The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Home » Business Times

Softlogic gets Narahenpita Milco land for development project

Softlogic gets Narahenpita Milco land for development project

Milco’s Narahenpita factory land is to be leased out to a rapidly growing Sri Lankan conglomerate for a mixed development project, informed sources revealed. The 13.5 acre land bordering Kirimandela Mawatha in Nawala will be handed over to Softlogic Holdings PLC on a long-term lease basis. A senior Government official confirmed the deal adding that [...]

2015 Sri Lankan Budget bag-full of election goodies

With the Presidential election around the corner, Treasury officials headed by Dr. P.B.Jayasundera are fine-tuning the 2015 Budget on the directions of the President enabling him to unveil it in Parliament in two weeks. Officials of the Department of National Budget and Department of Treasury Operations are under pressure in compiling final amendments to the [...]

Pelwatte and Sevanagala sugar mills turnaround brings sweet success

A complete turnaround in Sri Lanka’s sugar production following the takeover of private owned Pelwatte and Sevanagala factories by the government and bringing it under the management of state owned Lanka Sugar Company Ltd in 2012 has met with sweet success, a top official of the company said. Pelwatte and Sevanagala Sugar have recorded a [...]

Marvel of Sri Lankan technology

Marvel of Sri Lankan technology

A technician tests the strength of a copper rod at the Orange factory outside Colombo. Sri Lankan companies like Orange have introduced advanced technology into their innovations, taking the country to new levels in the development process. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara

No more new licences tolubricant entrants

The Ministry of Petroleum Industries has cancelled a decision to award licences to new entrants to the lubricants industry, amidst opposition by industry players, who say the market is already crowded, according to industry experts. “With 13 players operating along with all big global and regional lubricant players we are a relatively small market with [...]

“May the ruler be righteous”

At a recent Colombo discussion on the “Right to development” for people of all ages, race, creed, colour and community; respected academic Prof. Savitri Goonesekere drew reference to the Buddhist stanza at the end of Sri Lanka’s Constitution, which concludes with the line “May the ruler be righteous.” She noted with emphasis that those who [...]

Sri Lanka cashes in on the export of mineral sands

Sri Lanka cashes in on the export of mineral sands

Sri Lanka is currently cashing in on the export of mineral sands by refining it to ilmenite, rutile, and zircon at its Pulmoddai plant with limited human resources and expertise, officials of the Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL), a State -owned company, said. The present production is now limited to 6000 tons of ilmenite,1,800 tons [...]

CA Sri Lanka asks acting Tax Commissioner General: “Prove it if our members are involved in any malpractice”

CA Sri Lanka asks acting Tax Commissioner General: “Prove it if our members are  involved in any malpractice”

Arjuna Herath, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), has sent the following letter in response to last week’s article published in the Business Times under the heading “Tax Consultants’ Mafia troubles acting Tax Chief”. Excerpts of the letter: CA Sri Lanka is disturbed by the contents of the [...]

“Tax Consultant’s Mafia Troubles Acting Tax Chief”

I read the above article last week in the Business Times where it is stated that the acting Tax Chief, her officials and some of the union leaders are trying to build up allegations against tax consultants who are doing it as a profession and/ or a business. Either way they give their best service [...]

Top French shipper sets up BPO in Sri Lanka

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has signed an agreement with CMA-CGM Shared Service Centre Lanka (Pvt) Ltd to set up a business processing outsource centre to provide services to the export market. The agreement was signed by Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, BOI Chairman and C. S. Ananda, Director CMA-CGM Shared Services. The investment [...]

$800 mln facility to help Sri Lanka tackle poor rural road links

MANILA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week approved an $800 million loan facility to fund rural and national road upgrades in six provinces in Sri Lanka, that will significantly improve access of remote communities to markets, services, and jobs. “Providing all-weather road access to towns and villages in rural areas will bring greater [...]

HNB Assurance ties up with HDFC Bank to facilitate premium payments at policy holders’ doorsteps

HNB Assurance ties up with HDFC Bank to facilitate premium payments at policy holders’ doorsteps

HNB Assurance PLC has entered into an agreement with the Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank (HDFC) to enhance customer convenience by facilitating premium payments at the customer’s own doorstep. The agreement was signed by the two organisations recently with Nimal Mamaduwa, CEO/General Manager of HDFC Bank and Manjula De Silva Managing Director/CEO of HNB Assurance [...]

