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Packer, heads of Uganda, Burundi to address Commonwealth biz forum

Packer, heads of Uganda, Burundi to address Commonwealth biz forum

Australian gaming baron James Packer and leaders from Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago and Burundi are among top dignitaries who will address the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in November, the media was informed on Friday. Journalists were told that while heads of state from many commonwealth countries are expected to address the November 12-17 forum in [...]

Proposed SEC laws to curb crooks to be finalised in July

Proposed new legislation that would ensure violators of stock market rules are slapped huge fines or ordered to return profits from ‘dirty’ deals is close to be finalised under amendments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act. SEC officials said the commission is awaiting one member’s comments to present it to the parliament. “We [...]

BOI firms revived but 12,000 workers lose jobs

Thirteen underperforming Board of Investment (BOI) enterprises acquired by the government under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act in 2011 are now being revived through new investors. However compensation, gratuity or EPF for over 12,000 former employees, as promised by the government, is yet to be given, trade unions alleged. Anton Marcus, [...]

Small hotels for sale

Many small hotels in the southern coastal belt are approaching their bigger counterparts for management buyouts or part stake sales, as they struggle to fight escalating costs, overpricing and competition, industry analysts say. “Most hotels are based on future earnings and valuations. Right now they are overpriced. Small hotel operators are finding it increasingly hard [...]

NSB finalises sale of US$1 billion bond

The National Savings Bank (NSB) has finalised arrangements to raise the controversial US$1 billion bond overseas through lead managers, HSBC, Citibank NA and Barclays, Finance Ministry sources said. NSB’s newly appointed chairperson W.A Nalini is to sign the agreement appointing lead managers soon, a senior official of the ministry said. The official said the 10-year [...]

Seven casinos to be re-located to Colombo casino zone

All casinos located in Colombo – seven in all – are to be re-located to the special casino zone declared by the Government at the D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha – Beira Lake area. This special area has been set up to attract high-spending tourists to the country, offering various entertainment options. Colombo has seven licensed casinos [...]

Rational look at electricity tariff and future energy security

Rational look at electricity tariff and future energy security

Much agitation, demonstrations and a plethora of newspaper articles, TV discussions and even a general strike were generated by the recent hike in electricity consumer tariffs, all of which were only concentrating on the recent tariff announcement only. In this scenario it was indeed refreshing to read the article in the Business Times of May [...]

Challenges in tourism

Recent comments by Pegasus Reef Hotel Chairman D.C.R. Gunawardena in the company’s 2012/13 annual report asking “where are the one million tourists staying?” must have struck a chord with owners of star-class properties. Gunawardena’s poser was that though Sri Lanka is seeing a million arrivals, the impact is hardly felt in star class properties where [...]

Nanda Finance stake to be sold

A stake in Nanda Investments and Finance Limited owned by the Mallawarachchi family is being negotiated to be divested, according to sources close to the company. “There is a party that has approached Nanda Investments and Finance and the discussions are on,” a source told the Business Times. He didn’t divulge for how much it [...]

Government borrowed more money than private sector in Jan-Apr 2013 : CB

Commercial banks have responded swiftly to last month’s cut in interest rates by the Central Bank (CB) while a fresh announced on Friday (June 7) by CB Governor Nivard Cabraal of further cuts in rates would see the market reacting once again, analysts and CB officials said.Last month the CB reduced policy rates by 50 [...]

Are Central Bank economic and trade data credible?

A well-recognised environmental lawyer has cast doubts on the credibility of government statistics, saying that the government finances are now in doldrums, ‘whatever the Central Bank (may) say’. Ravi Algama made this comment while he was speaking on ‘Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) A Management Tool Rather than a Restricting Exercise for the Private Sector’ at [...]

Aitken Spence-managed Desert Nights Camp in Oman, voted as “One of the World’s Best”

Aitken Spence-managed Desert Nights Camp in Oman, voted as “One of the World’s Best”

Desert Nights Camp, operated by Aitken Spence Hotels has been voted by the clients of Studiosus as one of the best hotels in their global portfolio. It also won the Studiosus quality award for the year 2012. Studiosus is one of Germany’s leading tour operators offering outbound guided tours to a multitude of international destinations, [...]

NDB helps to improve English language standards in SL schools

NDB helps to improve English language  standards in SL schools

NDB and the British Council of Colombo have together embarked on a special project to enhance the teaching skills of Secondary English Language Teachers of Government schools, aimed at increasing the standard of English teaching in Sri Lanka. This project commenced in 2012 and initially a batch of 120 secondary English language teachers in the [...]

