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Sugar cane season

Sugar cane season

A tractor driver smiles as he drives past carrying a load of sugar cane to the Sevanagala Sugar Co factory at Sevanagala. Sugar cane harvesting is in full swing in this region. Pic by M.A. Pushpakumara

Sri Lanka not seeking fresh GSP+ benefits:EU Rep

Sri Lanka not seeking fresh GSP+ benefits:EU Rep

A new round of aid negotiations will get underway later this year or early next year between Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU), officials said. This follows the culmination of the 2007-2013 programme of grants (free money) to Sri Lanka worth Rs 58.2 billion (Euro 388 million). The next programme will run from 2013 [...]

Invest in fundamentally sound stocks, advises Softlogic’s Pathirage

Invest in fundamentally sound stocks, advises Softlogic’s Pathirage

Though Sri Lanka’s share market isn’t doing well, its share valuations are very attractive, which is why foreign investors are coming in, a fact that investors should take cognizance of, a top company executive says.  Local investors should also invest in ‘fundamentally sound’ stocks (like their foreign counterparts),” Ashok Pathirage, Chairman Softlogic Holdings Ltd told [...]

SEC chief Thilak resigns; one commissioner follows suit

Amidst the rumpus at the crisis-hit Securities and Exchange (SEC) and its Chairman Thilak Karunaratne’s resignation on Friday, Sanjay Kulatunga, one of the commissioners stepped down on the same day after a losing battle against alleged market manipulators and political pressure. Mr. Kulatunga, a director at Amba Research told the Business Times that he resigned [...]

TFC reports Rs 393 mln loss in 1stQ against 2011 profit

TFC reports Rs 393 mln loss in 1stQ against 2011 profit

The Finance Co (TFC), which was embroiled in a tainted stock market deal in May, has reported a massive loss of Rs 393.9 million for the quarter ending 30th June against a profit of Rs 26.4 million in the same 2011 quarter. The state-owned Employees Provident Fund (EFP), which has been criticized for investing in [...]

100 more factories stitch for the world

The apparel industry has been given a boost following a US$1 billion government initiative to establish 100 factories together with the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF).With most factories tipped to find their way to the North and East of the country, JAAF Deputy Chairman and Orit Apparels MD Channa Palansuriya told the Business Times, that [...]

Not done, Mr President, Not done!

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke, British statesman and philosopher. This idiom – where just a few people are standing up for ‘Good against Evil’ – is a reflection of the state of affairs in Sri Lanka as another chairperson of the Sri [...]

Myths, lies and damn lies about the stock market

Myths, lies and damn lies about the stock market

Few things seem to bother ordinary citizens than the prospective returns from the local share market.  Many have dabbled in stocks with the mistaken belief that one can turn a quick Rupee.  My sabbatical over the last three months from these pages have alowed for various questions on the topic dominate my inbox.  Here in [...]

SL foreign inflows up to Rs. 2.45 billion in July : Report

Sri Lanka’s net foreign inflows rose to Rs. 2.4 billion in July, compared to Rs. 619 million in June, according to CT Smith Stockbrokers’ Sri Lanka Monthly report for July 2012. Further, the report attributed this foreign inflow increase mainly to the Juy 31, 2012, acquisition of a 42 per cent stake of local retail [...]

Public concern grows over SEC crisis

A public rights activist and former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, has joined a chorus of protests and concerns at the state of affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne resigned on Friday after repeated attempts to scuttle the institution’s investigations and probes against market manipulation. His opponents [...]

‘Ethical advertising and the consumer’ at the STBC

‘Ethical advertising and the consumer’ at the STBC

Ethical advertising, the markets and the consumer will be  the focus of attention at the next meeting of the Sunday Times Business Club on Thursday, August 23 at the Taj Samudra. On the theme: “Advertising Ethics, Marketing and the Consumer”, four panelists will present their views on this issue based on the perspective of a [...]

