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Deadly entertainment on the green

Deadly entertainment on the green

A couple of snake charmers entertain visitors and tourists at the Galle Face Green near the Galle Face Hotel. Pic by Nilan Maligaspe  

Business Times

Friendly environment for WA domestic workers

Proposed new rules allow weekly off-day, keeping the passport and end of service benefits By Feizal Samath Sri Lankan domestic workers will soon be benefited by a proposed new law in the West Asia which provides for a compulsory weekly off day, keeping their passport and the option of returning home within three months of [...]

Business Times

Government indirectly seeks funds from international markets

The Government is indirectly seeking funds from international capital markets this year for infrastructure development and servicing foreign debts, officials revealed. This came after efforts by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera to secure a new IMF facility for infrastructure spending failed when the international lender said it was only willing to provide money to improve [...]

Business Times

Four new units to operate domestic airlines

By Sunimalee Dias At least four new operators are currently awaiting licensing of their domestic carriers to meet the growing demand for air travel within Sri Lanka, a regulatory official said. Sri Lanka has seen a surge in the number of domestic carriers willing to meet the local demand for travel within the island nation [...]

Business Times

Extend retirement period in Sri Lanka, says CB

Sri Lanka, to reap the benefits of the long lasting second demographic dividend (ageing population), should adopt appropriate policy options such as altering retirement benefits to increase the number of years of work. These options should also include legal provisions and cultural changes to discourage age discrimination, and continuous human capital development to encourage the [...]

Business Times

Union Bank gearing for growth in related businesses

Union Bank is gearing for growth in related areas within the country in the medium term amidst denials by its chairman and high networth investor, Alex Lovell that he is selling his stake (or part of it) in the bank, according to informed sources. “Union Bank has seen a lot of retail activity in the [...]

Business Times

Central Bank to inject over Rs.600 mln to revive Golden Key

By Bandula Sirimanna The collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Co. (GK) is getting a fresh capital injection of around Rs. 627 million from the Central Bank by way of a loan to re-start its business, more than four years after it went bust, official sources said. The CB will lend the money from a Rs. [...]

Business Times

Rajapaksa calls for positive outlook on government’s development drives

Rajapaksa calls for positive outlook on government’s development drives

Presentation of Central Bank 2012 annual report By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for positivism and optimism from his countrymen and to view government’s development drive encouragingly. “There are many who snub the transformation happening before their very eyes. We have set off several infrastructure projects which will reap dividends [...]

Business Times

SL reserves in line with IMF metrics

According to new IMF measurements, Sri Lanka has held adequate levels of foreign exchange reserves throughout the recent past, the Central Bank says. Even though actual reserves of the country were low throughout in comparison to the conventional measure of 100 per cent of short-term external debt (STD), in terms of the new IMF’s risk-weighted [...]

Business Times

United we flourish; divided we perish

Though Sri Lanka has an open road for peace, reconciliation and economic growth and the potential to grow into a developed nation like Singapore, radical elements in the country’s citizens are making sure this doesn’t happen – wittingly or unwittingly. For most Sri Lankans, whether Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Christians or Burghers the Sinhala Buddhist [...]

Business Times

Not easy to prevent mushrooming unauthorised finance units : CB

Preventing the mushrooming of unauthorized finance businesses (UFBs or bogus finance companies) is difficult, let alone completely eliminating these units, considering the complexity of their operations, says the Central Bank. Discussing this kind of business operation, the CB says eliminating UFBs is further complicated by the fact that a segment of the ‘public voraciously pursues [...]

Business Times

Risk management measures in place to protect depositors

The Central Bank will continue to take measures to strengthen risk management in the financial system to make it stronger and more resilient, to preserve public confidence in financial institutions and to protect depositors and the wider economy from the negative effects of any systemic risk. In a report on risk management and protecting depositors, [...]

Business Times

Central Bank urges public to avoid defacing notes

Over the last decade, currency in circulation has been increasing at an annual rate of 13 -14 per cent in line with expansion of economic activities and price movements. The total value of currency in circulation at the end of 2012 was Rs. 318 billion, of which around 98 per cent was in currency notes. [...]

Business Times

Singer Sunil sings a different song; says huge saving by using solar power

Singer Sunil sings a different song; says huge saving by  using solar power

Net-metering the future for Sri Lanka’s costly power sector By Quintus Perera What better words of praise than that coming from, renowned Sri Lankan singer/entertainer Sunil Perera who caught the attention of a Colombo audience last week during a promotion of a new solar power product. Mr. Perera, leader of the band Gypsies who has [...]

Business Times

Central Bank retirees given plum jobs in banks

Letter Last week’s Business Times news headline on ‘Conflicts within a Bank Board’ provoked me to write this letter in utter disgust. As an ex Central Bank staffer I have mixed opinions about the way the Central Bank is currently progressing. To be fair, the governor though he is highly controversial has brought in a [...]

