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Touchwood drama takes new twist, court orders winding up

Touchwood drama takes new twist, court orders winding up

Touchwood Investments investors were given the opportunity to get their monies back on Thursday when the Colombo Commercial High Court agreed to appoint a liquidator after issuing the order to wind up the company since it was unable to pay back its debts. Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Amendra Seneviratne pronounced his Order stating that [...]

Mini budget in November ahead of polls next year

The Treasury is preparing a mini budget (vote on account) in November replacing the normal 12-month budget in case a decision is made to hold presidential or parliamentary elections next year, informed sources said. The sources said that the Treasury has been advised to prepare a mini budget but will revert to the normal calendar [...]

Touchwood management to face civil, criminal action

Touchwood management to face civil, criminal action

Touchwood Investments PLC management’s both present and past directors would face civil and criminal action filed against them following the Commercial High Court judgment to wind up the company. Touchwood Investments’ assets will be taken over by a liquidator following Thursday’s Commercial High Court to wind up the company since it was unable to settle [...]

SEC Chief Godahewa eyes PIM post

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Nalaka Godahewa has submitted an application for the post of Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM), PIM officials confirmed. Dr. Godahewa’s application for the post was received by the PIM and the Board of Management of the Institute will make the selection without conducting an interview, an [...]

Acuity to tie up with US, UK brokerages

Acuity Partners are in discussion with three leading stock brokerage houses in the UK and USA in a bid to establish partnerships with them. Acuity Partners CEO Prashan Fernando told the Business Times that two of the brokerage houses are in the US and one in the UK but declined to name the companies since [...]

Narrow escape from falling brick for President’s astrologer

Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s astrologer and a working director of the National Savings Bank (NSB), narrowly escaped injury on Thursday when a brick fell off the exterior of the lobby area of the NSB headquarters building which is now under construction, hitting his vehicle, witnesses said. An eye witness said that he saw a [...]

Sri Lankan authorities to crackdown on illicit satellite and cable TV trade

Sri Lankan authorities are intensifying a crackdown on unauthorised satellite and cable television stations, and dubious distributors who sell dish TV satellite receivers as well as users of such facilities without a valid licence, officials said. These llegal operators have around 300,000 Sri Lankan subscribers. Officials and police are looking out for residents as well [...]

‘Touchwood’ – is the saga over?

The moment Lanka Kiwlegedera, CEO of the troubled Touchwood Investments, took over the organisation, investors in this ‘attractive’ forestry management company felt something amiss. On the Touchwood website was this ‘accolade’ to Kiwlegedera being referred to as: “One of Sri Lanka’s most eminent corporate personalities”. “Not by a chance,” quipped a frustrated Touchwood investor. The [...]

SLI’s new policies to cope with sudden illnesses while on the road

Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) has tied up with a global emergency services company “Assist America” to assist their customers with emergency services during a sudden illness or accident during a long journey over 100 km away from their residences, officials said. CEO of Sri Lanka Insurance Deepthi Lokuarachchi told a media conference on Tuesday that [...]

‘Challenging’ Q1 2014 for SL food and beverages sector : Nielsen

The Sri Lankan food and beverages sector had a “challenging” first quarter of 2014, revealed market research agency Nielsen recently. This is despite this category featuring the highest, consumer spend within the larger Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) super’ category. According to the Nielsen Q1 2014 Dashboard update, issued at the beginning of June; “Of [...]

Investrust Wealth launches a new fund

Investrust Wealth launches a new fund

Investrust Wealth Management Ltd, a member of Investrust Holdings Ltd (IHL), this week said it was launching “Investrust Money” Money Market Fund and a discretionary portfolio management service that will be available to the public from next month. The company formerly known as Orient Wealth Ltd is a Securities Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) [...]

International investor preference continue to remain strong for Sri Lanka

Dr. Nimal Sanderatne, in his regular column and in a response appearing elsewhere in The Sunday Times of May 25, has raised a few important economic concerns that require attention. The main thrust of the response by me that appeared in The Sunday Times of May 11th, was to highlight certain matters that contradicted the [...]

Sri Lanka’s footwear manufacturers urge authorities to crackdown on illegal imports

Sri Lanka’s footwear manufacturers urge authorities to crackdown on illegal imports

Sri Lanka footwear and leather products manufacturers are urging the authorities to crack down on illegal imports of footwear and unassembled parts of shoes for assembly in Sri Lanka without much value addition and avoidance of CESS. In a letter sent to President Mahinda Rakapaksa recently, the Sri Lanka Footwear & Leather Products Manufacturers Association [...]

Senior ICT professional Vickum Senanayake takes over as Group CEO of Just in Time

Senior ICT professional Vickum Senanayake takes over as Group CEO of Just in Time

The Just In Time (JIT) Group, a fully Sri Lankan-owned ICT Systems Integration and Services provider, has appointed Dr. Vickum Senanayake as its new Group Chief Executive Officer, with effect from May 2014, as part of the group’s restructuring, consolidation and growth strategy. Prior to this, Dr. Senanayake was General Manager, Sales and Marketing at [...]

