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Whales from above: Memory of a lifetime

Whales from above:  Memory of a lifetime

KOGGALA – F-Airways (F-Air)’s three aircraft are parked and ready for take-off at the Sri Lanka Airforce base at Koggala. Guests preparing to take-off on the 4-seater Cessna 172 aircraft are welcomed with a chilled drink and check-in at a comfortable lounge bordering a lake at the tail-end of the runway. Flight As we are [...]

Dollar seen continuing at Rs. 160 next week

Colombo’s money markets this week literally “weathered the storm” as several private banks were in the market seeking US dollars in the process, pushing up the buying price, dealers said. While there were reports that the dollar had hit a record Rs. 160 this week, dealers said that while this was the buying price most [...]

Limited glyphosate for tea, rubber thro’ CPC

Sri Lanka’s tea industry has been given a new lease of life after state authorities lifted the ban on glyphosate last month. It would however be made available only through the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) from next month. Plantations Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith said that the delivery of the glyphosate weedicide would be made available [...]

Coconut producers seek increased subsidies

Sri Lankan coconut growers want the government to stick to an earlier promise of giving them low interest on loans and increase the subsidy provided for irrigation of lands. Coconut Growers Association President Jayantha Samarakoon said that the government promise to provide loans for the agriculture sector at the rate of 5-6 per cent interest [...]

Amidst losses MTD wants only large scale contracts

MTD Walkers says that with large scale contracts and a strong order book they aim to turn around their sore bottomline. For the year ended 31 March 2018, MTD Walkers’ revenue was Rs. 16.1 billion, up by 20 per cent from the last corresponding year but the group reported a loss of Rs. 511 million [...]

Professionals, MPs urge Govt. to revise PAYE rates

The increase in PAYE (tax) rates imposed on large, take-home pay earners is to be revised on the directions of the President as pressure is mounting against the government from private sector professionals and parliamentarians. A large portion of professionals’ take-home pay is being taxed at 24 per cent from April, up from 16 per [...]

It’s now or never

It’s now or never

From ‘O sole Mio’ to ‘doing away with plastics’, it was a soul-searching week, not forgetting Kussi Amma Sera’s shenanigans. It began with Kussi Amma Sera’s ranting on the unbearable cost of living, a delightful evening of opera music and ended on a serious discourse on plastic waste that is ruining the air we breathe. [...]

Danger of knowing a little

Danger of knowing a little

There are many dairy farmers in Tissamaharama who have got cows for milking in their home gardens. These farmer families used to milk the cows every morning and to bring that milk to the collection centres. The milk sold there were then transported by bowsers to a milk factory in Nuwara Eliya. In the manufacturing [...]

INSEE Cement reinforces growth strategy in dull retail trade

Despite the current political upheaval and an economic downturn, one of Sri Lanka’s top cement producers is optimistic on the future of construction sector and its progress. Siam City Cement Board Chairman Paul Heinz Hugentobler, having an in-depth knowledge in Sri Lanka’s market conditions with over 25 years-experience in the industry, expressed these views while [...]

View from the top: Election stunts in fertiliser, digital transformation of health

View from the top: Election stunts in  fertiliser, digital transformation of health

In a cursory glance of the numerous 2017/18 financial year annual reports of listed companies being released to shareholders this week, the Business Times (BT) takes a look at companies which are involved in plantations, hotels, hospitals, finance and fertilisers. These companies were selected at random based on reports released this week and the BT [...]

Epic deploys Sri Lanka’s only fully- fledged E-Card Management System

The Epic Technology group, synonymous for innovative ‘FinTech’ Solutions in Sri Lanka, will be implementing a new strategy towards diversification in digital innovations for the benefit of the public and private sectors in the country, two top officials who led the company towards reaching new heights, said. The company’s latest achievement was the deployment of [...]

