is the Sivan [...]

Toy maker Mattel aims to stimulate growth in Sri Lanka

Mattel, a multinational toy manufacturer, has identified Sri Lanka as a key market for growth. In a recent presentation to Mattel’s local partners, at Cinnamon Lakeside, Ishmeet Singh, Country Manager – South Asia, outlined the toy company’s vision for Sri Lanka. Citing the burgeoning middle class, growth in GDP in recent years and the large [...]

900-strong Maruti Suzuki India meeting at BMICH

Maruti Suzuki Motors India recently held its all India Annual Business Review Meet 2017 at the BMICH exhibition centre with 900 foreign delegates attending. This is the first time in its  44 year history that the BMICH successfully negotiated an international conference directly with the foreign organisers, which helped to add nearly 1000 people including [...]

Nations Trust Bank 1Q profits up by 22%

The Nations Trust Bank (NTB) has reported post-tax profit of Rs. 725 million in 1Q 2017, up by 22 per cent over the same quarter last year with growth underpinned by a 9 per cent rise in loans and advances during the period under review. Net interest income (NIM) increased by 18 per cent as [...]

Customs probe continues into luxury car undervaluation racket

Customs probe continues into  luxury car undervaluation racket

Sri Lanka Customs is still to complete an investigation into a massive vehicle racket of importing 1500 undervalued luxury cars in 2015 causing a loss of billions of rupees to the country, officials alleged. These investigations are yet to be completed due to the complex nature of the racket involving a private vehicle firm and [...]

Managing or mismanaging traffic?

Managing or mismanaging traffic?

Managing traffic is one of the most significant challenges; congested roads are a strain on the environment, the economy and the overall quality of life. Finding smart ways to keep cities growing is crucial to our increasingly urban future. This is particularly so for those who live in and around Colombo. It has become a [...]

Micro’s electric cars in tie up with SK group

Micro’s electric  cars in tie up  with SK group

Micro Car Holdings has joined hands with South Korea’s third largest diversified conglomerates, SK Group to make electric cars in Sri Lanka in a joint venture with an investment of US$30 this year and a further $20 million in the next two years, company officials said. Micro will be manufacturing Sri Lanka’s first electric car [...]

DIMO launches new Mercedes-Benz Vito van

DIMO launches new Mercedes-Benz Vito van

Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), one of the leading automobile companies in Sri Lanka and authorized distributor for Mercedes-Benz in the island, officially launched the new generation of Mercs Vito Van at a ceremony held recently. The first set of Mercedes–Benz Vito Vans was ceremoniously handed over to Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa Sri [...]

Quadricycle faces hurdle in Sri Lankan entry

Quadricycle  faces hurdle in  Sri Lankan entry

Sri Lanka yet to decide on allowing an all-electric quadricycle to run on local roads, at a time when air pollution and traffic congestion have reached alarming levels in the city of Colombo. The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) is yet to grant permission to the Bajaj RE60 Quadricycle which has been seeking approval since [...]

GSP + to figure in US$500m plus sales for apparel

The Sri Lankan apparel industry is likely to achieve US$500 million increase in sales within one year of regaining trade concessions to the European Union, a key official said. Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLEA) President Felix Fernando told the Business Times that the industry was expecting an increase in sales by $500 million within [...]

Kelani Cables’ successful CSR programme extended for another 5 years

Kelani Cables’ successful CSR programme extended for another 5 years

‘Kelani Saviya’, said to be an award winning CSR programme of Kelani Cables PLC, that was scheduled to conclude in 2017 has been extended for another five years due to popular demand. An MOU with regard to the extension was signed between Mahinda Saranapala, Director/CEO, Kelani Cables PLC and Prof. Upul B Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor, [...]

OPPO launches new product in Delhi

OPPO launches new product in Delhi

Global smartphone brand OPPO launched its first ever Selfie Expert F3 Plus at an event, held at the Hyatt Andaz, New Delhi in late March. The company flew a team of reporters from Colombo for the launch where an all new feature, the “group selfie” resonating with increasing trend in selfies and advanced technical features [...]

Seylan Bank raises $75 mln for biz development, SME growth

Seylan Bank has secured a long term funding facility of US$75 million from five separate financial institutions which would be used for general business development and improvement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Sri Lanka. The amount has been raised through three Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in Europe, a European based Investment Fund and [...]

RPC’s responsible management helps people, environment

The Regional Plantation Company’s (RPC) agenda, since privatisation, has revolved around the promotion of eco-system integrity, supplemented through high-conservation measures, and complemented by multi-faceted initiatives aimed at improving stakeholder involvement, through direct methods such as awareness campaigns and forest rehabilitation. Among Sri Lanka’s 20 privately managed RPCs there exist numerous examples of successful conservation programmes [...]

Mt. Lavinia residents protest against illegal constructions

Mt. Lavinia residents protest against illegal constructions

Residents of Mount Lavinia, a group recently formed to protect this town, is lobbying to put a stop to illegal constructions. “We stand to protect Mount Lavinia by raising the issues to relevant parties to rectify them in order to protect this beautiful town. Unplanned construction of apartment complexes on the narrow roads of the [...]

