The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Home » Business Times

She sews shoes at shoe show

She sews shoes at shoe show

A young woman working at a leather sewing machine at a footwear and leather products fair held in Colombo last week. Pic by Ranjith Perera.

Probe into SriLankan Airlines’ high-flying act

The Civil Aviation Ministry has begun a probe into recent arbitrary travel schedules at SriLankan Airlines allegedly due to top level management decisions and called for an explanation from the national carrier on these issues. Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu said in an interview with the Business Times that they have called for [...]

Most finance firms keen to merge, not sell

Most small finance companies, under the Central Bank’s new merge or sell policy, don’t want to sell but are eyeing opportunities to merge with strategic partners, according to industry sources. “We’re already in discussion with about six different companies to merge – not to sell,” a CEO of a medium sized finance company told the [...]

Suzuki Alto replaces Maruti 800 in Sri Lanka

Maruti Suzuki India’s action of bringing the curtain down on the 30-year saga of the Maruti 800 model will not hinder Sri Lanka’s Maruti car market as its agent Associated Motorways (Pvt) Ltd (AMW) has already replaced previous models with the new ‘Suzuki Alto 2013’, a top official of the company said. While the Maruti [...]

Singapore roadshow attracts foreign funds

Some six investment funds participating in month’s ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forum in Singapore were in Colombo last week visiting firms with whom they made contact with at the roadshow and a few have made some investments, Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) sources said. “They met with firms such as Tokyo Cement and HNB,” a senior CSE [...]

DPL’s stalled gloves production to resume in April

Dipped Products Ltd (DPL), backs to the wall with a loss in foreign exchange exceeding a billion rupees due to the Rathupaswala factory crisis, is hoping to recover with a phased resumption in production at the new facility at Biyagama. Officials said the need for a new marketing campaign to capture or recapture customers was [...]

Taxes lifted on small lorries and trucks

Sri Lanka’s goods transportation sector using small lorries and trucks is being affected by ad hoc tax increases of the Treasury hurting small businessmen and Indian and Chinese vehicle importers, motor traders said. While the tax on trucks in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Pakistan is around seven per cent, in Sri Lanka it is around [...]

Central Bank’s low interest rate policy and economic pitfalls

Central Bank’s low interest rate policy and economic pitfalls

Guided by the policy rates of the Central Bank, Sri Lanka has been experiencing a declining trend in market interest rates since the latter part of 2012. In the background of slowing down of inflation, and the need to support the economy to attain its growth potentials, the Central Bank is likely to continue the [...]

When the politicians come marching in

It must have already happened if you to live in the Western or Southern provinces. Contestants at the two provincial polls in March and their lackeys would commence (of have already done) the door-to-door rounds promising the sun, moon and earth to residents to secure their vote. This is the time when the politicians come [...]

Shareholding restrictions for finance companies needed – governance specialist says

Even though lending to majority shareholders was the primary cause of finance companies collapsing, the practice of restricting shareholdings had not been put in place, as was the case with banks, says good governance specialist Nihal Sri Ameresekere in a February 6 letter to Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. “One cannot understand why the [...]

Airlines, airports in changing times across the world

With major airlines disappearing from the aviation industry a change is observed with most long haul operations now looking at competing with the budget carriers, an aviation expert highlighted at a seminar in Colombo last week. Prof. Richard de Neufville, Professor of Engineering Systems and Civil Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), [...]

Cinnamon Grand and DIAGEO launch ‘Drink Wise’ campaign

Colombo-based Cinnamon Grand hotel recently launched its “Drink Wise” responsible drinking campaign in partnership with international spirits producer DIAGEO. Launched this month, the campaign “primarily aims to raise awareness among customers to encourage them to drink responsibly by thinking about the decisions they are making, when choosing to drink”, according to a statement by the [...]

Public views sought on a new national water policy for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is introducing a new national water policy based on conservation of water resources and has sought public views for its preparation. In a full-page newspaper advertisement, the Ministry of Land and Land Development has sought public opinion to incorporate suggestions in the proposed policy which is to be prepared and drafted by a [...]

Much awaited solution to kitchen gas woes

Sri Lanka’s LPG giants have in one breath provided a subtle answer to the unspoken woes of the ordinary domestic consumer. To us housewives our gas cylinders are the indispensable elements of our lives standing tall in all types of contingencies whether day to day family needs or the occasional festivity and partying. But I [...]

Lankan plantations hit by fertiliser shortage, could lead to tea revenue loss

Lankan plantations hit by fertiliser shortage, could lead to tea revenue loss

Sri Lankan plantations have been hit by an acute shortage of fertiliser and the Planter’s Association of Ceylon (PA) says this would have a detrimental effect on the industry. In a statement, the PA appealed to all stakeholders to come together to resolve the fertiliser crisis. Fertiliser subsidies are provided by the Government for paddy [...]

