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Growing opposition to casinos, new BT-RCB poll reveals

Growing opposition to casinos, new BT-RCB poll reveals

Hundreds of people from all walks of life responded this week to a BT-RCB poll on the mega casino issue with a combined vote of 70 per cent saying it was a ‘bad’ development for the country. In the most successful, ever, email poll conducted by the Business Times (BT) which drew nearly 600 contributions, [...]

Cosy winter for Lankan hotels

Sri Lankan hoteliers are gearing for more cheer this December as the winter season has already recorded increased bookings in most hotels. Only a few are not faring well. Some hotels had observed at least 80 per cent occupancies and faced with a good number of bookings for the season while a few were offering [...]

11 firms to go public in 2014

11 firms to go public in 2014

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has zeroed in on 11 potential firms to go public, officials said. “We initially met 30 firms and now we have had discussion with 11 potential firms to go for Initial Public Offerings (IPO). Out of these about six firms are working on their IPO applications,” a senior CSE official [...]

Nation Lanka shelves deposit-to-shares conversion plan

The plan to convert deposits / borrowings of Nation Lanka Finance PLC (NLF), previously Ceylinco Finance PLC to non-voting shares with the consent of the Central Bank (CB) has been shelved by the company following its rejection by depositors and creditor who claimed that it is worthless, depositors of the company said. They added that [...]

Austerity spending measures amidst budgetary discrepancies

As the curtain falls on the 2014 budget debate, Sri Lanka is to curtail public spending in the face of declining revenue on a year-on-year basis, official sources revealed. The Finance Ministry will issue a circular by end January to all ministries and government institutions giving authorisation for incurring expenditure for 2014 with strict guidelines [...]

Mihin Lanka: Key strategy for success

In the last two decades, despite momentary setbacks due to rising fuel prices, terrorist attacks and outbreaks of disease (e.g. SARS), the air travel industry globally has boomed. During this time, amid controversy, the Government of Sri Lanka launched Mihin Lanka (in 2007), which involved the investment of billions of rupees and has accumulated monumental [...]

Casinos and keepers of the law

This week’s BT-RCB poll on the issues relating to the emergence of a new casino culture drew the largest ever response seen so far. The Business Times, and lately in collaboration with Colombo-based Research Consultancy Bureau, has been conducting email polls for many years on issues of national interest. The RCB poll is conducted in [...]

Sri Lanka’s private sector should work together without individually cutting deals

Sri Lanka’s private sector should work together without individually cutting deals

Sri Lanka’s private sector should be ‘more collective’ in their approach to business and not ‘cut’ deals on their own, a top economist says. “The corporate sector doesn’t do enough collective action. They want to cut a deal on their own, because they think in terms of the 21 million (people) market and compete with [...]

Sampur coal power project set to start with foreign funding

Having settled differences over the efficiency, operation and maintenance cost of the power plant, Sri Lanka is set to implement the Indian-aided 500 MW Sampur coal power project in eastern Trincomalee through the Trincomalee Power Company Ltd, an Indo –Lanka joint venture company, a top official said. India has extended a line of credit for [...]

Stop horsing around! – Cabraal tells banks to get their act together

Banks must do banking and not engage in lotteries, Central Bank (CB) Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, delivering the keynote address at the annual symposium for bank directors and CEOs on Wednesday, under the theme ‘Beyond a Rs. 10 trillion Banking Sctor’. “They must leave it to the lotteries board and move towards serious banking,” [...]

HSBC and MAS Active implement another first in the industry

HSBC Payments and Cash Management Sri Lanka this week announced the implementation of HSBC Connect to SAP Lite (C2SAP Lite), the next generation SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planner) adaptor technology. MAS Active, the active wear manufacturing Division of MAS Holdings, will be the first company in Sri Lanka to use this new solution. It will [...]

New Chinese technology to tackle rising electricity bills

Global Allianz (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s pioneering Chinese hydropower equipment supplier, is providing the latest Chinese technology to reduce electricity bills with the use of micro hydropower systems. “We have been representing one of China’s top 10 manufacturers certified by UNIDO for the last 15 years. We are proud to be the single largest supplier [...]

Leo Burnett SL wins ‘Rest of South Asia Agency of the Year’ for second year

Leo Burnett SL wins ‘Rest of South Asia Agency of the Year’ for second year

Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. (LBSI) bagged three coveted awards at the recent Campaign Asia’s prestigious South Asia Agency of the Year Awards 2013 held in Mumbai. The company said by winning these awards it “yet again created history in the annals of the Sri Lankan communications industry”. LBSI was named as the Rest of South [...]

Moody’s acquires Amba Investment Services

US-based Moody’s Corporation announced this week that it has acquired Amba Investment Services, a provider of investment research and quantitative analytics for global financial institutions. Amba will operate as part of Moody’s Analytics majority-owned subsidiary, Copal Partners. Founded in 2003, Amba provides outsourced investment research and analytics to financial institutions, including asset managers, investment banks, [...]