Business Times

Investment drive by THAATA cement in Hambantota

Investment drive by THAATA cement in Hambantota

By Sachin Parathalingam Investment opportunities in Sri Lanka are positive, the CEO of a new cement investment noted last week. Fazlullah Shariff, CEO of THAATA Cement, subsidiary of the giant Pakistani conglomerate Arif Group, made these comments to a Business Times reporter when asked about the country’s investment climate. THAATA on Saturday announced the impending [...]

Business Times

Launch of a computerised labour inspection system in Sri Lanka

The United States works towards ensuring that all workers are treated fairly and share the benefits of the global economy, US Ambassador Michelle Sison said last week at the launch in Colombo of the Labour Inspection Systems Application (LISA). This automated labour inspection system is said to be the first of its kind in South [...]

Business Times

Saranapala, guru of 5S and Kaisen productivity concepts, wins recognition

Mahinda Saranapala was awarded with a special appreciation award for introducing Japanese productivity concepts, 5S and Kaisen and service rendered to develop the concepts for the past 23 years in Sri Lanka. The award was made by the Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTEKA) recently. Currently CEO of Kelani Cables PLC, Mr. Saranapala [...]

Business Times

First Capital Treasuries, GAC Shipping new CA Sri Lanka training partners

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently appointed First Capital Treasuries Limited and GAC Shipping Ltd as training partners. At a ceremony held recently, the Institute’s Vice President. Arjuna Herath awarded the strategic level training partner certificate to Mangala Jayashantha, Chief Financial Officer of First Capital Treasuries Limited in the [...]

Business Times

JAT Holdings wins most innovative and informative stall

JAT Holdings, said to be a leader in Sri Lanka’s furnishing and finishing industry, won the award for the Most Innovative and Informative stall at the Architects Exhibition held in Colombo recently. The criteria used for judging this award of excellence was design, product knowledge and the ability to educate the public on new and [...]

Business Times

Recent attacks on business more worrying than lower export earnings

By Feizal Samath Recent attacks by radical groups on Muslim businesses are greater economic-related concerns for Sri Lanka than latest data that show weaker export earnings, economists say. This adds to other worries like for example Sri Lanka being unable to attract enough foreign investors unlike countries like Vietnam which also recovered from a conflict. [...]

Business Times

SriLankan Cargo nears record-breaking year

SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines has handled a record volume of 17329 metric tons of cargo in March which is the highest ever volume of cargo handled within a single calendar month. This month’s total exceeds July 2012 total of 16,136 metric tons, the airline said. Having achieved an 8 per cent [...]

Business Times

Bates Strategic Alliance celebrates 20th Anniversary

“Brands need to be real,” noted Josh Sklar, former creative director of Bates Asia, the parent company of Bates Strategic Alliance in Sri Lanka. He made this comment at a special workshop titled “Brand Engagement in the New Digital World” hosted by Bates Sri Lanka at the Mount Lavinia Hotel on Tuesday to commemorate its [...]

Business Times

NDB in giant step to revive small industry

NDB (bank) recently initiated a special development programme aimed at rebuilding the defunct handloom textile industry. The pilot project of a long term development programme was launched in the Kuleegama village, Divulapititya of the Gampaha District which was once renowned for its handloom products, the bank said. It joined hands with the Department of Textile [...]

Business Times

1/3rd of piling work over at Sri Lanka’s tallest condominium

1/3rd of piling work over at  Sri Lanka’s tallest condominium

Construction work on the Altair, said to be Sri Lanka’s tallest luxury condominium, is on track with the completion of 100 of 288 piles last month. INDOCEAN Developers, promoter of the project, said the four test piles, carried out at the Sir James Peiris Mawatha site overlooking the Beira Lake at 200 per cent of [...]

Business Times

Amusing name boards on Lankan streets

Amusing name boards on Lankan streets

By Sachin Parathalingam In recent times Colombo has experienced an increase in the use of unusual and sometimes bizarre name boards in its retail and restaurant outlets, as a marketing tool to enhance customer attention. A striking example is the ‘Al-Jazeera Arabic Restaurant’, a tiny food outlet in the corner of Deen’s Road, Maradana taken [...]

Business Times

Intel, Ministry of Education launches improved Internet-based teaching tools

Intel Sri Lanka, together with the Ministry of Education, this week launched the new and improved skoool.lk website to Sri Lankan students and teachers. The official web site of the ‘skoool’ learning and teaching programme now has content from the local syllabus for two important subjects, Science and Mathematics which are now available in Sinhala [...]

Business Times

Bank of Ceylon raises massive $1 bln in past 12 mths

State-owned banking giant, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) says it has raised US$1 billion in the past 12 months, after completing recently another successful bond that raises $500 million. The BOC had originally planned on a $300 million size issue but after receiving offers for over $2 billion (effectively oversubscribing by 6.8 times), the bank decided [...]

