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Finance Act raises constitutional issues, top lawyer says

Finance Act raises  constitutional issues,  top lawyer says

Wide ranging powers to the Monetary Board (MB) in the Finance Business Act of 2011 governing finance companies are raising serious constitutional issues, a top company lawyer said on Friday. K. Kanag-Isvaran, PC, said provisions in the Act giving powers to ‘directors’ (meaning the MB of the Central Bank) to freeze passports or seize property [...]

Shangri La Colombo hotel on stream; other plans on hold

Hong Kong-based Shangri La group is focusing on Phase 1 of its Colombo project – construction of a luxury 500-room hotel but re-thinking its Phase 2 development of luxury residencies and a 25,000 square metre high-end shopping mall, official sources said. Piling work at the Shangri-La, Colombo hotel site is now underway after around two [...]

PB counting his days?

Sri Lanka’s most powerful bureaucrat, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, on Wednesday made several references to his tenure in public service and even inferred it might not be long before he leaves – which would then be for the third time. The Treasury Secretary quit his post once before on a ruling by the Supreme [...]

Lankans avoid travel to crisis-hit Thailand

Sri Lankan travellers are seen avoiding Thailand owing to the political crisis there and Malaysia is becoming the next best option for leisure travel, industry officials said. Suresh Mendis, CEO of Classic Travels, one of the largest outbound travel companies, said travel to Thailand has virtually come to a standstill in the past 3-4 weeks. [...]

Global Distribution Centre from Expo

Expolanka PLC (Expo) is in the process of establishing ‘Expo Global Distribution Centre’, a value added bonded warehousing facility under the free-port regulations at the Katunayake Export Processing Zone, officials said. “The centre is designed to provide value added services to international apparel retailers operating in Sri Lanka and the region,” Hanif Yusoof Group CEO [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism in numbers game?

Sri Lanka  Tourism in numbers game?

Sri Lanka Tourism, the state tourism body, weeks before announcing the final arrivals figure for 2013 said in a emailed interview with the Business Times that they believed they would be capable of achieving tourist arrivals “closer to the target” of 1.25 million. But later they announced 1.27 million visitor arrivals in 2013 while adjusting [...]

Mackwoods to open electric vehicle charging stations

Mackwoods Energy PLC (MEP) is aiming to set up electric vehicle charging stations across the country, officials said. “Currently we’re doing some market studies on this. Most probably this year we’ll roll it out,” Arjuna Yatawara, MEP Managing Director told the Business Times. He said they plan to set up roadside charging stations. “We’ll also [...]

Dusty roads and traffic snarls

Last week, with no intimation to residents in a Colombo suburb, workers cut a drain on one side of the road after closing it and began laying new water pipes. Thereafter the road was on-and-off opened for a few hours per day. Then one day, the workers cut a drain across preventing access to a [...]

Lankan elders treated like cattle, microfinance workshop for the elderly told in Colombo

“Mas kadeta dakkana harakunta wageeda apata salakanne (Are you treating us like the cattle herded to the butchery?)” This statement sums up the plight of the elder people – those over 60 years – in Sri Lanka. Gamini T. Pandithakorala, a retired bank manager, stated this while participating in the discussion that followed a workshop [...]

Towards resilient and stable financial institutions

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has drawn a roadmap for a more efficient and competitive financial system in the country. The efficiency of financial intermediation is a very important determinant of development outcomes. Above all, a stable financial system is a crucial element of a conducive business environment for supporting sustained growth. The [...]

Jupiter Capital Partners to launch $75 mln SL Country fund

Jupiter Capital Partners (JCP), a South Asian focussed private equity firm is to set up a US$ 75 million country fund for Sri Lanka, officials said. “We’re going to call it Jupiter Sri Lanka Investment Fund,” Indika Hettiarachchi, Managing Director JCP told the Business Times. This unit aims to fund Small and Medium sized firms [...]

Property sector brings biggest returns to JKH for 3Q 2013/14

The property sector of John Keells Holdings (JKH) recorded the highest growth – 93 per cent – in pre-tax profits (PBT) in the entire group for the third quarter 2013/14 largely due to rapid sales of units of its apartment complexes under development. In a statement, JKH said the property industry group PBT of Rs. [...]

Sri Lanka’s imported coal stock piles up amid Norochcholai power plant breakdowns

Sri Lanka’s imported coal stock piles up in huge quantities amid frequent breakdowns of Norochcholai power plant and the country stands to lose millions of rupees if the massive stock becomes unusable, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) engineers warned. The 300MW coal fired power plant is not operating since January 10 due to technical defects and [...]

