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Christmas in November!

Christmas in November!

‘President’s Sq’ with Raffles, GOH and waterfront

The Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH), Sri Lanka and probably Asia’s oldest hotel at the waterfront in Fort, is preparing a face-lift and major refurbishment under an international heritage brand, officials said this week. The re-development of the 175 year-old Victorian hotel built in 1837 to house British soldiers is part of the creation of a [...]

Access eyes int’l vehicle brands for Sathosa Motors

The Access Group is planning to bring international vehicle brands under the umbrella of its latest acquisition, Sathosa Motors, officials said. “We’re looking at other international brands to bring under the Sathosa umbrella. Within this month we’re hoping to sign a deal with a premier international vehicle brand,” Sumal Perera, Chairman Access told the Business [...]

Stocks: CSE won’t ‘somehow’ go up

While some may call it local investors’ ‘pessimism’, others say that no new monies are coming into the Colombo Stock Market, which seems to be stuck with parties trying to ‘somehow’ prop it up and falling flat on the face. “This isn’t a proper market as some call it. There are many external factors at [...]

New Year car permit bonanza for 5,000 senior public servants

At least 5,000 senior public servants are to be benefited annually by the government’s move of lifting the three year restriction imposed on transferring duty-free vehicle permits, officials said. Around 10,000 vehicle permits have been issued by the Finance Ministry since 2010 up to now and it plans to issue an average of 5000 permits [...]

Implement LLRC proposals- urge garment exporters

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, struggling against an economic crisis that has hit its main buyer – Europe -, is urging the government to implement recommendations of Sri Lanka’s post-war reconciliation commission in a bid to regain GSP concessions from the European Union (EU). This comes in the wake of a leadership change within the apparel [...]

Lessons that can be learned from the debacle of the South African tea industry

Lessons that can be learned from the debacle of the South African tea industry

Reading some of the views expressed by eminent personnel in the Sri Lankan tea industry, and also consequent to my discussions with those managing tea plantations, it is quite apparent that this industry is in dire straits, giving a symptomatic impression that viability is being seriously threatened. The primary cause of this predicament at this [...]

GSP continues to haunt Sri Lanka

While the debate over GSP Plus concessions eased last year, it has erupted once again with falling exports and rising costs of production. At this week’s annual meeting of the Exporters Association, the chairman echoed the repeated sentiments of the outgoing chief (Rohan Abeykoon) that the loss of GSP Plus concessions two years ago was [...]

Sunday Times Biz Club discusses ‘impeachment’ issues

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) is joining the growing debate over the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake with its own panel discussion on these issues on Thursday, November 29. In a discussion titled “Impeachment: Conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive”, Presidents’ Counsel Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne will be joined by V.T. Thamilmaran, Dean [...]

Lion Brewery not sober on portfolio expansion

The Lion Brewery says its recent appointment as exclusive distributor (duty paid sector) in Sri Lanka for Diageo PLC – the world’s largest premium spirits company-, has added value to its portfolio. “The brands of Diageo include Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Bailey’s liqueur and Guinness stout. Diageo sells its brands in over 180 [...]

Sri Lankan firm introduces UV-B light lamp to treat skin diseases

A commercial equipment company will be introducing ultraviolet radiation to treat skin diseases and some other ailments like osteoporosis and asthma in a first time initiative in Sri Lanka, company officials said. Union Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd / Union Commercial Equipment (Pvt) Ltd is now importing “PANOS ultraviolet -B light lamp” from South Korea, T.H. Latiff, [...]

South Asian fashion, art and culture fair in Spain

Over 400 companies from Sri Lanka, India, Dubai, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal will participate in the South Asia Trade Fair 2013 (SATF) between 14-17 February, at Feria Valencia, Spain. The fair is organized by Rangoli Events in collaboration with Feria Valencia and Event Horizon (Sri Lanka), Zing IMS (India), Frozen Moments and Culture Craft (Bangladesh), [...]

Sri Lanka’s first online life insurance plan from Ceylinco

Sri Lanka’s first online life insurance plan, which can be applied for and purchased entirely via the Internet, has been launched by Ceylinco Life, the company said. ‘Ceylife Online is a simple Term Insurance Plan with optional Accidental Death Cover, offered on to a new generation of IT-savvy Sri Lankans seeking convenience and cost [...]

Rising demand for SL telecommunications in 2013 : Fitch

Increasing demand in Sri Lanka’s telecommunication industry, as well as the resulting growth in average revenue per user (ARPU) will continue over 2013, according to ratings agency Fitch. Elaborating in its “2013 Outlook: Sri Lanka Telecommunications Services” report, Fitch further indicated that the rise in demand and ARPU was a result of “strong growth in [...]

