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Sampur Coal Power Project – Economic investment or sinister move

Sampur Coal Power Project – Economic investment or sinister move

India is already having problems with a shortage of coal to run their own coal power plants. It is intriguing why they have gone to other countries to install coal power projects. As a professional in this field I am aware that the coal fields in India have a high ash content compared to other [...]

Tea pluckers of an alien nature

Tea pluckers of an alien nature

A foreign couple wearing the traditional clothes of a tea plucker picks leaves near the Heritance Tea Factory at Nuwara Eliya. Picture courtesy Aitken Spence Hotels. Sri Lankan companies are attracting hundreds of tourists with new experiences ranging from a spend-a-day in a village, getting married with Buddhist or Hindu customs or riverboat wedding, honeymoon [...]

Hoteliers slash rates to lure Lankans

Sri Lankans have been lured to spend money on their local hotels during holidays through some interesting marketing gimmicks to increase occupancies since this is mainly the off-peak season for overseas travellers. Credit card packages and other attractive discounts were advertised in the media and on websites aimed at attracting more domestic travellers this season [...]

Probe continues amidst claim that official is under threat

The probe into allegations of a pay-off in the mega Krrish mixed development deal in Colombo Fort widened this week after the United National Party (UNP) alleged that a key official involved was under threat. The government however challenged the UNP to name the official. The UNP at a media briefing on Wednesday said the [...]

LAUGFS mulling to go into healthcare

LAUGFS Holdings is considering getting into the healthcare business with international collaboration, officials said. “We want to diversity into the healthcare sector with an international partner,” W.H. K. Wegapitiya, Chairman LAUGFS Holdings told the Business Times. He said this process is still at the initial stages. “We are looking at all aspects of healthcare including [...]

Sri Lankan hotels pull brakes on price

By Sunimalee Dias Lankan hoteliers are exercising caution in reducing their room rates for the winter season this year though tour operators believe prices would dip by at least 10-30 per cent. Hoteliers Association President J. Kehelpannala speaking with the Business Times said reducing rates would be a decision by the hoteliers on an individual [...]

Luxury car market grows with young, wealthy buyers

The super luxury vehicle market in Sri Lanka is growing with the emergence of a new class of high spending wealthy buyers despite a drastic drop in vehicle imports during the last two years. Most of the super luxury vehicles imported are Montero Sport, KIA/Hyundai SUV, BMW X 1, X 3, 520D and Audi A [...]

Are students trained to pass exams or be creative – university don

Are students trained to pass exams  or be creative – university don

At the annual convocation of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, the keynote speaker asked a pertinent question that has grappled educationists, parents and students over the past four decades: “Are students being taught or trained to pass tests or are they trained to be creative and have a thirst for knowledge.” These thoughts (meant to [...]

Old rich, new rich and incoming rich

How does one acquire wealth? German-born sociologist and economist Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) says there are two ways of acquiring wealth – ‘political means’ through coercion, and ‘economic means’ through peaceful trade. He says these are two fundamentally opposed ways “where man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These [...]

SLIC to divest some of its LIOC shares

The Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd (SLIC) is planning to divest some of its Lanka IOC (LIOC) shares soon, informed sources said. “SLIC is getting out of some of its listed securities and they are planning to shed a quantity of LIOC shares,” an informed source told the Business Times. Last year’s SLIC annual report [...]

99X Technology, a SL Top 15 ‘Great Place to Work’ : Study

Sri Lankan IT firm 99X Technology was named as one of the country’s Top 15 ‘Great Place to Work’ organisations, based on an inaugural study conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute Sri Lanka, according to a statement. The study was commissioned by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and business magazine LMD. In addition, [...]

Guardian Group reports Rs.2.29 bln profit in last fiscal year

Ceylon Guardian Group made investments worth Rs. 1.57 billion while on the other hand it sold stakes worth Rs. 2.77 billion in the last financial year making it a net seller in the market. The investment fund, in its annual report ending March 31, 2013 said that it build a cash position of Rs. 2.69 [...]

Fitch withdraws ETI Finance’s National Long-Term rating

Fitch Ratings Lanka said on Monday it has withdrawn Sri Lanka-based ETI Finance’s (ETI) National Long-Term rating of ‘CC(lka)’. “Fitch has withdrawn the ratings as ETI has chosen to stop participating in the rating process. Therefore, Fitch will no longer have sufficient information to maintain the rating. Accordingly, Fitch will no longer provide ratings or [...]

