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Elegant ceramics-ware

Elegant ceramics-ware

A salesperson among a range of ceramics-ware at a hotel products exhibition and fair in Colombo on Friday. Pic by Amila Prabodha

Broken promise by Harry J

Harry Jayawardena’s Melstacorp Ltd on Friday as promised withdrew its case in the Appeal Court against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over a mandatory offer issue but broke another promise – an assurance that it would abide by a March 5 ruling. Earlier Melstacorp by its letter dated June 28th had made an application [...]

Race for BOI DG seat heats up

More than 18 months after the creation of the executive Director General’s post at the Board of Investment (BOI), the race for the top seat is heating up with three influential candidates shortlisted by the Economic Development Ministry, a senior government official, who wished to be anonymous, said. The names of former General Manager Bank [...]

Ajith Devasundera sells his Browns stake for Rs. 1.3 billion

Two of Sri Lanka’s biggest stock market investors, Ishara Nanayakkara and Ajith Devasundera have finalised a one-billion-rupee deal in which the former has consolidated control of Browns through his LOLC group. The Colombo Stock Exchange was informed on Friday that LOLC had taken 100 per cent control of Diriya Investments Pvt Ltd, the holding company [...]

Delayed port city costs $200 million more, less land

The delayed, gigantic Colombo port city project, which is to kick off in October, is almost like old wine in a new bottle! From an earlier plan of reclaiming 500 acres of the sea that would also cover the Galle Face Green stretch, the new plan, at a much higher cost but half the area, [...]

Former Auditor General resigns as F&G Trust Chairperson

In a new development at the Finance and Guarantee (F&G) Company Trust appointed by the Supreme Court, chairman of the board of trustees, S.E. Mayadunne, a former Auditor General, resigned following the recent Supreme Court finding that the trust has failed to find a redress for over 4,000 hapless depositors, a spokesman for a depositors’ [...]

Stock market manipulators need to be weeded out :Top company official

Manipulation is so rampant in the Colombo stock market that it is very necessary to weed out the perpetrators, a top company official says.  “The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is aware of those who are manipulating the stock market, but so far no one has been taken to task. Unless something is being done [...]

Rule of law key to foreign investment

We are not the only ones to keep knocking  repeatedly on the doors of the authorities demanding the implementation of the rule of law, governance, transparency and accountability. That message came out clearly at this year’s economic summit organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and furthermore from a foreign guest speaker whose message [...]

Teachers with mental health problems: A burden to society, the economy?

Teachers with mental health problems: A burden to society, the economy?

There has been a lot of concern recently about teachers with mental health problems (in the north). It is quite natural that we are concerned about teachers who hold the future of our children in their hands for a big part of their growing years. Since students spend quite a good amount of time with [...]

Some small businesses prosper in tough times

MINNEAPOLIS, USA, July 11 — Since the 2008-2009 stock market collapse, the U.S. business environment has been struggling as small business owners, clawing their way back to recover lost ground, have attempted to grow their businesses. This challenge has been increasingly difficult as the interconnected global economy contracted and forced waves of corresponding reductions in [...]

SEC’s directive on related party disclosures helps SL climb business index

The directive by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2010 on related party disclosures has helped Sri Lanka climb the  index of ‘Ease of doing business’ in the World Bank Doing Business Report, a Central Bank (CB) official said. “We came up to 89 from 98,” Kumudhini Saravanamuttu, Director Statistics CB told a forum [...]

Saga of Golden Key depositors

Saga of Golden Key depositors

Having worked in the Middle East and saved a small amount in my NRFC, I deposited all my hard earned money in Golden Key in 2004 as I was unemployed and needed a monthly income as my aging mother was with me and needed looking after and she was also incuring constant medical bills. As [...]

Travel magazine lauds Cinnamon Lakeside

Travel magazine lauds Cinnamon Lakeside

Cinnamon Lakeside has earned its title “Best Luxury Hotel in Sri Lanka” from the Business Destination Magazine for offering a true international service. The hotel’s General Manager Denis Gruhier addressing the media recently made this announcement adding that they were interested in becoming the “trendsetter” among hotels. Business Destinations is a UK-based business travel magazine [...]

“Questions over basis of new Sri Lankan accounting body”

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPA) has sent a response to last week’s report in the Business Times headlined “”Questions over basis of new Sri Lankan accounting body” which raised issues over the ICPA formation. Extracts from the response: The council members of the ICPA comprise: Prof. B. L. Panditharatne, Former Vice Chancellor, University [...]