Business Times

New board to run Golden Key

New board to run Golden Key

Business Times

Education better than cash to motivate corner shops : BBDO

Education better than cash to motivate corner shops : BBDO

Motivating traditional corner shops to recommend manufacturers’ brands is best accomplished by using more engaging methods of educating shop proprietors. In fact, this alternative is better than just offering reduced prices, or even a cash-based incentives, because a competitor can always undercut prices further or offer more cash, but education ultimately leads to a stronger [...]

Business Times

SJMS triumphs at Inter-Auditors Quiz Finals

SJMS Associates emerged victorious claiming the overall winner’s award at the recently concluded grand finale of the CASS Quiz Competition – 2013, organised by the Chartered Accountants (CA) Students’ Society. The final was held on 3rd April in, Colombo, during the CA Students’ Annual National Conference, a regular calendar event that sees the participation of [...]

Business Times

Times are changing in Sri Lanka’s once, harsh plantation sector

Times are changing in Sri Lanka’s once, harsh plantation sector with children of several plantation workers in local universities, studying law, management and arts. A few have also passed out as medical doctors. Much of this change has come with the creation of the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) and its focus on social and [...]

Business Times

ADB’s projection of SL GDP at 6.8% in 2013, lower than CB target of 7.5 %

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday projected Sri Lanka’s economic growth this year at 6.8 per cent, much lower than the Central Bank (CB) of Sri Lanka’s target of 7.5 per cent. The CB figure was released along with the presentation of the 2013 annual report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday, the same [...]

Business Times

BA resumes flights to Colombo, special fares offer to UK

British Airways (BA) resumed flights to Colombo on Monday and at the same time announced a special offer on return fares to London. This offer of Rs 98,579 for a return journey is available until 21 April 2013 for outbound travel period between 8th April and 31st July 2013, the airline said this week in [...]

Business Times

World’s largest PR firm Edelman enters Sri Lanka through PR Wire

Edelman, said to be the world’s largest public relations firm, has appointed PR Wire as an exclusive affiliate member and its representative in Sri Lanka. An agreement for this purpose was signed by Robert Holdheim, Managing Director of Edelman India, and Ashan Kumar, Founder and Managing Director of PR Wire in New Delhi, according to [...]

Business Times

Sri Lankan IT growth fastest in region

Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing counters in terms of IT in this region, according to Chrishan Fernando, the Country General Manager of IBM Sri Lanka. Specific to the company’s local performance, he added that there was rapid growth currently occurring in terms of the services sector. He also revealed that IBM had [...]

Business Times

TopDocOpinions to ‘globalise’ SL healthcare via remote diagnosis

TopDocOpinions to ‘globalise’ SL healthcare via remote diagnosis

By Jagdish Hathiramani Sri Lanka-based remote medical diagnosis startup TopDocOpinions plans to allow local patients to access second, or even expert, opinions from a network comprising both specialist doctors, expatriate Sri Lankan doctors and even top flight US-based medical research institutes offering the newest and most cutting-edge treatment protocols. Most recently a grand finalist and [...]

Business Times

Falck to launch ‘Emergency 1990′ Android GPS app

The local unit of international ambulance service Falck will soon begin offering “Emergency 1990″, an application (app) for Android smartphones that allows people to access emergency services even if they are unable to talk or give their location for any reason. According to a statement from Sri Lanka-based Wavenet, who developed this application; “With the [...]

Business Times

MAS acquires fashion IT consultancy attune

Top Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer MAS Holdings will be spending US$ 20 million on attune, an IT consultancy focused on the fashion and lifestyle segments of the apparel sector, according to a statement issued by attune. Further, the statement also revealed that attune would merge with wholly-owned MAS subsidiary Sabre Technologies, which specialises in software [...]

Business Times

WSO2 new subsidiary enters mobile computing

WSO2 has launched a new subsidiary titled WSO2Mobile in a bid to deliver an enterprise mobile platform addresses the challenges of cost and providing a secure, agile enterprise mobile systems headed by Microimage founder Harsha Purasinghe. The new subsidiary is aimed to solve the mobile computing challenges enterprises face today in securely provisioning stakeholders’ devices [...]

Business Times

Local IT Company Microimage adds ‘key’ Maldives contracts

Sri Lankan IT Company Microimage recently announced that its Human Capital Management (HCM) software solution was being adopted by a number of “key” Maldivian government and non-government entities, including the Maldives Broadcasting Corporation, the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, the FENAKA Corporation, the Island Aviation Service and ADK Hospital. Having won these contracts along with [...]

Business Times

J’pura Uni to add Digital Marketing course with Ogilvy help

J’pura Uni to add Digital Marketing course with Ogilvy help

Sri Lanka’s Sri Jayawadenapura University recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to add a mandatory Digital Marketing course to its Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management degree track. The course will be formulated, designed and developed by the digital arm of advertising agency Phoenix Ogilvy. In addition, senior specialists from the agency will also [...]

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