More Sri Lankans to await new experiences in Singapore

More Sri Lankans to await new experiences in Singapore

Sri Lankan travellers to Singapore increased by about six per cent last year, a reason for its tourism board to campaign in Colombo to attract more visitors with its all-new experiences. Singapore Tourism Board South Asia Area Director G.B. Srithar speaking with the Business Times this week said they were in Colombo in a bid [...]

Nestle’s Colombo chief to head Singapore/Malaysia operations

Alois Hofbauer, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka PLC, has receiving a new posting as Head of Nestlé’s operations in the Malaysia and Singapore Region, the company announced this week. It said the changes were in line with a ‘stream of global Senior Management changes’. Mr Hofbauer will be replaced by Ganesan Ampalavanar, a Malaysian citizen [...]

Energising the stock market through good corporate governance

Glorious opportunities are still available in Sri Lanka for investments, small to huge, local and foreign. Therefore there is a need to promote sustainable industry growth, with equity. We should ensure a vibrant, clean and free market with true fairness andequity to shareholders and investors. The few errant controlling interests (CI) who do not comply [...]

Shinegawa J. Capital to invest in Sri Lankan hotel properties

A joint venture — Shinegawa J. Capital (Pvt) Ltd has been formed to invest in Sri Lanka to develop hotel properties, Shigenori Shinegawa, President and CEO of Teoria Investment Co. Ltd, announced on Thursday. Teoria Investment Co. Ltd recently tied up with the Asia Capital Group to invest in its hotel property in Balapitiya, according [...]

BBDO Lanka meeting with Indian delegation

BBDO Lanka meeting with Indian delegation

BBDO Lanka, the Colombo unit of a global communications agency, recently hosted the high-powered CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) delegation to lunch on November 19 in Colombo. The delegation which visited Sri Lanka on November 18-20 in an effort to promote business and to explore opportunities between Indian and Sri Lanka, included Adi Godrej (industrialist, [...]

South Asian MPs stress need for energy trading in the region

Parliamentarians of South Asian, while pursuing initiatives on climate change, have resolved to develop a regional grid in South Asia – a transmission network that could link wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources. They also agreed to create a mechanism for energy trading between regional neighbours to promote reliable and sustainable energy for [...]

Renuka Shaw Wallace Rs. 1bln rights issue for growth

Renuka Shaw Wallace (formerly known as Coco Lanka PLC) will utilize its Rs. 1 billion rights issue together with its own funds to expand the portfolio and build infrastructure, officials said. “This transformation takes the company’s focus from being solely in the Agri Business sector into a fully – fledged Food and Beverage (F & [...]

Cabraal chairs high level meeting in Mongolia

Cabraal chairs high level meeting in Mongolia

Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal chaired a high-level seminar at a recent conference of governors of central banks held in Mongolia. The session was called “Regional and Global Liquidity Arrangement” at the 48th Conference of the Governors’ of The South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN), High Level Seminar and 32nd Meeting of the SEACEN Board [...]

Education Ministry to implement Oracle Academy programme in 1000 secondary schools

The Ministry of Education (MoE), Sri Lanka, and Oracle Corporation Singapore Pte Ltd, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Oracle Academy’s Introduction to Computer Science curriculum in 1000 secondary schools. This includes the Oracle Academy’s Java Fundamentals curriculum and “Getting Started with Java Using Alice” workshops. “This effort will allow MoE [...]

Sri Lanka’s first mobile phone directory gets off the ground

Sri Lanka’s one and only mobile phone directory has got off the ground providing access for Android phone users to a comprehensive list of business addresses, telephone numbers and other contact information, officials of the SLT Rainbow Pages said. Malraj Balapitiya, Chief Executive Officer, SLT VisionCom (Pvt) Ltd and SLT Publications (Pvt) Ltd said the [...]

Highway robbery of Rs. 62 mln from EPF

The Department of Labour which collected Rs. 62 million from errant employers during the period 2005 to 2006 through the courts had remitted that amount to the Treasury in 2010 as Revenue instead of crediting it to the individual EPF accounts of the respective employees. It is highway robbery by the UPFA government. Your media [...]

Hayleys Exports changes name to Hayleys Fibre

Hayleys Exports PLC., a global player in the natural fibre products market, has changed its name and adopted a new logo, both of which – it said in a media statement – provide closer alignment and identification with its products and brand. Effective 2nd November, the company will be known as Hayleys Fibre PLC, forging [...]

Prasanna Jayewardene in another ambitious Rs 40 bln project

PJ Group Founder and Chairman Prasanna W Jayewardene is planning three Integrated Golf Links, Recreation, Hotel, Housing Projects in the North, East and South at a cost of Rs 40 billion, the PJ Group said this week in a media release. It works out to approximately US$100 million per project and though not a small [...]

Eswaran Brother’s Exports in another sustainable development achievement

Eswaran Brother’s Exports has commissioned what it calls the ‘country’s first Organizational and Product Water Footprints’. Carried out according to the guidelines of the International Water Footprint Network through its partner in Sri Lanka, The Carbon Consulting Company, the water footprints bring a whole new dimension towards building sustainable corporates and brands, the company said [...]

