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SL Budget altered during Parliament debate

Sri Lanka’s 2015 Budget is one of mixed sorts – handouts, concessions, confusing numbers, proposals not matching allocations and furthermore, this week, for the first time ever, the projected expenditure was adjusted during the budget debate. On Wednesday, in a surprise move the government altered nearly 1/3rd of the 2015 budget expenditure (as proposed by [...]

SriLankan eyes routes to Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Johannesburg, Treasury silent on new Mihin aircraft

SriLankan Airlines is gearing to go to Africa; initially to Nairobi in Kenya, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Johannesburg in South Africa, in a bid to leverage on Chinese transit passengers via Colombo, officials said. “We’re looking to go to these places in Africa primarily to support the Chinese transit passengers there,” Kapila Chandrasena, CEO [...]

Britannia explores Sri Lankan re-entry

Britannia Industries Ltd, an Indian food-products corporation based in Kolkata is aiming to return to the Sri Lankan market, officials said. “We had a presence in Sri Lanka some years ago and now we are planning a re-entry. The fundamentals of the economy are great. That’s what attracts us,” Manjunath Desai, company Vice President Strategy [...]

Female field officers in Lankan plantations

Female field officers in Lankan plantations

Sri Lanka’s Kahawatte Plantations has brought a feminine touch to the traditionally male-dominated estate sector, by developing Female Field Officers. The company employs a total of 20 female Field Officers and Assistant Field Officers clad in boots, trousers and jackets, and provided with motor cycles. (Picture provided by the Planters Association).

Commercial banks seek CB relief on 12 per cent interest move

The Sri Lanka Banks’ Association is urging the Central Bank (CB) and the Treasury to extend a scheme applicable to state banks to cover losses in paying high interest rates to senior citizens, to all banks. The association has made the request in writing to the CB. In the 2015 budget, state banks have been [...]

Sri Lanka to harness benefits from AIIB, moving away from WB, ADB

Sri Lanka is drawing up ambitious development project plans to harness maximum benefits from the newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), moving away from its dependence on the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank(ADB), government officials said. Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. B.M.S Batagoda told the Business [...]

Magic or miracle revenues from a shattered budget

Magic or miracle revenues from a shattered budget

During the last few weeks, the people of Sri Lanka, were witnessing, very high level comments, made by the so-called elite, on the Budget 2015, presented to the Parliament on 24.10.2014, by the Minister of Finance, approximately one month before the usual date of budget presentation. The purpose of this article is to critically examine [...]

Public lashing of state officials by PBJ

Treasury Secretary Punchi Banda Jayasundera is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most powerful official. Barring the three brothers who are principal drivers of Sri Lanka’s development – Mahinda, Gotabaya and Basil (Chamal is not so influential in the circle of power) – Jayasundera is more influential than any minister (senior or junior) and has over time drawn [...]

PEO TV to introduce world’s latest technological platform

In a move towards revolutionising traditional television viewing, Sri Lanka’s Personalised Entertainment Option (PEO) TV, owned by Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), is to introduce the world’s latest and modern technological platform to bring next generation of home education and entertainment TV with high quality digital pictures, the head of the company said. PEO TV is [...]

Brandix to inspire Sri J’pura University’s entrepreneurial pool

The Brandix Group has pledged to support efforts by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura to stimulate invention and innovation as one of the initiatives of the latter’s World Class University Project. As a first step in this partnership, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator Disrupt Unlimited accepted an invitation to be one of the presenters at [...]

Good time to mull consolidating the insurance sector, CB Governor says

Good time to mull consolidating the  insurance sector, CB Governor says

With Sri Lanka’s Non Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) sector consolidation nearing completion, the time has come to consider a similar move in the insurance sector, Nivard Cabraal, Governor Central Bank (CB) says. “Now that we have a good body of knowledge built with the experience in consolidating the NBFI sector, it’s a good time to [...]

Safe cycling to Waskaduwa with Tour De Citrus

Citrus Leisure PLC’s five-star property Waskaduwa together with Wroom Sri Lanka concluded a CSR programme which also marked the launch of the resort’s weekend brunch, a company media release said. Commencing from Liberty Arcade in Kollupitiya at 6:30am, 52 cyclists made their way to Citrus Waskaduwa via the Galle Road with a refreshments stopover at [...]

Textured Jersey in emphatic recovery, 72% growth in second quarter profits

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL), has reported a top line of Rs. 3.5 billion and net profit of Rs. 282 million for the quarter ended 30th September 2014 (2Q FY2014/15), sharply up by 72 per cent in net profit from the previous corresponding period. According to Bill Lam, Chairman of TJL, this marked an emphatic [...]

First int’l flying school in Sri Lanka to train pilots

First int’l flying school  in  Sri Lanka to train pilots

On one side while airlines are expanding globally with new aircraft and introducing new destinations, on the other side the need for more trained pilots increases. Sri Lanka has many aspiring pilots but the facilities in the country are not sufficient to obtain the required licences at the local training centres. On Monday, the International [...]

