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World leaders to stay at Hilton, Cinnamon Lakeside

Fifty-two Heads of State attending the November Commonwealth Summit (CHOGM 2013) would be staying at the Hilton and the Cinnamon Lakeside hotels with no public access to anyone else during this period, hotel industry officials said City Hotels Association President K. Shanthikumar told the Business Times that all the city hotels in Colombo and even [...]

Troubled PC House founder seeking investors to restructure group

PCH Holdings Plc., (PCH) Chairman S.H.M. Rishan whose share transactions in the recent past have been mired in controversy is trying to rope in more investors in a bid to restructure and save the company, sources close to Mr. Rishan said. The share price has crashed to 80 cents from a high of Rs 30. [...]

Chinese investor fishes in troubled waters

Making use of top level political connections in Sri Lanka, a top Chinese investor linked to a casino group in Las Vegas is lobbying to secure the Transworks house property in Fort and a D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha land to build a mega high rise luxury hotel and apartment complexes with casinos, informed sources said. This [...]

ComBank eyes Myanmar, Nepal

The Commercial Bank aiming to expand its horizon has applied for a banking licence in Myanmar and is eyeing a stake in a bank in Nepal, officials sad. “We applied for this a couple of months ago and the approval process is on. We should get the licence by year end,” an official told the [...]

Ideal Finance attracts US fund to spur Sri Lankan economy

A leading US fund is to invest in Ideal Finance Ltd (IFL), a subsidiary of Ideal Group, to propel the company’s growth through foreign equity, head of the company said. Nalin Welgama, Chairman of Ideal Finance told the Business Times that negotiations are underway with the US fund to get a massive financial commitment. He [...]

Negative growth in imports and exports in first half 2013, HNB says

The HNB banking group this week said profits of the bank rose in the first half of this year during a period when imports and exports have shown negative growth in the country In a media statement, the bank said its’ net fee and commission income increased to Rs. 2 billion, up 9 per cent [...]

Nations Trust records slight increase in 1st half 2013 profits

Nations Trust Bank (NTB) Group recorded a post-tax profit of Rs. 980 million for the six months ended 30 June 2013 compared with Rs. 933 million in the corresponding period of the previous year. “The performance was evenly balanced across the business pillars with results demonstrating good underlying momentum despite industry challenges faced in a [...]

Gold crisis reveals cracks in SL’s pawning segment, S&P says

The recent reversal in gold’s fortunes could prove painful for Sri Lankan banks, says a report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services issued this week. As gold prices soared over the past few years, Sri Lanka’s banks substantially expanded their pawning loans (gold-backed loans). “Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) believes that this has exposed [...]

ComBank posts 6-month pre-tax profit of Rs 6.5 bln

Pre and post-tax profits of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell in the first half of this year even though income reported a growth from the previous 2012 period, the results show. While gross income and interest income at the end of its second quarter showed a growth of 12.10 per cent and 22.58 per [...]

Milk issue: Don’t scare the people

The main issue that has dogged the milk debate in Sri Lanka has been the need to increase local production and reduce dependence on imported milk powder. The Finance Ministry since last year has emphasised the need to curb milk imports to save foreign exchange and provide incentives to increase local production. Sri Lanka spent [...]

Union Bank says favourable performance in Q2

Union Bank of Colombo says its’ post-tax profit for the second quarter ending June 2013 rose by 119 per cent to Rs. 126.4 million, despite what it called “challenging market conditions during the first half of 2013”. In a media release, the bank also reported an increase in profits by 18 per cent to Rs.189.3 [...]

Hemas revenues up but post-tax profits decline

Hemas Holdings has reported consolidated revenues of Rs 7.2 billion, up 14.5 per cent for the quarter to June 2013 while operating profits of the group was Rs 490 million against Rs. 451 million in the corresponding 2012 quarter. However the group suffered a drop in earnings of 17.2 per cent to Rs. 277 million [...]

Paradise gained at Madhu Ganga

Paradise gained at Madhu Ganga

At the floating fish farm in the middle of the Madhu Ganga off Balapitiya, a 10-20 minute foot massage by dozens of fish nibbling at your toes and ankles is a relaxing way to start a tour of one of Sri Lanka’s largest water bodies. The Madhu Ganga Paradise resort’s boat tour of 2-3 hours [...]

