The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Home » Business Times

Strengthening the hand of minority shareholders

Strengthening the hand of minority shareholders

A shareholder raises an issue at a preliminary meeting held in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss the formation of an association to protect minority shareholders in the stock market. The well-attended meeting, which included representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was facilitated by the Business Times. (See editorial and inside for more details). Pic [...]

CB-appointed external auditors for finance, leasing companies

Finance and leasing companies (non-banking financial institutions –NBFIs) will henceforth be compelled to use external auditors hand-picked by the Central Bank (CB), official sources said.These companies will not be permitted to select their own external auditors. The move comes after the monetary regulator began cracking the whip over weak corporate governance in a majority of [...]

Kalpitiya lands on 99-year lease

The government is planning to provide a 99-year lease for land to investors at the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRP) instead of the earlier 30-year lease and Cabinet approval to this effect will be sought soon, informed sources said. They said the tender board for this project last year recommended that the Expressions of [...]

World Bank tourism project kick-starts

The government on Monday gave the nod to immediately start the long delayed project on Sustainable Tourism Development backed by a World Bank loan of US$18 million, an official said.Following an emergency meeting convened by Economic Development Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on Monday, plans were called for the immediate implementation of the project, a [...]

SEC seeks info from Deputy Speaker on stock market deals

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), continuing its longtime probe into manipulation and insider trading, took a new turn when it sought information from parliamentarian and Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, sources say. “We have written to a politician and asked him certain things pertaining to an ongoing investigation in order to obtain different views from [...]

Delay in Mattala Airport opening

Sri Lanka’s second international airport at Mattala in Hambantota is likely to delay its opening until a new date is fixed, an official said. “We might push it to this year or next year in December or January (2013),” Airport and Aviation Services Ltd (AASL)  Chairman Prasanna Wickramasooriya told the Business Times on Wednesday. Authorities [...]

Rush Hour AGMs and credibility of audits

Our lead story (on the previous page) refers to new rules governing the use of external auditors for non-banking financial institutions (finance and leasing companies). The Central Bank (CB) is setting up a panel of auditors, guided by CB rules, from which these institutions must pick a company for their external audit. Gone will be [...]

High performance work systems for high performance companies

Introduction People are our most important asset and the human resource management (HRM) is an essential function in organizations that affects the quality of organizational performance (OP). Most of the high performance companies such as Apple, Toyota, General Electric (GE), Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Google have proved that management systems that encourage commitment and competence [...]

Biochar: Can it put the tea industry back in the black?

Biochar: Can it put the tea industry back in the black?

Over the last several decades the tea industry in Sri Lanka has been buffeted by many factors, both external and internal. But largely internal. This essay will however concentrate on one major internal factor, the condition of soils in tea lands and technologies now available for bio-remediation. Neglect, non-adherence to basic cultural practices and ever [...]

Tea grown and ‘sipped’ the Dilmah way at the STBC

Tea grown and ‘sipped’ the Dilmah way at the STBC

When the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) meets on Thursday, June 28 for its monthly meeting, veteran tea industry personality and the pioneer of the single origin tea concept Merril J Fernando is expected to regale the audience with the story of tea – the Dilmah way. Dilmah has led Sri Lanka into a new [...]

EPF Boss and the Labour Commissioner must explain

There have been many newspaper articles in your paper about the EPF investments and the recent TFC deal and Central Bank’s stony silence on that issue. To date the CB and the Governor who generally have a solution to every problem in the country has remained silent other than saying TFC is now out of [...]

Auditors of TFC

The Finance Company (TFC) was once the largest finance company in Sri Lanka. Consequent to the Golden Key debacle it was apparent that the auditors of some Ceylinco companies including TFC were not fit to be auditors. I wonder whether CA Sri Lanka has withdrawn the practising certificates issued to former auditors of TFC. All [...]

Sri Lanka invites One World Alliance members to use Hambantota airport

SriLankan Airlines last week joined the One World Alliance, the mega airlines’ alliance for the world’s frequent travellers, and now has asked the grouping to seriously considering using the upcoming international airport at Mattala, Hambantota. At a media briefing held in Colombo last week to announce SriLankan joining the OneWorld, Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines [...]

Reforming Colombo sewerage system will take 8 yrs:CEA official

From all available accounts, the government appears to be neglecting Colombo, the premier business centre of the country, at least in the health of the city dwellers as well as the thousands of people who converge to the city for work  in one particular area – flooding of the metropolis. K.H. Muthukuda Arachchi, Deputy Director [...]

