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CB to design amnesty for secret account holders

CB to design amnesty for secret account holders

The Central Bank (CB) is contemplating relaxing rules for Sri Lankans owning secret overseas accounts provided they bring US$ 5 million or above into Sri Lanka, amidst concerns that this may be an attempt to protect those with secret cash hoarded outside This has come on the back of some powerful Sri Lankans being on [...]

Lankan SOBs lost over Rs. 250 bln in 2012

Sri Lanka continues to maintain several inefficient state-owned businesses (SOBs) which reported a total loss of over Rs 250 billion last year, officials said. On the positive side however there were a few SOBs that showed positive balance sheets in 2012. While 55 SOBs were maintained at a loss of Rs. 107.1 billion in 2012, [...]

Chinese firm Avic gets special status for a mixed development Colombo project

Chinese firm Avic gets special status for a mixed development Colombo project

The Sri Lanka Government has given strategic investment project status to the US$300 million mixed development project of Avic International Corporation in a prime property in Colombo. The ‘Colpetty Mills’ land extending to 542 perches is owned by Shaw Wallace and Hedges PLC and a large slice was sold to Avic, a top official of [...]

‘Mr. Biz’ takes well-earned break

Business Times cartoonist M. Munaf is on leave for two weeks. His weekly “Mr. Biz –Mind Your Business’ cartoon will resume on his return.

Air Asia to resume KL-Colombo flts thro’ subsidiary

Malaysia’s Air Asia is aiming to make a comeback to Colombo through its subsidiary Air Asia X with flights possibly starting in August. The airline has applied for permission and is currently discussing with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to commence flights to Colombo, Air Asia Sales and Marketing Manager Ranjeewa Senaratne told [...]

Small shareholders complain of AGM date clashes

Small shareholders in many listed companies have complained that many of these firms hold their Annual General Meetings on the same day – sometimes starting at the same time, making it impossible for them to attend most AGMs. “On Friday there were 28 AGMs and I own shares in nine of these,” a frustrated small [...]

Organisational Rumours

Organisational Rumours

“I guess, no matter where I would go, the rumour would continue. It had spread like wildfire and everyone thinks I am the bad guy. She was very nice to me to my face and I did not believe others when they said that she’s double-faced. Now I can’t even work in another company without [...]

Time stands still for Lankan laws

Unsurprisingly Sri Lankan authorities, in particular, the Central Bank (CB) and the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), have maintained a deafening silence over the recent exposure of secret overseas bank accounts held by Sri Lankans. The same thing happened in an earlier Sunday Times (July 1, 2012) dated story which exclusively revealed that a number of [...]

Northern entrepreneurs should welcome competition, not see it as a threat

Northern businesses and entrepreneurs should compete with others coming from outside the region and not see them as a threat, a Sri Lankan economist and researcher has said. “ … I seriously feel that local businesses and entrepreneurs should not view competition from rest of the country or national/ international businesses as threats to their [...]

Lankans have overseas accounts as they don’t trust authorities with the money- BT poll

Many Sri Lankans open bank accounts abroad to either evade taxes or because they believe their money is unsafe against Government scrutiny or possible seizure, a Business Times (BT) poll on overseas ‘secret’ bank accounts has revealed.While a majority said tax havens were being used by locals to evade paying local taxes, one respondent said [...]

Central Bank gets more liberal with exchange controls

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) during the past three years has liberalised foreign exchange controls in a bid to boost inward remittances into Sri Lanka for investment purposes and is gearing to relax some more controls, CB sources said. “In the next few months we will bring in new reforms and we want to relax [...]

Lankan brokers list Shariah Compliant companies in CSE

Sri Lankan stock firms have prepared a list of Shariah Compliant securities firms in the stock market for the benefit of local and foreign investors seeking investments that follow Islamic investing principles. “This list has been designed and developed to be used as a basis of Shariah compliant equity investments at the Colombo Stock Exchange [...]

