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UN resolution will be passed; no chaos however

UN resolution will be passed; no chaos however

It is inevitable. A majority of Sri Lankans believe a US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at this month’s UN Human Rights sessions in Geneva on alleged human rights violations will be approved but reckon it won’t create any chaos or serious impact on the country. These are the results of three polls conducted separately this [...]

CIFL depositors dying as medical bills pile up

A cancer patient, a member of the CIFL Depositors Association taking treatment for the last three months is at death’s door as she is unable to meet her medical expense of Rs 9,000 per month. She used to live on the interest she received from CIFL.This and many other issues were discussed by the association [...]

Bajaj quadricycle could ease out 3-wheelers in Colombo

Sri Lanka has been carrying out test runs for Bajaj’s all new vehicle called ‘quadricycle” designed to be a four wheeled mini taxi that is set to replace the humble 3-wheeler by ensuring more comfort and safety, industry sources said.Bajaj is reported to have sent its first prototypes to countries where the three-wheeler is popular [...]

Krrish project on amidst payment delays

Despite a delay of 17 months, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) is confident that the Krrish Group will complete its due payments to lease the Transwork Square property for its long, overdue mega development project. UDA Chairman, Nimal Perera told the Business Times that Krrish must make a payment of Rs.589. 7 million to close [...]

Tax cuts to boost transport and logistics sector

In the wake of reducing revenue amidst a decline in vehicle imports, the Sri Lankan Government is to bring down import duty on small lorries and trucks to facilitate goods transportation, official sources revealed. The Treasury is considering a cut in import duties on these categories which had risen sharply to around 49 per cent [...]

Touchwood investors raise concerns

Questions are being raised on whether authorities should suspend trading in stocks of the troubled forestry firm Touchwood when the company is not fully functional, industry sources said. One depositor told the Business Times that no one picked up the phones at the company office. “I found out that their office has been relocated to [...]

Harry J’s nominee to head DFCC Bank

Royle Jansz, director and a confidante of powerful businessman Harry Jayawardena, has been appointed as chairman-elect of DFCC Bank in view of the impending retirement of current chairman Rajan Brito this month, the bank said in an announcement to the Coombo Stock Exchange. Mr. Jayawardena, one of Sri Lanka’s wealthiest businessman, controls DFCC Bank through [...]

Real estate market overview: High-end office space shortage

Real estate market overview: High-end office space shortage

We believe there is currently a notable shortage of high-end office space in the Colombo central areas. The lack of availability of Grade A space is prompting organisations to refurbish lower grade developments in order to meet the requirement of being centrally located.What we also note is that the developments owned by large corporations have [...]

Desperate migrant workers

After several decades, Sri Lanka is setting up a new authority to regulate and control employment migration which is the country’s biggest foreign revenue earner. For many years, migration for foreign employment has been guided by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) through an Act of Parliament in 1985 and amendments thereafter. At [...]

Fertiliser shortage and its long term impact on tea

Newspaper reports recently said that Sri Lankan plantations have been hit by an acute shortage of fertiliser and that this would have a detrimental effect on the industry such as loss of crop, reduction of green leaf quality and inability to offer a suficient number of day’s work to the workers due to lack of [...]

Modha farmed in sea cages off Trinco

Modha farmed in sea cages off Trinco

TRINCOMALEE – A US$4 million aquaculture venture commenced by Oceanpick last week, releasing its first batch of “modha” into sea cages on the Indian ocean off Trincomalee. The project looks at rearing the Barramundi juveniles or Asian Sea Bass fish also known as “modha” fish locally at the company’s onshore nursery in Trincomalee to produce [...]

Cost of living more worrying than Geneva issues, BT poll

Cost of living more worrying than Geneva issues, BT poll

Sri Lankans are more concerned about cost of living and making ends meet than any international issues, was one comment received when the Business Times (BT) sought the views of people on the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at this month UN Human ights Council meeting in Geneva Below is cross section of the comments [...]

Automation and modern technology way forward to revive SL agriculture

Automation and using modern technology is the way forward towards reviving Sri Lanka’s agriculture out of a crisis facing the sector, according to Aruna Weerakoon, Chairman, National Agribusiness Council. Revealing the above view, he spoke to the Business Times on the sidelines of the media briefing held in Colombo this week to announce the holding [...]