48th CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards gets underway

The 48th Annual Report Awards competition organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) got underway last week. Registrations for the competition will close on 30th August, the institute said. With increasing emphasis being placed on transparency in operations, good governance, sustainability and social responsibility; an annual report is expected [...]

100 years of excellence in agriculture

100 years of excellence in agriculture

I was so pleased to learn that the Department of Agriculture celebrated “Excellence of 100 years in Agriculture” with a “National Agriculture Exhibition and Farmers’ week 2012″ at Gannoruwa recently. I started my public sector career in the mid 1960s as a junior officer in the Department. While the Department celebrates 100 years, agriculture of [...]

IronOne Technologies wins the Microsoft Partner Award

IronOne Technologies wins the Microsoft Partner Award

IronOne Technologies was among those which emerged victorious at the recent Microsoft Sri Lanka Partners Awards 2012 held in Colombo. The company said it was presented with the “Microsoft Partner Award for Applications Developed on Microsoft Platform” with the award received by Lakmini Wijesundera, CEO of Asia Pacific Ironone Technologies. Ironone is a Microsoft Gold [...]

Sri Lanka in battle to contain viruses that counter even the best drugs

Sri Lanka has reached a point to ascertain   what is the best test, because viruses can behave differently and they can adapt to new conditions and are immune to antibiotics and new remedies. This was noted by Dr Anil Samaranayake, Director, Medical Research Institute (MRI), Ministry of Health  who stressed the vital importance of laboratory [...]

CA presentation on how to prevent Non-Communicable diseases

The Members’ Benevolent Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) is taking the initiative to educate professionals on how to prevent Non-Communicable diseases in a special presentation which will be held on August 24.Presented by Prof. Chandrika Wijeyaratne, Professor in Reproductive Medicine and Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, the presentation [...]

Advertising guru in town

Chris Thomas, Chairman and CEO, BBDO Asia, Middle East and Africa and Chairman, Proximity Worldwide was in Colombo to celebrate the completion of the first year of BBDO in Sri Lanka and to plan out the strategies for the future.One of the world renowned advertising maestros, Mr Thomas was hosted at a series of events [...]

Cinnamon Lakeside re-certified by Green Globe

Cinnamon Lakeside re-certified by Green Globe

Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel was re-certified recently by the Green Globe organisation, receiving it for the third successive year. Pic sent by the hotel.

Speedy, emergency medical service launched

A new, speedy emergency medical service with global expertise is to be launched soon to quickly and speedily respond to desperate calls from injured and ill Sri Lankans.Falck from Denmark has acquired 50 per cent of Sri Lankan Emergency Medical Services (EMS) company, Med1 (Pvt) Ltd to offer a wide range of emergency medical services [...]

National Transport Commission signs up with Mobitel for Mobile Enterprise Solutions

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel last week signed up with the National Transport commission to supply Mobitel Enterprise Solutions with the latest technology driven mobile communications services.  The signing of the MoU took place at the National Transport Commission Auditorium in Colombo in the presence of Private Transport Services Minister C.B Rathnayake, along with Roshan Gunawardena, [...]

Richardson CFL bulbs plays key role in trimming power costs

Richardson CFL bulbs, marketed by Richardson Distributors (Pvt) Ltd, has played a key role in helping households, as well as commercial and industrial establishment keep their lighting costs under control. The company said its CFL bulbs are now available in distinctive new packaging, which reflects its growing influence in the market for energy efficient lighting. [...]

Sri Lanka Military Corps and Singapore General Hospital collaborate on trauma management

SingHealth (the Singapore General Hospital) and Delmege – Healthcare Division jointly held a workshop in Sri Lanka focusing on trauma management for the Sri Lankan armed forces.  The main workshop was held in late July and coordinated by Major General Dr. Sanjeeva Munasinghe – Army Hospital and Medical Advisor to Commander of the Army – [...]