Lankan food-based exhibition grows since inauguration in 2001

The International Profood and Propack Exhibition (PPIE) held annually in Sri Lanka, has grown in size and stature since its inaugural event in 2001. When the 2012 edition opening in Colombo last week, there were nearly 250 stalls compared to 41 in 2001. PPIE displayed everything concerning agriculture-based food processing and packaging. It provided special [...]

Sri Lanka becoming a fashion supplier to the world: Report

Sri Lanka’s garment industry has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional fast fashion suppliers such as Turkey, a local manufacturer said this week. “Sri Lanka is not as yet competitive purely on price, but the industry continues to be attractive to brands focused on fast, reliable supply that is accompanied by an assurance of [...]

Hayleys wins record 14 awards at AgBiz 2012

The Hayleys Group’s agriculture units won a record 14 awards at the 2012 National Agri Business (AgBiz) awards in Colombo last week. Seven of the nine companies clustered under Hayleys Agriculture were honoured at this prestigious event with six Gold, three Silver and four Bronze awards as well as a National award for their contributions [...]

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank further relaxes forex rules

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB), under regulations to further relax foreign exchange transactions, on Wednesday said it was permitting fund transfers between NRFC accounts and between RFC accounts with immediate effect.The CB said transfers from NRFC (Non-Resident Foreign Currency) to RFC (Resident Foreign Currency) accounts are also allowed in the same bank or different banks. [...]

Rule of law and good governance prerequisite for good business environment

Rule of law and good governance prerequisite for good business environment

Regional Free Trade Agreements help smaller nations as long as they remain attractive to investment but that depends on peace and it is extremely important that there is rule of law and  good governance. This was stated by Gurcharan Das, Author, Columnist and Management Consultant, India speaking as the guest speaker at the inauguration of [...]

3D technologies may help SL leapfrog: Top Australian academic

3D technologies may help SL leapfrog: Top Australian academic

The next big digital disruption worldwide, which could also specifically benefit smaller countries such as Sri Lanka, is three dimensional (3D) scanning and printing technologies, according to Australian Computer Society President Dr. Nick Tate. Apart from near miraculous medical applications, from reproducing prosthetic limbs to even creating replacement human bones used in operations, Dr. Tate [...]

Medical helpline on the phone introduced by Mobitel

A revolutionary medical advisory service where Sri Lankans can call doctors and get advice on the phone for a small fee has been launched by Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel in partnership with Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA).Mobitel customers around the country can obtain this initial medical advice from doctors who are members of the Sri [...]

Norwegian bio-mass energy technology to support Sri Lankan industry

Norwegian bio-mass energy technology to support Sri Lankan industry

The Sri Lanka-Norway Business Matchmaking Programme (BMMP) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), in a new development has taken the initiative of promoting the renewable energy sector in Sri Lanka and transferring the technology/technical expertise from Norway to Sri Lanka. The BMMP has a long-standing co-operation with Norway for close to 20 years, the [...]

Inflation rises in June : Central Bank

Sri Lanka’s inflation rose to 9.3 per cent in June from 7 per cent in the previous month while annual average inflation increased to 5.8 per cent from 5.6 per cent in the same months, the Central Bank (CB) said this week in its monthly economic review. It said Sri Lanka achieved all targets set [...]

Wayamba officials sign up Amaya Leisure for upmarket, wayside restaurant

The Wayamba Development Authority (WDA) of the Wayamba Provincial Council has signed an agreement with hotel and resort group, Amaya Leisure PLC to operate a top-notch restaurant three kilometres away from Kurunegala on the Kurunegala – Dambulla Road just before the Forest Reserve.The company will operated the Badagamuwa Centre which would be a boon to [...]

RAM downgrades Bimputh Finance

Local finance company Bimputh Lanka Investments PLC has been downgraded by ratings agency RAM following its associate company Sevangala Sugar, previously a member of the Daya Group which also owns Bimputh, being expropriated by the government of Sri Lanka. According to a statement, RAM highlighted that Bimputh’s ratings downgrade, from “BB” to “BB-”, was a [...]

Proposed Investors Association taking root

The formation of a proposed Investors Association representing small and minority investors to ensure a ‘level playing field’ in the Colombo stock market is taking root, organisers said. It has also triggered ‘concerns’ among influential business groups and brokers dominant in the market, as to the watchdog role this group hopes to play to ensure [...]