Meta Defence Labs holds SL’S first certified training session on data protection and GDPR compliance

Meta Defence Labs, a UK and Colombo-based cybersecurity firm, held Sri Lanka’s very first training session on data protection and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance in Colombo recently. The session was a full-day engagement where multiple leaders from Sri Lanka’s largest businesses and financial organisations attended to gain insights into how the [...]

Gold smuggling from Sri Lanka curbed through taxes

Attempts by smugglers to send gold out of Sri Lanka to India has been thwarted by the adjustment of tariff rates that exist between Sri Lanka and India where duty free gold imports are smuggled across to India, said Governor of the Central Bank Indrajit Coomaraswamy delivering the CMA Founders Day Oration held at the [...]

Future of advertising in the hands of the youth

While advertising plays a pivotal role in today’s corporate success stories, the future of the industry is purely dependent on the youth of the country, a top Ad agency head commends. Ranil De Silva, founder of Metal Factor, made this remark at a media briefing held at the Renuka Hotel in Colombo on Wednesday. The [...]

Hemas embarks on a reforestation programme in Dankotuwa

Hemas Group recently partnered with the Divisional Secretary in Dankotuwa and the community to increase the forest cover of Sri Lanka by developing the surface soil and reforesting one acre as an initial step to reforesting a 5-acre area in the Kotakanda Forest Reserve. The initiative received tremendous support and positive feedback, and was declared [...]

SIA’s Singapore-New York flight in Oct. to be world’s longest commercial flight

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October, with non-stop services between Singapore and New York using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range). Flights are to be launched on October 11, to Newark Liberty International Airport. The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Singapore on Monday, Thursday and [...]

Urgently needed: National policy for tea

There is consensus that the tea industry is in the present plight due to the absence of a National Policy on the Tea Industry, for that matter on agriculture. There are many and different sectors and players involved in the industry and each seem to take decisions of their own without the slightest regard of [...]

Asian Housekeepers’ Summit in Colombo in July

Sri Lanka will play host to the International Housekeepers’ Summit next month bringing together a number of Asian nations to share experiences and resolve challenges in servicing the traveller of the future. The summit is being held for the third year and is scheduled to be held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo from July [...]

Private sector unfair to the rural masses, claims Plantations Minister

While Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a major role in an organisation’s achievement, it must also be inculcated in the education system as a career guidance programme, mainly for rural children. However private companies have not been fair to the rural masses when recruiting workers because of the language barrier and the lack of career [...]

London SE group opens new office in Colombo

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) recently announced the opening of a new office, ‘Trading House,’ in Colombo. The new facility will employ personnel to provide shared services, including technology, data services, and corporate support functions. Through the development of strategic operational hubs, LSEG is well placed to deliver services across the group’s global operating entities, [...]

No grass – no milk

No grass – no milk

With reference to journalist Quintus Perera’s report last week in the Business Times headlined “Milk in crisis: Regulators unaware that butter is made from milk!” on the challenges to the dairy industry, in my view the greatest challenge is lack of fodder (grass). The cattle population in 1964 was estimated at 1.5 million head which [...]

Panasian Power PLC sees strong growth in 2017/18

Panasian Power PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s leading green energy solutions providers, posted a profit before tax of Rs. 207.5 million for the year ending 31st March 2018 after generating Rs. 489 million in revenue for the year against Rs. 205 million the previous year. The company attributed this growth to the addition of a [...]

Airlines denounce human trafficking and commit to action

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) has unanimously approved a resolution denouncing trafficking in persons, and committing to a number of actions related to anti-trafficking initiatives. An estimated 24.9 million people are illegally trafficked and live in conditions of modern slavery. The extensive reach of the global air transport network [...]

Lanka’s tech giant links with Oracle for process efficiency, tech transformation

MillenniumInformation Technologies (Pvt) Ltd (MillenniumIT ESP), one of Sri Lanka’s leading information systems solutions providers, has gone live on Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud to help simplify its business processes and increase visibility into its financial operations. The project was completed in 10 weeks and has enabled MillenniumIT ESP to reduce IT complexity and [...]