Royal Asian Cruises setting their compass towards Sri Lanka

Royal Asian Cruises setting their compass towards Sri Lanka

New ships, global destinations and itineraries, pioneering shipboard amenities and activities have steered steady growth in cruise passengers. A major cruise industry trend has been the globalisation of destinations and itineraries as cruise lines open to new geographic markets like Asia and provide exciting new experiences for first-timers and loyal cruisers, industry analysts say. Asia, [...]

Optima Designs Pvt. Ltd launches new website

The new website of Optima Designs Pvt. Ltd went live on September 18, the company said last week. Hosted at, the site showcases the creative designs and masterminds behind some of the most innovative Annual Reports to be published this year. The website marks almost a year since the specialised design and print company [...]

NAMAL Acuity Value Fund declares Rs. 2.50 dividend

The NAMAL Acuity Value Fund (NAVF) managed by National Asset Management Ltd (NAMAL), the only Unit Trust listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, has declared a dividend of Rs 2.50 for FY2014, up from Rs. 0.50 in the previous year. This is resulting from a sharp increase in earnings for the 12 months ending 31 [...]

EZY Corp Chairman in Japan to lend support to Sri Lanka’s EZY Racing

Sri Lanka’s premier motor racing team EZY Racing which is flying under the national flag at the Asia Pacific’s leading Motor racing event in Hokiado , Japan, was given a tremendous boost by the presence and support received by EZY Corporation representatives Chairman Emily Chay, who had travelled from Singapore where EZY Corporation is headquartered. [...]

US Trade Show 2014 offers new opportunities for US-Sri Lanka partnerships

US Trade Show 2014 offers new opportunities for US-Sri Lanka partnerships

Top American companies from a wide variety of sectors showcased their products, technologies, and services at the U.S. Trade Show 2014 on Monday at the Hilton Residencies. This year, the U.S. Trade Show focused on expanding the variety of American goods and services for local businesses and consumers. Along with dozens of visitors, U.S. Ambassador [...]

Brandix i3 signs agreement with Mayo Clinic to launch the Mortality Review System

Sri Lanka’s Brandix i3 in collaboration with US-based- Mayo Clinic on Monday officially announced the commercialisation of the Mortality Review System – a web based computer application that aggregates hospital process of care and system failures identified during a review process and analyses the causes of death among hospital patients. Inpatient mortality is receiving increasing [...]

Boinc joins Dialog Axiata to bring unlimited music to subscribers

Music lovers in Sri Lanka can now enjoy over 15 million tracks of global and local music on their Android-based smartphones after Dialog Axiata signed an agreement with Boinc to launch the service as part of Dialog Music. Boinc offers users access to unlimited music from global majors including Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment [...]

Sliding interest rates

The interest rates on bank deposits have been reduced drastically and the explanation given by the Governor of the Central Bank is that to uplift the economy, interest rates must be maintained at a lower rate. That is true, but then why is there is a saving called the Employees Provident Fund? This EPF is [...]

Expolanka says first from SL to host travel and leisure application on Microsoft Azure

Expolanka recently staked its claim as the “first Sri Lankan conglomerate to host a travel and leisure application on Microsoft’s premier cloud platform, Azure”, according to a statement. Further, the statement also indicated that the H One-developed application, will be “released in October to agents of Akquasun Holidays, Expolanka’s Mumbai-based global destination management company, enables [...]

PROPARCO and FMO $75 mln syndicated financing to NDB to promote financial inclusion

PROPARCO, a French Development Finance Institution, has allocated a US$60 million credit line to National Development Bank PLC (NDB), with an additional $15 million from its Dutch counterpart, FMO, under a joint facility to support the financing of projets in the renewable energies, agro-industry and water supply sectors. The signing of the loan agreement took [...]

KBSL employees help students at Doragala Vidyalaya in Kotmale

KBSL employees, in an effort to making a difference to the lives of the less privileged, recently concluded a CSR project facilitating the donation of stationery, books, shoes and other essential school supplies to students at the Doragala Vidyalaya in rural Kotmale. Situated close to the Kotmale town, the school was a roughly constructed one-room [...]

Ceylon Chamber’s YBSL recognises ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ of the Ampara District

Ceylon Chamber’s YBSL recognises ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ of the Ampara District

‘Youth Business Sri Lanka’ of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently recognised the efforts of the Ampara district’s micro scale entrepreneurs, by awarding them with the best young entrepreneur of the district award. Accordingly, H.A. Deepal Priyadharshana, a young micro scale entrepreneur ,who operates a three wheeler repair and a service centre was chosen as, [...]

