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Bamboo emerges as possible Lankan economic lifeline

Bamboo emerges as possible Lankan economic lifeline

A young girl from Bandarawela helps her mother in the weaving of bamboo baskets which are used to transport up-country flowers by train to the capital. Sri Lanka this week launched a major donor-funded bamboo growing project. See related story.

Balance India, China relations effectively, urge analysts

Encircled by two global powers with India not wanting to lose its influence in the Indian Ocean and China asserting its presence regionally, political and shipping industry analysts believe Sri Lanka stands to gain without any “dramatic repercussion” if authorities tactfully balance these ties for its benefit. The growing presence of China’s entry into Sri [...]

Central Bank to mint 550 million coins sans 50 cent coin

Sri Lanka is to mint 550 million coins excluding coins of one cent upto 50 cents denomination in the period 2013 to 2014, Central Bank (CB) sources said. The value of these coins is Rs 26.5 billion rupees. The CB will select a qualified party to mint and supply coins of four different denominations including [...]

Local dealers setting up car sales centre in Myanmar

Sri Lanka vehicle importers are setting up a company in Myanmar with a showroom dealing in the car business taking advantage of tax benefits and other facilities given to importers, vehicle importers said. Keerthi Gunawardene, Secretary of the Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka told the Business Times that preliminary arrangements to set up this [...]

CIC heads for Africa with agri projects

CIC Holdings PLC is set to venture into the African continent with agricultural farming proposals by 2013, officials said. “We’re planning to go to Kenya and Ethiopia with such projects due to land limitations in Sri Lanka,” Samantha Ranatunga Managing Director/CEO CIC told the Business Times. He said this is at its preliminary stage and [...]

Sri Lanka’s geo-political realities

India or China? China or India? This is the intriguing geo-political struggle that has confronted Sri Lanka ever since the government began showing its reliance and affiliation towards China after Mahinda Rajapaka became president. The powerful influence of these two countries is clearly seen in recent times with Sri Lanka bending backwards to please both [...]

Forget CEPA: Focus on Indo-Lanka FTA

Forget CEPA: Focus on Indo-Lanka FTA

Amidst continuing opposition from professionals and businessmen to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, the Sri Lankan government is now shifting gears to strengthening the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA), a top government official said. With current bilateral trade worth US $ 4.8 billion heavily in favour of India, the government is exploring [...]

Sri Lanka: Playing host to India and China

When India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma visited Sri Lanka in early August heading a powerful official and business delegation, the ‘talk’ in Colombo was that the Indians were putting pressure on a delayed trade agreement. Later in the month, when China’s Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie’s visited Sri Lanka, the first-ever visit by a Chinese [...]

Global growth worries dent Asia business sentiment in Q3:Survey

Singapore, Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Business sentiment among Asia’s top companies fell for the second straight quarter, dragged down by export-orientated economies such as China and Japan, while domestic spending helped boost Southeast Asia’s outlook, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed. Concerns over global demand are hurting Asia’s export engines, with autos, technology and shipping sectors [...]

Sri Lanka can easily enforce a car-free day

There had been an extraordinary increase in fuel prices in the world market due to political disturbances in many regions of the Middle East and the world economic crisis; as a result the lifestyle of people has changed. People have moved to public transport facilities as it reduces their travelling expenses. Consequently the car traffic [...]

CSE not summoned before COPE

The Colombo Stock Exchange said this week that its officials were not summoned before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) for an inquiry on the stock market. It was referring to a report in last week’s Business Times which said officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the CSE had been called for [...]

Bad service delivery to most customers : Oracle survey

Most customers have bad experiences with organisations trying to provide them a service, according to Michel Van Woudenberg, the Asia Pacific Vice President for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at Oracle. Further, he cited the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, based on a survey commissioned by CRM company RightNow (acquired by Oracle in March 2012), [...]

Directory on ‘Alternative Higher Education Opportunities’ in Sri Lanka from Lirneasia

The Human Resources Research Programme of Lirneasia has prepared and published a directory named “CHOICES – Higher Education Opportunities after A/Levels”. This directory provides the results of one of its research studies. Lirneasia, an IT and telecom-related research agency, said in a media release that it plans to carry out several in-depth researches into the [...]

Google shuts once-feted China music download service

Google Inc said on Friday it will shut its once-popular China music download service next month, in a sign of how far the fortunes of the world’s biggest search engine have fallen in China. Launched in 2009 with a local partner, the Google Music Search was meant to be a legal music search competitor to Baidu [...]

SLAAS-Section F to conduct training on social science and management research methods

The Social Sciences Section of the Sri Lanka Association of the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) will conduct a training programme on research methods in social sciences and management. According to the association, this programme will focus on the need for planning, appropriate use of techniques and processes of qualitative/quantitative approaches, methodological issues, research design, methods [...]

