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Broomstick-wielding Dompe Ayah

Broomstick-wielding Dompe Ayah

Dancers from the Arpeggio Creative Dancing Academy in a comedy skit at the Sunday Times Business Club’s “Evening of Baila” forum held on the Cinnamon Lakeside’s floating restaurant on Tuesday. Also see Pages 2, 6-7. Pic by Ranjit Perera

Lanka’s SOBEs to generate own funds as transformed units

Far from the public eye, in closed door top-level meetings and official consultations, Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped government is crafting a plan to transform its loss making State-Owned Business Enterprises (SOBEs) into profitable, self-financing units. Senior government officials revealed that the plan by the Treasury discussed with senior officials in the department involves restructuring SOBEs by [...]

Pre-budget meetings with the President

Sri Lanka’s business community is pinning their hopes on some relief in the government’s 2015 budget with the manufacturing industry being badly hit by cheap imports flooding the local market. Private sector entrepreneurs and leading industrialists have urged the Government to extend concessions for local manufacturers and restrict imports by way of proper taxation rather [...]

THC issue impacts small shippers

At least 5-10 per cent of the transshipment volumes handled at the Colombo port cannot be charged due to the recent changes to the handling charges, an industry expert said. Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association Chairman Dushmantha Karannagoda told the Business Times that the multi country consolidation i.e. transshipped volumes mixed with local cargo handled [...]

Public warned against links with “dubious” NGO projects

The Government on Friday further tightened the screws on NGOs placing all international and local organisations receiving foreign funds under a strict watch in line with existing guideline and procedures. In a newspaper announcement, the Finance Ministry warned that the disbursement and use of such funds should not “cause financial risks and expose the people [...]

Financial consolidation ensures sectoral stability, say sector experts

Sri Lanka is poised to gain increased confidence from the external markets in doing business due to a stronger banking and finance sector in the wake of the consolidation process underway. “When outsiders see a strong banking system they will be more confident of doing business with us,” NDB Chairman Sunil Wijesinha told the Business [...]

Baila: Heartbeat of a nation

When invitations went out the other day for the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC)’s unusual event “An Evening of Baila’, one of the invitees worryingly, commented: “Is this a time for the Baila?”. He was alluding to the violence in Beruwela (around the same time) where Muslim residents were attacked by marauding mobs just ahead [...]

Sri Lanka not yet ready for knowledge-driven economic growth

After a lapse of over 35 years following the adoption of economic liberalisation, Sri Lanka is yet to reach high economic growth ranging above 8 per cent that could be sustained for several consecutive years. An annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growthrate of 8 per cent or more was achieved only on three occasions (1978, [...]

Yacht and houseboat tourism to be promoted in Sri Lanka

Yacht and houseboat tourism to be promoted in Sri Lanka

Boat building, tourism and fisheries combined together would bring in a new lease for Sri Lanka’s leisure industry soon as things are worked out to have Maldives-styled luxury boats for tourists to spend their holiday. Neil Fernando, Chairman, Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute Lanka (GTE) Ltd speaking at the launch of Boat Show and Fisheries [...]

Fuel imports decline in May due to refinery maintenance issues, CB says

Expenditure on fuel imports declined by 35.4 per cent in May 2014, mainly due to the delay in unloading crude oil imports during the month due to maintenance activities in oil pipelines, the Central Bank (CB) said in its latest (monthly) report on the ecnomic. It said the trade deficit continued to improve in May, [...]

Lanka’s tough stance on permitting mineral mining for foreign companies

Sri Lanka will take a tough stance on granting permission for foreign companies to carry out mineral mining in the island with no new licences to be issued, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy Susil Premajayantha said. The necessary regulatory framework will be devised for this by amending the Mines and Minerals Act, he told [...]

Samarasiri appointed Deputy Governor of the Central Bank

Samarasiri appointed Deputy Governor of  the Central Bank

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank (CB) has appointed P. Samarasiri as a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, with effect from 1st June, 2014, the CB said in an announcement on Monday. Mr. Samarasiri has functioned as an Assistant Governor in the Central Bank over the previous six and half years, and while [...]