‘Hunas Falls’ hotel helps develop a road

Hunas Falls Hotels, a subsidiary of Hayleys Group, recently announced its completion of another infrastructure development project that would benefit the residents of Hunnasgiriya. The Elkaduwa – Wattegama main road to the Hunnasgiriya tea estate which is 3 km long had fallen into a severe state of disrepair when Hayleys took up the initiative to [...]

Merrill J. Fernando: The underdog entrepreneur who challenged the multinationals

Merrill J. Fernando: The underdog entrepreneur who challenged the multinationals

When Sri Lanka’s top tea brand, Dilmah marked 25 years in the global market, it celebrated the anniversary in style with 150 invitees at the Sydney Opera House! “I don’t think any Sri Lankan has had a celebration at this prestigious venue; We did,” said a proud and enthusiastic Merrill J. Fernando, widely considered Sri [...]

What it takes to succeed

‘Sometimes, it is so hard to manage my team. Some are so competitive and want to be on the top in everything, so much so that I wish I could tie them down to their chair and make them understand that they need to be a team player. Some cannot care less; winning or succeeding [...]

Sri Lanka targets US$1 billion from gem and jewellery exports

Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exports are to be further boosted in European, Asian and the Middle Eastern countries with the establishment of new business contacts with leading gem traders through international gem and jewellery shows like FACETS, a top official of the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association said. “Our forecast is very positive [...]

SLID with Dr. Erevelles on how to “Predict the Future in Business”

SLID with Dr. Erevelles on how to “Predict the Future in Business”

The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors in association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka recently featured Dr. Sunil Erevelles, better known as the ‘Guru on the New Economy’ who spoke on the ‘Future of Business’ in Colombo. Dr. Erevelles said that over the last four years there has been a global financial [...]

SL’s Istiqaama partners with World Marketing Summit Malaysia 2013

Local boutique Public Relations (PR) agency Istiqaama has signed on as the Supporting Communications Agency, for Sri Lanka, for the World Marketing Summit Malaysia (WMSM) 2013, according to a statement. A three-day international event, which was inaugurated in 2012 in Bangladesh, WMSM is scheduled to be held on September 28 at the Putrajaya International Convention [...]

Three more locomotives from IRCON arrive for Northern Railway Projects

Three more locomotives were recently handed over by an Indian firm to augment the progress of the Northern Railway Projects. These locomotives are supplied by Ircon International Ltd, the construction agency for the Northern Railway Projects, according to a company press release. As part of their contractual commitments, IRCON imported three locomotives to Sri Lanka [...]

Lalith Ramanayake appointed Director at Watawala Plantations

Lalith Ramanayake, former Chairman of Colombo Broker’s Association and Deputy Chairman of the Tea Association of Sri Lanka has been appointed to the Board of Watawala Plantations, an enterprise of the Sunshine Holdings Group. Mr. Ramanayake previously held several senior positions in John Keells Group of Companies and retired from the post of Executive Vice [...]

Poultry Producers Forum urges another price hike

The newly formed Poultry Producers Forum is appealing to authorities to increase the price of a kg of chicken meat by at least Rs. 20 to cover rising costs of production, the forum’s joint co-coordinator Yakooth Naleem, who is also the Bairaha group Managing Director, said. Despite the price revision of Rs.30 announced in December [...]

Laugfs’ best young employees for 2013

Laugfs Holdings Ltd recently marked ‘International Youth Day’ on August 12 with a ‘Best of the best 2013′ staff competition carried out for the benefit of the many young employees in the company. The ‘Best of the best 2013′ competition was organized with the intention of empowering the energetic, creative and passionate youth of the [...]

STBC outing in Bentota

STBC outing in Bentota

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC), among the most vibrant clubs for young entrepreneurs and business professionals in Sri Lanka, held its annual outing for members and their families at the Bentota Beach Hotel. The hotel organised many games and competitions for the members during the weekend outing. The club’s main sponsor is Etisalat. The [...]