SLT launches 100G Ultra Speed National Backbone Network

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has launched the country’s first ultra-speed National wide DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) fibre optics backbone transmission Network (NBN). Huawei, the strategic partner of SLT worked together with SLT to implement the NBN with new generation OTN-based 100G DWDM solution. The solution supports 8 Terabits (1 Terabits = 1000 Gigabits) per [...]

DFCC introduces instant money transfer for foreign remittances

With the Sri Lankan Government expecting US$ 10 billion in foreign remittances to flow into the country by 2016, DFCC Vardana Bank (DVB) launched the country’s first Lanka Money Transfer (LMT) service for workers abroad to credit to their beneficiaries in Sri Lanka. The service will be available from this month. Speaking to the Business [...]

Restricted land ownership laws for foreigners impact on all SL businesses, says JKH chief

The Land (Restrictions on Alienation) Act recently passed by Parliament poses several challenges to Sri Lanka’s business community, John Keells Holdings (JKH) Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has said. Commenting in the latest report on the group results for the second quarter of 2014-15, he said, “impact to the Group, if any will be assessed once the [...]

Interest slashed: How long will the guessing game go on?

As depositors, be they short or medium term investors, we are going through a very difficult period of time, not being able to balance our expenditure budgets due to depleted interest income resulting from the continuing monetary policy gimmicks of the government. It is not that we are disgruntled at the policy, but need to [...]

Optima clients win international awards

Optima Designs said this week it was proud to be part of the success of Expolanka Holdings PLC and People’s Leasing and Finance PLC, winners at the recently concluded Spotlight Awards Global Communications Competition by the League of American Communications Professional (LACP) for outstanding annual reports. Amongst the 800 entries that were submitted from more [...]

Technology makes communication less personal, says business psychologist

Technology makes communication less personal, says business psychologist

Business psychology trainer, author and teacher Rozaine Cooray is launching her book “From Crisis to Character’ on November 12 in Colombo. Most of the articles were based on a column she writes for the Business Times. Here are excerpts of an interview with Ms. Cooray: -What made you consider writing on workplace issues and the [...]

Swadeshi Khomba Illuminates Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devalaya

The Swadeshi Industrial Works PLC, said to be the market leader in Sri Lanka for herbal personal care products, has sponsored the “Aloka Poojawa” of the historic Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devalaya for the 13th consecutive year, the company said in a media statement. Saman Devalaya is the repository for the Sacred Tooth Relic for 11 [...]

Unions propose “Right to Life and Land’ plan for central hills residents

The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees’ Union (FTZGSEU) has urged the authorities to formulate an environmentally friendly development plan on “Right to Life and Land” for the Central Hills aimed at protecting residents. The proposal should be presented in parliament within the next six months, the General Council of the union said in [...]

Remembering the re-imaginings of two eminent Sri Lankans: Gamani Corea and Ray Wijewardene

Remembering the re-imaginings of two eminent  Sri Lankans: Gamani Corea and Ray Wijewardene

These two weeks we will honour the lives of two Sri Lankans who dared re-imagine a different world: a world that was more equal and more sustainable. Dr. Gamani Corea, best known for being the Secretary General of UNCTAD from 1964-1984, dared to re-imagine a new international world order, which recognised inequality between nations, and [...]

PBJ outlines vision 20/30 to make Sri Lanka an advanced economy

PBJ outlines vision 20/30 to make Sri Lanka an advanced economy

Sri Lanka’s 2015 budget addresses the needs of a wide range of sectors in a long term perspective of 20/30 covering all segments of the economy ranging from micro level farmers, workers, small and medium entrepreneurs to the large corporate extending decade of economic benefits to the people, the Treasury’s top official said, however sans [...]

US-based Starwood to manage Browns’ new Kosgoda resort

US-based Starwood to manage Browns’ new Kosgoda resort

Browns Hotels and Resorts last week signed an agreement with US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts to manage its new Kosgoda resort. Starwood will manage the 172-room, 5-star Sheraton Kosgoda Turtle Beach Resort at Kosgoda. This is the international operator’s second Sheraton-branded management asset in Sri Lanka with the 308-room Sheraton Colombo, costing US$80 million opening [...]

hSenid ‘significant’ sponsor of Istanbul telecom Summit, launching new product there

hSenid ‘significant’ sponsor of Istanbul telecom Summit, launching new product there

Sri Lankan IT company hSenid has signed on as “significant” sponsor for the international Telecom Application Development (TAD) Summit 2014, which will be held on November 12-13 in Istanbul, Turkey, wherein the local company will also share its success stories and even launch a new product, according Dinesh Saparamadu, the local firm’s Chief Executive Officer. [...]

Sanken group invests in Maldivian hotel project

Owners of Cinnamon Red invest on Maldives hotel project Sanken Group, the owners of the recently opened Cinnamon Red Hotel, said this week it was investing in a new US$50 million hotel project in the Maldives. Set to open in Q1 2016, “Amari Havodda” is owned by Crystal Plaza Resorts, a joint venture between the [...]

