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Brawl in the lottery industry

Brawl in the lottery industry

Lottery ticket sellers are up in arms over the latest Mahapola online lottery accusing the authorities of transferring earnings from the new lottery abroad. Seen here is a poster at a lottery ticket seller’s street-side stall in Colombo which promoted their recent April 7th protest campaign. The poster said the campaign was “against the online [...]

Government firm: No casinos in Packer, Dhammika, JKH projects

Urgent consultations were held this week by casino magnate, Australian Billionaire James Packer’s crown group in Australia over the fate of its casino in Sri Lanka after the government firmly said no casinos would be allowed in three new strategic development projects. The Business Times reliably learns that Mr. Packer is considering his next step [...]

‘Zero’ dividend for Mahapola Fund in 2011, against Rs.60.5 mln in 2010, AG reveals

The Auditor General (AG), in another alarming revelation, has said that no dividend income was received for the Mahapola Fund (MF) from its fund management unit in 2011 compared to Rs. 60.5 million received in the previous year. This comes at a time when the Government has pledged to double the ‘scholarship (payment per student)’ [...]

Touchwood’s small investors furious about new management stance

Touchwood investors this week vehemently criticised the latest outburst of the organisation’s new chief Lanka Kiwlegedara for downplaying those who had made small investments in the company. Investors pointed out that this was “insulting” as they were made to feel that their investments though small were not worth it, an investor from Colombo told the [...]

Krrish: 5th deadline for final lease payment

The yet-to-start, Krrish mega development project in Colombo has secured yet another extension – its 5th in 20 months – until May 26 to pay the final payment of Rs.589. 7 million to close the land lease deal. Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told the Business Times that there was no reason by Krrish [...]

Online movie ticket sales firm eyes Asia

A Sri Lankan firm which is making waves with its hugely successful Online movie and ticket sales, is now setting its sights on Asia with units already set up in Cambodia and Vietnam, its CEO said. Ridgecrest Financials, commonly known locally for, is planning to extend this online movie and event ticket sales platform [...]

Financial sector reforms: Some cracks appearing in banking industry

Financial sector reforms: Some cracks appearing in banking industry

While most commercial bank chiefs are seen publicly supporting the financial consolidation reforms (privately they may say otherwise), one banker stood tall this week expressing a different, divergent and somewhat courageous view to the extent of saying “don’t do it (in the case of banks).” This came at the MTI Consulting-organised “MTI Banking Forum – [...]

Labour challenges in a new milieu

The other day when a 5-star hotel steward was serving alcoholic beverages on a tray, he was asked for ‘Bacardi and Coke’. He ran to the bartender to ask ‘what it was’. Then when a guest requested a whisky-soda mix, he mistook the ‘water’ for the soda leaving the guest bemused. The waiter was one [...]

CB says ‘satisfactory progress’ in consolidation process

The Central Bank says the Financial Sector Consolidation process is working perfectly and according to plan. “Satisfactory progress was made in the consolidation process during the month of April 2014. All banks and finance and leasing companies (NBFIs) submitted their broad plans on consolidation and greater participation in economic activities,” the Bank said in its [...]

SriLankan Airlines joins ‘oneworld’ alliance in mega launch at Mattala

SriLankan Airlines joins ‘oneworld’ alliance in mega launch at Mattala

SriLankan Airlines this week joined the ‘oneworld’ alliance in a mega launch at the Mattala International airport on Wednesday. The event has been enhanced by the airline offering special double miles offer for frequent flyers from May 1. The 300,000 members of SriLankan’s FlySmiLes loyalty programme will receive twice their usual FlySmiLes miles when flying [...]

Sri Lankan leisure sector at Male trade fair

Food and Hospitality Asia – Maldives 2014 (FHAM) exhibition and the international culinary challenge organised by Dhivehi Expo of Maldives with the collaboration of CDC Events and Travels (Pvt.) Ltd. will be held in the Maldives on August 24-27, a media relese stated. This 3-day event, which will be held at Dharubaaruge Exhibition Centre in [...]