SLPA reduces workforce

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has cut staff from all its operations around the country by 1800 costing the government upto a maximum of approximately Rs. 2 million per person, an official said. Its current workforce is 10,300 but plans are underway to reduce it by another 300 (through a natural retirement process) by [...]

Changing dynamics of global mobility – KPMG survey

As the competition for international talent picks up steam, companies are looking to enhance their mobility policies to attract and retain key global talent, according to a new global survey.  KPMG’s International Executive Service’s Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey, reveals that mobility programs are undergoing a number of subtle yet important changes. It said [...]

Smart Media earns record global recognition

Smart Media earns record global recognition

Smart Media, tagged the ‘Annual Report Company’, has bagged its highest-ever tally of 67 awards for its clients from across six countries at one of the world’s top annual report competitions. The League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) Vision Awards 2011 made the official announcement on Monday, the local company said in a media release. [...]

Transparent pyramid tea bags

Transparent pyramid tea bags

Polytec Marketing (Pvt) Ltd has introduced the Pyramid tea bag to Sri Lanka which is different from normal tea bags and sachets. “Tea leaves in tea bags take time to brew. The tea leaves in it are also mostly wasted as the full effect of whole extract is not utilised.  Therefore it was found that [...]

Dividends or capital appreciation; or both?

The share market has seen a steady decline over the last nine months or so.  There are many reasons for this.  Among them is the perception that the market is being manipulated and that insider dealing is rife.  The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is doing little to stop it; or it is not publicizing [...]

Finlay Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd obtains ISO Certification

Finlay Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd obtains ISO Certification

Finlay Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd. (FIBL) was recently awarded the ISO 9001: 2008 certification for excellence in Quality Management Systems from the DET NORSKE VERITAS, Sri Lanka Branch. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finlays Colombo PLC, is among the leading property, casualty and liability insurance brokers oprating in Sri Lanka. In a media [...]

Colombo suburb land price trends positive : RIU study

Colombo suburb land price trends positive : RIU study

Suburbs of Sri Lanka’s business capital Colombo are experiencing positive trends in terms of land prices, according to the second in a series of research reports published by the local office of KPMG in association with Research Intelligence Unit (RIU).The report, entitled “Changing cityscape: Real estate market brief; Issue II – 2012″, revealed that the [...]

Sri Lanka’s first HD Broadcast launched by Dialog TV

Dialog Television (DTV), Sri Lanka’s leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) Digital Satellite TV service, has announced the introduction of the country’s first HD (High Definition) broadcast, leading Sri Lanka into the era of advance digital media. With enhanced picture quality, vivid colours, sharper images and Dolby digital surround sound; the HD service will enable DTV subscribers to [...]

Swadeshi Industries declared rightful owner of Apsara Venivel brand as 12-year legal dispute ends

The Colombo Commercial High Court, in a 12-year-old case, has concluded that The Swadeshi Industries has ownership to the brand, Apsara Venivel Ayurvedic Beauty Soap. The company had sued another company for the use of this brand. Swadeshi Industries had launched ayurvedic skin care soap “Apsara Venivel” in 2000 and following its popularity, Vendol Lanka [...]

UB Finance Company begins operations, reviving resurrecting failed F&G Co Ltd

UB Finance Company, formed by the Union Bank (UBC) with the acquisition of The Finance and Guarantee Company Ltd (TF&G), began operations on Tuesday, the company said.   UBC together with an International foreign investment Fund ShoreCap II Ltd of USA has acquired over 98 per cent of the voting shares of TF&G. This paves the [...]

ICRA Lanka assigns [SL]A- with stable outlook to LOLC

ICRA Lanka Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICRA Ltd – an associate of Moody’s Investors Service, has assigned an Issuer rating of ‘[SL] A-’ with stable outlook to Lanka Orix Leasing Company PLC (LOLC). “The rating indicates adequate-credit-quality and the rated entity carries average credit risk. The rating in Sri Lanka is assigned on [...]

Global Dubai-souvenir firm looks for more partners in Sri Lanka

A Dubai-based international company dealing in gifts and souvenirs is looking for more tie-ups with Sri Lankan firms or groups to provide skilled persons and handicrafts.“We are looking for JVs but not in terms of capital equity but in terms of skilled handicraft-men. In fact, our approach is rural community engagement which is our global [...]

EFC raises concerns with Minister of Labour on minimum wage revision process

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) has raised concerns with Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge on the manner in which the minimum wages are revised in respect of Wages Boards trades.“The EFC has very categorically stated that the minimum wage fixation process is clearly outlined in the Wages Boards Ordinance, and what is highlighted as a [...]

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