CB releases 3rd edition of ‘Step-by-Step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka’

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has published the third edition of “A Step by Step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka”. The CB said the booklet contains all relevant information on the regulation for starting and operating a business enterprise in Sri Lanka. The necessary amendments proposed by the relevant institutions up [...]

Additional funding support from ADB for road development

Additional financing will be provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to rehabilitate Sri Lankan national and provincial roads with the objective of achieving a balanced development through improvement of road connectivity between Northern Province and the other provinces of the country. Accordingly, 200 km of 19 roads are expected to be rehabilitated under the [...]

Top of the ‘Pops’ on the Net

Top of the ‘Pops’ on the Net

While the Internet is often a vast and lonely place, it is also a venue where Net-izens (web citizens) sometimes come together to participate in communal activities. Visiting a common website, sharing a laugh over a funny video, idolising a celebrity, politician or sports star, commenting on a brand or football match, etc. It is [...]

Budget 2013 PAYE tax cut will help retention in IT industry

A key challenge for the Sri Lankan IT/BPO industry has always been retention of staff, rather than employee acquisition. The reduction of employee PAYE tax specific to this sector, from 20% currently, to 15% next year, proposed as part of the 2013 national budget, will positively impact this issue, according to top IT sector leader [...]

Web-based account software Xero to be demonstrated in SL

Web-based accounting software service Xero will be demonstrated in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, December 12, at the Postgraduate Institute of Management, Colombo. A product developed by New Zealand-based Right Click Accountants, Xero is also currently available online to try for free. Said to be the “world’s easiest accounting system”, Xero has also been described as [...]

SLASSCOM lauds budget

Sri Lankan IT/BPO chamber SLASSCOM has lauded the island’s government for incorporating a number of proposals it had put forward for the country’s 2013 national budget. According to a media statement by SLASSCOM; “Broadband connectivity is the enabling infrastructure for IT/BPO services much like the expressways for other industries. The cost of commercial broadband is [...]

Gold, silver for Duo Software at NBQSA 2012

Sri Lankan IT company Duo Software recently won a gold and a silver for its DuoSubscribe product at the locally-held National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA) 2012, according to a media statement by the IT company. Further indicated, the company received gold in the “Infrastructure Tools & Apps” category, while also being awarded silver, overall, [...]

Mobitel launches Internet package for state employees

Sri Lanka Telecom-subsidiary Mobitel recently launched an Iinternet service for state-sector employees. Called “Upahara Internet”, this product is an extension to a similarily named post-paid package which was first launched in 2008. According to a media statement by the celco; “Upahara Internet now offers dongles free-of-charge to all existing Upahara customers who are state sector [...]

SL IT startup 24/7 Techies raises Rs. 80 million in funding

Sri Lankan IT startup 24/7 Techies has raised US$ 600,000 (close to Rs. 80 million) of international funding while, at the same time, also being featured on top technology blog Tech Crunch, according to a media statement by the company. 24/7 Techies, which offers off-site, remote technical support to small and medium businesses (SMBs), is [...]

Export growth as Sri Lanka’s development strategy- Productivity as a key determinant

The purpose of this article is to clarify the relationship between export growth and productivity (the main theme at the recent 2012 Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Economic Association) in view of the urgent need to expand exports significantly to reduce the massive trade deficit of about US$10 billion facing Sri Lanka (SL). Since [...]

Katunayake duty free (airport) traffic slows to 18% this year

At least 85 per cent of arrivals at BIA are duty free shopping but the traffic has dropped this year, a new store with a range of duty free products in operation for one year said recently. Launching their new logo and strapline by identifying themselves as “The Duty Free People,” Flemingo has entered Colombo [...]

Novel milk booster to enhance the milk yield

Two Sri Lankan veterinary scientists have developed a novel milk booster to help farmers enhance milk production in the country. Dr. Anura Jayasooriya Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Biochemistry, Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science, University of Peradeniya and Dr. Gamika Prathapasinghe, senior lecturer of Wayamba University, hav formulated a [...]

Treasury to stop pumping money into ailing state- backed agriculture insurance scheme

Sri Lanka’s Treasury will halt the practice of pumping money to keep afloat the ailing state- backed insurance scheme for agriculture sector making use of a new levy imposed on the profits of banking, finance and insurance institutions, government officials said. Several commercial banks and finance companies have expressed concern on the new 1per cent [...]

Travel solutions from Dialog

Travel solutions from Dialog

eZ Travel and Dialog has inked an agreement to provide travel solutions for tourists arriving from the United Kingdom. Under the agreement tourists can now pick up a Dialog SIM card from the eZ Travel Centre in UK and use the connection upon arrival at the Colombo airport, the local telecom firm said.

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