Brandix funded MIT-Global Startup Labs-Sri Lanka kicks off

Brandix funded MIT-Global  Startup Labs-Sri Lanka kicks off

Seventy three young Sri Lankans, seen as the country’s potentially next generation of top entrepreneurs, began their journey to entrepreneurship in January with the launch of the Brandix funded ‘MIT Global Startup Labs’ (MIT-GSL) Sri Lanka programme. Chosen from over 350 candidates from five Sri Lankan universities and other higher educational institutions, these undergraduates and [...]

Today’s more targeted cyber threats are opportunities to strengthen –systems expert

Although cyber threats are today more targeted in their scope, with attackers having in-depth knowledge about their targets and its vulnerabilities, these should be seen as opportunities for “measured steps to strengthen the existing systems and strategially prepare them well in advance”, according to Kenneth Hee, the Director for Identity Management and Security at Oracle [...]

Nippon paints receive Singapore Green Label Certification

Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Ltd said this week that two of its brands, Medifresh 3 in 1 and Weatherbond Algae Guard have been certified by the Singapore Green Label Scheme. The two Nippon paint variants are the only paint products to be Singapore Green Label certified among those available in the local market. It is [...]

Restrictions on unusually high withdrawals from HSBC accounts

HSBC, the largest foreign bank operating in Sri Lanka, says that it has a policy of asking customers the purpose of unusually large withdrawals from accounts. “Our operations and cash withdrawal arrangement in Sri Lanka remain as usual whilst we, as a responsible bank, ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when [...]

EU project takes lab ideas to the marketplace

Key drivers of Horizon 2020 – an EU-funded research initiative are smart, sustainable and inclusive growth that would make the European Union more dynamic and competitive, said Prof. Dilanthi Amaratunga from the University of Salford, UK at the launch of Horizon 2020 last week in Colombo. She said that its headline targets are 75 per [...]

CFL bulbs not dangerous, says industry officials

Fears that CFL bulbs, if it is broken, emits a poisonous gas, are unfounded, according to industry officials. Rahaman Zubair, Director/CEO, Hayleys Electronics and Lighting (Pvt) Ltd while saying CFL bulbs are not harmful, noted that what is more harmful is the UV radiation. He was responding to a query from the Business Times (BT) [...]

ICC Seminar on International Standard Banking Practice, Uniform Rules of Bank Payment Obligations

ICC Seminar on International Standard Banking Practice,  Uniform Rules of Bank  Payment Obligations

The International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka is organising a seminar on International Standard Banking Practice (ISBP) and Uniform Rules of Bank Payment Obligations (URBRO) on 14th February at the Taj Samudra Hotel. ISBP is a practical tool to be used by bankers to examine the documents under Documentary Credit. BPO – Bank Payment Obligation [...]

LED assembly plant to be set up in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka needs to enter into a new era in the field of lighting systems. In meeting that task, for the first time a LED assembly plant is to be launched in Sri Lanka with the latest technology of its kind, said Takasu Toru, Chief Executive Officer of Effect Meiji Corporation Japan at a press [...]

Nestlé collects 62 million litres of local fresh milk in 2013, its highest-ever collection to date

Nestlé Lanka PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest private sector buyer of fresh milk, said this week it had bought its highest ever collection in a year of 62 million litres of local milk in 2013, up 15 per cent growth from 2012. Currently procuring an average of 170,000 litres of fresh milk daily from 18,000 Sri [...]

People’s Bank ‘Isuru Udana’ account holders receive innovative educational DVD

The People’s Bank recently introduced an exciting new concept – an interactive educational DVD that is designed to support the primary education of all Isuru Udana account holders; young children in their formative years. This educational DVD titled ‘Isuru Udana Paadam Sellam’ (a concept which denotes ‘learn while playing’) has been designed in keeping with [...]

‘LANKAPAK 2014’ fair will feature Sri Lanka’s packaging skills to overseas markets

The Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging (SLIP), which represents the Sri Lankan packaging industry, together with events organiser, MP Events Lanka has announced ‘Lankapak 2014’ exhibition scheduled to be held from 18 – 20 July at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre. Organised by SLIP and its ‘technical arm’, the Packaging Development Centre, Lankapak 2014 will [...]

Dankotuwa – transforming the essence of porcelain

Dankotuwa – transforming the essence of porcelain

DANKOTUWA – The raw smell of porcelain mix wafts some yards away from the Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC (DPL) factory at Dankotuwa, in the North Western Province. Entering the premises, 20 acres in all – the surroundings are impeccable and 5S workplace organisation method that uses a list of five Japanese words:seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and [...]