Australian company, BCert to open branches in Colombo, Dubai

Australian company, BCert to open branches in Colombo, Dubai

Business Systems Certification (BCert), a company formed in Australia by two Sri Lankans, plans to open branches in Colombo and Dubai shortly. The company was formed in Sydney in October 2012 by Samath Fernando and Samanthie Fernando to provide certification services globally. It has been accredited by JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New [...]

Spectacular opening ceremony for Pandanus Beach Resort

Spectacular opening ceremony for Pandanus Beach Resort

Pandanus Beach Resort and Spa was officially inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a glittering event with several local celebrities and performers graced the occasion with specially choreographed acts. “A Russian aerial artist flown down by organisers Event Horizon captivated the audience with stunning performance from 20 feet above ground,” the organisers said. The 96-room [...]

Wage hike in plantations impacts on Richard Pieris’ bottomline

The Richard Pieris Group ended its performance in financial year 2013/14 reporting a Group Revenue of Rs.34.7 billion with a Profit before Tax of Rs.2.3 billion. The reported Profit for the year does not include any gains of a capital nature, the release stated. No details on post-tax profit or comparative figures for the previous [...]

DFCC’s Economic Forum 2014 provides insights to growth

DFCC recently hosted the ‘DFCC Economic Forum’ for its corporate and high net-worth clients to provide insights into global and local economic developments and business prospects. An eminent panel of speakers led by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Ananda Silva spoke at the sessions. Other speakers included Sudipto Lahiry, Business Manager – Fixed [...]

Mobitel’s ‘Easy’ phone for elders and those with special needs

Mobitel recently introduced the ‘Easy’ phone, a special mobile phone designed for elders and to suit the needs of those who prefer a more convenient lifestyle. Introduced as part of Mobitel’s product portfolio expansion, the ‘Easy’ phone could transform the lives of those that use a mobile device by creating much needed convenience, reliability and [...]

MoneyGram expands ‘Self-Service Offering’ in Sri Lanka

MoneyGram, a leading money transfer and payment services company is making it easier for customers around the world to stay connected to friends and family in Sri Lanka with the launch of its account deposit service, the company stated in a media release Sri Lankans working overseas can now transfer funds through MoneyGram to over [...]

Four year ‘gestation’ for Keells Waterfront project, JKH Chief says

Despite describing it as “challenging at times”, John Keells Holdings (JKH) Chairman Susantha Ratnayake also commented that the group’s financial year 2013-2014 (FY13), which ended on March 31, 2014, would prove “transformational” for both John Keells and the country, as a whole, because it was the year in which the landmark Waterfront development broke ground. [...]

Brandix gears for growth with Centre for Creative Leadership

Brandix gears for growth with Centre    for Creative Leadership

Brandix, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter, has secured the services of the US- Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL), one of the world’s top 5 providers of executive education, to support its next phase of growth through group-wide leadership training. This leadership development programme represents CCL’s first assignment conducted in Sri Lanka for a Sri [...]

South Asia’s largest HR conference to draw top local and international speakers

South Asia’s largest HR conference to draw top local and international speakers

National HR Conference 2014 (NHRC 2014), South Asia’s largest HR event organised by IPM Sri Lanka will take place on June 18-19 at the BMICH, Colombo, drawing top speakers and analysts and over a 1000 delegates. Details of the meeting were presented at a recent news briefing by IPMSL which was attended by its President [...]

SL ranked highest in South Asia in environmental Performance Index of Yale University

Sri Lanka has been ranked 69th in 2014 in Yale University’s EPI which is a Global Environment Assessment index. “It stands in sharp contrast to its regional neighbours India (155) Bangladesh (169) and Pakistan (148) in the EPI which is an exhaustive environmental impact assessment study made annually by the Yale University USA,” according to [...]

‘Significant’ growth for SL property sector since 2009

The Sri Lankan property sector has experienced “significant” growth since 2009. This is a result of improvements in infrastructure, along with investors having come back, according to Wilhelm Hammes, Managing Director of Lamudi Sri Lanka (, an onlne real estate portal that boasts 340,000 listings worldwide. Lamudi announced in a media release this week that [...]

Skills development: From prejudice to prestige

It is not difficult for you and me to find a contractor (Engineer) to construct a house. But it is near impossible to get an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter or a handyman for a small repair in your house. If you and I are asked to decide the professin (vocation) for our child we [...]

‘Modi phobia’ hits Sri Lanka’s business community

‘Modi phobia’ – coined locally to relate to India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi- appears to be spreading among the Sri Lankan business community. At the launch of the National Business Excellence Awards 2014 (NBEA), held in Colombo this week, Sunil Wijesinha, President, The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), said that the [...]

