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T-Bond Probe findings welcome, action urged

T-Bond Probe  findings welcome, action urged

Respondents of a Business Times (BT) opinion poll viewed positively and with optimism the long-awaited findings of the Treasury Bond Commission but were unsure as to whether the Government would actually penalise, as promised, the named offenders. The Commission in its report, sections of which were revealed by President Maithripala Sirisena in a nationwide television [...]

FIFA World Cup trophy tour starts in SL

The fourth FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola will arrive in Colombo on January 23, giving Sri Lankan fans the chance to experience football’s most coveted prize. The global leg of this tour will feature Sri Lanka as the first international destination and President Maithripala Sirisena will preside over the historic event, local Coca [...]

Govt. seeks investors for Colombo Hilton and Grand Hyatt

After a long wait, the Ministry of Public Enterprise on Friday invited proposals from potential investors for the Grand Hyatt Colombo, owned by Sri Lanka’s biggest insurance and pension funds, along with the partly refurbished Colombo Hilton. These two entities are to be divested by their majority owner, the government and cabinet approval was received [...]

Interim panel to manage SriLankan Airlines?

The Government this week accepted the resignations of the directors of the troubled national carrier and was preparing to appoint an interim panel to manage the airline during the restructuring process. “Yes, the Government has accepted the resignations,” a source at the officials’ committee assisting the Ministerial committee in the restructure process, said. “An interim [...]

Central Bank lifts regulatory leniency on small finance companies

The Central Bank (CB)’s action to stop its regulatory leniency from this year on troubled, small licensed finance companies without minimum capital has jolted those small lenders who are struggling to survive amidst stiff competition. This move is aimed at protecting the public trust in the financial system with the introduction of a new mechanism [...]

Just another day in paradise

Just another day in paradise

Woke up on Thursday morning to the crackling sound of the house phone. It was my friend, good-for-nothing ‘Arthika’ Perera on the line. Arthika Perera talks nonsense all the time and his economic jibber-jabber doesn’t make any sense at all. But often, he’s a good distraction from a daily, no-surprise routine as he discusses anything [...]

Road Map 2018 and the “Impossible Trio”

Road Map 2018 and the “Impossible Trio”

The Road Map of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the year 2018 was presented on Wednesday by the Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. It was presented after passing through a challenging year 2017. Even though it looks challenging for 2018 too, the Road Map shows the Central Bank’s monetary policy directions with promising prospects. [...]

Colombo Coffee Company at Shangri-La Colombo

The Colombo Coffee Company recently partnered with Shangri-La Colombo as the new hotel’s official coffee solutions provider. In a media release the company said it’s currently the market leader in the coffee industry for premium coffee blends, state-of-the-art coffee machines and a wide range of other coffee solutions. Over the last seven years of operations, [...]

CB to manage two crisis-hit EAP finance companies

The Central Bank (CB) has stepped in to temporarily take over the affairs of two crisis-hit finance companies – ETI Finance Ltd and Swarnamahal Financial Services PLC. In decisions taken on January 1 at a meeting of the CB’s Monetary Board, the CB is to appoint a panel to manage the affairs of both companies; [...]

SL economic growth seen rebounding at 5 to 5.5 % this year

Sri Lanka’s economic growth is expected to reach 5 to 5.5 per cent this year from around 4 per cent last year with the flowing in of local and foreign investment, Central Bank (CB) Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy predicted. Addressing a media conference in Colombo on Wednesday, he said that macro-economic stability is being restored and [...]

Record year for, 100% growth in December finished December with a record 2017 year in terms of both revenue and volume. This is highly significant considering the overall consumption in the economy has seen a downward trend, or at best has been flat, the e-commerce portal said in a media statement. Takas said it attributes the record year to improved efficiencies [...]

SL coconut growers oppose coconut imports

SL coconut growers  oppose coconut imports

Coconut growers are vehemently opposing the Government’s attempts to import fresh unhusked coconut, saying it would ruin coconut cultivation in Sri Lanka. The Coconut Growers Association at an emergency meeting on Tuesday at Ramada Hotel, Seeduwa noted that mite disease which has been in Sri Lanka for the last 20 years has affected 30 per [...]

SLT-Mobitel’s mobile towers tax could be Rs.3 bln: Fitch

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT)’s additional payment of Rs. 3 billion as the mobile towers tax of Rs. 200,000 per tower, announced in the 2018 Budget, is unlikely to impact on its rating, according to Fitch Ratings. While SLT’s fully owned subsidiary, Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, owns over 1,500 towers, “We expect SLT’s ratings to remain unaffected, [...]

CA Sri Lanka launches revised Code of Best Practice on Corporate Governance 2017

In continuing to give leadership to corporates in the country to adhere to the best practices of corporate governance, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently launched the revised Code of Best Practice on Corporate Governance 2017. Speaking at the event, outgoing president of CA Sri Lanka Mr. Lasantha Wickremasinghe [...]