10,000 designs by Wall Art

Wall Art, a company that introduced EU- and US-based residential wallpaper locally, has seen this concept adopted by “many” architects, interior designers, corporates and households, so much so that it has, in just two years, increased its range of offerngs from an initial 500 designs to its present 10,000, according to the company’s Managing Director [...]

10,000 designs by Wall Art

Wall Art, a company that introduced EU- and US-based residential wallpaper locally, has seen this concept adopted by “many” architects, interior designers, corporates and households, so much so that it has, in just two years, increased its range of offerngs from an initial 500 designs to its present 10,000, according to the company’s Managing Director [...]

‘Shower Clean Suit’ suit from Hameedia

‘Shower Clean Suit’ suit from Hameedia

Hameedia, Sri Lanka’s leading menswear specialist, has introduced its latest design innovation, the Shower Clean Suit. This state-of-the-art suit is part of the Envoy Classic collection and is a cutting-edge creation that applies special water repellent technology to keep the suit completely dry, clean and easier to remove difficult stains. The Shower Clean Suit is [...]

AAC launches road safety programme for motorcyclists

The issue of wearing helmets by motorcyclists is apparently becoming an issue, specially the full face helmets as there are a spate of robberies committed by the thieves wearing helmets, while the law requires the rider as well as the pillion rider to wear helmets. Police recently said they were enforcing rules that the visor [...]

Heartbreaking plight of Golden Key depositors

Heartbreaking plight of Golden Key depositors

Year after a year, month after month, week after week there are articles, news reports and letters to the editors clearly narrating the history of this grand swindle, not of a company not by the Government of banks, but of the life savings of thousands of middle class income earners ranging from middle level private [...]

“Falling interest rates, dilemma of senior citizens”

I was impressed by the article titled as above by ‘very Senior Citizen, Kohuwela’ appearing under ‘Letters’ in your Business Times of Sunday April 13 thank you very much for publishing same. In fact this has been a ‘burning issue’ for the majority of senior citizens and I would like to add some significant concerns [...]

Senior citizens request a 2% increase on Fixed Deposits

The Central Bank’s imposition of a ceiling on interest rates of finance companies is very good, but has overlooked its effect on the fixed deposits of senior citizens. In accordance with this imposition, the finance companies and NSB have reduced the interest rates on deposits from a double figure to a single figure, so much [...]

Aegis sets its sights on financial services sector growth in SL

The local unit of a foreign Back Process Outsourcing (BPO) company, which opened a new, 600-seat business services delivery centre in Colombo last week, has plans to hire 650 employees over the next 12 months, adding to its existing 350 personnel in Sri Lanka. This company, Aegis, also signalled that this initial 1,000-member unit would [...]

Ryan, Deputy CEO at Candor

Ryan, Deputy  CEO at Candor

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)-based Eagle Propriety Investments Ltd (EPIL) recently appointed banker Ryan Perera as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Candor in line with its latest strategic plan for Sri Lanka. “Mr. Perera moves into the capital markets space after serving for over 15 years in the banking industry at Hatton National Bank, [...]

Piramal Glass says sales fell in FY 2013/14

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) has reported Rs.835 million in profits for the financial year 2013-14 but the company had dipped by 5 per cent in terms of growth as sales had experienced a slide in the last year compared to 2012, a media release issued by the company stated. It was stated that the [...]

New Chairman at CSE in June

Vajira Kulatilaka will take office as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), with effect from June 5. Mr. Kulatilaka has served on the CSE Board of Directors since October 2009, a media release stated. He succeeds Krishan Balendra, who will step down as the Chairman of the CSE [...]

Sri Lankan disabled students far more motivated than Australian counterparts

With the advancement in technology and resources, it is the non-disabled society that gets the privilege of experiencing them. However, there is also a society that is eagerly waiting (or have already done) to experience the latest technological trends by a mere touch – the visually impaired. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) recently rewarded [...]