State intervention in NSB-TFC deal reflects strong state support for NSB : Fitch

State intervention in the stock market deal between National Savings Bank (NSB) and The Finance Co (TFC) “underlines the government’s continued involvement with the bank to ensure that it adheres to its policy mandate,” Fitch Ratings said in a statement this week. It said it had affirmed NSB’s National Long-Term rating at ‘AAA (lka)’ with [...]

Clearance for private helicopters to land in Colombo

Clearance for private helicopters to land in Colombo

Looking for a quick and convenient entry into Colombo from an overseas trip? For the discerning, local or foreign traveller for whom speed is more important than cost, the government is permitting landing rights for helicoptors in Colombo, compared to earlier where such flights landed only at Ratmalana, 13 km to the south, from the [...]

British dignitaries visit Unilever’s new US$50 mln Horana factory

British High Commissioner John Rankin and the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives, Nick Nicolaou last week visited Unilever Sri Lanka’s newly built factory in Horana, the company said. Unilever has been in the country for over 75 years, and 95% of the products marketed by Unilever in Sri Lanka are manufactured [...]

New network marketing scams spread their wings countrywide

Though the controversial GoldQuest pyramid scheme appears to have collapsed in Sri Lanka, the Central Bank (CB) says that new ‘pyramid style’ network marketing  offering various products are operating countrywide misleading the public and authoriies. A senior CB official told the Business Times that under the new Finance and Banking law, stern action would be [...]

Laugfs launches insurance policy product for customers

Laugfs Holdings Limited (Laugfs) through their supermarket chain has partnered with international insurance firm Chartis Insurance to offer accident and disability cover to Laugfs’ customers. Group Chairman W.H.K.A Wegapitiya told the media that this cover will provide those customers, with a minimum bill of Rs 1,500, an insurance worth Rs 50,000 or a gift voucher [...]

More than 50 delegates from China for FACETS show

FACETS 2012, Sri Lanka’s only International Gem and Jewellery Show, expected to be held on September 5-8 at the BMICH is scheduled to receive its biggest delegation of over 50 gem and jewellery dealers from different provinces China alone.”China has been a loyal visitor to the exhibition, since we signed a Memorandum of Understanding five [...]

Dankotuwa rewards Kaizen suggestions

Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC which has an ongoing Kaizen Suggestion Scheme recently had a special Kaizen Suggestion promotion on energy-saving ‘Kaizens’. “The response by the workforce was very encouraging with 102 Kaizens received. An award ceremony was held recently and the best implemented Kaizen suggestors were given certificates,” the company said in a media release. Kaizen [...]

Govindasamy appointed Chairman Tata Communications Lanka Ltd

Tata Communications Lanka Ltd, a subsidiary of India-based Tata Communications Ltd, has appointed Vish Govindasamy as the company’s new chairman. He takes over from S.K. Gupta, who retired on 31st March, the company said. A Sri Lankan citizen, Mr Govindasamy is a well-known and seasoned professional who has been associated with the Tata group in [...]

Prasanna’s classy fads and big dreams

When entering his home at Rosmead Place, it’s almost as if you stepped into a page from Narnia, a fantasy novel. But you really wonder if you stepped back in time when entering veteran hotelier and ‘dreamer’ Prasanna Jayawardene’s (PJ as he’s fondly called) office on the second floor. The exquisite and enchanting antiques are [...]

Mergers and acquisitions on the rise; IPO takes a back-seat

Firms are increasingly facing Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) under the tough economic conditions with owners of more than 10 firms selling them and opting out of business, while most companies are shelving their Initial Public Offerings (IPO), analysts say. “NDB Investment Banking Division recently facilitated a decent sized M&A while about 10 firms sold out [...]

Unionist Anton Marcus elected to top world body

Anton Marcus, convener and General Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ&GSEU) was recently elected to an international union body – the Industrial Global Union, the world’s largest industrial workers union with 50 million workers in 145 countries including Sri Lanka. This came at the founding of this new global [...]

SL to offer SWIFT messaging to SAARC

A Sri Lankan company, which was started in 2008 by 22 local banks to share costs by utilising only one connection to SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), now plans to take its new shared infrastructure offering, a secure SWIFT messaging interface, to SAARC countries as well as local banks, according to a company [...]

Aitken Spence hotels on Rs.7.7 bln refurbishment, construction drive

Aitken Spence has invested approximately Rs.7.7 billion towards refurbishment of its hotels around the country, an official said. This has been spent on refurbishment and construction work of the group’s key hotels, Aitken Spence Hotels Managing Director Malin Hapugoda told the Business Times. The group’s acquired hotel at Waskaduwa, the former Golden Sun was completely [...]