LB Finance pre-tax profit marginally up at Rs. 2.53 bln

LB Finance PLC said this week its 2012/13 financial results showed another outstanding year with income sharply by 40.68 per cent to Rs.11.17 billion during 2012/13, against the previous year. Interest income rose by 41.49 per cent to Rs. 10.32 billion while pre-tax profit marginally increased by 3.63 per cent to Rs. 2.53 billion on [...]

In-the-news Fonterra steps up farmer development efforts

New Zealand-based Fonterra, in the eye of a storm over alleged contamination of milk powder which it has vigorously denied, has launched the Fonterra Farmer Training and Education Programme. This, the company said in a statement, is a new farmer development initiative that marks a step up in its efforts to help develop Sri Lanka’s [...]

SL finance companies sector growth slows, shifts away from vehicles : RAM

A drop in the demand for vehicle financing loans, due to a ‘spike’ in import duties, as well as “unfavourable macroeconomic conditions”, specifically high levels for lending rates and inflation, has slowed the credit growth of Sri Lanka’s licensed finance companies (LFCs) over the 9-months to end March 2013, according to Malaysia-based ratings agency RAM. [...]

NRFC accounts transferable as CB relaxes forex rules

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank on Wednesday relaxed foreign exchange regulations allowing NRFC (foreign currency) account holders to transfer accounts to any other bank, increased the $2,500 travel allowance cap to $5000 and permitted finance companies to accept foreign currency deposits. The relaxation, with immediate effect, follows policies enunciated earlier to allow free movement of foreign [...]

Hambantota tourism entrepreneurs briefed on new grants scheme

Hambantota tourism entrepreneurs briefed on new grants scheme

The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) in collaboration with the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Economic Development recently organised an awareness programme for “The Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STDP) – Matching Grants Scheme for SME’s in Tourism”. Resource persons from the People’s Bank and [...]

4-man team commencing corporate Adventure Learning

Monsoon Leisure and Adventure Lanka Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Jobfactory Ltd, has commenced Adventure Learning facilitation through its four-man team (FMT) concept; which truly is a holistic approach to adventure learning. The learning, based on a simple theory in Management Learning; “Comprehension-REFLECTION-Application” provides a platform for companies and organizations to reflect their desired [...]

Central Industries opens new manufacturing complex at Yakkala

Central Industries PLC, Sri Lanka’s leading manufacturers of national PVC pipes and fittings, recently inaugurated the first phase of its brand new factory complex at Yakkala. The new, 9-acre factory complex was built to meet increasing consumer demand for the company’s popular brands of PVC Pipes and fittings and Krypton Electrical switches and will help [...]

Amba launches Investment Analysis Training

Amba Research Lanka launched its investment analysis training programme aimed at final-year university students and professional accounting finalists in Sri Lanka last week. “This programme is designed and developed by Amba to prepare final-year undergraduates and professional accountants for careers in Sri Lanka’s capital markets – now rapidly emerging as a leading employment sector for [...]

Nestle Sri Lanka VP appointed as new EDB chairman

Nestle Sri Lanka VP appointed as new EDB chairman

Bandula Egodage, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Communication of Nestlé Lanka PLC, has been appointed the new chairman of the state-owned Export Development Board (EDB). The appointment was made by Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on Tuesday, the ministry said. Mr. Egodage, who has been with Nestlé Lanka for the last 28 years, [...]

Biography chronicles life of entrepreneur, the late N.U. Jayawardena

The first copy of the Sinhala translation of the biography, N.U. Jayawardena – The First Five Decades, was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently. The authors of the book are Kumari Jayawardena (NU’s daughter-in-law) and Jennifer Moragoda (his grand-daughter-in-law) and the translation was by Sunethra Siriwardena. The book was handed over by members of [...]

Mobitel launches project aimed at uplifting local healthcare sector

‘mPHI’, a project designed Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel together with the assistance of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Health Ministry, is one that aims to uplift the efficiency and quality of the country’s healthcare sector, the telecom company said last week. Launched initially as a pilot project in the Kegalle district, mPHI includes two solutions: the implementation [...]

Demand for diesel gensets grows in Sri Lanka

Mumbai – Large-scale investments in the infrastructure, hospitality and real estate sectors in Sri Lanka have lent momentum to the diesel genset market in the country, according to India-based analyst Frost & Sullivan. The 75.1–375 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) and 375.1–2,000 kVA diesel genset segments, in particular, are expected to witness the highest growth over the next [...]