Beverage giants form Beverage Association

Sri Lanka’s top three cola companies – Coca Cola, Pepsi and Elephant House (makers of KIK Cola) came together to launch the Beverage Association of Sri Lanka (BAOSL) last week aimed at furthering the interests of this industry. Jit Gunaratne, Chairman of BAOSL, said they planned to invite other beverage companies numbering around 30-40 as [...]

United Motors expands assembly operation of SUV’s

United Motors is expanding its assembly of Chinese-made Zotye Nomad sport utility vehicles (SUV) in Sri Lanka taking advantage of tax concessions being offered to locally assembled vehicles, a senior official of the company said.  This is undertaken by a subsidiary Unimo Enterprises Ltd (UEL) at a plant at Orugodawatte which will increase its production [...]

Sri Lankan students excel at ThinkQuest Competition 2012

Sri Lankan students excelled at the global ThinkQuest Competition in which more than 51,000 participants from 59 countries took part. The competition, sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation (OEF), challenges students to solve a real problem using their critical thinking, communication and technology skills. Participants presented solutions using a variety of technologies, including interactive applications, [...]

US-funded Chinese firm offers solar power solutions for energy crisis

A US-funded Chinese company has introduced novel solar power systems for Sri Lankan households, public and private sector institutions including hotels cutting energy costs, a top official of the company said.  U-Tron (Beijing) Electronics Co. Ltd. (U-Tron) has set up its Sri Lankan subsidiary U-Tron Lanka at the Liberty Plaza complex in Colombo for this [...]

Shippers’ Academy launches career development pathway courses

An industry first career development path in Transport, Logistics and Trade (TLT) has been introduced by the Shippers’ Academy Colombo (SAC), with its collaborative partner, Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF). The career path has three segments where a 3-month certificate course will lead to a requirement fulfillment of the Director Merchant Shipping to hold a license [...]

People Leasing Co to get finance company licence

People Leasing Company PLC (PLC) is hopeful of getting a finance company licence within the next few months, after which it would transform to a finance company from a leasing outfit, officials said. “We have applied for a finance company licence and optimistic of a favourable response within the next few months,” D.P. Kumarage, CEO [...]

Hayleys commences wind power generation at Nirmalapura

Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd has commenced commercial operation on  August 9 and is expected to add 10 megawatts to the national grid through its wind turbine generators, the Hayleys  subsidiary said. The venture is the latest step towards boosting the power requirements of the nation through renewable and sustainable ‘green’ energy. Situated in Kalpitiya on [...]

Munchee – Asia’s Best Employer Brand for the second time

Munchee, the flagship brand of the Ceylon Biscuits Ltd, won the Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award at the CMO Asia’s Best Employer Brand awards 2012 held recently in Singapore.  “This the second consecutive time that  Munchee won this coveted award in recognition of its excellence as an employee and also the only Sri Lankan Brand [...]

Sparklink Travels notches another year to reach 33 years of service

Sparklink Travels headed by Nihal Perera supported by his son, Praki Perera – Managing Director together with a team of dedicated staff, Director GM – Dilshan Samaranayake and Manager – Rasika Chandrasena has achieved another milestone in reaching 33 years in the travel, tourism and hospitality business. Nihal Perera is a former director Sri Lanka [...]

Emirates promotes Dubai with special hotel rates valid for 12 months

Emirates is offering its passengers star-class accommodation in Dubai from just US$40 per person per night, valid over 12 months — from November 2012 to October 2013, the airline said. Available to all Emirates passengers regardless of class of travel, the Emirates Dubai Stopovers promotional offer encompasses a series of exceptional value-added packages for the [...]

George Steuart Group launches GS Engineering

George Steuart Group launches GS Engineering

The George Steuart group recently launched its engineering division, George Steuart Engineering at a ceremony held in Colombo. Formerly known as Lanka Creative Constructions (Pvt) Ltd, a key player in the local engineering sector, GS Engineering will focus on civil construction solutions for large and medium scale construction projects, the company said. Speaking at the [...]