Cargills Foods CEO Sidath Kodikara heads Institute of Hospitality SL

The Sri Lanka Chapter of the UK-based Institute of Hospitality recently revealed its intent to align its goals with those of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators and the Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association for the benefit of the industry. This strategic move was indicated in a recent [...]

SL Business and Biodiversity forum marks second year of dialogue and awareness

The Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity (SL B and B) Platform of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) recently appointed its second Advisory Committee for its new term of operation. The overall mandate of the Platform is to encourage dialogue amongst stakehoders, and to help raise awareness on biodiversity and sustainability issues amongst the Sri [...]

Jegan Durairatnam takes the helm from Ravi Dias at Commercial Bank

Jegan Durairatnam takes the helm from Ravi Dias at Commercial Bank

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced the appointment of career banker Jegan Durairatnam as the Bank’s Managing Director and CEO effective from July 17, on the retirement of the incumbent Ravi Dias, a media release issued by the bank stated. Mr. Durairtnam is currently Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the bank. A [...]

Ceylon Theatres opens Empire Cineplex at Arcade Independence Square

Ceylon Theatres opens Empire Cineplex  at Arcade Independence Square

The new Empire Cineplex, opened at the Arcade Independence Square on Sunday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is part of the Ceylon Theatres chain of cinemas. The Cineplex is an exclusive 90-seater cinema with state-of-the-art features that are on-par with international standards, the company said. Ceylon Theatres, a pioneer in the entertainment industry for over 85 [...]

SLT becomes exclusive partner for Sri Dalada Maligawa ICT Project

Sri Lanka Telecom recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sri Dalada Maligawa to be the exclusive Official Telecommunication Partner for the temple. The MoU was signed at the temple with Chinthaka Wijesooriya, Chief Regional Officer of SLT signing on behalf of the company and Krishantha Hiswella, Director-Media and Special Projects signing [...]

Respect for rule of law and more transparency urged by British High Commissioner

Sri Lankan authorities should establish a ‘One Stop Shop’ for investors together with increased transparency, more open tendering, a reduction in red tape, and respect for the rule of law, the British High Commissioner John Rankin has said. He made this comment, while acknowledging that the trade and investment relationship between Sri Lanka and his [...]

Tracing the roots of Baila while cruising on the Beira

In the backdrop of Baila music, “8°on the Lake”, a floating restaurant on a two-storey catamaran-based boat, glided smoothly on Tuesday evening along the Beira lake on a ‘Voyage of discovery on the Baila’ carrying a group of corporate heads, businessmen, advertising personalities, professionals and private sector executives. The unusual event “Evening of Baila: Knowledge, [...]

CA Sri Lanka promotes 2015 accountancy curriculum in Kandy

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) recently unveiled its newly launched curriculum in Kandy, which it says is part of efforts “to propagate the importance of a relevant and globally recognised professional qualification in accounting”. The event took place in the presence of the Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, Governor of Central Province [...]

EZY Motor Racing to expand operations in five more countries

EZY Motor Racing to expand  operations in five more countries

Sri Lanka’s professional motor racing company, EZY Motor Racing Corporation is to expand its overseas operations in five more countries, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam,after its recent entry into Pakistan’s motor sport arena, company officials said. EZY Racing and Pakistan’s IT and telecommunications firm, Interactive Group based in Dubai, have joined hands in a [...]

BoC offers 2,000 scholarships to top Year 5 exam students

BoC offers 2,000 scholarships to top Year 5 exam students

BOC Ran Kekulu, the bank’s main children’s savings account, is offering 2000 scholarships – each worth of Rs.10,000 – for highly successful students at the year 5 scholarship examination 2014. As part of the bank’s CSR, it conducts this annual programme to support and encourage school children to make an extra effort in their studies. [...]

Lankan credit disbursements still low; bankers say demand for consumer items easing

Despite probably the lowest interest rates in recent times, credit disbursement by Sri Lankan commercial banks has been declining over the past few months, the Central Bank (CB) said this week in releasing its report for monetary policy in June. There has been a steady decline in lending by both state and private banks which [...]