OREL Corp’s new techno to connect office number to mobile phone

OREL Corporation, Sri Lanka’s largest player in the electrical manufacturing sector, has embarked on a ground-breaking business venture with a futuristic view to integrate two totally different industries – electrical manufacturing and mobile phone industry – into one common platform in the near future. It has signed an agreement with India’s Spice Mobile, a BK [...]

FCCISL to host Commonwealth Asian Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Summit in Nov. ’13

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) is hosting the Commonwealth Asian Alliance for Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) summit in Colombo just before the Commonwealth leaders and Commonwealth Business Forum meetings in November. CAAYE is the network of network alliance of young entrepreneurs, having a written charter and proudly supported by [...]

Richlife Dairies Ltd aiming to increase local milk production

Richlife Dairies Ltd, Sri Lanka’s pioneering manufacturer of liquid fresh milk in Tetra packs recently increased its milk collection network to over 5000 farmer families across the country. A member of Renuka Shaw Wallace PLC, the company’s primary focus is to extend the local milk farmer network throughout the country. With seven milk collection and [...]

Private sector helping farming community to get better prices, new markets

Private sector food processing companies in Sri Lanka are increasingly supporting the farming community in the country to have a ready market and a better price for their produce. Niranjan Palipana, Vice President, John Keells Holdings Head of Marketing, Food and Beverages told a media conference this week in Colombo held to announce the holding [...]

Singer unveils new ‘Customer Loyalty Programme’

Singer Sri Lanka PLC recently launched a new product ‘Customer Loyalty Programme’ which integrates existing reward programmes at Singer Plus and Singer Mega, giving shoppers even more for their purchases. At the launch in Colombo, Singer Sri Lanka Group Chief Executive Officer, Asoka Pieris said, “Singer was among the first companies in Sri Lanka to [...]

Acidity in the Weliweriya soil

According to a news report, the Chairman of Geological Survey & Mines Bureau has said that 47 soil samples were taken from the soil surrounding the gloves factory in Weliweriya and from a 25 square km area surrounding it. He has said that PH levels were low in the samples indicating that the complaint of [...]

SL companies should be vigilant of rogue investors

SL companies should be vigilant of rogue investors

While needing foreign investment, Sri Lankan companies must be vigilant of rogue investors, according to long-time concrete industry professional Ramiah Ramanadan, a pioneer in the field of ready mix concrete locally. Elaborating, he further commented that, in his experience, there were rogue foreign investors who come to Sri Lanka, and only invest minimally so that [...]

Asiri Surgical Hospital gets more international certifications

Asiri Surgical Hospital gets more international certifications

The Asiri Surgical Hospital (ASH) said last week that it has received the ISO Certification for Occupational Health and Safety Management and Total Quality Management systems. The hospital has also earlier received ISO 9001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certification for Occupational Health and Safety Management System by BM Trada Certifications Ltd., United Kingdom. This certification was [...]

Pramod Bhasin joins SLASSCOM Advisory Board

Pramod Bhasin, Founder and Vice Chairman, Genpact and Chairman, the Skills Academy, India has joined the Advisory Board of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM). Mr. Bhasim founded Genpact – formerly GE Capital International Services, in1997 and was the President & CEO of Genpact till June 2011 and is currently the [...]

Construct exhibition showcased latest building and construction equipment

Construct exhibition  showcased latest building  and construction equipment

‘CONSTRUCT’, an annual exhibition organized by the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka was held recently  in Colombo. It  showcased the most updated building and construction equipment and material. There were products from Malaysia, India, Pakistan and China in addition to Sri Lanka.

Aitken Spence in first-ever Public-Private partnership by a Sri Lankan company overseas

Aitken Spence in first-ever Public-Private partnership by a Sri Lankan company overseas

Aitken Spence recently entered into a public-private partnership with the Fiji Ports Corporation to oversee the repair and operation of Suva and Lautoka ports, the largest in Fiji; marking the first- ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan compan recorded to-date. Fiji media reported that the partnership is worth an estimated US$10.5 million. Aitken Spence [...]

“New Presidential Salaries Commission”

I refer to the story in last week’s Business Times under the above headline and applaud the steps taken by the President to correct the existing salary anomalies that are prevalent in the public sector. It is no secret that in the public sector remuneration packages are far lower than in the private sector. In [...]