Sri Lanka’s construction sector beset with corruption

Sri Lanka’s construction sector beset  with corruption

Sri Lanka’s construction desperately needs a regulatory mechanism to manage and monitor this sector which now relies on best practices by all stakeholders but is threatened by widespread corruption, a top industry official said. In an interview with the Business Times, at his residence in Kiribathgoda, Jayasiri Samaratunge, a veteran in the industry a person [...]

Expolanka Freight to start hub operations under agreement with BOI

Expolanka Freight (EFL), a Board of Investment (BOI) enterprise, has become the first investment company to start operation in all hub activities in Sri Lanka following the signing of an agreement on Monday with the BOI, under the new commercial hub reguations. EFL has established Expo Global Distribution Centre (EGDC) focusing exclusively to handle international [...]

Trojan and Sality ‘predominant’ threats to SL cyberspace : ESET

A January 2014 Threat Radar Report by international antivirus (AV) firm ESET has signalled that this country is being affected by “two predominant viruses [continuing] to infest Sri Lanka’s cyberspace”. Highlighted in a statement issued by ESET’s sole agent in Sri Lanka, DCS International, it also additionally emerged that “[one] is the proverbial Trojan aptly [...]

SLT posts Rs. 60.1 bln revenue

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) posted a group revenue of Rs. 60.1 billion with 5.9 per cent growth for the financial year 2013 when compared to the previous year, a company media release said. SLT group comprises the holding Company Sri Lanka Telecom (PLC) and six other subsidiaries including the group mobile arm Mobitel (Pvt.) Ltd. [...]

First Capital Holdings PLC to issue Rs. 500 million debentures

First Capital Holdings PLC (FCH) is to raise Rs. 500 million by issuing five million, rated, senior, unsecured, redeemable debentures at an issue price of Rs. 100 each, a company media release said. The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has approved the application for listing the debt securities of First Capital Holdings PLC on the CSE, [...]

Nestlé Lanka delivers good performance in 2013 amidst a challenging environment

Revenues at Nestlé Lanka PLC grew by 8.2 per cent in 2013 to Rs. 30.9 billion during a ‘challenging’ year in which the company purchased its highest ever milk collection (on an annual basis). Revenue for the last quarter 2013 rose again by 8.2 per cent to Rs. 7.8 billion. Year-end profits rose to Rs. [...]

Sri Lankan NBFI sector consolidation forced and too quick, report says

Although the economic rationale for Sri Lankan domestic consolidation in the Non Bank Financial Institution (NBFI) is beyond question, many believe that the process appears forced and the time lines too severe for a meaningful amalgamation, according to a research report. “However, in the process there would be opportunities for the equity investor, mostly in [...]

Colombo Dockyard veteran Mangala Yapa retires

Mangala P.B. Yapa, Managing Director/CEO and a 30-year veteran at Colombo Dockyard PLC’s (CDL), is retiring in April, the company announced this week. He will be replaced as MD by Ranil Wijegunawardena, the current General Manager (Finance). CDL Chairman Akihiko Nakanchi said in the statement that Mr. Yapa’s dedicated leadership and tireless enthusiasm has been [...]

NTB profit up 9% last year

Nations Trust Bank Group recorded a profit after tax of Rs. 2,127 million for 2013 compared with Rs. 1,951 million in the previous year, a moderate earnings growth of 9 per cent. “The performance was evenly balanced across the business pillars with results demonstrating good underlying momentum despite industry challenges faced in a subdued macro-economic [...]

HNB’s post tax profit eases by 7% to Rs. 7 billion in 2013

Hatton National Bank (HNB) profit before VAT and tax grew by 5 per cent to Rs. 11.7 billion while net profit after tax eased by 7 per cent to Rs. 7 billion in 2013. In a media statement, the bank said 2013 was one of the most challenging years faced by the financial services industry [...]

CSE-SEC forum for IT-BPO and Knowledge Services industry

CSE-SEC forum for IT-BPO and Knowledge Services industry

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in association with the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) is hosting a forum next week to educate the IT-BPO and Knowledge Services industy on the importance of going public. “The Forum is another step to attract companies that are [...]