‘Unlock Possibilities’ with Huawei’s competition this holiday season

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, this week launched its global holiday online competition ‘Unlock Possibilities’. The free competition provides the chance to win a line-up of goodies, culminating in two grand prize Mercedes-Benz Sports Coupes. The ‘Unlock Possibilities’ competition further demonstrates Huawei’s aspiration to become one of the leading [...]

Sony Vaio enters Sri Lanka with ultrabooks, tablet and hybrids

Sony Vaio’s 11- and 13-inch ultrabooks and its Tap 11 Windows 8-inch tablet were recently introduced to Sri Lanka. This follows global unveiling for the devices in June 2013, for the ultrabooks, and September 2013, for the tablet. Speaking at the launch of the Sony Vaio range in Sri Lanka, New Sun Trading Channel Marketing [...]

25 % SL smartphone market share for E-tel : Local agent

Mobile phone maker E-tel has captured more than 25 per cent of Sri Lanka’s smartphone market, according to a recent statement by the brand’s local agent Brantel. Announcing the launch of its newest local offering, the E-tel Curiosity i8 smartphone, the statement also noted that this phone was “expected to expand the smart phone market [...]

CSE goes live on Android

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has launched an Android mobile Application which offers live stock market information at the swipe of your finger. The application is available on Google Play and can be downloaded free onto all Android devices. The CSE mobile App offers the following essentials, easily accessible on any Android hand held device [...]

Eden Resort & Spa renewed with world-class 5 star luxuries

Eden Resort & Spa, the 5-star luxury resort at Beruwala, has re-opened its doors after briefly closing down operations for refurbishment in May this year. The hotel has infused an exciting new range of enhanced features to its existing facilities and offering, the company said. Kapila Jayawardena, Chairman of LOLC Leisure Ltd said, “We felt [...]

Small-time barbers come together, launch benevolent fund

Small-time barbers come together, launch benevolent fund

With the aim of creating a better tomorrow for Sri Lanka’s small-time barbers, a special benevolent fund was launched at the inaugural general meeting of Sri Lanka Barbers Association (BASL) at the BMICH in Colombo on Monday. Around 120 barbers attended the launch of the association aimed at providing benefits for 50,000 practicing barbers spread [...]

Aerial route to watching Lankan whales

Aerial route to watching Lankan whales

“There’s one; there’s one,” shouts an excited passenger, spotting a whale. That’s a cue for the pilot to immediately swing to the left just like a helicopter – amazing manoeuvrability for a small plane – and go back to view two magnificent beasts – the largest mammals in the ocean. Our photographer Indika Handuwala happily [...]

Hayleys Business Solutions International awarded Gold approved Employer Status by ACCA

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which recognises and rewards leading organisations that offer continual learning and professional development support to ACCA trainees, recently awarded Hayleys Business Solutions International (Pt) Ltd (HBSI) with Gold approved Employer Status. ACCA’s Approved Employer programme has been designed to help employers derive maximum value from ACCA students, affiliates [...]

Dizzying targets hit Sri Lanka Tourism

Sri Lanka Tourism is in a frenzy to grab whoever might land in the country as a tourist as they face unlikely targets to reach 2.5 million by 2016. Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) is currently targeting 1.5 million arrivals next year but there is a possibility this would change even as this year’s figures would [...]

Suncity adds yet another building to the Colombo skyline

Suncity Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, one of the pioneers in construction and real-estate in Sri Lanka, has begun construction on its latest project – an office complex within the Colombo city limits. This is Suncity’s most recent initiative complementing an existing portfolio of apartment complexes, the company said. Located in Bambalapitiya facing R. A. de [...]

Lanka Walltile brand to make a comeback

The Lanka Walltile (LWL) brand is to be re – introduced through Lanka Ceramics, by its new owners Royal Ceramics, officials said. They said Royal Ceramics which bought 82 per cent in Lanka Ceramics Ltd (LCL) is currently formulating a new strategic direction for LCL. LCL owns Lanka Walltile, the firm which manufactures the LWL [...]

LankaClear bags silver award at ICASL annual report awards

LankaClear bags silver award at ICASL annual report awards

Sri Lanka’s national payment infrastructure provider, LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd bagged a Silver Award at the 2013 Annual Report Awards hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) this week. LankaClear was commended for its excellence in reporting and adherence to globally accredited standards in the Small and Medium Sector. The Silver Award [...]

Is the future bright for tea the cup that cheers?

The tea industry plays a crucial role in the economy with its contribution to employment, export earnings and overall national product. Sri Lanka is no longer the number one tea exporter. The industry faces many difficulties such as rising cost of production, declining productivity, management challenges and labour shortage are only a few to be [...]

Global Compact Network Lanka amongst the world’s best

Global Compact Network Sri Lanka was recognised as one of the Top Ten local networks from over 100 local networks worldwide. The Local Network Award was presented at the Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York recently by the UN Global Compact Office, the local office said in a statement. The award recognises the contribution [...]