Corporates come together to fight HIV AIDS in the workplace

Private sector corporate entities have ventured into taking action against another health crisis area to mitigate and prevent the spread of the deadly HIV AIDS in the country. This is through awareness and vital information through a website – ‘Passing Awareness on HIV AIDS is just a click away’; the information which could not be [...]

Economists’ association annual sessions on Oct 19-20

The annual sessions of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) will be held on 19-20 October at the Centre for Banking Studies of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Rajagiriya. The main theme of the sessions is “Export Growth for Sustained Development”. “This theme assumes a particular relevance due to the large balance of payments [...]

SriLankan wins US ‘Best in Region’ award

SriLankan Airlines, among an elite list of world airlines that vied for Passenger Choice Awards of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in the US, won the award for Best in Region: Asia and Australasia, at a gala ceremony in Long Beach, California this week. The ceremony was held during the APEX 2012 EXPO at [...]

Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Dialog join in ‘Managed Services’ venture

Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Dialog join in ‘Managed Services’ venture

Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, has partnered with Commercial Bank of Ceylon to provide integrated enterprise communication solutions, which would ensure uninterrupted and highly secure connectivity leading to smooth banking services for Commercial Bank customers. The new data centre hosted at the Dialog Axiata Internet Data Centre (IDC) provides a [...]

New interactive education tool ‘Candela’ launched at Colombo Book Fair

Candela, an innovative new interactive education tool, has been launched at the ongoing Colombo International Book Fair at the BMICH, ending on September 26. “This is a product that is available in the form of a CD, which can be simply loaded on to any computer to provide children with a learning experience, and can [...]

Stock market discussion at ST Business Club

“Recent developments in the stock market’ is the theme of a panel discussion at the next monthly meeting of the Sunday Times Business Club on Thursday, September 27 at the Taj Samudra Hotel at 6.30 pm. The panellists are Thilak Karunaratne, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ranjit Fernando, Chairman of United Motors-Colombo, [...]

Hayleys supports awareness drive in HIV/AIDS

The Hayleys Group is supporting an awareness drive in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, becoming the latest entity to join the “Passing the Pillow” programme launched by the Lanka Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (LBCH). “In pledging renewed efforts to take forward the fight against the increasingly alarming spread of the disease, Chairman and [...]

FCCISL’s popular Key Persons’ Forum (KPF) now in the regions

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) in collaboration with the Asia Foundation is organizing Key Persons’ Forums in the regions, commencing from September. These forums have been held so far in Colombo only. “The objective of the KPFs is to provide a platform for eminent persons in responsible positions, [...]

SL vehicle importers eye next budget

The Vehicle Importers Association has reiterated to the government the need to assist the industry to come out of its current crisis, having submitted its concerns hoping it would be addressed in the next budget. Used vehicles importers are allowed to bring down only 2-year old cars, but the industry wants this extended to three [...]

45 new nurses take up positions at Nawaloka Hospital

45 new nurses take up positions at Nawaloka Hospital

Some 45 nurses took the “Florence Nightingale Pledge” on Tuesday, September 18 as part of the 27th anniversary celebrations of Nawaloka Hospital. The pledge was taken by nurses who had completed their first year of training, the hospital firm said. The Nawaloka Hospital Nursing School currently comprises about 200 trainee nurses, all in either their [...]

CB provides guidance on foreign reserves, liquidity management to Maldives Monetary Authority

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) recently provided a Technical Assistance (TA) programme to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) aimed at developing foreign reserves management skills of the Maldivian Central Bank. This programme helped to build MMA’s institutional capacity to formulate foreign reserves management policies and procedures and to manage its foreign reserves so [...]

Credit expansion falls by half in 2ndQ 2012:CB

Efforts by the Central Bank and the Government earlier this year to rein in high demand for imports and credit are yielding results. “Reflecting the impact of the policy measures taken, credit obtained by the private sector has decelerated since the second quarter of 2012, and the policy measures in place are expected to help [...]

Sri Lanka’s best companies to work for

The Great Place to Work Institute, in partnership with the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a local magazine will be launching a study on ‘Sri Lanka’s Best Companies to Work for in 2013′. The study will comprise of a list of the top organisations to work in Sri Lanka based [...]

Some 10,000 Sri Lankan employers default ETF payments

About 10,000 Sri Lankan organizations are defaulting every month in their Employees Trust Fund (ETF) payments and most of these defaulting firms are based outstation, according to officials. “There’s a 21 per cent default rate overall and most are from outstations,” J.M.S.B. Udugama, Deputy General Manager, Collection and Employer Relations, ETF told the Business Times [...]

Ceylinco Life’s Saroja qualifies as an FIA

Ceylinco Life’s Saroja qualifies as an FIA

A Sri Lankan insurance professional has achieved a personal and corporate milestone by qualifying as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the chartered professional body for actuaries in the UK. Saroja Kamini Gunatilleke, 28, Senior Manager – Actuarial Services at Ceylinco Life, is the only Sri Lankan with this qualification currently working [...]