Rapid urbanisation triggers weak city planning, policy consistencies

Urban areas are highly dynamic and accordingly their metabolism changes. With improving accessibility and stronger connectivity, urban development moves from single (sprawling) cities to a more disperse urban pattern that forms metropolitan areas.   In such a bustling backdrop, people’s quality of life are influenced by urban patterns and flows, analysts say noting that this is [...]

Growth of serviced apartments on the rise

The travel industry has boomed in the recent past, thanks to the rise of budget airlines and accommodation options as opposed to say, a decade ago. The latter has expanded into an industry of its own and along with hotels, villas, bungalows and chalets, now serviced apartments can also be chosen from the list. Analysts [...]

RIL Property comes up with a second complex

RIL Property Ltd (RIL) which began trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recently says that Grade ‘A’ commercial office space in select core markets in Colombo is quite scarce. “There’s 500,000 square feet (sq) required at present for Grade A properties,” RIL CEO Hiroshini Fernando told media at the opening of RIL trading. This [...]

Slow death awaits desperate depositors of failed finance companies

Slow death awaits desperate depositors of failed finance companies

While many people have died due to man-made causes such as deaths by marauding elephants, kidney problems faced by farmers; dengue fever and garbage-related issues, etc a new ‘killer’ is lurking – and, sadly, avoidable. This is the slow death caused to many depositors of failed finance companies owing to mounting debt and loss of [...]

Tokyo Cement opens 2nd biomass power plant in Trinco

Tokyo Cement opens 2nd  biomass power plant in Trinco

President Maithripala Sirisena last week ceremoniously inaugurated Tokyo Cement’s second Biomass Power Plant in Trincomalee as part of a series of events held in commemoration of the late founder Chairman A.Y.S. Gnanam. The events included the foundation laying ceremony for a housing project for 25 families displaced during the war, distribution of deeds to residents [...]

Bogawantalawa, world’s first tea company to achieve Carbon Neutral Certification

Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC has become what is believed to be the world’s first tea grower, manufacturer and marketer to achieve Carbon Neutral Teas at its state-of-the art Carbon Neutral facilities. The Carbon Neutral Certifications were awarded by the Sri Lanka Climate Fund under the Ministry of Environment after verifying all three levels of direct, [...]

New EXCO at Chamber of Medical Devices Industry

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Medical Devices Industry recently appointed its new board for 2017 led by Saman Hulangamuwa (Managing Director of Diligence Healthcare). Comprising 47 members representing the medical devices industry in Sri Lanka, the new board will be responsible for policy initiatives and dialogue between the industry stakeholders, government health officials and the [...]

Sri Lankan officials at tourism seminar in China

The Ministry of Commerce and the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the Economic & Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka recently conducted a seminar on “Tourism Administration for ASEAN countries” at the Yunnan International Centre in Yunnan, China. The participants were the senior government officials from ASEAN countries but [...]

Profits slump at Piramal Glass

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) has reported a turnover of Rs. 6.78 billion for the year ending March 2017, up slightly from Rs. 6.75 billion in the previous year while post tax profit fell to Rs. 485 million from Rs.654 million earlier. The company said in a media release that this performance was amidst a [...]

Prices drop again, Ceylon Tea eyes China

Prices drop again, Ceylon Tea eyes China

Sri Lanka’s tea industry that was facing a sharp increase in prices is currently witnessing a drop due to higher volumes on offer and low quality at the Colombo auction. Ceylon teas have seen a drop of Rs.50-70 per kilo at Monday’s auction with teas that were selling at Rs.620-660 coming come down to Rs.570-600. [...]

Growth of 50% informal sector in SL tourism irks established trade

Growth of 50% informal sector in SL tourism irks established trade

DAMBULLA – A surge in non-formal hotel accommodation is seen hurting the larger Sri Lankan tourism industry with the organized sector raising concerns over multiple issues. “We are competing for 50 per cent of the business in Sri Lanka while the other 50 per cent goes to the informal sector which is not a bad [...]

Kelani Valley wins big at tea competition in Beijing

Kelani Valley wins big at tea competition in Beijing

Hayleys group company, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), took top awards at the recently concluded ‘Ceylon Specialty Estate Tea of the Year Competition’ in Beijing, China. The event was the culmination of the ‘Ceylon Tea Week’ organized by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association in partnership with the Sri Lankan [...]

Dentsu Aegis Network sweeps Creative Abbys at Goafest 2017; wins 87 metals

Dentsu Aegis Network India has bagged the highest tally of metals as a group at the Creative Abbys at the Goafest 2017 edition. With 13 Gold, 39 Silver and 35 Bronze wins, Dentsu Aegis Network has brought home a whopping 87 metals, demonstrating its creative prowess that surely matches up to the group’s business growth [...]

Emirates profits fall sharply by 70 % in 2016-17

The Emirates Group, running one of the world’s most successful airlines, went through a disastrous year ending March 3, 2017 with profits falling as much as by 70 per cent to AED 2.5 billion (US$ 670 million) against the previous year owing to a turbulent year for aviation and travel. In a media statement, the [...]

Etisalat UAE collaborates with Ericsson on 5G readiness

The Ericsson and Etisalat Technology Summit held in Abu-Dhabi last week witnessed the first live 5G trail with outdoor mobility in the UAE region. The summit engaged Etisalat’s regional and country specialists in workshops and discussions; during which Ericsson shared insights with Etisalat Group touching upon different areas covering 5G, IoT, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), [...]

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