BOI red tape to be removed to facilitate investments

The government is strengthening the institutional set up at the Board of Investment (BOI) removing red tape, establishing an investor-friendly institutional framework and improving coordination with other state agencies, official sources said.  According to a top BOI official, investor relations teams, special units for large projects and an integrated investor solution centre have been set [...]

‘Missing Sugar from Sevanagala’

Secretary to the Ministry of Productivity Promotion and Competent Authority, Sevanagala Sugar Industries, Lalith Kannangara referring to the news item appearing in the Business Times last week under the heading” Missing sugar from Sevanagala” says that he came to know that the missing stock of sugar occurred just before the assets of the company were [...]

Emirates opens dedicated lounge at BIA

Emirates opens dedicated lounge at BIA

Emirates last week formally opened its new lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake. Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline and Mohammed Mattar, Divisional Senior Vice President Airport Services joined Mahmood Mohammed Al-Mahmood, the UAE Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratna and senior aviation sector [...]

UAE mobile phones foray into SL market

The growing mobile phone demand is expected to exceed Sri Lanka’s current population with over 19 million in use already, a UAE-based company Serendib Ventures said on Wednesday during a media briefing. As part of its marketing drive towards popularizing the Zigo brand in Colombo, the company intends on launching three types of bar phones: [...]

CNCI Achiever Awards 2012 for industrial excellence

The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries CNCI is organizing its CNCI Achiever awards 2012 for industrial and service excellence for the 11th consecutive year.The chamber said the awards serve has a benchmark for industrial excellence ever since it was introduced to the Sri Lankan industry almost a decade ago. The awards are open for all [...]

UNIDO joins up with regional chambers to promote home-grown entrepreneurs

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) focal point in Sri Lanka together with the Ministry of Industry & Commerce will extend technical support in setting up micro and small industries particularly in the war affected region in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The primary aim is to create a new generation of [...]

Tourism: If you build (hotels), will they come?

Sri Lanka’s tourism ambitions are both entertaining and terrifying at the same time.  The industry has seen a surge in post-war tourist arrivals—growing at over 25% annually since 2008, serving to swell an incredibly charged atmosphere of hope for tourism.  Before our very eyes, every patch of rolling green with a waterfront is being quickly [...]

Next large entrepreneur from education, tourism

Areas including education, tourism and brand building are where Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have the opportunity to build large companies, according to Rajan Anandan, Chairman of local venture capital firm Blue Ocean Ventures (BOV). Mr. Anandan, an investor in Indian tech companies such as Taxspanner,, Hungryzone, Druva and Viedea as well as being the Managing [...]

Sri Lanka seeks alternative payment mode for Iran oil

Sri Lanka is seeking alternative ways to make payment for its crude oil imports from Iran after receiving a 180-day waver this month from strict US sanctions in return for significantly reducing Iranian oil purchases, Sri Lanka’s oil minister said. The 180-day waver, set to run till the end of the year, could be extended [...]

Mobitel completes large-scale network expansion project

Mobitel recently completed its biggest stage of expansion, increasing the total number of 2G and 3G base stations by over a 1000 sites within a record breaking period. “We have now become a dominant operator servicing North and East following the liberation of those areas which is a priority component of the Government’s development strategy,” [...]

Central Bank to raise $1 bln from international markets

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB), on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka is planning to issue an International Sovereign Bond of up to US$1 billion in the international capital market at an appropriate maturity. “For this purpose, after evaluation of eight proposals received, the CB has selected four leading international investment banks, [...]

SL border control gets new software

Border control management from the Immigration and Emigration Department (IED) would be handled by deploying new software to ensure all checks are in place to identify who travels in and out of Sri Lanka.All entry and exit processes handled by the department would in the future be provided a safety net through improved border control [...]

Two Lankan car firms fight over Mazda car sale rights

A dispute arose this week between two Sri Lankan car companies over the authorised rights to sell the Japanese-based Mazda car here. In a June 15 letter to the Colombo Stock Exchange, Colonial Motors said it has signed an agreement with Mazda Corp in Japan and NBK Corp, Japan to be an importer and distributor [...]

Bounden duty of newspapers to protect minority shareholders

Newspapers cannot take credit for the services they render, however crucial or important the service would be, as it is their public duty.This was aired by T. Vedamanickam, an investor and a trader who participated in a forum in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss the formation of an association to safeguard the interests of the [...]

Advertising Rates