SriLankan Airlines partners Cinnamon Air in codesharing arrangement locally

SriLankan Airlines and new private airline, Cinnamon Air has entered into a codeshare agreement on all Cinnamon Air scheduled flights within Sri Lanka. Consequently, all Cinnamon Air scheduled flights will operate with a SriLankan Airlines’ (UL) designated flight number as well as a Cinnamon Air (C7) flight number. UL designated flights will thereby be available [...]

Civimech secures three prestigious awards from Daikin Industries Japan

Civimech secures three prestigious awards from Daikin Industries Japan

Civimech (Private) Ltd has been recognised for its performance by Daikin Industries Japan being adjudged the best regional dealer and receiving the ‘Star Achievement Award’. Civimech also received the ‘Daikin Million Dollar Gold Award’ on its achievement of one million dollar sales performance for promoting and installing Daikin brand Air Conditioning equipment in Sri Lanka [...]

50% of SL IT companies develop software : top industry leader

Some 50 per cent of IT companies in Sri Lanka develop software products. This is a “stark contrast” to India, where about 80 per cent of IT companies are engaged in outsourcing, revealed Mano Sekaram, the Chief Executive of local IT company 99X Technology, referring to a recent A.T Kearney’s report. Speaking at the recently [...]

Economic summit to discuss energy issues

The 14th annual Sri Lanka Economic Summit scheduled to be held from the 9 th –11th July 2013 in Colombo, at a special session, will discuss strategies to manage the energy supply and demand in a more efficient manner for the future. “Energy has been gaining prominence for countries as a national issue and for [...]

Colombo Hilton owning company repays Rs 500 mln to the Government

Hotel Developers Ltd, owners of the Colombo Hilton, re-paid Rs 500 million to Sri Lanka’s Treasury on Wednesday, the first installment of a Rs 3 billion loan, officials said. A spokesman for the company said the hotel company had returned to profit after years of losses and was able to return the borrowed cash. The [...]

Amana Bank offers convenience of ‘Extended Banking Hours’

Amana Bank, having launched the convenience of Saturday banking services for its customers a year ago, has introduced another customer value addition with the launch of ‘Extended Banking Hours’ in selected ‘high traffic’ branches. This would allow customers of the bank to carry out their day-to-day transactions at selected branches beyond normal banking hours, the [...]

HR specialist Dinesh Weerakkody launches book

Prolific writer and HR professional Dinesh Weerakkody will launch his fourth volume titled ‘In the Best Interest of my Country’ on July 3 at the auditorium of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka in Colombo. “His 3rd Volume was published in 1996, the second Volume in 1992 and the first volume in 1990,” the [...]

Japanese ‘go bananas’ with Sri Lankan fruits, fish

Japanese ‘go bananas’ with  Sri Lankan fruits, fish

Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation will help further strengthen Japan-Sri Lanka trade ties under which investments are to be for expanding the island’s banana and tuna fishing industries, according to a Government statement Kouhei Watanebe, Chairman of the Japan – Sri Lanka Business Co-operation Council and advisor to the ITOCHU Corporation, made these comments when he and [...]

Nawaloka Hospitals to set up Negombo unit

The Nawaloka Hospitals Group is setting up a chain of peripheral hospitals across the island with the first one coming up in Negombo. The company informed the Colombo Stock Exchange on Friday that the 50-to-70 room hospital costing Rs 575 million will be through a fully owned subsidiary, Nawaloka Medicare Pvt Ltd. Hemas and a [...]

Sri Lanka’s NDB bank downgraded by Fitch Ratings

A sharp shift to a more risky, commercial banking outfit from a specialized project lender has led to NDB Bank being downgraded to ‘AA-(lka)’ from ‘AA(lka)’ by Fitch Ratings. In a statement, Fitch said the downgrade reflects its expectation that NDB’s risk profile will materially increase as a result of its changing business model, from [...]