Housewives at Watawala Plantations taught cash-flow management

The Watawala Plantations is implementing a unique programme to empower women through efficiently managing their household budget. The objective of the household cash-flow management is to position the women as a housewife who understands and practises thrift and knowledge in making ends meet in the household budget. “Keeping in line with the company’s policy on [...]

KYB Dealer Convention by Taas Agencies to mark 35th anniversary

KYB Dealer Convention by Taas  Agencies to mark 35th anniversary

Taas Agencies Pvt Ltd, sole agents for KYB shock absorbers, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary – both of the company and the agency contract. The company has been the sole agent for KYB shock absorbers since its inception 35 years ago, company officials said. A felicitation ceremony was held to express the company’s appreciation of [...]

Rotterdam- based IT company to set up BPO in Sri Lanka

ISM eCommerce, a Dutch company founded by a former finance minister, has signed an agreement with the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka to develop software and provide Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) services for the export market. The total value of this investment is US$ 3 million, according to a BOI media release. ISM [...]

SL’s future growth from ‘higher private consumption’ – SCB report

Standard Chartered Bank in a global research report this week entitled “Sri Lanka – Waiting for the rebound” has signalled that Sri Lanka’s future growth will come from “higher private consumption”. The report adds that this will be driven by both cyclical factors, like healthy remittance inflows, stronger asset prices and inflation being kept in [...]

JKOA awards Samsung experience store franchise to Papyrus

John Keells Office Automation (JKOA), authorised Sri Lankan distributor for Samsung mobile phones, has awarded a franchise to Papyrus Papers (Pvt) Ltd., to set up and operate a chain of ‘Samsung Experience Stores’ in the country. The Samsung Experience Store is an exclusive, custom-designed retail outlet for sales of and after-sales support for Samsung mobile [...]

High-tech UltraTech assures top quality cement

UltraTech Cement Lanka, with a multi-point, multi-laboratory system in place that ensures stringent quality checks, says customers are assured of high quality cement. In a media announcement, the company said its state-of-the-art in-house laboratory conducts complete analyses about the physical and chemical status of cement that comes and goes out of the plant for quality [...]

Hambantota vies for MICE events in 2014

The Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau is in discussions with organizers of conferences and exhibitions scheduled for this year to shift some events to Hambantota aimed at promoting the newest address for MICE visitors. Currently there are two exhibition centres in Colombo and with the increasing number of exhibitions registering with the Conventions Bureau, discussions were [...]

Grooming hotel management grads for the job

Aspiring hoteliers were given a fine grooming in terms of what is expected of them when joining the hospitality industry last month, a media release issued by the Sri Lanka graduates association stated. Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association (CHSGA), the alumni of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) conducted a seminar on [...]

JKH’s Mack Air GSA for Air France, KLM

JKH’s Mack Air GSA  for Air France, KLM

Mack Air (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC will represent Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Sri Lanka from February 1, a media release issued by the company stated. Mack Air will handle the various aspects of the Air France-KLM passenger sales processes in Sri Lanka, like reservations, [...]

Budget rooms to open in urban areas

Solid Hotel, a local budget hotel chain, is providing services to meet the demands of a growing market that looks for a room to stay in Colombo at a low price for both local and foreign visitors to the city. The Business Times spoke with Sanjay Thushara on Wednesday about his chain of hotels located [...]

Laugfs to open luxury resort Anantaya in Chilaw

Laugfs to open luxury resort Anantaya in Chilaw

A vast, isolated beach, the magnificent Indian Ocean and the Chilaw lagoon filled with large stretches of mangroves make up the surroundings of Anantaya Chilaw, the soon to be unveiled luxury beach resort of Laugfs Leisure (LL), a media release by the company stated. The serene allure of Anantaya’s environment is complemented by comprehensive work [...]

Browns lures lovers for romancing in Seychelles

Browns Tours is offering a romantic getaway in the Seychelles this Valentine Day with special offers, a media release issued by the company stated. Considered a speck on the map off the southern African coast, remnants of the super – Continent left behind when Africa and India split apart, the island is an escapist fantasy, [...]

Centara opens second resort in Bentota

Centara Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading hotel chains in Thailand, would be having their soft opening of its second Sri Lankan resort during springtime, the organization stated in a media release recently. The resort, Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa Sri Lanka in Bentota, is owned by Softlogic Properties (Pvt) Ltd and will be [...]