Fresh ideas, ‘out of the box’ thinking required to improve Sri Lanka Railways

The sum total of a recent Colombo seminar on “The Sri Lanka Railways” delivered by Palitha Samarasinghe, Director (Technical) Ministry of Defence and Urban Development was that while Sri Lanka still has the same railway network built by the British for the specific purpose of hauling goods, fresh ‘out of the box’ thinking is needed [...]

BBDO crowned Network of the Year at Spikes 2014

BBDO Worldwide was crowned Agency Network of the Year at this year’s Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity. The Spikes Asia 2014 awards ceremony was held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on September 26. BBDO previously won the title in 2012. A total of 5,000 entries had been submitted, scrutinised by 90 judges, and shortlisted to [...]

SLT upgrades ‘LEARN’ – the National Research and Education Network

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has successfully upgraded the LEARN (Lanka Education and Research Network) of Sri Lanka. LEARN upgrade consists of enhancing both Internet Access Bandwidth up to 1.65 Gbps and theinterconnecting wide area network (WAN) with islandwide Universities and Research institutes, the telecom firm said on Monday. LEARN interconnects all the University Grants Commission [...]

Stockmarket news

Union Bank Sri Lanka’s Union Bank, following the change of ownership, announced on Monday the resignations of four of its directors to accommodate representatives of the new investor, a Cayman Islands-registered company. Accordingly, Dr, Harsha Cabraaal, Suren Madanayake, Sunil Karunanayake (all independent, non executive directors) and Prince Faisal Al Abdullah Al Faisal, non independent, non [...]

JKOA wins top honours at Toshiba Distributor meeting

JKOA wins top honours at Toshiba Distributor meeting

John Keells Office Automation (JKOA), the leader in office automation solutions, won top honours once again at Toshiba’s recent Annual Distributor Meeting 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it bagged the coveted ‘Diamond’ award. The company, which has received performance prizes for the past 15 years consecutively, counts two Diamond Awards to its list of [...]

SLIIT rallies for a worthy cause

SLIIT rallies for a worthy cause

Over thousand students, faculty and administrative staff from SLIIT, the largest degree awarding institute in Sri Lanka, rallied together on September 14 to raise funds to upgrade the computer labs of six schools in the Sabragamuwa province. Themed ‘Celbrating 15 years of Excellence’, this 5km charity walk from Viharamahadevi Park was organized by the Student [...]

HNB takes 51% stake in Prime Grameen Microfinance

HNB further to the announcement made in early August 2014, on Tuesday entered into a shareholder agreement to purchase a stake of 51 per cent of voting rights in Prime Grameen Micro Finance Ltd. The agreement was signed subsequent to the successful completion of a detailed due diligence and the transaction is expected to be [...]

Union Bank to commence Primary Dealer operations

Union Bank of Colombo PLC (UBC) has been appointed as a Primary Dealer in Government Securities by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and will commence this business with effect from October 1. As a Primary Dealer, Union Bank will participate directly in Primary Auctions conducted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in order [...]

Virtusa receives 3 Gold Awards at NCE Awards

Virtusa Corporation, a global business consulting and IT outsourcing company that combines innovation, technology leadership and industry solutions to transform the customer experience, won three gold awards at the recently concluded 22ndAnnual NationalChamber of Exporters Awards (NCE Awards) in Sri Lanka. The awards are in recognition of the company’s contribution to the country’s export earnings. [...]

MoneyGram Payout at Dialog Service Centres in Partnership with HNB

Dialog Axiata last week announced an agreement with Hatton National Bank, Sri Lankan agent for global money transfer service, MoneyGram, to convert 25 Dialog Service Centres into cash payout centres. MoneyGram is one of the leading inward foreign remittance, offering greater flexibility, convenience, speed and security, with a worldwide network of 345,000 locations in more [...]

“Interest difference for banks in Sri Lanka”

Let me at the outset thank Mr. C.J. Wijetillake a senior banker, for his timely explanation under the above caption in Business Times on September 28 regarding the rationale for Sri Lankan banks to maintain relatively higher ‘spreads’. In this connection please permit me to apprise the readers of some interesting statistics related to this [...]

High quality copper cables made in Sri Lanka from recycled waste material

Copper cables in Sri Lanka which are used to supply electricity to houses and business environment are still being imported from countries like India, South Africa and the Middle East when it could be manufactured in Sri Lanka. Attending a familiarisation media tour to the Orange Electric factories in Boralesgamuwa and Meegoda, the Business Times [...]

LST’s initiative to further rights based development

LST’s initiative to further rights based development

Sri Lanka’s Law and Society Trust recently held a forum in Colombo on “Sri Lanka’s Road to Sustainable Development” aimed at furthering the discourse on human rights based approach to development in the context of post war Sri Lanka. While the forum featured ideas and points of view from a variety of actors: political, academic [...]

