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Ringtones becomes lucrative business for middlemen at the expense of song producers

Ringtones becomes lucrative business for  middlemen at the expense of song producers

The new category of ringtone agency companies are earning millions of rupees by selling popular songs to mobile companies to convert it as ringtones in mobile phones at the expense of songwriters, Sri Lanka song producers alleged. Ringtones are high-quality music and audio tracks that a mobile phone user can play when someone calls the [...]

Positive action called for on Sri Lanka’s national question

India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly indicated that the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution should be “optimally” implemented, according to Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs and chairman of the now-defunct All Party Representative Committee (APRC). Speaking at Thursday’s Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) discussion on the “Indian polls [...]

No word from Krrish on final payment, says Minister

India’s Krrish Group, despite government’s repeated extensions and reprieves, is still silent on the completion of its due payments to lease the 4.3 acre Transwork Square property in Colombo Fort, 21 months after signing an MOU with the Urban Development Authority (UDA). Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told reporters in Colombo on Thursday that [...]

PB: Too valuable to be dropped

The corridors of the hallowed Ministry of Finance and Planning, the most powerful ministry in Sri Lanka, was buzzing with speculation this week as to whether Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera would step down and take up a foreign assignment – either in the diplomatic service or with an international lending agency. The under-pressure [...]

Vehicle assembly plants for Maruti Suzuki India and Land Rover Defenders stalled

Sri Lanka has restricted the setting up of vehicle assembly plants by local companies in joint ventures with foreign automobile manufacturers shattering the plans of Maruti Suzuki India and the local agent of Land Rover Defenders. The government will not give permits to open vehicle assembly plants in the country as the local inputs for [...]

Touchwood office opens while Mahogany plantation trees chopped

Touchwood investors and depositors have lodged complaints with the police relating to moves by the company’s present management to felling trees, which the latter insists was carried out as part of its maintenance strategy. Investors told the Business Times that on Tuesday morning a group of persons arrived in a cab at Touchwood’s Matale Selani [...]

Sri Lanka under the Modi radar

Any new change of regime in India, and to a lesser extent Pakistan, will always have a huge impact on Sri Lanka’s political and economic future – far greater than any, similar changes in other parts of the world. Thus the entry of Narendra Modi as India’s new Prime Minister with a ‘sweeping’ majority by [...]

Touchwood opens new office tomorrow amidst controversy of cutting trees in some properties

While the new management at Touchwood Investments PLC announced plans to open its new office at Battaramulla tomorrow, the Business Times received pictures from duped investors who alleged that the management was involved in the chopping down of mahoganytrees in two of its estates in Matale and Eheliyagoda, recently.

Central Bank further relaxes foreign exchange controls

The Central Bank on Wednesday further relaxed foreign exchange controls with immediate effect aimed at “enhancing the external competitiveness of Sri Lanka in the global market”. The relaxed rules are: – Permission to foreign investors to invest in debentures of companies incorporated in Sri Lanka: Foreign investors will be allowed to invest in non-listed debentures, [...]

Ringtones focus of copyright laws

The popular ringtones that you hear – sometimes warming, sometimes irritating when in the middle of a conference – will be the latest music to come under copyright laws. Director General of the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) G.R. Ranawaka said owners of copyright and related rights in the sector of ringtones would be fully [...]

Sri Lanka’s largest aquaculture project in Chilaw

Sri Lanka’s largest aquaculture project in Chilaw

Prawn farms were thriving in the vast marshes along the Puttalam lagoon when they first started in the mid-1980s and reached a climax in 1994 with owners making huge profits. However, with the 1994 elections some of these farms were attacked and supporters of the new government set up prawn farms along the buffer zones [...]

Only 5% of SL’s rainforest left

Only 5% of SL’s rainforest left

Much of Sri Lanka’s forest was ‘cleared’ 150 years ago, making way for plantations that first grew coffee followed by tea. This left behind only five per cent, or 800 square kilometres, of rainforest remaining today. This observation was made at a recent public event marking the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity, organised [...]

Demand for tea as a healthy beverage grows, CCC says

The demand for tea, considered the world’s most consumed beverage, is growing with consumers shifting from carbonated drinks to healthy beverages, providing an opportunity to global tea sector players such as Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said. An analysis done by the chamber’s Business and Information Division on international tea trends for [...]