Cinnamon campaign: Involve ‘yourselves’ with customers without others doing it, local companies told

When ‘Cinnamon to the World’ campaign was launched this week in Colombo, the son who carries the torch of his father in one of the biggest success stories in Sri Lanka pertaining to the introduction of ‘single origin pure Ceylon Tea’, came forward to offer advice to the cinnamon industry. Malik J. Fernando, Director, MJF [...]

Ruwansiri Dairies takes another step towards boosting SL’s self- sufficiency in milk

Ruwansiri Dairies takes  another step towards boosting  SL’s  self-  sufficiency  in  milk

A new factory complex of Ruwansiri Dairies Pvt Ltd was ceremonially opened in the Uva region by Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Chief Minister of Uva Wellassa recently. The company selected Tessa, the world’s best dairy manufacturing plants, for a plant that would convert fresh milk into pasteurized milk, ice cream, yoghurt, cheese and other value added products [...]

Cost factor is a barrier for waste management

Sri Lanka being a developing country in the world needs to look at waste management without considering the cost factor, says Prof. Ajith De Alwis, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University Moratuwa, at the launch of compostable bags in Colombo this week. He said, “When it comes to healthy living and sustainable development of [...]

Lankan wood-work professionals seek to revive the industry

Lankan wood-work professionals seek to revive the industry

A group of Sri Lankan wood working professionals has stepped in to revive the industry infusing modern technical know-how with the assistance of German expertise. The wood and wood-based industry of Sri Lanka is not performing up to standard and it has to be revived soon to produce goods in the modern age, a group [...]

“TFC to strike merger deal with state bank”

Both the State Mortage & Investment Bank (SMIB) and The Finance Company (TFC) have responded to last week’s Business Times (BT) report headlined “TFC to strike merger deal with state bank”. In a letter to the newspaper, Vikum Perera, Marketing Manager of SMIB has said the chairman of SMIB has no intention to merge with [...]

2nd South Asian Carriers’ Meet to be held in Colombo on Feb 18

The second South Asian Carriers’ Meet (SACM) will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from February 18 to February 20 this year, according to a statement by organisers. It noted that the inaugural SACM was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in November 2012, featuring more than 100 companies and 300 delegates representing major telecom carriers in [...]

Sri Lanka’s biggest regional chamber HDCC completes 20 years

Sri Lanka’s biggest regional chamber HDCC completes 20 years

The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) recently celebrated 20 years of service to the business community and young people of the district this year, Sri Lanka’s oldest and most progressive regional chamber. Established on August 9, 1993, HDCC is the first district chamber of commerce in Sri Lanka and amongst the few legendary institutions [...]

Apparel products maker Thermo Plastics receives ISO 14001:2004 certification

Apparel products maker  Thermo Plastics receives ISO 14001:2004 certification

Thermo Plastics (Pvt) Ltd, an apparel shrouds manufacturer operating under its parent company, BAM Holdings Ltd., was recently awarded the ISO 14001:2004 Certification for establishing and implementing the Environmental Management System (EMS) in its state-of-the-art factory located in Homagama. This makes it the only apparel shroud manufacturer in Sri Lanka to receive this prestigious certification, [...]

Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry “mad” to ask for GSP plus, says PB

Sri Lanka’s most-powerful bureaucrat on Wednesday said the country’s External Affairs Ministry was “mad” to ask for GSP plus concessions which had (already been) rejected. In a lengthy speech delivered during the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) AGM post business session on the state vision for the apparel industry, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said [...]

4th International Holcim Awards aims at more sustainable-built environment

4th International Holcim Awards aims at more sustainable-built environment

The Holcim Awards, said to be one of the most significant competitions in its field in terms of reputation and international scope, has opened entries for its annual awards. The fourth cycle of the competition offering a total of US$2 million in prize money is currently open for entries.The competition seeks leading projects from industry [...]

Textured Jersey profits grow, no debt or borrowings

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) reported strong 16 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to Rs. 805 million for the nine month period ended 31st December, a company statement said. However net profit for the quarter ended 31st December 2013 (3Q FY2013/14) fell by 17.4 per cent year-on-year to Rs. 301 million with 3Q [...]

World’s 85 richest people have more money than 3.5 billion poor : Oxfam report

The 85 richest people in the world own the wealth of half of the world’s population, international humanitarian organisation Oxfam said in a report released on January 20 ahead of the Davos Economic Summit. The world population as at end last year was over 7 billion. Working For the Few, published ahead of last week’s [...]

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