Seylan says post-tax profits up at Rs. 2.3 billion

Seylan Bank’s post-tax profit was Rs. 2,315 million in 2013, up by 12 per cent from the previous year Profit after Tax for Q4 2013 (final quarter) was reported at Rs. 780 million as compared with Rs. 466 million for the same period last year, the bank said. Despite slow credit growth and industry wide [...]

Commercial Bank discussing with finance companies to merge

The Commercial Bank is awaiting approval by the Myanmar Cabinet to open a representative office there, officials said. “We will have to run this office for two years before we can start a fully fledged branch in Myanmar,” one official said. Meanwhile the bank is looking at acquiring finance companies on the back of the [...]

Kelsey Homes plans Mount Lavinia housing scheme

Kelsey Homes Ltd, the leading property developer in Sri Lanka, is planning a mega housing project in Mount Lavinia, according to information furnished to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Kelsey Developments said its fully owned subsidiary Kelsey Homes has purchased a property for Rs 571.2 million at Mount Lavinia on February 24 ‘to be [...]

Public views sought on power tariffs and service

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), regulator of the electricity industry, is seeking public opinion to ensure fairness in the electricity tariff and power supply service through a comprehensive survey and investigation. The commission has made a request for proposals in a newspaper advertisement to engage the services of a reputed firm (the [...]

EZY celebrates 10 years, introduces unified corporate identity

Sri Lankan IT company EZY recently celebrated its 10th anniversary by introducing to local media personnel its unified corporate identity which brings together its four subsidiaries, technology-based eSys Technologies, EZY Infotech and Tektronic Corporaton, and motor sports venture EZY Racing. According to the group’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Shafraz Hamzadeen, this unified corporate identity established [...]

“Global trade unions strongly backing strikers at Ansell Lanka, says top union official”

Ansell Lanka has sent the following statement in response to last week’s Business Times story under the above headline: “In October, a situation developed at our manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka where approximately 25% of our employees initiated a strike protesting the justified disciplinary action taken against an individual who also happened to be the [...]

Lack of space to accommodate 2.5 mln tourists by 2016, says Hayleys Chairman

For Sri Lanka to achieve the target of 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016, more hotels and infrastructure facilities need to be developed in the country. Hotels and resorts would require Alumex products due to its market demand worldwide, says Mohan Pandithage, Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive. He made this comment to the Business Times [...]

Vijitha Yapa elected Chairman of Afro Asian Book Council

Vijitha Yapa elected Chairman of Afro Asian Book Council

Vijitha Yapa was elected Chairman of the Afro Asian Book Council last week at the AGM of the organization held in New Delhi during the World Book Fair 2014. The former newspaper editor turned book publisher is the first Sri Lankan to hold this post. Mr. Yapa is currently the President of the Sri Lanka [...]

Schneider Electric holds ‘Xperience Efficiency’ event in SL

Colombo, Sri Lanka, recently played host to 400 key customers of Schneider Electric, a part of the company’s “Xperience Efficiency” event series. According to a statement; “Xperience Efficiency is a set of events by Schneider Electric that take on the energy demand drivers that are forcing change: economic and government re-balancing, urbanisation, digitisation and sustainable [...]

Colombo port staff to become professionals

The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) are looking at working together to promote professionals for the sector and ethics needed to be adopted.During a meeting with the SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama and ICS International Chairman Capt. Richard Brook-Hart discussed the idea for the Colombo port to [...]

WSO2 hosts Colombo conference next month

A Sri Lankan IT firm, whose software is used in some of the latest advancements in Boeing’s airline systems and in the next line up of Mercedes vehicles, will be hosting its annual conference in Colombo from March 24 – 26 at the Water’s Edge, Battaramulla. Considered a leading middleware company, WSO2 would be conducting [...]

Richard Pieris’ profits decline due to plantation sector issues

The Richard Pieris Group’s first nine month reported profits were adversely affected mainly due to the plantation sector which saw an increase in wages, reduction of rubber prices and adverse weather conditions in the upcountry, a company media release said. Richard Pieris recorded group revenue of Rs. 25.9 billion and group operating profit of Rs. [...]