Lankan tea firm presents official tea caddy souvenirs for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Lankan  tea  firm  presents official  tea caddy   souvenirs for Sochi 2014  Winter Olympics

Top tea exporter Empire Teas, in a landmark accomplishment which has brought both fame and honour to Sri Lanka, marked its presence at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as a producer of the official tea caddy souvenirs for this year’s games. Empire Teas, which is one of the leading tea exporters to Russia over the [...]

No roaming deposit under new Mobitel scheme

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel has introduced an exciting new service designed especially for its post-paid customers travelling abroad roaming facility sans a deposit. “This service, which doesn’t require overseas travellers to make a cash deposit in order to utilise the roaming facility, enables them to stay in touch with their home and office with absolute [...]

Intertek opens new Textile and Apparel Testing Laboratory in Sri Lanka

Intertek opens new Textile and Apparel Testing Laboratory in Sri Lanka

Intertek, a leading global provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world, last week expanded its textile and apparel presence in Sri Lanka with the inauguration an ISO 17025-approved textiles and apparel testing laboratory in Battaramulla for the country’s apparel export industry. “The Sri Lanka textile and apparel [...]

Worker remittances mainstay of Lankan economy

Remittances, the most important contributor to the economy, from Sri Lankan workers overseas continued to swell ending up with a record US$6.8 billion in 2014, up 6 per cent from 2013, the Central Bank (CB) said this week. In its monthly economic data report, the CB said that workers’ remittances increased by 25 per cent, [...]

Unilever to improve child nutrition in partnership with health authorities, Wayamba University

The children of Pu/Mahakumbukkadawala Junior School in Anamaduwa were introduced to a new way of life when health and educational authorities of the area joined up with Unilever Sri Lanka and its food brand, Astra Margarine, to launch a year-long nutritinal programme at the school. In consultation with the zonal education authorities, the regional health [...]

Seminar series to inspire corporate managers, entrepreneurs

The Royal College Class of 72 is once again presenting “Excellence in Action 2014″-an inspiring Career Development Seminar, on February 19 in Colombo. This year’s seminar will feature some of the most successful personalities involved in different sectors in Sri Lanka such as Ranjit Page – Managing Director CT Holdings PLC, Deputy Chairman/CEO Cargills (Ceylon [...]

Top UN official meets govt. officials, visits North

Top UN official meets govt. officials, visits North

Haoliang Xu, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific undertook a visit to the North, as part of his four-day visit to Sri Lanka, the agency said this week. The visit to the North, which saw Mr. Xu travelling to Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, was [...]

Orient Finance, United Motors offer trade-in for Mitsubishi Motor Vehicles

Orient Finance PLC and United Motors, in an attempt to attune product offers to the changing needs of customers, have come together to present a unique solution, where a used vehicle can be traded in for a brand new Mitsubishi vehicle, eliminating the hassle of selling the existing vehicle. The service mechanism introduced by Orient [...]

Walla Patta – Separating the facts from fiction

Walla Patta – Separating the facts from fiction

Capturing the smugglers of Walla Patta (Gyrinops Walla), a plant native to Sri Lanka has become a frequent event in the recent past, but this hasn’t deterred many offenders despite the huge publicity by the media. Experts say that this may be largely due to the price of Walla Patta kilogram splashed across media as [...]

Medical insurance for senior citizens in the North

Amãna Takaful PLC, recently entered into a partnership with the Northern Central Hospital to offer insurance services to patients seeking treatment at the hospital based in Jaffna. The MoU to this effect was signed by Fazal Ghaffoor, CEO, Amana Takaful PLC and S P Samy, Founder Chairman, Northern Central Hospital in the presence of senior [...]

Lankan Engineer who became New Zealand’s Innovator of the year to share his insights here

Lankan Engineer who became New Zealand’s Innovator of the year to share his insights here

Electrical Engineering Senior Lecturer Nihal Kularatna, named New Zealand Innovator of the Year at the New Zealand Engineering Excellence Awards recently, will be sharing his insights on the topic “Education to Innovation and Commercialization” on Februay 18 at the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka Auditorium from 2pm to 4 pm. The event is open to [...]

Footwear: Quality key in a product, now power of advertising

However much a product is advertised or powerfully promoted, its success depends and relies solely on quality. This is the view of Monicah Murigu, Director, Winaco International Ltd, Mburu Glchua Road, Kenya speaking to the Business Times at the Footwear and Leather Products Fair 2014 which was held for the 6th year at the BMICH [...]

Nation Lanka Finance PLC raises fresh equity capital with a foreign investment group

Nation Lanka Finance PLC last week signed an agreement with GEM Global Yield Fund to receive a fresh equity infusion of Rs. 1.4 billion initially made up of Rs. 700 million through a private placement and Rs. 674 million in private unlisted warrants. The new funding is meant to support its lending business including the [...]