Central Bank and Licensed Finance Companies

There are many readers of the Sunday Times who give first preference and priority to the Business Times section because their main concern and purpose is to ascertain the outcome of their fixed deposits with the collapse of some finance companies. Dear Editor, your business pages are always alert and on the watch for very [...]

Planters Association to allocate land, UDA to build new houses

The Planters’ Association (PA) of Ceylon, which represents all the regional plantation companies (RPCs) including the disaster-struck Maskeliya Plantations, said on Monday that it was identifying land for the victims of the Koslande landslide on which houses will be built by the Urban Development Authority (UDA). In a media announcement, the PA “reaffirmed its steadfast [...]

Surging arrivals from China may tip the UK to second place

Surging arrivals from China may tip the UK to second place

Surging tourist arrivals from China may tip the scales in terms of top positions in the Sri Lankan arrivals calendar. As of January to October 2014, Chinese arrivals totalled 107,888, up 138.9 per cent from the previous 10-month period against top source market India totalling 196,819 (growth of18.3 per cent from last year) and second [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism launches underground ad campaign in UK

Sri Lanka Tourism launches underground ad campaign in UK

A special advertising campaign was launched in central London by Sri Lanka Tourism coinciding with the WTM Travel and Trade Fair in London, covering 25 underground stations for a period of three months (12 weeks). The campaign started off on 29th October and running up to January 29, 2015 in parallel to the WTM travel [...]

Emirates sees free onboard Wi-Fi as future standard

Emirates said to be the world’s largest international airline, said this week it invests over US$20 million annually on installing and operating inflight connectivity systems which enable onboard Wi-Fi services. “In the first three years since Emirates launched inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, over half a million passengers have connected to the Internet onboard an Emirates flight, [...]

China to overtake US as world’s largest passenger market by 2030

Geneva – the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday released its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, projecting that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034. That represents a 4.1 per cent average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3 billion [...]

Hemas mulls city hotel, regional strategy and hotel management

Hemas Holdings PLC is exploring the idea of a city hotel and has made inroads in its regional expansion, while eyeing hotel management opportunities in and out of Sri Lanka. “The leisure industry is in a good position now. It’ll grow and it’s a core part of our business. In this context we’re looking at [...]

More companies prefer local flavour in ratings

More and more corporates who find their debt ratings lowered through Fitch Ratings Lanka, a global rating agency, are moving to other agencies including Lanka Ratings Agency (LRA) which is locally incorporated. During the past few years more than 10 companies have moved out of Fitch. “Many corporates raise money through the stock market through [...]

Treasury rejects publicly the appeal of footwear and leather product manufacturers

Sri Lanka footwear and leather products manufacturers have been asked to venture into export market making high quality up market shoes without asking tax concessions from the Treasury as the government is ready to extend necessary assistance for manufacturers turning out value added products for the export market without focusing only for the local market. [...]

New Zealand promotes business and sports

New Zealand promotes business and sports

Nathan Guy, New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries; Grahame Morton – New Zealand High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Stephen Fleming New Zealand – Champion for Cricket World Cup 2015, were in Sri Lanka this week to further strengthen trade ties betwen Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the lead up to the ICC Cricket [...]

104-storey World Trade Center reopens in New York

More than 13 years after the original towers were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center in New York has re-opened for business. The US$3.8 billion skyscraper took eight years to build and is now the tallest building in the US, according to news agency reports. “The New York City skyline is whole [...]

Real estate developments within a green environment

Real estate developments within a green environment

Sri Lanka, an island of some 65,620 sq. km and a population of 21 million, has traditionally maintained human development indicators that are comparable with those of advanced countries with literacy rates exceeding 92 per cent. The economy measured in terms of per capita GDP has always led the pack amongst South Asian economies and [...]

Expolanka honoured at LACP USA once again, among top 25 in the world

Expolanka Holdings PLC won three awards for its ‘Look | See’ Annual Report 2013/14 at the recently concluded Spotlight Awards Global Communications Competition by the League of American Communications Professional (LACP). Expolanka claimed the 24th spot amongst the top 100 world rankings, winning a Gold Award for excellence within its competition class as well as [...]

Rs. 1,000 per shift for security staff, ‘need of the hour’ – SLASSPA President

Rs. 1,000 per shift for  security staff, ‘need of the hour’ – SLASSPA President

The primary aim of the Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLASSPA) is to get all the stakeholders in its industry to agree to a minimum salary of at least Rs. 1,000 per shift, up from the Rs. 600 being paid currently, according to the organisation’s President Tissa Aluwihare. Making this comment in statement issued [...]

Bloomer in ODEL announcement

When ODEL, whose ownership moved from founder Otara Gunewardene to the Softlogic Group, made an announcement last week in the resignations of some directors, there was an obvious error and no effort made to correct it subsequently. The announcement by SSSP Corporate Services Pvt Ltd, on behalf of the company, was released to the Colombo [...]

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