Discounts for handing over used mobile phones at Mobitel

Mobile phone service provider Mobitel is planning to offer discounts to customers buying brand new mobile phones by handing over used phones which the users wish to discard. This initiative is in keeping with the Electronic Waste (e-waste) Management Week. Mobitel Senior General Manager Marketing, Nalin Perera told the Business Times on the sidelines of [...]

Thef:;llstop launches new Maped range with ‘unbelievable puncher’

Thef:;llstop launches new Maped range with ‘unbelievable puncher’

Stationery users who think there isn’t much to the office puncher or stapler are in for a surprise courtesy Maped, which launched its new ‘Maped Office’ range in Sri Lanka recently with Thef:;llstop, the authorised distributor for the renowned French brand. “Sri Lanka became one of the first countries in South Asia to receive items [...]

Berendina with Rs.2 bln budget is largest, funded NGO in Sri Lanka

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Berendina has become the largest locally-funded NGO in Sri Lanka, with a budget exceeding Rs. 2 billion, according to its Chairman Dulan De Silva. The organisation currently works in Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Galle, Matara, Batticaloa and Puttalam districts. Most recently, Berendina extended its services to Puttalam with the opening of [...]

Management of Provident Funds

You have been the longest standing Treasury Secretary in our country. You have managed the country’s finances during very difficult times and done an excellent job. I would say you are the most qualified economist in the country. No one in the Treasury or the Central Bank can match your intellect and experience. As you [...]

CB and ‘qualified’ 2011 EPF accounts

The audited accounts of the EPF for the year 2011 were presented to Parliament on 21st May 2014. Firstly, it is deplorable that a fund with nearly Rs. 1.3 trillion belonging to nearly 2.3 million employees mostly in the private sector took three years to submit accounts to Parliament as required by law. This colossal [...]

Tourism arrivals, earnings on the rise, CB says

Earnings from tourism are growing as arrivals surge with Sri Lanka aiming to reach 2.5 million tourists by 2016. According to the Central Bank (CB)’s first quarter 2014 data, arrivals grew by 39.5 per cent to 112,631 in April 2014, while earnings from tourism in March and April increased by 26.2 per cent and 49.8 [...]

Proficient accounting provides foundation for development, Cabraal says

Proficient accounting provides foundation for development, Cabraal says

Good accounting practices and standards create a sturdy infrastructure to support economic development, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka told a conference outside Colombo last week. “The quality of financial reporting will be a mirror of the real economy,” he stated. Mr. Cabraal was the keynote speaker at the inaugural [...]

Dialog adds 1 mln subscribers in 2013; now has 8.7mln overall

Locally-dominant celco Dialog captured an additional one million subscribers over the course of its full 2013 financial year, taking its subscriber tally to 8.7 million overall, according to its Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, quoted in the company’s most recent annual report. Additionally, the company’s fixed phones and Digital Satellite Television Services reached [...]

CONSTRUCTION EXPO 2014 kicks off on June 20-22

Construction Expo 2014 is scheduled to be held on June 20-22 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre (SBMEC) Colombo, a media release issued by the organizers stated. The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) has been partnering with “Construction Expo” which has been organized by the professional exhibition organizer – Lanka Exhibition & Conference Services [...]

“Navigator” online service helps service providers to connect with potential clients

“Navigator”, an online service that lists names and addresses and other necessary details of service providers and helps potential clients connect with them via Internet, is now in operation, head of the match-making service said. Deepal Lokugalappaththi, head of the “Navigator” service told the Business Times that skilled workers, entrepreneurs, professionals, small businesses and other [...]

CA Sri Lanka hosts Asia and Pacific Accountants Board Meeting

CA Sri Lanka hosts Asia and Pacific Accountants Board Meeting

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently hosted the Board Meeting and committee meetings of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), the largest regional accounting organisation with a geographical area that spans half the globe. The meetings held on May 22-23 saw the participation of accountants from the [...]

People’s Bank concludes first ever listed plantation sector debenture

People’s Bank Investment Banking Unit which acted as the Manager to the Issue recently concluded the Rs. 1 billion listed debenture issue of Kotagala Plantations PLC, the company stated in a media release. “Total bids received were significantly higher than the issue amount and the issue closed at the end of the issue opening day [...]