Golden Key depositors cry foul over Central Bank’s action plan

Golden Key depositors cry foul over Central Bank’s action plan

- Around 2000 depositors are out from the action plan – Rs.1.2 million deposit value each of around 3000 depositors reduced to Rs.300,000 – Rs. 3.3 billion loss for depositors due to wrong calculations – Rs.1.15 billion credit card bill of 6268 non depositors deducted from the value of security deposits – Devising a repayment [...]

Please help those desperately in need

Being a small depositor who has lost all my hard earned savings, I now plead that the small time depositors (below Rs. 3 million) who comprise 76 per cent of the total depositors (6,924 of 9,162) be given a desperately needed respite. For more than four years now, we have been without funds to live [...]

Russian and East European involvement in Sri Lankan economy

Tourism is one of the major foreign exchange earners and main growth sector for many countries especially the small islands which are rich with required natural and cultural resources. The world tourism market has grown at an average of 3.7 per cent overthe past five years and is projected to grow by an average of [...]

CSE sends 9 share market violation referrals to SEC this year

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has sent nine surveillance referrals to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so far this year, SEC sources said. “Since the start of this year, CSE has referred nine irregularities to us and we are following these,” a SEC source told the Business Times. During the year 2012, a total [...]

Bountylab Hospitality set to redefine leisure sector standards in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Bountylab Hospitality set to  redefine leisure sector standards  in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

The sizzling sun, sandy beaches, gentle breezes and pristine natural beauty make Sri Lanka and the Maldives two of the most spectacular holiday destinations in the world, says a recently, launched travel company. Bountylab Hospitality said the ever-increasing demand from holidaymakers has opened up the doors for many new homegrown travel, tourism, hospitality and recreational [...]

100s of students attend CA Sri Lanka’s first ever career fair

100s of students  attend CA Sri Lanka’s first ever career fair

The first ever career fair organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) was attended by hundreds of students from all parts of the country. The career fair declared open by CA Sri Lanka President Sujeewa Rajapakse also saw the participation of several leading organisations from the country comprising the [...]

John Keells Land completes super structure of ‘OnThree20’ ahead of schedule

John Keells Land said this week that it has completed the super structure of its high-rise apartment complex, OnThree20, ahead of schedule. Described as “an oasis in downtown Colombo”, OnThree20 is yet another exciting residential development from John Keells Land, the property arm of the John Keells Group, a company statement said. Strategically located at [...] offers office space, consultants and magazine access

Locally-based website is offering three resources for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, access to business consultants, an entrepreneur-centric magazine and office space at an affordable price, according to a statement. Elaborating, the statement also indicated that it allows access to “renowned entrepreneurs and business consultants who own top businesses in the country to help you identify [...]

IPM National Conference

IPM National Conference

The Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) recently held its annual National HR Conference in Colombo. Pic shows from left: Major General Rohan Kaduwela, Chairman – HR Service Providers –Exhibition; Ajith De Costa, Immediate Past President of IPM; Dr Ajantha Dharmasiri, Chairman Technical Committee; Guest of Honor – Ernesto G. Espinosa President – Asia Pacific Federation [...]

HNB raises $49 mln long term debt

Hatton National Bank PLC recently signed an agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) to raise a long term loan of US$ 49 million. Speaking at the occasion, acting HNB CEO, Jonathan Alles said that, “this is the second loan granted to HNB by CDB since 2012 and it demonstrates the confidence international banks have [...]

HRMI Consulting starts management/HR BPO advisories

Sri Lanka’s HRMI Consulting recently announced that it had started offering Management Consulting services. Elaborating, it was noted that this new service would “address the strategy, growth, and innovation agenda of corporates. The organisation’s ability to design and execute business and innovation strategies complements its existing strengths in the disciplines of Human Resources”. In addition, [...]