Odel posts 9-month net profit of Rs. 195 million

Fashion retailer Odel PLC has seen a slowdown in sales coupled with the impact on the value added tax (VAT) on business. In a statement to the media, the company reported a net profit of Rs 195.7 million at the end of the third quarter of 2013-14 to 31st December 2013. Odel’s revenue of Rs [...]

Microsoft may introduce Surface device to SL

Microsoft may introduce Surface device to SL

Sri Lanka could eventually become one of the markets in which Microsoft introduces its Surface devices, according to Imran Vilcassim, the company’s newly appointed Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. However, he was also quick to point out there was no time frame identified thus far for the introduction of this product locally. [...]

Lenovo’s Iomega appoints Softlogic as ‘authorised distributor’

The IT arm of Sri Lanka’s Softlogic was recently appointed an authorised distributor for Lenovo-controlled Iomega, now re-branded as Lenovo EMC, according to an announcement by the local IT company which also revealed; “Through the partnership Softlogic will consolidate and add more value to its enterprise solutions offering in Sri Lanka”. Further, the announcement also [...]

Paycorp signs up with PayPal

Paycorp, a payment company offering solutions to banks and large enterprises in Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, recently signed up with online and mobile payment services provider PayPal, according to a statement. Further, the statement also added; “Through the synergy achieved via technology alignment of the two payment services giants, Paycorp will be able [...]

Apple appoints Softlogic as ‘authorised service provider’ and distributor

Apple appoints Softlogic as ‘authorised service provider’ and distributor

Global consumer electronics giant Apple has appointed the IT arm of Sri Lanka’s Softlogic as its “Authorised Service Provider” and distributor, according to a recent announcement by the local IT company. Further, the announcement also noted; “All new Apple products including the iPod portable media players iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPod Classic as [...]

Huawei claims most LTE deployments worldwide

China’s Huawei has claimed the top spot in terms of 4G LTE deployments worldwide, according to a recent statement issued by its local unit. The statement noted; “Huawei LTE has set a global business footprint covering more than 100 capitals and nine top global financial centres across six continents, including London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Zurich, [...]

Infor introduces 10x and SyteLine 9 to SL

Global enterprise applications provider Infor recently introduced its 10x business application and SyteLine 9 ERP to Sri Lanka, in conjunction with its local partner Kingslake, according to a statement. Further, the statement also added; “Operating and managing a manufacturing business is a complex and challenging task in itself. That is why Kingslake and Infor work [...]

IT Risk Management – Does it enhance the IT Security Programme ?

IT Risk Management – Does it enhance the IT Security Programme ?

Every organisation has a mission. In this digital era, as organisations use automated Information Technology (IT) systems and cyber space to process their information for better support of their missions, risk management plays a critical role in protecting an organisation’s information assets, and therefore its mission, from IT-related risk. An effective risk management process is [...]

Etihad Airways increases Colombo flights to double daily

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is increasing its Abu Dhabi-Colombo service from seven flights per week to a double daily schedule from today. Operated with an A320 aircraft fitted with 16 Pearl Business Class seats and 120 Coral Economy Class seats, the new service will add over 1,900 seats [...]

Digitalisation of cinema to resurrect Sri Lankan film industry

Sri Lankan filmgoers will soon be watching digitally transmitted movies in cinema halls countrywide with the implementation of national policy on digitalization of cinemas, a senior government official said. The government will initiate the process of converting local cinema halls to digital cinemas providing assistance to introduce this new technology, Secretary to the Ministry of [...]

RAM Ratings Lanka reaffirms Union Bank of Colombo PLC’s ratings at BBB/P3

RAM Ratings Lanka has reaffirmed the respective long- and short-term financial institution ratings of Union Bank of Colombo PLC (Union Bank or the Bank) at BBB and P3. The long-term rating carries a stable outlook. “Meanwhile, the ratings are supported by the group’s average capitalisation but tempered by its small stature, below average asset quality [...]

Lanka Bell celebrates national Independence with launch of 4G connectivity

Lanka Bell celebrates national Independence with launch of 4G connectivity

Lanka Bell this week announced the formal launch of its much-awaited 4G connectivity in Sri Lanka. Lanka Bell’s Managing Director Prasad Samarasinghe said that this was in line with a promise made last year to the company’s more than a million subscriber. Following a very successful test run since the end of last year, Lanka [...]

Marginal upswing in traffic at BIA

Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), the country’s main airport, handled 7.3 million passengers in 2013, a marginal increase from the previous year’s seven million, according to statistics by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA, releasing figures for last year, said the total passenger movements increased to 7, 311, 869 last year compared to 7, 079,920 [...]

Until the cows come home

Until the cows come home

The subject matter for this write covers a wide spectrum of issues from the systemic flaws in the flow of liquid milk to the modern corporate ethos driven by perpetual profit growth objectives. This is written from an apolitical standpoint to provide a citical analysis of the shift in corporate culture, and the plight of [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.