Lankan students test e-learning programs to boost maths skills

Forty secondary schools across Sri Lanka this week started using new mathematics e-learning programs to boost students’ math ability and to determine if e-learning should be incorporated into math lessons nationwide. “Boosting mathematics skills and critical thinking is essential in today’s modern world. Computer technologies can complement regular classroom teaching in a way that can [...]

Union Bank adopts SFTP through SWIFT

Union Bank recently revealed that it had migrated to the “SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) technology through the shared SWIFT infrastructure”, adding that it was the first local bank to do so. Additionally noted, this messaging infrastructure is hosted by the Lanka Financial Services Bureau. “SWIFT solutions will enable Union Bank to provide a secure [...]

Taprobane Holdings offers to buy Century Investments

Taprobane Holdings PLC made an offer on Wednesday to buy Lanka Century Investments having already increased its shareholding to 46.19 per cent. In this respect, the company stated in a stock exchange filing that it would offer to buy all shares in the isued and paid up ordinary voting shares of Lanka Century Investments PLC. [...]

What is happening to the HNB where cronies have been appointed?

HNB is the oldest private sector bank in Sri Lanka, once the most profitable bank under Rienzi Wijetileke, a leader who revolutionised the banking sector. Last year profits of the bank were down by over 15 per cent and then again in the latest 1st quarter, profits are down 12 percent. A former top official [...]

“Please help senior citizens”

The Government’s recent reduction of interest rates for fixed deposits in banks and finance companies has placed the pensioners and senior citizens in a grave and sad situation. This is akin to an unfair salary cut. Many of the depositors in the National Savings Bank and finance companies are the poor middle class who have [...]

OZO brand hotels to spread wings to Kandy and Galle

Sino Lanka Hotel Holdings in partnership with Thailand-based Onyx Hospitality Group is set to attract business travellers and high spending tourists by building two more OZO hotels in Kandy and Galle with a total investment of Rs. 4.5 billion, Company Charman Bob Kundanmal revealed. “The 160-room OZO Colombo hotel located on Marine Drive in Colombo [...]

Continuing discrimination against Lanka’s tea plantation community

Continuing discrimination against Lanka’s tea plantation community

What transpired at a recent Colombo workshop on improving the lives of plantation workers was not only startling but in fact showed that archaic laws still prevail to discriminate against the tea plantation community. The workshop “Enhancing the Living Standards and Livelihood Opportunities of the Plantation Community” was held last week at the Sri Lanka [...]

New Zealand biz to help SL children

New Zealand’s top business leaders up for auction in Sri Lanka project Entrepreneurs and CEOs of companies, from Coca-Cola to Trelise Cooper, Air New Zealand to The Warehouse will be taking part in a unique charity auction for ChildFund New Zealand.Twelve New Zealand business leaders will put their time and business nous (intellect) up for [...]

CIC has new Chairman

Top lawyer, Harsha Amarasekera appointed CIC Holdings Chairman Diversified group CIC Holdings PLC was named as its new Chairman, succeeding B.R.L (Lakshman) Fernando who retired after 18 years in that position.A non-executive Director of CIC Holdings PLC since 2005, Mr. Amarasekera PC was serving as acting Chairman of the Board since 1 January 2014 following [...]

New director board for troubled TFC

The second phase of restructuring of The Finance Company (TFC) in order to stabilize the company further, and move it to a profitable level, was approved by the Central Bank (CB)’s Monetary Board on Monday. TFC was involved in a major share deal drama some years ago when NSB decided to take a stake in [...]

State University network LEARN to add VOIP and IPv6

The recently-concluded Network Operations Centre (NOC) meeting, for the Lanka Education and Research Network (LEARN), formed a “working group to steer and support deployment of technologies such as [Voice Over IP (VOIP)] and IPv6 across all member institutes of LEARN”. Further, the event was held in partnership with the University of Peradeniya’s Information Technology Centre, [...]

Sri Lankan promotion at the IMEX MICE fair

Sri Lankan promotion  at the IMEX MICE fair

Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) with SriLankan Airlines and the industry made full advantage of this year’s IMEX 2014, the largest travel fair in the world for MICE which was held in Frankfurt from 20- 22 May. “The local industry was able to project the new properties and locations for MICE activities specially for Incentive [...]