Lankan dancers attract more visitors at BITE travel fair

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), along with 25 local travels agents and hotels, has successfully participated in BITE 2013 (Beijing International Travel Expo) the largest international travel exhibition in China for the 10th consecutive year. The Sri Lankan stall was more attractive (than other country stalls) with the country’s dancing group entertaining visitors with [...]

Expert suggests improving quality HR capital in Sri Lanka’s tourism

Improving the quality and quantity of human resource capital is the first thing Sri Lanka should do to compete with other South Asian destinations and attract high income travellers, according to internationally renowned tourism expert Chandana (Chandi) Jayawardena.In an interview with the Business Times via Skype, he said Sri Lanka’s first challenge now is to [...]

Sri Lanka considers buying more gold

Sri Lanka is considering buying more gold from international markets taking the view that falling prices are an opportunity for the country to raise gold reserves, a top Central Bank (CB) official said. The CB was also exploring this possibility by using Sri Lanka’s growing foreign exchange reserves and maximizing the return.He declined to comment [...]

DFCC Bank shines at global awards competition

DFCC Bank shines at global awards competition

DFCC bagged three awards at the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) Awards Ceremony held in Mongolia recently. ADFIAP awards are keenly contested by 131 member institutions in 45 countries. DFCC received awards for ‘The Most Outstanding Local Economic Development Project’, ‘The Best Annual Report’ and ‘The Best Website’, the [...]

Ridgecrest tops Venture Engine 2013 competition

Local angel funding competition Venture Engine concluded its second edition last Wednesday evening at the Kingsbury hotel, with Sanath Fernando’s Ridgecrest, an ongoing concern, at the top of the rankings. Ridgecrest is IT company providing trading and investment technology, high performance transaction systems, web technologies, graphics and User Interface (UI) development. It offers more well-known [...]

SL’s potential shouldn’t remain as ‘ just potential’

SL’s potential shouldn’t remain as ‘ just potential’

Each succeeding government brought new pressures on Sr Lanka’s systems of governance and more and more, Lankan society is called upon to rely on the goodness of its leadership rather than on the strengths of its institutions, a top chamber official said. Suresh Shah, the new Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in [...]

Hameedia to open its latest concept store in Melbourne

Sri Lankan menswear specialist ‘Hameedia’ is to open its latest exclusive concept store in Melbourne, Australia next week, Fouzul Hameed, Managing Director of the company revealed. This will be similar to the company’s concept store ‘Envoy Mansion’ in Colombo, he said adding that it is major step of ‘Hameedia’ towards making its presence felt internationally. [...]

Fashion Bug invests in employee development

Fashion Bug invests in employee development

Close to 50 staff members of Fashion Bug, one of Sri Lanka’s leading retail clothing stores with over 17 outlets islandwide, recently secured a Diploma in Sales and Marketing from the Human Resource Management Institute (HRMI). The staffers including Branch Managers, Deputy Managers and Merchandisers received their certificates at a ceremony in Colombo, organised by [...]

Sri Lanka’s new Water Aerodrome

Sri Lanka’s new Water Aerodrome

Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka’s first regular domestic air operator, is to be launched on Thursday by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the new Water’s Edge Water Aerodrome. Cinnamon Air has on code-share with SriLankan Airlines to run on schedule from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Seen here is the aerodrome on Friday where preparations are still [...]

Dharshana, first South Asian to be elected President, Asian Confederation of Institute of Internal Auditors

Dharshana De Silva, Immediate Past President of the Institute of Internal Auditors – Sri Lanka (IIASL) and the Group Internal Auditor of Prima Group, was recently elected as the President of the Asian Confederation of Institute of Internal Auditors (ACIIA), at the recently concluded AGM held in Mumbai. Mr. De Silva becomes the first South [...]

Travel agents get tough with IATA

Travel agents in Colombo, shocked to find out on Thursday they would be compelled to reduce their payment period to airlines from the present 10 days to a seven day period, during an emergency meeting, resorted to seek legal advice for a resolution of this matter. “It’s a shock for the travel community,” International Air [...]

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