Sri Lanka Telecom Group says exchange loss dilutes pre-tax profits

Sri Lanka Telecom Group says exchange loss dilutes pre-tax profits

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said this week that the group’s financial results for the six months ended 30th June 2012 showed a Rs. 3.36 billion group operating profit, up 15 per cent year-on-year (YoY). In a media statement, SLT said group revenue has increased to Rs 27.50 billion, up11 per cent from last year. “Depreciation [...]

MTI completes 15 years of consulting excellence

MTI completes 15 years of consulting excellence

MTI Consulting has completed 15th year of operations, the company said last week. Having started off in Sri Lanka and Bahrain concurrently in 1997, MTI Consulting has gone on to handle over 450 assignments across 40 countries during this 15 -year period. In the process, MTI has built a network of its own operations (in [...]

International union urges EFC to resolve Mirrai issue

An international trade union body has urged the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) ‘to use its good offices’ to resolve a crisis at the Mirrai garment factory over alleged violation of freedom of association rules. Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of the IndustriALLGlobal Union, in a letter to EFC Director General Ravi Peiris on the issue, [...]

Why no action against hedging offenders? asks public interest activist

Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayantha has been asked to clarify to the public, as to why no action was taken against persons involved in oil hedging transactions, with the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris, himself, having asserted that they were ultra-vires and illegal. This request was made by public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere [...]

CIMA Sri Lanka roundtable

CIMA Sri Lanka roundtable

CIMA Sri Lanka recently held a roundtable titled ‘‘Readiness to succeed by breaking barriers’, on the opportunities and challenges facing Sri Lanka’s Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) industry, The speakers included Sujiva Dewaraja, Chairman of SLASSCOM, Avinash Vashistha, Chairman and Managing Director of Accenture, India, Simon Bell, an international investor and consultant, Dr Arul Sivagananathan, [...]

Aitken Spence profits grow by 25 % in 1stQ

Aitken Spence PLC has reported a pre-tax profit of Rs 918 million for the first quarter, a growth of 25 per cent over the previous year, while the group’s revenue rose by 54 per cent to Rs. 8.61 billion, the company said last week.The conglomerate’s financial results for the three months ended 30th June 2012 [...]

Sri Lankan space academy with Chinese support

China will lend its expertise to Sri Lanka’s first space academy to be launched next year, through a joint venture between Supreme Satellite Private Ltd Colombo (SinoSAT) and Great Wall Industry Corporation of China (CGWIC), The mission is to inspire thousands of young people and encourage them to look to space for a career, SupremeSAT [...]

Akbar Pharmaceuticals wins five SLIM-NASCO awards

Akbar Pharmaceuticals recently received a total of five awards (2 Gold and 3 Silver awards) in the Health Care category at the recently concluded SLIM/NASCO 2012 awards ceremony held at Water’s Edge, Battaramulla. Kasun De Silva, and  Pradeep Jayamuni, won Gold awards in the  Territorial Manager and Front Liner Categories respectively while Silver awards were [...]

Dipped Products Group 1Q turnover up 16%

Dipped Products Group (DPL), part of the Hayleys conglomerate, has reported turnover from hand protection products of Rs 3.4 billion in 1Q 2012-13. The group’s plantations sector contributed Rs 2.3 billion, (both inclusive of inter-segment sales), with the consolidation of turnover from Hayleys Plantation Services, owners of Talawakelle Tea Estates. Despite these improvements, DPL’s consolidated [...]

Microimage and HP completes 2 years of successful media sector deployments

Microimage Mobile Media, tagged Sri Lanka’s only Broadcast Automation Software company, says it has completed two successful years in partnership with HP for delivering integrated media solutions in Sri Lanka and in the region.   HP partnership enabled Microimage to provide complete integrated total solutions for its media sector clients in Sri Lanka and in the [...]