Venture Engine ’14 launched, entries close May 26

Venture Engine  ’14  launched, entries close May 26

The third edition of startup competition Venture Engine will be accepting business plans until May 26. This ‘Angel’ investor-led initiative, which has provided funding for 12 companies to date, to the tune of Rs. 200 million, is also holding the finale for its 2014 competition on July 3, according to organisers. Speaking at a media [...]

International SOS sees rise in info for malaria

International SOS, one of the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services companies, has seen a 27 per cent rise in the number of calls for information and advice on malaria since 2010. Last year, the group dealt with approximately 870 malaria cases worldwide. This includes evacuations, hospitalisations, out-patient visits and requests for information, [...]

Industry imperiled, planters disillusioned

Industry imperiled, planters disillusioned

Not too long ago, planting was considered a very attractive profession in which the cream of the land used to fight tooth and nail to find employment in. Work was tough and naturally conditions much more primitive than what we find today. Violence on estates continues to creep on us with more vigour. Today it [...]

EPF investments in stock market should be reflected as a loss or profit in its annual accounts, bankers say

Sri Lankan financial experts and bankers say that the Central Bank’s assertion of the ‘loss’ of Rs. 11.7 billion in EPF investments made in 58 companies in the stock market highlighted in the 2011 Auditor General’s report as ‘mark-to-market’ unrealised losses but not realised losses cannot be accepted as it should be termed as a [...]

TPG to take Rs. 15 bln-worth stake in Union Bank

Texas Pacific Group Asia VI (TPG), a US-based leading global private investment firm, is to conclude a deal with Union Bank to secure a 15 per cent stake worth Rs. 15 billion early next week, stock market sources said. They said the Central Bank (CB) has given approval to purchase a stake above the maximum [...]

SL’s premier chamber helping young entrepreneurs

SL’s premier chamber helping young entrepreneurs

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) last week organised a half day familiarisation programme for a group of undergraduates of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura, who are reading for B. Sc. Entrepreneurship special degree at the Department of Entrepreeurship of the University. “A degree programme in entrepreneurship aimed at developing undergraduates as aspiring entrepreneurs is [...]

Several strategic investors to infuse fresh capital to banks and NBFIs

Several local and foreign strategic investors have stepped in to infuse fresh capital to banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) to strengthen Sri Lanka’s financial sector in addition to the ongoing consolidation process, a senior official of the Central Bank (CB) said. CB Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardana told the Business Times that strategic investors are [...]

SL Banker’s Technical Advisory Committee (BTAC) for 2014

SL Banker’s Technical Advisory Committee (BTAC) for 2014

Sriyan Cooray, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Sri Lanka and the Maldives, was appointed Chairman of the Banker’s Technical Advisory Committee (BTAC). He succeeds Nanda Fernando, (Chief Operating Officer – Sampath Bank) who served as Chairman in the last tree years. Amal de Silva, Head of Information Technology, Standard Chartered Bank was re-appointed as the Secretary. [...]

CA Sri Lanka brings down globally renowned Duke Corporate Education to conduct unique programme on strategic thinking

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), in its capacity as one of the country’s foremost professional organisations which focuses at enhancing the standards of professionals across the country, will conduct a two day programme on strategic thinking with the internationally renowned Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) next month. The unique [...]

6-member committee to ‘interpret tax laws’

Sri Lanka’s Inland Revenue Department has appointed a 6-member committee to interpret the provisions of tax laws and regulations to clear any impediments in the implementation of such enactments, a senior IRD official said. The move comes a week after the Business Tines reported that the Government was aiming to reactivate tax circulars with repercussions [...]

Sri Lanka has a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers, BT-RCB poll reveals

Sri Lanka has a shortage of skilled and unskilled workers, BT-RCB poll reveals

A new opinion poll has revealed that the Government needs to pay serious attention to a shortage in a sizable segment of the unskilled workforce and in skilled jobs in some industries. One respondent warned that importing labour could lead to a change in demographic patterns and lead to the ethnic problems that arose with [...]