MTI’s reflections for the New Year

The following are MTI’s reflections for the year: Humanly, on an on-going basis, we can only be awake about 16-17 hours in a day. This has not changed much with time. But the choice of things we can do it in a day, be it food, entertainment, socialising, travelling etc. (and the sub choices within [...]

Five Lessons for Corporates from Game of Thrones

Five Lessons for Corporates from Game of Thrones

I became a Game of Thrones fan because of my wife and later started liking the series due to its relevance to our personal lives and also to corporates. Attending the first Marketing Unconference (see explanation at the end of the article) in Asia organized by the Philippines Marketing Association, which was under the theme [...]

Audit report slams Entrust Securities for misinformation and missing information

The independent auditors’ report on troubled Entrust Securities PLC has revealed a fresh can of worms highlighting a myriad of discrepancies in the company. An audit done by Chartered Accountants, Jayasinghe and Company says that Entrust Securities PLC incurred a net loss of Rs. 11 billion during the year ended March 31, 2016 and, as [...]

Need to formulate proper agriculture plan

Need to formulate proper agriculture plan

According to the Central Bank (CB) Annual report for 2016, the trade deficit has continued to increase from Rs. 979 billion in 2013 to Rs. 1325 billion in 2016. In view of the high external debt at nearly US$502 billion it is important that appropriate action is taken to reduce the trade deficit to solve [...]

Resist the robots, invest in people

Resist the robots, invest in people

MANILA – A knitting factory in Bangladesh brings together the past, present, and future. On one floor, workers knit by hand. On another, people and machines do the work together. And on a third floor, there are only robots. This building might seem like an anachronism, given the accepted wisdom that robots will replace humans [...]

Colombo gets ‘high’ moving into 2018

Colombo gets ‘high’ moving into 2018

New Year’s Eve parties were a splendid time for hotels especially in the city of Colombo which took advantage of the larger numbers streaming in. While some preferred to play host at reasonable rates others sought to give a choice of rates quoting prices even at Rs.25,000 per head. Cinnamon Hotels Group General Manager (GM) [...]

Unique $1 offer from Mövenpick on 1st anniversary

Mövenpick Hotel Colombo started 2017 by introducing a brand new vertical experience across all levels, in the heart of the bustling city. One year later, the vibrant hotel in Sri Lanka is celebrating its anniversary by introducing the “One Year: One Hour: One Dollar” promotion from January 7 to February 7. Guests visiting the hotel [...]

Anantara’s Tangalle Resort gets guests to the easel

Creative energies soar to new heights when the passion for art is pursued in paradise. Imagine painting in a pop up atelier of a renowned artist or in the privacy of your own room or villa. At Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, art connoisseurs and enthusiasts can look forward to feasting their visual senses with [...]

Technology and marketing tourism

The main objective of this paper is to elaborate the impact of mobile device and the Internet in tourism and hospitality industry. In a world where mobile devices, Internet and cloud technology are taking over our day to day activity, each and every industry must embrace the change to achieve competitive advantage in the highly [...]

Need for land use policy in construction industry

The current scale of property development has mostly taken place in the capital city and to some extent in other towns by way of the construction of high rise luxury apartments. However, the housing hunger also is seen with greater intensity among other classes of house seekers as well. Non availability of housing on a [...]

Trade unions urge Rs. 2000 wage increase for FTZ workers

Trade unions in Sri Lanka’s free trade zones are urging the Board of Investment (BOI) to direct all BOI companies to provide a wage increase of Rs.2,000 per worker instead of Rs. 1,200 from January 2018. Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary, Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union, said in a letter to BOI Chairman [...]

Tensions exist between the Central and Local governments

Sri Lanka has been struggling to have a proper Constitution for several decades and plans are afoot now to enact a new Constitution. The question arises whether decentralisation has contributed to socio and economic development of the provinces, said Prof. Sirimevan Colombage who reviewed the book on “Decentralisation and Development of Sri Lanka within a [...]

Krishan takes over as deputy chairman JKH

Krishan takes over as deputy chairman JKH

Krishan Balendra has been appointed Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holdings (JKH) with effect from January 1, taking over from Ajit Gunewardena who retired last month after a long career at the company. In an announcement on Tuesday, the company said Mr. Balendra will assume office as company chairman on January 2019 on the retirement [...]

CB extends deadline for accepting defaced Sri Lanka Currency Notes

CB extends deadline for accepting defaced Sri Lanka Currency Notes

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB), considering requests from the public and the difficulties they face in exchanging willfully defaced currency notes at Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs), has decided to extend the time period for the exchange of currency notes at LCBs up to March 31, 2018 from December 31, 2017 earlier. Mutilation, alteration [...]

