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Has Mahinda lost control of the stock market?

Has Mahinda lost control of the stock market?

Respected businessmen and veteran stock market investors on Thursday expressed concern on the resignations of two market chiefs while wondering whether the authorities have lost control of the situation. These issues emerged at a media briefing on moves by a group of investors to announce the Association of Independent Shareholders of Sri Lanka (AIS). “We [...]

Now Treasury seeks IMF loan of $500 mln

Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped authorities are seeking an US$ 500 million Extended Fund Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue its economic development initiative despite the huge trade deficit which is expected to climb to US$13 billion this year from US$10 billion in 2011. Earlier in April, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera announced that they [...]

NDB eyeing India, Dubai for opportunities

NDB Bank having exited from its insurance arm NDB Aviva, has plans to venture into other parts of Asia using the capital gains it made from this sale, officials said. “We will strike partnerships similar to what we have at present with DBS Singapore, in Dubai and India,” Russell de Mel, Managing Director NDB told [...]

RMV to collect Rs. 8 bln despite imports drop

Amidst the slowing down of vehicle imports due to heavy taxes, the Motor Traffic Department, the third biggest revenue collector for the state, is confident of collecting around Rs. 8 billion this year, its Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra told the Business Times. He said the department collects this money from ‘luxury’ and [...]

Need for additional spending in undisputed, priority the key

Need for additional spending in undisputed, priority the key

The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA), among its demands, proposes that the Government should adopt a policy to annually spend an amount equivalent to 6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Minister of Higher Education has rejected this demand reiterating that the government revenue is insufficient to bear such expenditure. The writer [...]

Of mafia investors and education pundits

While there were many political, social and economic developments across the country and of these, two events that drew our attention were the education crisis and the public appearance of a group of highly respected and seasoned investors. The education crisis has taken many turns – from the demand of a wage hike to a [...]

EU-funded lead paint elimination project launched

The Sri Lanka part of the European Union (EU)-funded IPEN Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project was launched in Colombo on Tuesday. The project aims at eliminating lead in paint and raising widespread awareness among business entrepreneurs and consumers about the adverse human health impacts of lead-based decorative paints, particularly on the health of children under [...]

Foreign expert alerts Lanka on dispute resolution on infrastructure contracts

A foreign expert on commercial dispute resolution urged both Sri Lankan companies and the Government to be vigilant about the possibility that disputes may inevitably arise with international companies involved in infrastructure development contracts in the country. Making a presentation in Colombo recently on the Chinese approach to dispute resolution at a breakfast briefing on [...]

India’s Kingfisher cancels flights on labour woes

India’s cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines cancelled all of its flights on Monday due to staff unrest, adding to doubts about the ailing private carrier’s future and sending its shares plunging. R.K. Khanna, deputy director-general of India’s civil aviation regulator, said no Kingfisher flights had operated Monday and that they had summoned the carrier’s chief executive Sanjay [...]

Maldives leisure sector recognised in country’s first travel and tourism awards

Male, Maldives -The Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) recently honoured the travel and tourism industry with the first-ever Maldives travel awards. The award ceremony was held on 28th September at Paradise Island Resort. Awards for 21 categories including resorts, hotels, liveaboards and aviation were awarded trophies. “The event began with awarding [...]

T20 World Cup draws cricket crazy crowds, tourists

T20 World Cup draws cricket crazy crowds, tourists

Cricket fever has taken a new high with Colombo becoming the centre of attention as cricket playing nations’ visitors flock to the island for the ICC World T20. Be it Colombo, Kandy or Hambantota visitors make themselves at home taking excursions if accommodation is not available and participating in the special events organized. Cultural shows [...]

Heads roll at Sri Lanka Tourism

Sri Lanka Tourism has seen changes at the helm with most at the top moving out and new faces taking over. The latest has been the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority’s Head of Quality Standards, Licensing, Investment Legal and Special Projects Dileep Mudadeniya who resigned from the agency, and is taking up a position at [...]

Vigorous boost for tourism in all areas needed, says former THASL President

Sprucing up hotel staff, introducing new regulations and an unchanged structure at Sri Lanka Tourism were some of the issues and expectations raised by Anura Lokuhetty who stepped down as Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President last Tuesday. Mr Lokuhetty has headed the organization since 2010 and believes the industry is on the [...]

‘Lankawe Mehema Wenne Nehe’ – I don’t know why

‘Lankawe Mehema Wenne Nehe’ – I don’t know why

Sri Lanka – A Land like No Other: with apologies to Renton de Alwis, former Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman who helped create this slogan for tourism. ‘Lankawe Mehema Wenne Nehe’ – I don’t know why with apologies to veteran singer and Gypsies band leader Sunil Perera who by the way, according to reports, is preparing [...]

Foreign reserves are a myth

We are continuously reminded by the Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal that our foreign reserves are at a healthy level of US$7 billion. The total foreign currency assets, according to the Central Bank 2011 annual report, are Rs 775 billion – ie $7 billion – at the prevailing rate of exchange on 31/12/11. The [...]

Sunshine Holdings rebrands, recognises students on Children’s Day

Sunshine Holdings PLC this week completed its rebranding exercise bringing its businesses under one identity. As a part of the rebranding exercise the group has introduced a new logo, portraying a conch shell, which is a traditional symbol of courage, prsperity and Sri Lankan identity, according to a company statement. The rebranding ceremony was held [...]