Ceylinco Life to promote new Flexi Plans at 7th Retirement Planning Month

Life insurance leader Ceylinco Life said this week it would step up efforts to promote retirement planning on a country-wide scale in May, with the help of three new flexible retirement plans launched in April 2014. May has been the company’s designated Retirement Planning Month since 2008, and every year, nearly 5,000 sales personnel from [...]

SOMS, an eye-care-support NGO touches the lives of over 0.5 mln Sri Lankans

‘So Others May See Inc’ (SOMS), a social venture that provides low income individuals with greater access to corrective eye care, has touched the lives of nearly half a million low-income Sri Lankans over three years. Since the inception of the project in mid-2011, a cumulative total of more than 21,200 people have been provided [...]

Incidence of child abuse rising, highest in North Central Province

Incidence of child abuse rising, highest in North Central Province

The incidence of child abuse is rising in Sri Lanka, with the North Central Province showing the highest number of such cases in 2013. To address this issue, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) recently organised a full day awareness programme on Child Protection in the Anuradhapura District, which featured [...]

Amaron batteries to boost growth in Sri Lanka

Amaron Batteries has a significant growth potential as the Sri Lankan vehicle market continues to expand, says Rajesh Jindal, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Amara Raja Batteries Ltd India at a media briefing held at the Galadari in Colombo last week. Speaking at the event, Mr. Jindal said, “Amara Raja Batteries Ltd (ARBL) [...]

Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board partners to boost visitors

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have embarked on a strategic partnership investing Singapore Dollar 4 million aiming to attract more visitors from key source markets to Singapore, a joint media release stated. The partnership, which runs until June 30, 2015, entails a global marketing collaboration between SIA and STB that targets, [...]

Seylan Bank PAT up at Rs. 514 M in Q1

Seylan Bank made gains in the first quarter of this year with a 9 per cent increase in profits before income tax at Rs.789 million, a media release issued by the bank stated. Profits after tax reached Rs. 514 million compared to the Rs. 505 million reported in the corresponding period in 2013. Despite slower [...]

Talk on ‘Key Economic Themes in Asia and their implications for Sri Lanka’ at MILODA

Mark Edward Tucker, Executive Director, the Group Chief Executive and President of the AIA Group, will be sharing his thoughts on ‘Key Economic Themes in Asia and their implications for Sri Lanka’ at Miloda – Academy of Financial Studies, the training Institute of the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Mr. Tucker’s lecture at Miloda Academy [...]

First Capital Wealth Fund declares dividend of Rs. 100 per unit

The First Capital Wealth Fund (FCWF) the First Capital Group’s fixed income unit trust, has declared a dividend of Rs 100 per unit for 2013-14, the fourth dividend since the Fund’s launch in October 2010, a media release issued by the company stated.The dividend partly represents a 15.49 per cent return per annum net of [...]

RAM Ratings (Lanka) Ltd now known as “Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) Ltd”

RAM Ratings (Lanka) Ltd said this week it was changing its name and henceforth be known as Lanka Rating Agency (LRA). It would essentially be a domestic credit rating agency with global expertise similar to many other domestic rating agencies in Asia and Europe, the agency said in a statement. “LRA wishes to announce to [...]

BBDO wins APAC Effie ‘Agency Network of the Year’

Advertising agency network BBDO recently won “Agency Network of the Year” at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Effie Awards, hosted in Singapore. The network was also recognised with awards for seven of its offices, including Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand being named “Agency of the Year”. According to Santosh Menon, Managing Director of BBDO Lanka, “BBDO is the [...]

National Lanka Finance moves to Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1

Central Bank-regulated finance company Nation Lanka Finance has revamped its back office financial management system, now having moved to Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1. According to the 25-year-old registered finance company’s Chief Financial Officer Prasanna Habaragamuwa, “One of the key features of Oracle E-Business-Suite 12.1 is that it delivers critical information across many departments, thereby enabling [...]

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