Lankan citizens must fight against corruption

Lankan citizens must fight against corruption

Monday, December 9, 2013 – UN Anti-Corruption Day and Sri Lanka joins the world in celebrating this event aimed at ending the scourge of corruption all over. Many events including traditional protests and indoor meetings have been organised to mark this annual feature. While at least three meetings are held at the BMICH, a small, [...]

Amidst the cynicism, a thread to hold on for HIV/AIDS activists

Amidst the cynicism, a thread to hold on for HIV/AIDS activists

BANGKOK – While cynicism and pessimism shadow every international conference in the world that seeks answers and solutions to crucial issues in education, health, human rights, conflict or peace, a silver lining invariably springs up to give hope to the victims and the affected. That is also true of the recently concluded 11th ICAAP (International [...]

Bank of Ceylon supports ‘War Heroes’ with ABIMANSALA III

Bank of Ceylon is recognising the nation’s war heroes through the construction of ‘Abimansala III’ – the wellness resort for the permanently disabled soldiers in Pangolla, Kurunegala. The bank is contributing towards the construction of an ayurvedic hospital in ‘Abimansala III’ under the “Brave Hearts” project of Sri Lanka Army. Abimansala III is a project [...]

Tharaka from Cinnamon Lakeside at the Commonwealth Youth Forum

Tharaka Appuhamy of the Learning & Development team at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo once again proved the calibre of the hotel’s workforce by being the only Sri Lankan to represent the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) at the recently held Commonwealth Youth Forum in Sri Lanka. “Tharaka has a long standing [...]

CCC bags Gold at Annual Report Awards, three years running

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the leading business chamber of Sri Lanka, won a Gold Award in the Non Profit Organisation/Non Government Organisation category at the 49th Annual Report Awards ceremony organized by the Institute of Chartered Accounants of Sri Lanka. Commenting on this achievement, Harin Malwatte, CEO/Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of [...]

Mobitel recognized at inaugural Project Management awards

Sri Lankan celco Mobitel has been recognised at the inaugural National Project Management Excellence (NPME) Awards 2013, conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Sri Lanka Chapter, where the provider received the award for “Best Project” for te completion of the initial phase of its Stage VII Network Expansion. Further, according to a statement, the [...]

Social Business: A novel way to do CSR work and funding NGOs

A workshop on the theme of ‘Social Business’ was conducted for the first time in Sri Lanka by Berendina Development Services and the Yunus Centre at the Bangkok-based Asian Institute of Technology ( AIT) from December 3-5 in Colombo. The Berendina group, consisting of the Berendina Development Services and the Berendina Micro-Finance Institute is a [...]

Janashakthi Insurance celebrates win at National Business Excellence Awards

Janashakthi Insurance celebrates win at  National Business  Excellence Awards

Janashakthi Insurance PLC shone at the National Business Excellence Awards (NBEA), picking up a Gold award in the Insurance category. The award follows in the wake of a spate of other awards the company received recently. The win is the highest affirmation of Janashakthi Insurance’s continued efforts to remain both innovation and profit leaders. While [...]

GSK supports project to combat child abuse in Sri Lanka

GSK supports project to combat child abuse in Sri Lanka

A significant initiative by the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians to combat child abuse through better awareness of the problem has been launched with the support of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK), a leading supplier of pharmaceuticals and vaccies in Sri Lanka. Titled ‘Creating Safe Communities for Children’ the project involves the launch of multi-sectoral guidelines for [...]

Bank of Ceylon awards 2,000 schols for top performers at Grade 5 scholarship exam

Bank of Ceylon awards 2,000 schols for top performers at Grade 5 scholarship exam

The Bank of Ceylon provides 2,000 scholarships to high-flyers of the year five scholarship examination every year to empower the younger generation to have a sustainable education. Since 2002 the bank has awarded over 12,000 scholarships for Ran Kekulu account holders worth nearly Rs.120 million. The scholarship selection criterion is based on results (marks) received [...]

Lankan banking industry needs capital consolidation

Welcoming the regulatory sponsorship on industry integration, Rajendra Theagarajah, new CEO of NDB reiterated that the banking industry needs capital consolidation. “There’s a need to consolidate capital. We can’t have small banks ‘floating around’ doing nothing,” he told journalists at a media briefing on Thursday, to announce the largest listed corporate debenture in the country, [...]

Investment in casinos will generate only tax income, few jobs –poll reveals

Investment in casinos will generate only tax income, few jobs –poll reveals

A survey this week to seek the Sri Lankan perspective on the entry of casinos attracting high-spending tourists found most of the people not in favour of this kind of economic development. Two polls were conducted by the Business Times (BT) on email and a street poll by the BT’s polling partner, the Colombo-based Research [...]

Entrepreneur thanks People’s Bank SME loans for his success

Entrepreneur thanks People’s Bank SME loans for his success

A determined Sri Lankan entrepreneur who struggled to success was largely helped on the way by the People’s Bank. “It has been a childhood dream of mine to start my own business. Never thinking it will grow from strength to strength in the shortest possible time, I have started this business from scratch, in a [...]

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