Sri Lanka wins top New Zealand award

Sri Lanka’s Nalin Wijetilleke, a New Zealand resident, has received the ‘Harold Weiss Award’ from the Information Systems Audit & Control Association (ISACA) – USA, at the recent IT Audit, Control and Security Conference in Wellington, New Zealand. “This is an award given as an exceptional recognition for dedication to IT governance, assurance and security [...]

DFCC in discussion with funding line providers

DFCC Bank is in discussion with several European and Asian entities in a bid to secure international credit, officials said. “We are in discussion with a few parties relating to funding lines. Last year DFCC got a line of US$ 30 million from Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft or DEG (which translates into German Investment Corporation). [...]

Bamboo resumes its ancient glory under major production drive

Bamboo resumes its ancient glory under major production drive

In another seven years – by 2019 – Sri Lanka would come under 10,000 hectares of bamboo cultivation with 150,000 tons of dry bamboo harvested annually. This would provide, among other major economic benefits, 113 megawatts of electricity to the national grid which would then account for 2.7 per cent of the total electricity generated [...]

Veteran Maldivian hotelier appointed chair of Mahaweli Reach Hotel

Veteran Maldivian hotelier Mohamed Umar Maniku has been appointed chairman of Mahaweli Reach Hotel Ltd, the company announced this week. He takes over from the late Mrs L.R. Panabokke, also founder director, whose husband Atul founded the Kandy hotel. He was appointed with effect from 31st May. Managing Director of the hotel is Jayantha Panabokke. [...]

ADB road project seen enhancing growth, opportunities in Sri Lanka’s north

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to extend a road restoration project in northern Sri Lanka to give more communities from the once conflict-ridden region better access to social services and economic opportunities. The ADB said in a statement that its Board of Directors approved a $98 million financing package to rehabilitate an additional 230 [...]

SriLankan opens office in Hambantota

SriLankan opens office in Hambantota

SriLankan Airlines established its presence in southern Hambantota, with the opening of a new sales office on Friday and ahead of the planned opening of the first phase of the new Mattala airport in November-December this year. The branch office will facilitate travel formalities to a large clientele in the South-eastern coast area. The modern [...]

Hemas Transportation in JV with Forwardair Logistics to strengthen business

Hemas Transportation in JV with Forwardair Logistics to strengthen business

Hemas Transportation has announced the expansion of its logistics service portfolio, through a joint venture with Forwardair Logistics (Pvt) Ltd, rebranding it as Hemas Logistics. Managing Director, Hemas Transportation Sector, Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson said, “With this joint venture we will expand our integrated logistics solutions capability through container transport and the movement of over-dimensional and [...]

International TGI Friday’s restaurant chain soon in SL

Cargills (Ceylon) Ltd has become the local franchisee for the internationally renowned TGI Friday’s restaurant chain. The company, which owns the Food City supermarket chain, said it has signed an agreement with TGI Friday’s Restaurant Inc, a member of the US-based Carlton Group, for this purpose. The first TGI Friday’s restaurant is due to open [...]

New stock GS Finance contributes most to ASPI’s rise

New stock George Steuart Finance (GSF), which began trading eight market days ago, has contributed the most to the rise in the Colombo’s main index, the All Share Price Index (ASPI). The recent surge in the Colombo stock market has triggered mixed views on whether this is a deliberate attempt to push the ASPI up [...]

CB direction on foreign exchange trading activities

The Central Bank, aimed at further improving the standard of business conduct and good market practices for the effective and efficient functioning of the foreign exchange trading activities in Sri Lanka, has issued the Banking Act Direction No. 1 of 2012 on foreign exchange trading activities of licensed commercial banks. The direction has been prepared [...]

Accountants called to uphold their profession

Chartered Accountants have perhaps the highest employability among professionals and it’s a great responsibility to live up to this qualification, a top professional said. “Chartered Accountants are undoubtedly among the most sought after professional across the business world. As a new member of an internationally renowned and respected professional body, one must discharge the responsibilities [...]

HSBC’s job cut plan to be announced this week

HSBC’s global restructuring drive will be announced to local staff this week, spelling out the job cuts, the number of positions to be done away with and other nitty-gritty, informed sources said. “The staff was told that the group was going through a restructuring and they were awaiting the details since early this year. It [...]

Sri Lanka launches rubber survey

Sri Lanka is aiming to upgrade the rubber sector, starting with a national survey to capture data and trends. “I am pleased to announce that we are launching the first ever national rubber industry survey next month. We are also now looking at creating high end rubber testing lab facilities that the industry needs. All [...]

Seylan Bank’s loss absorption capacity weak – Fitch

Despite being one of six systemically important domestic banks, former Ceylinco Group associate Seylan Bank’s capacity to absorb future losses is still weak, according to ratings agency Fitch. This is due to the bank’s high un-provisioned Non Performing Assets to Equity ratio of 56.19% as at end-June 2012, down from 59.39% in end-2011 and 158% [...]

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