Trade unions urge amendments to law permitting right to strike

A strong body of trade unions led by those in the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) has urged the government to present laws to formalize the right to strike by unions as enshrined in International Labour Organisation (ILO) regulations, worried that some courts are not allowing this ‘right’ to unions. “We have been observing an [...]

Nawaloka Hospital opens ‘healthy’ café

A new ‘healthy alternative’ restaurant recently opened on the first floor of Nawaloka Hospital. Named Café 77, this newly opened eatery is run by the Nawaloka Hospital kitchen, and it now offers those visiting the hospital a healthy eating alternative between 7.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. “Visitors to the Nawaloka Hospital can now indulge in [...]

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. [...]

Bamboozled by Bamboo

Bamboozled by Bamboo

While it is heartening to hear that two years (See “Bamboo resumes its ancient glory under major production drive” in Business Times, Sept. 23 issue) had been spent studying the viability of establishing a 10,000-hectare bamboo monoculture, one wonders as to what the two years of study has yielded. It has obviously missed the fact [...]

Singaporean investor to boost Sri Lanka’s construction skills and productivity

Fonda Global Engineering Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, an engineering and construction company from Singapore, is setting up a training and testing centre in Sri Lanka aimed at creating a pool of technically qualified workers. Potential candidates would also be helped to obtain a qualification awarded by the Singapore Authorities, opening avenues for employment overseas, a media [...]

First SL fund rating by Fitch – Ceylon Income Fund gets ‘A-(lka)’

Ratings agency Fitch recently issued its first rating for a Sri Lankan investment fund, the Ceylon Income Fund, according to a statement. Managed by Ceylon Asset Management, the fund primarily invests in corporate debt instruments. Fitch has also stated that this was the “first fund rating assigned by an international rating agency in Sri Lanka”. [...]

Persistence pays – Aban Pestonjee’s journey

Persistence pays – Aban Pestonjee’s journey

Married and with three children at the time, the 25-year old Aban Pestonjee in the late 1970s decided to travel a path less taken. “The ’70s were tough years,” she said, sitting down for a chat down memory lane with the Business Times. She said these were the best of and the worst of times. [...]

Australian BPO to open Sri Lankan unit

Paycorp Payment Solutions, a provider of enterprise payment processing solutions to financial institutions, corporate and others, will open a BPO in Sri Lanka shortly, named Business Payment Services (BPS). The new BPO which requires high domain knowledge and complex processes has cited the Sri Lankan culture and qualified talent pool as major factors that make [...]

First female Sri Lankan rubber auctioneer takes the floor

First female Sri Lankan rubber auctioneer takes the floor

John Keells PLC made history this week when one of its employees became the first female rubber auctioneer. Ms. Mekala Wanigasuriya of John Keells PLC sold the R.S.S. catalogue at the 25th September auction and managed to obtain the top price of Rs. 468.00 for a line of R.S.S. 1 from Pallipitiya Estate of Welgama [...]

Bank union members receive discount credit card

Members of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CEBU) have been provided a special credit card with discount privileges to reduce their cost of living. The Bank-U–Privilege Card helps union members to purchase their daily needs of goods and services from a large number of commercial establishments throughout the country at attractive prices with discounts of [...]

Ceylon Tea should be promoted as king of beverages

The Colonial administration, plantation community and successive Governments have taken many a measure to maintain and upgrade the tea industry since James Taylor planted the first 19 acres of tea in Loolecondra Estate near Kandy. Sri Lanka currently produces 8 per cent of the global tea production having reached the position of the second largest [...]

Leasing industry to turnaround in 2-3 mths

With interest rates stabilizing and major projects finding their way into the country, the leasing industry is set to bounce back from the doldrums, officials said. “With all the new infrastructure projects which are coming in, things are looking positive and within two to three months, with all these changes happening, the industry will turn [...]

Strategic Risk Solutions discusses safety issues with CITI Bank staff

Strategic Risk Solutions discusses safety issues with CITI Bank staff

Strategic Risk Solutions recently enlightened the staff of CITI bank on ‘Life Safety During Natural Disasters’ by way of an open air educational flash – added with life saving response demonstrations as well.

UNICEF partners Dialog on child abuse concerns

Dialog Axiata has joined with UNICEF to support its efforts in preventing child abuse through Star Points, Sri Lanka’s largest loyalty rewards network. Through this partnership Dialog Axiata’s 7.5 million loyal customer base will be able to donate their Star Points to show their solidarity with UNICEF’s efforts to break the culture of silence and [...]

Batticaloa international trade exhibition on Oct 12-14

Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Batticaloa comes alive on October 12-14 when it hosts the Batticaloa International Trade Exhibition 2012 (BITE- 2012). The exhibition which has been hailed by local businessmen as a central point for the meeting of investors, businesses and investment opportunities with the multitude of activities in the east is set to [...]

Some 80 job cuts at HSBC by Oct. 12th

HSBC’s Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) announced to the Sri Lankan staff last month as part of a global restructuring drive, has identified some 80 job cuts and it will be announced by next week, officials said. They said that this ‘identified’ staff was told by their superiors of the intention to scrap their jobs and [...]

ADB, Sri Lanka target power supply upgrades to aid post-conflict regions

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is lending $130 million to help Sri Lanka expand the reach and quality of its electricity supply, with a focus on former conflict areas in the north and east of the country. The Bank said in a statement that this will also improve transmission and distribution network efficiency and develop [...]

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