Brand Sri Lanka as a place to make investments, says local IFC chief

Sri Lanka being a developing country needs to be branded for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to come into the country. It’s only a relatively small group of countries that have provided investments so far and that can increase with time. These comments were made by Adam Sack, Country Manager for Sri Lanka from the International [...]

DFCC posts Group PAT of Rs. 3.2 bln in 2013-14, slightly lower than previous year

DFCC Bank – soon will be merged with the National Development Bank (NDB) as one entity – has announced a post-tax profit (PAT) Rs. 3.2 billion for the group for the year ended 31 March 2014, slightly lower than the previous year, according to its financial results released this week. “Disregarding a one-off tax refund [...]

Ceylon Biscuits inspires Future Entrepreneurs

Ceylon Biscuits inspires Future Entrepreneurs

Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), the country’s top biscuit manufacturer, is helping to educate 300 school children through a Student Entrepreneurship Programme in collaboration with Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka (YESL). The programme spearheaded by CBL Chairman Mineka Wickremasinghe, and as part of the Company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, introduces the selected school children to entrepreneurship [...]

Sri Lanka: A compelling place to invest

Sri Lanka: A compelling place to invest

(The Invest Sri Lanka – Investor Forum, London, took place on May 30 in London and was an instant hit with all those who participated. Roshan Madawela, CEO of the Colombo-based Research Intelligence Unit (RIU)’s London office, reports exclusively to the Sunday Times). If the Invest Sri Lanka roadshow in London is an index of [...]

Abacus reveals root causes of global travel disruption

SINGAPORE – While travel disruption is typically associated with natural disasters, it appears that the real scourge of travel is, more often than not, man-made. This is according to Abacus, Asia Pacific’s leading travel technology company, which this week published metrics on the root causes of disruption across the region and around the world. Collated [...]

Acuity Group recognised for best stock broking and corporate finance firm

The Acuity Group which has been operational for just over five years has obtained global recognition from the Global Banking and Finance Review as the Best Stock Broking Firm in Sri Lanka and the Best Corporate Finance Firm in Sri Lanka for 2014, a media release issued by the company stated. Commenting on the awards, [...]

Amana Takaful profits up eight fold, mainly in General insurance

Sri Lanka’s Amana Takaful insurance recorded a Profit After Tax (PAT) increase in 2013, to Rs. 117 million, which was eight times that of its 2012 PAT, as per a statement by the company, which attributed this increase in profits “largely” to its General nsurance arm.Further, the company also showed a consolidated Gross Written Premium [...]

Sadaharitha promoting Walla Patta cultivation in home gardens

Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd, a commercial forestry plantations recently released a landmark study on the possibility of growing Walla Patta in home gardens, a media release issued by the company stated. Initiated by Sadaharitha Plantations, the research was conducted in collaboration with the National Research Council and the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science of the [...]

Troubled TFC says loss widens by 49 % in 4thQ 2014 to Rs. 447 mln

The Finance Company (TFC), the troubled finance company the Central Bank (CB) is trying to bail out through a merger with a more profitable bank under the new financial reforms, has reported a sharp loss of 49 per cent to Rs. 447.3 million in the three months ending March 2014 against a loss of Rs.300 [...]

Intel NUC to offer ‘drastic’ cost reductions in PCs

Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC), launched in Sri Lanka recently, offers a “drastic” cost reduction compared to traditional desktop PCs, with the same functionality, according to the chipmaker’s Country Business Manager (Sri Lanka) Indika de Zoysa. This is because many components are built into the kit, such as wireless antenna, speakers, power, etc., while [...]

Pan Global Travel expands to inbound traffic generation

Pan Global Travel expands to inbound traffic generation

Pan Global Travels, a travel company, has expanded their operations to generate increased tourists traffic to Sri Lanka. The company will be generating tourist traffic from the Chinese, Malaysian, European and Japanese markets with future focus also on the Indian market, Pan Global Travels Director Rukmali Panabokke told the Business Times. She noted that they [...]

Local firm Atom opens showroom in Dubai

Local firm  Atom opens showroom in Dubai

Atom, a local audio visual company, has opened operations in Dubai with a state-of-the-art showroom on the renowned Jumeirah Beach Road. “Atom’s first stand-alone showroom in the United Arab Emirates marks the first time a Sri Lankan audio visual company has ever been launched in the Middle East. The opening was a culmination of a [...]

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

In last week’s story under the above headline, Beredina chairman Dulan de Silva says it is the largest registered not-for-profit company in Sri Lanka and not the largest, locally-funded NGO in Sri Lanka as reported. He said Berendina Stichting, a Dutch Family Trust in Netherlands, also provides funds to the local organisation.

Soon-to-launch Canadian bourse picks MillenniumIT

a Canada’s Aequitas, a proposed challenger to the Toronto bourse, recently picked Sri Lanka-based, and London Stock Exchange Group-owned (LSEG), Millennium IT for its technology platform, according to a statement by the IT company. Being set-up under the premise of fairness for small investors, by deterring so-called “predatory” practices such as high frequency trading through [...]

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