“Top CEO says bank needs better directors”

I was quite amused to read comments made by a CEO of a commercial bank in recent newspapers saying that bank boards’ needs a better composition of directors. Has it taken him nearly a decade at this bank to come to that conclusion? As a shareholder (of this bank) I wish to ask him if [...]

Sri Lanka’s Akila Aluthge in US-based finals of ‘F1 in Schools’ racing car modeling contest

Fourteen – year-old Sri Lankan student Akila Aluthge, currently going to school in Qatar, has been selected to compete at the model racing car design competition “F1 in Schools Programme – 2013 World Final”, which will be held at the end of September in the US state of Texas, according to a statement by ACECAM, [...]

BlackBerry plans youth-devices in SL

Troubled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry will soon introduce a youth-oriented plan for its devices in Sri Lanka, according to its Commercial Business Director for India, Hitesh Shah. He also revealed that, in five to six months, there will be a number of other offerings made available, at different price points, to the local market. He [...]

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) via External Consulting: Six Points to Ponder for Decision-Makers

Fact 1: A corporate company must have robust Emergency Response Plan – ERP, Disaster Recovery Plan – DRP before embarking on its Business Continuity Plan – BCP – the ultimate. If any external consulting outfit states it otherwise and markets a BCP first, it merely is premeditated misguidance of a client corporate. Fact 2: If [...]

Northern polls will boost development and investments, chamber says

Provincial Council elections being held in Jaffna next month for the very first time in history will pave the way for major developments and investments, according to Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam Chairman, K. Pooranachandran. Speaking at this week’s launch in Colombo of the Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF), he said the polls [...]

Polypackaging Industries gets ISO certification for management systems

Polypackaging Industries gets ISO certification for management systems

Kurunegala-based Polypackaging Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. has received the   ISO 9001:2008 certification on Quality Management Systems, and that it enhanced its profile as a manufacturer of packaging material of the highest quality in Sri Lanka.  The Certificate of Conformity by INDEXPO Certification Ltd was presented by the Secretary to the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, [...]

Sri Lanka promotes ‘safe milk’ through massive campaign

Sri Lanka is to promote drinking safe milk amidst the milk powder contamination controversy which has aggravated to boiling point, a top official said. One of the main challenges for the country today was to popularise drinking fresh milk which was now the worldwide trend and what was also seen as important from the Sri [...]

New metered lorry service to transport household goods

From budget trishaw and meter taxi, Sri Lanka’s transportation is coming of age, with the advent of the ‘metered’ lorry. Such a service is now in operation in Colombo to transport household goods to any part of the island in a cost-effective manner. The METRO Metered Lorry Services Co. has launched this service with two [...]

Vehicle imports seen crashing due to lopsided duty hike

Sri Lanka’s vehicle imports could plunge to near zero level due to the recent increase in taxes on duty slashed permits given to senior state officials. Motor traders say they are finding it difficult to sell around 1000 luxury cars brought down by using these permits sold to them earlier by officials. A senior Finance [...]

JKH head office to be demolished

JKH head office to be demolished

John Keells Holdings (JKH), currently planning a mega development at its Glennie Street headquarters as well as adjoining Ceylon Cold Stores property, held an auction on Friday for demolition and removal of building material at its head office in Colombo. The auctioneers were Schokman & Samerawickreme. Pic by Indika Handuwala shows the JKH head office [...]

Mobitel launches NFC enabled SIM cards

Sri Lankan celco Mobitel has announced that it has begun offering Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled SIM cards locally, giving users the potential to make payments by tapping their smartphones on terminals in retail environments. Further, the mobile provider has stated it is also currently offering a number of other applications via its suite of [...]

Sustainable ‘Convertainers’ for home living

Sustainable ‘Convertainers’ for home living

Logiventures recently launched its Convertainers Villa named “The Green” at the recently concluded Construct 2013 Exhibition in Colombo. Offering a cost effective way to bring sustainable features to the masses, Convertainers were the centre of attraction at the exhibition. Designed and built from a 20ft shipping container, the Convertainers Villa features a fully furnished bedroom, [...]

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