HSBC and Sampath Bank conclude deal for Sri Lanka Telecom

HSBC and Sampath Bank PLC announced the successful completion of a US$100 million five year term loan facility for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC to upgrade its telecom infrastructure. HSBC acted as Lead Arranger and together with Sampath Bank participated in raising this loan. In a media statement, Patrick J Gallagher, CEO HSBC Sri Lanka and [...] – discount store for all your grocery needs

Recently launched, is the only online e-retailer in Sri Lanka catering to all your household grocery needs as well as for the first time in Sri Lanka, offering sizeable discounts on every item including such essentials as milk powder. “ is all about the discount. We understand just how important savings on grocery items [...]

Sri Lanka’s best crafts-persons recognised at awards ceremony

Sri Lanka’s best crafts-persons recognised at awards ceremony

Sri Lanka’s best crafts-persons in 19 craft clusters and 54 craft sub clusters have been recognized, motivated, encouraged and honoured through the Shilpa national awards programme through the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development. They were recognized at the 2014 National Awards Programme for Craftsmen held on Tuesday at the BMICH with President [...]

British Council to kick-off ‘FUTURES’ social issues forum on Mar 21

The local office of not-for-profit British Council recently held a media briefing to introduce its “FUTURES” social innovation forum, a two-day invitation only event beginning on March 21 which promises to involve multiple stakeholders from the private, public, academic, etc. sectors to tackle problems pertaining to water, health and education in Sri Lanka. Having partnered [...]

Highray Foundry Industries brings local cast iron manufacturing to the fore

Highray Foundry Industries brings local cast iron manufacturing to the fore

Highray Foundry Industries has been providing ferrous and non-ferrous castings and manufacturing services to Sri Lanka’s automotive, locomotive, marine and general engineering, the company said this week. Backed by over 30 years of experience in this field, the Highray Foundry is strategically located near the Southern Highway exit in Kahathuduwa, Polgasowita. The manufacturing facilities in [...]

Sri Lanka’s B&B platform first in South Asia to join the Global body

Sri Lanka’s Business and Biodiversity (B&B) Platform has become the first from South Asia to gain membership of the Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity (GPBB) established under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and the European Union are the other initiatives that have joined the partnership. Australia, India, [...]

Remembering a humane and religious businessman

The first time I met Mr. Muni Kundanmal, who passed away recently, was in May 1993 when I joined the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka when he was the President of the Chamber. The Chamber was then located in the second floor of the YMBA buildin, Colombo Fort. I recall that towards the [...]

Sri Lankans consume less vegetables due to high costs

More and more Sri Lankans, are eating less vegetables due to its high cost which could trigger many health problems, according to recent research by a veteran agriculture entrepreneur. In some cases the price difference between the farmers selling price and that in Colombo markets is as high as 500-600 per cent. This consumption pattern [...]

Government mulls changes in THC regulations

The government is considering some changes in regulations promulgated to abolish the (port) terminal handling charges (THCs) and other surcharges levied by the container lines from January this year, official sources said. This was a result of two rounds of talks between Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and representatives of stakeholders of shipping industry. Although [...]

35 member trade delegation from Zhongshan, China visiting Sri Lanka

A 35-member trade delegation from Zhongshan, China is visiting Sri Lanka next week courtesy the Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association. This trip has been arranged by the association with the assistance of the Municipal People’s Government of Zhongshan, China, in partnership with the Zhongshan Bureau of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Zhongshan Foreign and Overseas Chinese [...]

Iraq to buy Ceylon Tea direct from Colombo

Iraq to buy Ceylon Tea direct from Colombo

Iraq, the top Middle Eastern buyer of Ceylon Tea, said this week it was prepared to buy directly from Sri Lanka for the first time. The good news came during two days of trade talks in Baghdad between visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen and Iraqi Minister of [...]

Lankan power producers to venture into Africa

The government is mooting mutual cooperation in the power and energy sector between Sri Lanka and some African countries, in a bid to capitalise on the renewable energy projects in those nations, officials said. “We had a meeting recently to prepare a working model to streamline processes for private sector firms involved in renewable energy [...]

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