CSE and SEC target local and foreign investors, says CSE marketing head

CSE and SEC target  local and foreign  investors, says CSE marketing head

As the Sri Lankan economy takes an upward turn, with economic growth being at 7.5 per cent over the past four years, macroeconomic indicators signal an ideal environment for investment, with bank interest rates at an all-time low, the investment atmosphee is idyllic for prudent and well informed investors, a media release issued by the [...]

Piramal Glass exports to India stabilise

Piramal Glass has recovered its Indian market exports since it was impacted due to currency fluctuations in the past few quarters, a media release by the company stated when releasing their financials. Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC has announced its results for the 1st Quarter of FY2015 with Rs. 1,245 million in Revenue and Rs. 86 [...]

ComBank eyes new opportunity in Indra Finance

Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank acquiring Indra Finance was eyed as an investment into an area not ventured into by the bank with a good opportunity, a top official at the bank said. The bank will be buying Indra Finance for Rs.870 million as part of the Central Bank’s drive for the consolidation of the finance [...]

Hotel Developers to make private placement

Hotel Developers, owning company of the Colombo Hilton, has resolved to pay back its loan to the Treasury through a private placement. The company stated in a stock exchange filing that a maximum of over 235 million shares would be issued allotted to the Treasury at a price of Rs.10 per share. The current stated [...]

SEC needs to control economic power blocs in the stock market

Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been urged to effectively deal with mergers and acquisitions that “give rise to the concentration of economic power and market control opportunities”. In a letter to SEC authorities, governance advocate and rights activist Chandra Jayaratne has requested the SEC to make a public media announcement informing all [...]

Lucky Lanka now listed on CSE

Lucky Lanka has been listed on the Diri Savi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange following its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The IPO offer of 38 million ordinary voting shares at Rs.6 per share and 24 million ordinary non-voting shares at Rs.3 per share were listed. The company had received 1341 applications for 38 million [...]

Singapore firm ups stake by further 40 per cent in e-Channelling

The Singapore based venture that made a mandatory offer to purchase shares in the doctor-channelling company e-Channelling has increased its existing stake by a further 40 per cent. In the wake of the mandatory offer by Singapore based Senior Marketing Systems Asia to take over the e-Channelling company, the company made an announcement to the [...]

Not only leaders but people too should be sensitive and tolerant

Not only leaders but people too  should be sensitive and tolerant

Rulers and people in Sri Lanka should be sensitive, tolerant and respectful of religious, cultural and racial differences, a local guru of advertising, business leader and thinker has said. Irvin Weerackody, asked to speak at a meeting on Thursday at the MBA Alumni Association of the University of Colombo told the Business Times that, “they [...]

Ceylon Chamber’s “Sustainability” seminar attracts wide interest

Several corporate entities took part in the recent seminar organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) to create awareness about its upcoming “Best Corporate Citizens Sustainability Award 2014. The speakers at the seminar, comprising members of the evaluation panel, explained to the audience the importance of taking part in this annual competition and guided [...]

PIM trains PLC managers

People’s Leasing & Finance PLC realizing the importance and the strategic role it is destined to play in contributing to the country’s current and future socio-economic development, has chosen to tread on a continued path of staff training to attune its iddle management for leadership roles. Successful businesses know that investing in the next generation [...]

Gold: The route to a woman’s heart

A woman selling gold-plated bangles in Fort opposite the CID headquarters on Wednesday drew interest from many passing by including a policewoman. The bangles were selling at Rs. 100 each, upwards. Seen here is a row of bangles. Pix by Athula Devapriya  

Dutch support to boost Lankan economy

Dutch support to boost Lankan economy

The Netherlands plans to provide Sri Lanka with technical and specialist knowledge, visiting Netherlands Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Simon Smits told Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa during a recent meeting in Colombo. According to a media release issued by the Ministry, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed berween the two countries to assist Sri [...]

SLASSCOM targets $5 bln revenue by 2022; PB says make it by 2020

The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) is targeting for IT companies to achieve US$5 billion revenue by 2022. However Treasury Secretary P.. Jayasundara took a step further by suggesting that this target should be reached by 2020, at the launch of the Sri Lanka’s first IT/BPO Industry 2014 Review held at [...]

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