Injunction against Vendol Venivel Company over Khomba soap

The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, manufacturer of Khomba herbal beauty soap for seven decades obtained an enjoining order against “Kohmba soap” manufactured by Vendol Venivel Co. (Pvt) Ltd. & Godakanda Herbals (Pvt) Ltd. from the Commercial High Courts, Colombo recently. In a media release, Swadeshi said it is the owner and producer of Khomba herbal [...]

Hirdaramani forum on leadership for employees

The Hirdaramani Group recently held a Leadership Forum for its future leaders, bringing together a distinguished panel of successful businessmen from multiple disciplines. The event enabled a highly interactive forum in which the panel talked about their experiences including what it takes to be a leader, starting out, making tough calls and answered questions from [...]

Sri Lanka to devise an effective mechanism for consumer protection

An effective mechanism is to be devised to strengthen Sri Lanka’s consumer protection activism with the aim of rescuing consumers from the lobbying power of big business and utilities while creating awareness on their rights, a top official said. Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director-General of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), told the Business Times that consumers are [...]

Commercial Bank’s 6-month pre-tax profit soars to Rs 7.7 billion

Commercial Bank said this week that ‘exceptional balance sheet indicators, with deposit growth averaging nearly Rs 7 billion per month and gross loan book growth of more than Rs 5 billion per month in the first six months of 2012′ combined with strong gains in non-interest income to generate top first half results for the [...]

Expolanka Holdings posts Rs. 335 mln post-tax profits for Q1

Expolanka Holdings PLC said it sustained its consolidated post tax profit for the first quarter of 2012/13 at Rs. 335 million. Group CEO of Expolanka Holdings PLC, Hanif Yusoof said “more focus was given towards consolidating our existing businesses with investments in Freight and Logistics and Travel & Leisure. Our sustained growth strategies have yielded [...]

Piramal Glass maintains profits,explores new markets

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) has announced its first quarter profits for the financial year 2012-13, saying it was able to maintain profitability despite adverse conditions.Revenue rose 15 per cent to Rs 1.3 billion with the increase possible mainly due to the export growth. However liquor and the pharmaceutical sectors showed a dip during this [...]

Union Assurance PLC sees steady performance in first half of 2012

Union Assurance PLC (UA) said it has maintained a steady growth momentum in both turnover and profits for the first half of 2012. UA reported a growth rate of 20% in combined gross written premium and 31% growth in profit after tax compared to the same period of the previous year, the company announced this [...]

Hemas Holdings reports results under new accounting standards

Hemas Holdings has announced consolidated revenues of Rs 6.3 billion and earnings of Rs 334 million for the quarter  ended 30th June 2012, reporting its results in compliance with the new Sri Lanka Financial Reporting Standards (SLFRS). “Whilst we have enjoyed a successful and an encouraging first quarter, medium-term business outlook remains challenging. However, we [...]

NDB reports significant profit growth in first half 2012

The NDB Group has reported another strong performance for the 1st half year of 2012 recording post-tax profit of Rs 1.36 billion, up  36 per cent from the previous, corresponding period. Bank Chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya said in a media statement issued by the bank that “the impressive results are attributable to the bank’s overall strong [...]

Sampath Bank results seen improving this year

Sampath Bank Group which consists of the bank and four subsidiary companies, continued with the growth momentum in the 1st half 2012, posting impressive results in many key areas. Pre-tax profit of the group rose to Rs.4. 2 billion, up 42.8 per cent, over the previous corresponding period with Sampath Bank contributing 97.7 per cent [...]

NTB growth momentum continues

The Nations Trust Bank (NTB) closed the first half with a post tax profit of Rs. 893 million, up 21 per cent from the same (January-June period last year). Core-earnings posted good growth over 2011 with revenue increasing at a higher rate of 13 per cent compared to an expense growth of 11 per cent, [...]

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