Financial Times News

Chartered Accountants of SL and India host mega event
Two leading professional bodies representing Chartered Accountants in the Indian sub-continent have united to promote the professional development of accountants in the two countries, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) announced in Colombo this week.

As part of the initiative, the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of India and Sri Lanka will organise a historic joint conference to be held in Colombo in October, the ICASL said in a news release. This inaugural conference on the theme 'Interest of the Public and the Accountant' commencing on October 5, will be inaugurated at the auditorium of the Institute of Chartered Accountants by Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ravi Karunanayake. The inauguration will be followed by technical sessions on October 6, at the same venue.

The two institutes have formalised their cooperation with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on joint initiatives. Explaining the rationale behind this MoU of the two institutes and the inaugural conference, Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and Joint Chairman of the inaugural conference Indrajith Fernando said: "The alliance of two premier bodies in the accountancy field will immensely benefit professionals and students as the knowledge and expertise of accountancy professionals in the two countries could be utilised to gain a competitive advantage at the Asian and the international level."

Arjuna Herath, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the inaugural conference said that four experts in their respective fields will make presentations on the latest developments in areas which pose challenges to the accountant of the 21st century.

W.A. Wijewardena, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Accounting and Monitoring Board will make his presentation on 'Financial reporting frauds - a hidden monster'. Dr. Ashok Haldia, Secretary the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) will speak on the theme 'Case for a single financial reporting framework and convergence'. Other speakers include R. Bupathy, Vice President of ICAI and Lakmali Nanayakkara, Partner of Ernst and Young. The conference programme includes a panel discussion involving the audience and several eminent panelists.

Right of reply
'BOC profits up, investors lose'
Commenting on the letter published in The Sunday Times Business on August 11 under the above caption, Ranjit Athukorala, Bank of Ceylon's AGM (International) has written in to clarify the issue. Here are excerpts from his letter:

"The Bank of Ceylon accepts foreign currency fixed deposits and pays thereon for periods defined in days (i.e. 365 days, 90 days and 30 days) in computerised branches and periods defined in months (i.e. 12 months, six months, three months and one month) in non-computerised branches.

A fixed deposit accepted in a computerised branch for 180 days, matures on completion of that period and not on completion of six calendar months. The interest is calculated for 180 days.

A fixed deposit accepted in a non-computerised branch for six months matures on completion of that period and interest is calculated accordingly.

We can assure depositors that they have received due interest from the bank for the periods for which they have placed the deposits and that they are not deprived of their due returns.

However, if interest has not been paid to the writer by the Bank of Ceylon for his NRFC deposits on the basis listed, the writer can contact me at the international division in Fort. Immediate action will be taken to make amends if our investigations reveal that he has suffered a loss due to erroneous calculations by our staff."

Sri Lanka's solar power gets global boost
By Thusara Matthias
Sri Lanka's highly-successful solar power programme received much exposure at the global summit on sustainable development in South Africa recently, according to an industry spokesman.

Picture shows a technician installing a solar home system on an un-electrified home in Dambulla.

"In Sri Lanka, 20,000 families received new solar home systems that were installed within two-and-a half-years under a World Bank and GEF project with the help of private companies and a local micro-finance institution," noted Peter Woicke, Executive Vice President of International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Managing Director, World Bank Group, speaking at the launch of the Global Village Energy Partnership event in Johannesburg.

The project, pioneered by the private sector, is considered the most successful power project funded by the World Bank, Pradip Jayewardene, President of the Solar Industries Association of Sri Lanka, told the Sunday Times.

The Energy Service Delivery (ESD) project now into its second phase is called the Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development (RERED).

Under the extended project, plans are underway to provide electricity to 85,000 houses in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Ampara and Kurunegala districts. Jayewardene said that with the new goal of the government to provide electricity to 85 percent of the population from 59 percent currently, solar power and other alternative energy sources are some of the ways in which this target could be achieved.

Industry officials said that four companies participated in the first ESD project but there are eight companies working under the RERED scheme.

Business mission to New York with Prime Minister
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) the premier forum for business in the island in association with the Sri Lankan government, the Board of Investment and the American Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka, in an initiative to leverage global partnership interests of international companies at multinational and Small and Medium Industry level, has organised an investment promotion and technology transfer mission to New York.

The mission consisting of some of Sri Lanka's leading businesses personalities will be leaving Colombo this week, according to a chamber statement. "In the wake of the upcoming peace negotiations and the improved investment climate the mission is considered to be well timed. The delegates from Sri Lanka will be meeting potential US partners between September 18 - 20 to assess options of promoting joint ventures, investments and technology transfers to Sri Lanka," it said.

The private sector delegates are as follows: Tilak de Zoysa, Chairman - CCC, Deva Rodrigo, Vice Chairman - CCC, Ms. Alikie Ismail, Senior Assistant Secretary-General/Financial Controller - CCC, Mano Selvanathan and Chandima Gunawardena - Carsons Cumberbatch, Vivendra Lintotawela - John Keells Holdings, Nimal Cooke - Maharaja Organisation (Projects), Mahesh Amalean - MAS Holdings, Ashroff Omar - MAST Lanka, Tony Weerasinghe - Millennium IT, Prema Cooray - Aitken Spence, Abbas Esufally - Hemas Holdings, Ajith Gunawardena - Colombo Stock Exchange, Ravi Corea - Elephant Walk Thru, Roshan Motha - General Engineering, Faiz-ur Rahman - Greater Colombo Transit Co, Susantha Pinto - Infotechs, Arnold Perera - Sierra Networks, Sanjeewa Wickremanayake - East West Information Systems, Zarook Marikkar - Interlink Group, M. Indika Silva - Samson Silva and Co, Graetian Gunawardena - Hands International, S. K. Gandhi - Mercantile Corporation, Sriyan Gurusinghe - Colombo Stock Brokers, W.G.B.M. Ranaweera - Blue Diamond Jewellery Worldwide, Martin Berry - Associated Universal, Ajith Dias - Jewelknit, Gamini Wickremasinghe - Informatics, Kolitha Ratwatte - Lanka Online, Ravindra Pitigalage - Lanka Transformers and K. R. Ravindran - Print Care Ceylon.

Ernst & Young Sri Lanka marks 95 years
Ernst and Young Sri Lanka, which began its accounting practice under the name of Ford & Co in 1907, completes 95 years of service this year.

Having begun as an all-British partnership, it later changed its name to Turquand Young and Co and admitted its first Sri Lanka partner in 1961. By 1966 all the resident partners of the firm were Sri Lankans.

Following successive mergers Turquand Young and Co evolved into Ernst and Young. In 1995, Ernst and Young Sri Lanka expanded its services to the Maldives with a branch office in Male, according to a statement from the company.

To mark the 95th anniversary of Ernst and Young in Sri Lanka, the company's Far East Regional Board meeting was held in Colombo on September 14. Among the participants were the head of Ernst and Young China and Hong Kong, Anthony Wu, who is also the chairman of the Far East Regional Board of Ernst and Young, John Harvey, who represents Ernst and Young Global for the Asia Pacific region and the managing partners of Ernst and Young practices in the Far East Region.

Ernst and Young International is one of the third largest accounting firms in the world with 105,000 professionals in over 670 locations in 130 countries worldwide.

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