Is Dubai a model for economic diversification?, June 5 – Today, Emirates Airline — based in Dubai — is a global aviation giant. Its distinctive logo is splashed across the shirts of Premier League football teams and adorns the courts at global tennis tournaments. With a passenger capacity of more than 60.5 million at the end of 2016-17, it is the [...]

Exotic Asian living buoyed by shipping containers

Exotic Asian living buoyed by shipping containers

If there’s a house you need built quickly, or office premises to get your start-up rolling, or perhaps space for a café to sell your yummy delights, or even a small room to set up an ATM machine, who ya gonna call? Well Ray Parker Jr. called the Ghostbusters. But in this case, you better [...]

S.Africa’s SPAR Group eyes Sri Lanka expansion

South African retailer and wholesaler SPAR Group Ltd plans to open two more stores in Sri Lanka, it said on Wednesday, after warning that fuel price hikes and currency weakness could affect its home market, according to Reuters. In 2016, SPAR entered into a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with Ceylon Biscuits Ltd in Sri Lanka [...]

Governments urged to address blocked airline funds

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week called on governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate revenues from ticket sales and other activities. According to IATA, the amount of airline funds blocked from repatriation totalled US$4.9 billion at the end of 2017, which was down 7 per [...]

Sri Lanka to upgrade financial system infrastructure

Sri Lanka has embarked on an ambitious task of upgrading the financial system infrastructure while maintaining an appropriate legal and regulatory framework, Central Bank (CB) sources disclosed. The country’s banking regulator has sought consultancy services for the establishment of a state-of-the-art financial market infrastructure and the enabling legal and regulatory framework. As a part of [...]

LAUGFS collaborates with MOE

The LAUGFS Nana Maga Math Camps conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education marked another milestone of assisting over 1500 students to strengthen their mathematics knowledge through skill enhancement. The 10th programme was recently conducted in Matara with over 150 GCE (Ordinary Level) students, the company said in a media release. This project was [...]

Doc990-Hemas Hospitals extends healthcare services portfolio

Doc990 recently announced the ‘on-boarding’ of Hemas Hospitals to expand the reach of healthcare services offered to customers. Through the integration of Hemas Hospitals, customers can now make bookings at branches in Wattala and Thalawathugoda. Appointments to Hemas Hospitals can be made by calling 990, visiting or via the Doc990 Mobile Application, the company [...]

PDL AGM turns explosive

Property Development PLC (PDL) which owns, maintains and manages the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) headquarters building, went through a crisis-filled Annual General Meeting recently with shareholders accusing the management of charging low rental rates from the BOC. They said that when the adjoining World Trade Centre rentals are priced at Rs. 350 per square foot, [...]

IFC invests in PickMe to improve access to affordable transportation

IFC invests in PickMe to improve access to affordable transportation

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, this week announced its foray into venture capital in Sri Lanka with a $2.5 million equity investment in PickMe, the local technology company that introduced ride-hailing services to the country. The investment will help the company expand across the island and increase access to affordable, safe, and [...]

IT: The next phase of development

Some areas have been mapped out in Sri Lanka to make the country a hub in the Indian ocean where the logistics and communication industries are to be developed and to turn the Port City into an offshore Financial Centre, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a seminar on Information Technology for Entrepreneurs held at [...]

Beira Lake intervention area development plan gets underway

The Government is implementing a new Beira Lake intervention area development plan aimed at restoring the lake and turning it into a scenic asset in Colombo, setting aside the former regime’s project spearheaded by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a senior official of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development told the Business Times. The [...]

Airtel, World Vision in awareness campaign on safe use of Internet

Airtel and World Vision Lanka, responding to the need to train the youth on safe ways to use Internet, are holding a series of online safety awareness drives for school teachers and principals in the Batticaloa district. Under this initiative, over 6,000 O/Level and A-Level students in the region will be reached through teacher training [...]

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