Contractors should be more disciplined – MAGA’s Kularatne

Contractors should be more disciplined – MAGA’s Kularatne

MAGA Engineering, establishing its position as Sri Lanka’s market leader in construction, has from infrastructure development projects to metropolitan high-rises made an indelible imprint as a model construction company in the country. Capt. M.G. Kularatne, Chairman and Managing Director, in this interview with the Business Times at his simple-down-to-earth office at Nawala explains how the [...]

People’s Bank receives ISO certification

People’s Bank receives ISO certification

People’s Bank has been awarded with the ISO 9001:2008 accreditations from the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) in recognition of the quality of its trade service products which, it says, enables its customers with a secured and efficient import and export services. This department provides a centralised processing mechanism unit for Sri Lanka’s largest commercial [...]

PMS wins International Quality Award

PMS wins International Quality Award

Colombo-based Project Management Solutions (PMS) has received an International Quality Summit (IQS) Award in the Gold Category in New York last month. Candidates for the award are selected on the basis of IQS regulations and the criteria of the QC 100 Total Quality Management Model. The companies and organizations awarded in 2013 have been designated [...]

Jetwing tie-up with Germany-France travel groups to promote SL’s new budget hotel concept

Jetwing Hotels, one of the leading hotel chains in Sri Lanka, is linking up with major travel groups in Germany and France to promote the country’s tourism industry in Europe and attract modern travellers especially the young offering them top class budget hotel facilities for the first time, the Jetwing chief revealed. Speaking to the [...]

London Stock Exchange Group uses Dialog’s network to expand service footprint

The London Stock Exchange Group PLC (LSEG) has extended the services it runs on Dialog’s International MPLS (iMPLS) network to support Business Process Outsourcing services from WNS Global Services Pvt Ltd in Colombo to London. The iMPLS connectivity solution offered by Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of premier mobile services provider Dialog Axiata PLC [...]

EFC, ILO launch new programme for competitive and responsible enterprises

Six Sri Lankan companies have joined the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the ILO in new programme to become sustainable and responsible competitive enterprises (SCORE). The companies – Associated Battery Manufacturers (Cey) Ltd, International Trimmings & Labels Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Ceymac Rubber Co Ltd, Metric Products (Pvt) Ltd, Interplast Asian (Pvt) Ltd and Trelleborg [...]

Right people! Right company!

He looked at the CV and spoke to the 4-person panel with enthusiasm, ‘Ah! This guy is from my school and he has also played rugby’ and winked and said ‘must be good’. Two of the panellists looked at each other in exasperation; deep down, I sighed myself. Interviews, by far, are the most widely [...]

Motor Traffic Department operates a “whole -of –government” service counter

Motor Traffic Department operates a “whole -of –government” service counter

The Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) now operates what is called a “whole -of – Government” service counter to make it easy for vehicle owners to register their vehicles, obtain revenue licences, buy insurance cover and carry out vehicle emission tests, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S. H. Harischandra said. The aim is to implement [...]

Sri Lanka car sales centres struggle to survive

Sri Lanka car sales centres are struggling to survive with automobile sales falling sharply due to high import duty, taxes including VAT on imports as well as the refusal of banks and financial institutions to grant leasing facilities, motor traders said They noted that these taxes including excise duty on vehicles were the highest in [...]

Kia Motors to expand vehicle service facilities with the launch of Sorento

Kia Motors to expand vehicle service facilities with the launch of Sorento

Kia Motors (Lanka) Ltd, recently declared ‘Asia’s Distributor of Distinction’ of Korea’s KIA vehicles, is to expand its vehicle service facilities with setting up of a fully-fledged logistics centre on a 3.5 acre site in Malabe at a cost of Rs.600 million, company officials said. KIA Motors had options on several new sites for service [...]

Sri Lanka vehicle registrations continue its descending trend

Sri Lanka vehicle registrations continue its descending trend

Sri Lanka’s vehicle registrations fell sharply by 27.7 per cent to116, 552 in the 1st five months of 2013, from 161,187 a year earlier, Motor Traffic Department officials said. According to department data, motor car registrations, plunged to 10,873 in the first four months of 2013, down 37 per cent from17,281 a year earlier. Three [...]

DIMO steps into streamline Yala National Park Mobile patrol

Law enforcement and visitor management activities within the Yala National Park are to be streamlined by strengthening mobile patrolling through a special security team including park rangers. To carry out these mobile patrol activities, Diesel and Motor Engineering Plc (DIMO) has modified a brand new TATA Xenon and handed over to the Yala National Park [...]

Theft of auto parts triggers security alert at Hambantota Port

A rising number of the theft of auto parts from vehicles inside the Hambantota port has triggered a security alert with security being stepped up and strict body checks of officials entering the port for custom clearance, a top official said. Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrema told the Business Times that he came [...]

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