Cyaniq partners Islander to unveil “Islander” brand of beverages

Islander, the newest lifestyle brand to be introduced to the local market unveiled its brand identity and range of beverages in collaboration with Cyaniq, the premier marketing and communications consultancy. The brand launch was held at Honey Beach Club at the Kingsbury Hotel recently, the company said in a media release. Conceived under the line [...]

Nuwara Eliya Hotels Co wins Gold at CA Sri Lanka Annual Reports Competition

Nuwara Eliya Hotels Co wins Gold at CA  Sri Lanka Annual Reports Competition

The Nuwara Eliya Hotels Company PLC, which operates the Grand Hotel – Nuwara Eliya, was among a variety of companies from leading blue-chip firms, conglomerates, SMEs and small-time community groups who were honoured at the recent CA Sri Lanka’s Annual Report Award Competition. The company, in a media release, said it won the gold award [...]

10 % cashback on HSBC’s new VISA platinum credit card

While customer requirements are changing from time to time in this revolutionary world, customer benefits keep changing from time to time. The need for a speedy return is something a customer would expect with technology advancing from strength to strength. In this context HSBC together with VISA International, for the first time, introduced a VISA [...]

NDB sees transactions worth over Rs. 4 bln via Mobile Banking App

NDB celebrated reaching Rs. 4 billion worth of mobile banking transactions in December 2017, prior to the end of a very successful year. The bank introduced its user friendly Mobile Banking facility to customers in 2016 with the objective of bringing convenience and creating a trusted platform to carry out their day to day banking [...]

Central Bank to issue a new series of Rs.1, Rs 2, Rs.5 and Rs.10 coins

The Central Bank (CB) will be issuing a new series of coins ranging from Rs. 1,2 and 5 to 10 changing the metal/alloy from brass plated steel to stainless steel (silver colour) to meet a current shortage. A large stock of coins has already been minted and there won’t be any shortage after the issue [...]

Jetwing to start building Kandy hotel

Jetwing Symphony Ltd which opened trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Friday following its Initial Public Offering last month is set to start building a boutique hotel in Kandy, officials said. “We aim to start by end of 1Q or early 2Q,” Hiran Cooray, Chairman, Jetwing Symphony Ltd told media at the opening [...]

Using Robotic Process Automation to increase efficiency, reduce operational costs

Using Robotic Process Automation to increase efficiency, reduce operational costs

IT-driven Process Automation is one of the key aspects of digital transformation and most organizations have mandated this as a strategic priority. Businesses and organisations are considering various options of automation to improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations, with a view to saving costs and becoming more competitive. Process Automation is actually one [...]

IIT wins multiple awards for innovation at ICT competitions

Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), the pioneer in providing British higher education in Sri Lanka, has once again bagged multiple accolades for innovation at prominent ICT competitions which were held recently. IIT students emerged in a dominant position by winning awards at e- Swabhimani, National Best Quality ICT Awards (NBQSA) 2017, TADHACK Sri Lanka 2017 [...]

Sri Lanka promotes manufacturing / assembling solar panels

Sri Lanka is set to enter the field of manufacturing /assembling solar panels in a big way with foreign assistance, Finance Ministry sources said. A proposal made by the Board of Investment (BOI) to promote investments in this field has received the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) recently. In the budget [...]

Treasury to meet SEC, brokers to hasten demutualisation

Treasury officials will meet the Securities and Exchange Commission and stockbroker representatives next week to discuss fast-tracking demutualisation (the process through which a member-owned company becomes shareholder-owned) of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), top Treasury officials said. This process has been progressing slowly for a while owing to dissent between the SEC and brokers over [...]

Pro-regime rallies due in Tehran as US imposes sanctions

TEHRAN (AFP) Jan 5, 2018- Pro-regime rallies were due to reach Tehran Friday with authorities seeking to put the past week’s unrest to bed, as Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Iran and called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting. Iranian officials announced 40 rallies across the province of Tehran after Friday prayers, building on [...]

Tourist arrivals reach 2.1 mln in 2017

Sri Lanka ended 2017 at 2.1 million arrivals, marginally higher than 2016 but below an earlier target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals for reasons including flash-floods, outbreak of dengue and the partial 3-month closure of the main international airport. Arrivals in January to November 2017 reached 1.87 million, a marginal 2.5 per cent rise from [...]

Banks rake in record fees to beat trading blues

LONDON (REUTERS) Jan 4-By one measure, 2017 was the most lucrative year in history for investment banks. The fees they charged companies and other financial firms for advising on mergers and acquisitions, arranging loans, and underwriting sales of bonds and stocks reached $104 billion, according to Reuters data. That was up 16 percent on the [...]

Pharma chamber welcomes move to increase drug prices

The recent move by the Ministry of Health to increase drug prices by 5 per cent was this week welcomed by the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI). Implemented in October 2016 on 48 molecules, the price ceiling impacted the pharmaceutical industry, particularly as importers had to reimburse retailers and distributors for the [...]

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