LAUGFS launches “forward together” sustainability integration management initiative

LAUGFS Holdings, with the long term goal of integrating environmental aspects of sustainability to business, has initiated a project named ‘Forward Together’ to improve the processes and activities of each and every business unit and achieve the overall sustainability goals of the group. In a media statement, it said that LAUGFS being a group of [...]

Middle East and Maldives top buyers of Lankan Fruits and Vegetables, CCC study reveals

Sri Lanka exports nearly 9 per cent of fruits and vegetable production to the Middle Eastern and the Maldives while 75 per cent of the processed items are exported to the European Union, a new study by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has revealed. The study, titled “Fruit and Vegetable Sector Analysis 2013′ noted [...]

Sinhaputhra exceeds Rs. 5 billion deposits

Sinhaputhra Finance PLC’s has achieved a deposit base of more than Rs 5 billion with certain customer patronage exceeding three decades, indicating trust and confidence; and this was achieved without any expenditure on advertising, the company said this week. Director Operations Sarliya De Alwis said that this growth has been based on personal relationships and [...]

Mathura Steels completes 22 years of service to its customers

Mathura Steels, established on October 5, 1992 at Old Moor street, Colombo 12 completes 22 years in operation. The company, in a media release, said it is engaged in importing and marketing engineering, construction and hardware materials to the Sri Lankan market. Founding brothers, G. Parinathan and G. Murali had their primary and secondary education [...]

SL to be promoted as a golf tourism destination

SL to be promoted as a golf tourism destination

Golf tourism has been valued at US$ 20 billion with over 50 million golf tourists travelling the world to play on some of the estimated 32000 course, according to industry data. This industry has huge growth potential with 1000 new golf courses being built every year, Taiheiyo Club President and CEO Shun Han who was [...]

LOLC Leisure rebranded as Browns Hotels and Resorts

Browns Investments PLC (BI) on Monday announced the re-branding of LOLC Leisure to Browns Hotels and Resorts, aiming to eventually raise to 1,000 its stock of rooms. In March this year, Browns Investments acquired sole shareholder status of LOLC Leisure. BI previously held a minority interest of 30 per cent in LOLC Leisure; the investment [...]

Miss France 2014, Flora Coquerel plays brand ambassador role for Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts at IFTM

Miss France 2014, Flora Coquerel plays brand ambassador role for Cinnamon Hotels and  Resorts at IFTM

Whilst taking another initiative in spreading promotions for generating markets, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts participated at the annual International French Travel Mart (IFTM) which took place in Paris last week. The Cinnamon team, participating at the event, welcomed the reigning Miss France 2014, Ms. Flora Coquerel to their stall, who is also an ambassador for [...]

Trekurious unveils Chef’s Table

Private dining has reached new heights in Colombo as Trekurious together with Chesa Swiss and Grape Expectations unveiled the first of its kind in Sri Lanka – a Chef’s Table, according to a media release by the company, Trekurious designs and curates premium travel and lifestyle experiences. The company was founded in 2012 in Sri [...]

DHL Express appoints Dimithri Perera as SL Country Manager

DHL Express appoints Dimithri Perera as SL Country Manager

DHL Express recently announced the appointment of Dimithri Perera as Country Manager, Sri Lanka with effect from 15 September 2014. Mr. Perera succeeds Manish Patel, who has moved into a regional role based in Singapore. Prior to this role, Mr. Perera was the National Commercial Manager at DHL Express Sri Lanka, a position he held [...]

DFCC amendments soon before Parliament ahead of merger

Amendments allowing DFCC Bank’s impending merger with NDB is slated to go to Parliament by next week for approval, industry sources said. “These amendments will facilitate DFCC to become a company, thereby aiding the merger with NDB, which is at its last stage,” an industry source told the Business Times. He added that this will [...]

Public Policy forum at PGIM draws strong views on governance, transparency

Sri Lanka’s Postgraduate Institute of Management (PGIM) this week launched a “Public Policy for Business Leaders Programme” at the institute aimed at understanding and ensuring collaboration between the public and private sectors as a united force for the country’s development. It was attended by senior executives of the private sector, who were given the opportunity [...]

Are good managers born or made?

This question is similar to another one you’ve heard before, about leaders. Is there a clear answer? Yes. Good managers, like leaders, are made; not born. This is really good news because anyone who wishes to become one, is willing to put in what it takes, can become a good leader or manager. That does [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.