Fitch says NSB rating ‘Stable’ but no reference to controversial investments

Fitch Ratings has assigned the National Savings Bank (NSB) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of ‘BB-’ with ‘Stable’ outlooks. But the agency didn’t refer to any of the controversial decisions the bank has taken over the past 18 months. NSB has also been assigned a ‘Support’ rating (SR) and ‘Support Rating Floor’ [...]

South Asian women meet next month to discuss health, conflict issues

Health, environment, peace and conflict resolution are among the issues that would be discussed at the 5th annual conference of the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) to be held in Colombo on 23 and 24 August. For three days, prior to the conference, the Crafts and Textiles group, along with the Livelihoods component of SWAN, [...]

Lankan beauty expert helps Mullaitivu women to be employable

Lankan beauty expert helps  Mullaitivu women to be employable

Nayana Karunaratne, member of the Board of Governors and a Trustee of the NGO “Sri Lanka Unites”, recently conducted a day’s training programme for 50 young unemployed women and students in the Mullaitivu district. Being a region where unemployment is high, Ms. Karunaratne’s Image Academy of Hair and Beauty (IHB) company targeted these women to [...]

DFCC, DVB Annual Reports win ‘Gold’

DFCC Bank and DFCC Vardhana Bank won Gold for their respective annual reports at the Vision Awards 2012 organised by the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) in Florida USA. The two banks’ annual reports for 2012/13 secured the positions in their respective competition classes from amongst 6000 entries, comprising submissions from over two dozen [...]

BoC ranked above all Sri Lankan banks in top 1000 global banks

BoC ranked above all Sri Lankan  banks in top 1000 global banks

Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon (BoC) says it is the ‘proud’ recipient of global recognition as one of the top 1,000 banks in the world, superseding all Sri Lankan banks according to the world’s premier banking and finance magazine, “The Banker Magazine” July 2013. The top 1,000 banks are selected in recognition of global leaders [...]

Treasury Secretary rules out re-applying for GSP +

Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary asserted this week that the Government won’t re-apply for GSP Plus concessions and will not ask for this benefit, saying “we should not grow markets on the basis of subsidies”. Citing new post-war challenges like wage rate hikes, worker unrest and even lack of workers, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara said [...]

Indian, Chinese investments being finalised

At least three foreign investment teams are in the country finalising strategic investment pertaining to the leisure and financial sectors, stockbrokers said. “There’s an Indian investor finalizing a controlling stake in a southern hotel. A Chinese team is in town finalising a financial sector investment,” a stockbroker told the Business Times. Foreign participation is mounting [...]

HPT Ltd and collapsed finance companies – 1989/2010

It is now more than 22 years that the HPT Ltd collapsed in 1989/90. It was a well- established finance company in 1959. Nearly 3000 depositors were made destitute overnight due to the failure of the Department of Supervision of Non- Banking Financial Institutions of the Central Bank (CB) of Sri Lanka to monitor the [...]

De Vaz re-elected as PATA Sri Lanka chairperson

De Vaz re-elected as PATA Sri Lanka chairperson

Shamali De Vaz was re-elected as Chairperson at the 38th Annual General Meeting of the Pacific Asia Travel Association- Sri Lanka Chapter held in Colombo recently. Ruan Samarasinghe, Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels and Hussain Jayah, Head of Marketing and Sales of Aitken Spence Hotels were re-elected as Vice Chairmen. The following committee members were [...]

Phillip Securities looking for strategic investments

Phillip Securities Pte Ltd, a Singapore securities firm has been eyeing strategic stakes in Sri Lankan stocks aggressively during the past two years and is looking to buy more, a source close to the company said. “They own some 5 per cent in Kahawatte Plantations, one of the largest listed regional plantation companies owned by [...]

Vege Way: Changing the life of a vegetarian

Vege Way: Changing the life of a vegetarian

There’s a scene in the movie “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” where the female protagonist’s fiancé meets her extended family for the first time in Easter. When one of the aunts invited the couple to her house for dinner, the heroine has to explain that her fiancé is a vegetarian. The music halts and everyone [...]

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