Aitken Spence Logistics opens new Container Repair and Rigging Facility

Aitken Spence Logistics further strengthened its service portfolio by opening its new, state-of–the-art container repair and rigging facility at the Aitken Spence Inland Container Terminal located in Mabole, Wattala recently, the company said. The new container repair and rigging facility was declared open by J.M.S. Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC [...]

CJ says the court could not be intimidated by the ‘show of force’

With the aim of expediting the GK case filed by depositors, Supreme Court Chief Justice Mohan Peiris fixed a special hearing for the Golden Key Fundamental Rights Case on June 9th while issuing a warning that he will not entertain any more intervening petitions or revising orders already made by the court. He also said [...]

55% of active HSBC ‘proposition’ customers transact online

HSBC, as an international bank that leads the Credit Cards segment locally, has made great strides bucking traditional business models and focusing on innovation. One such area is online banking, which approximately 55 per cent of its active ‘proposition’ customers use today. Speaking to the Business Times, HSBC Sri Lanka’s Head of Marketing and Group [...]

Kelly Felder to go global, be aggressive digital storyteller : CEO

Local fashion retailer Kelly Felder has plans to further broaden its appeal by taking its brand beyond Sri Lanka’s shores. Kelly Felder will be a global brand, as well as being an aggressive digital storyteller, said its Chief Executive Ravi Wickramanayake, sharing plans for the future of his brand at the recently concluded LBR LBO [...]

Is protection from hackers and security breaches possible?

Is protection from hackers and security breaches possible?

The Target Corporation, a global retailer, was one the victims of a security breach last year. The personal information of several million customers, and even their credit and debit card accounts, were compromised over a period of three weeks. The information stolen included customer names, credit or debit card number, the card’s expiration date and [...]

Mahinda holds discussions with Huawei Chairwoman

Mahinda holds discussions with Huawei Chairwoman

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during a recent visit to China, held discussions with Huawei Chairwoman Ms. Sun Yafang while attending the CICA conference in Shanghai. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa appreciated the contribution from Huawei for all local ICT development initiatives and agreed with Huawei to hold further discussions on informationisation of the Sri Lankan Government,” [...]

Ceylinco Insurance to ‘collect premiums via debit and credit cards on the go’

The General Insurance arm of Sri Lankan heavyweight Ceylinco Insurance has partnered with top celco Dialog to roll out a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) payment solution to “quickly and easily establish a means to accept MasterCard and Visa card payments thrugh a smartphone or tablet”. Further, this allows the insurer’s sales teams to “collect premiums via [...]

Quotas for women in workforce fastest option

theQuotas for women have proven to be the fastest way to increase participation by this group across several countries. But, considering the issues that could crop up, a limited time frame, 20 years, for example, may be considered to foster a better result,according to Dr. Astrid Tuminez, Regional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs, South East [...]

IMF cautions Sri Lanka on the shift from concessional borrowings to more expensive loans

IMF cautions Sri Lanka on the shift from  concessional borrowings to more expensive loans

Sri Lanka’s economic outlook was positive and it is on the right direction recording low inflation and strong growth gained through exports, a top official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. However he cautioned the government on low tax revenue mobilization which remains a concern due to high debt level and the ongoing shift [...]

Independent shareholders oppose delisting Malaysian palm oil firms

Four palm oil companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this week confirmed plans to delist from the CSE, amidst opposition from independent minority shareholders (IMS). The plan was earlier announced in the annual reports of the companies and further stated at its AGMs held on Thursday. K.C. Vignarajah, an IMS who has consistently [...]

Sri Lanka to attract foreign investment for import substitution

In an ambitious move towards self-reliance, Sri Lanka is to attract foreign investors for import substitution projects offering them tax concessions under the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI). Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told reporters that the aim of introducing this strategic scheme is to produce necessary items locally without importing it [...]

TFC to merge with SMIB?

Employees of several Sri Lankan banks are opposed to the financial sector reforms by the Central Bank (CB) citing for example the viability of a proposal to merge the loss-making The Finance Company (TFC) with the profitable State Mortgage and Investment Bank (SMIB). Channa Dissanayake, acting Secretary of the CBEU, said the SMIB recorded a [...]

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