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Floating market sinks

Floating market sinks

A policeman walks past several closed shops at the Floating Market in Pettah in this picture taken by Amila Gamage. According to Treasury data, the market has reported losses for several months.

More and more files on questionable deals missing at Finance Ministry

Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry faces an uphill task of unearthing details on questionable deals as some of the files containing vital documents have gone missing, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has revealed. He told a media conference in Colombo on Thursday that he came to know recently that around 2,600 important files had disappeared from the [...]

Controversy over hybrid cars

Controversy over hybrid cars

A worker at a Colombo car sales centre wipes off dust on a hybrid car on offer. There was an outcry of protests over increased taxes on hybrid cars in the last budget. The Finance Ministry then clarified the matter saying the new tax will apply to purchases after the budget and vehicles that had [...]

Welfare measures in the budget could trigger inflation, economists warn

More borrowings could further aggravate Sri Lanka’s debt crisis while the revised budget filled with welfare measures could trigger inflation, economists warned on Thursday. Speaking at a panel discussion on the budget held at the auditorium of the Colombo University’s Department of Economics, the three panellists were also of the view that the new regime [...]

Sri Lanka’s revenue collection slows down impacting 100- day programme

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD)’s continuing failure to collect taxes due to the lethargic attitude of officials and poor administration at the helm could hinder the 100 day relief programme of the new government and hurt economic growth, Treasury officials warned. According to the IRD’s monthly revenue performance report up to February 10, revenue collection [...]

Sri Lankans to crown South Africa Tourism glory

South Africa Tourism would be tapping into the 4000-odd Sri Lankan business traveller market often visiting the country that would add a “jewel in its crown,” a tourism official said. Currently, South Africa’s highest visitors were from the UK at around half a million, Germany and the US generating a quarter million while in the [...]

Dicey taxes are bad signals for investors

The one-time tax on corporate profits in excess of Rs. 2 billion in FY 2013/14 which was imposed solely to help relieve the fiscal pressure of new President Maithripala Sirisena’s promises is a bad signal to the private sector as it creates uncertainty regarding the future outlook and direction of the government, analysts say. Immediate [...]

SL banks clueless on interest scheme for senior citizens

Complete chaos reigned at some local banks over deposits of senior citizens after last month’s revised budget with many bankers confused at what rate of interest they should accept for fixed deposits by these seniors. This was while the authorities are dilly dallying on issuing directions to the banks depriving senior citizens of a much-needed [...]


Peter Hill to pilot SriLankan SriLankan Airlines former CEO Peter Hill will get onboard the national carrier once again as Consultant to turnaround the once profitable venture as the airline merges with budget carrier Mihin Lanka. Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said the government was keen on the two carriers merging with the aim [...]

Government probes Chelina Capital Corp’s China deals

The new government has directed relevant authorities including the Finance Ministry and the Board of Investment (BOI) to probe into alleged suspicious dealings of Chelina Capital Corporation (Pvt) Ltd with links to top politicians of the previous regime,top official sources said. The company was entrusted with the task of providing consultancy services for 15 projects [...]

Casino owner Perera fed up with taxes

Paying some 65 per cent in cumulative taxes for his casinos doesn’t seem to go down well anymore with Dhammika Perera, considered one of Sri Lanka’s biggest businessmen. He will operate only two casinos out of the three casinos in the future, having decided to close down one of them in a restructuring exercise, sources [...]

SEC new commission to meet tomorrow

The first meeting of the newly appointed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be held tomorrow. With new Chairman Thilak Karunaratne, the commission comprises eight members, namely Marina Fernando (who was Acting Director General at SEC during former Chairman Gamini Wickremasinghe’s time), Dili Wijewardene, a capital market professional with experience in Singapore, Suresh Shah, Chairman [...]

Arjuna sweeps up dirt at port, aviation agencies

Sweeping reforms at ports and aviation institutions amidst plans to double transhipment volume at Hambantota port is on the cards for new Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. The Hambantota port would be encouraged to increase its transhipment volume by doubling it by end of March this year, the minister said in a telephone interview [...]

Sri Lanka’s mini budget and economic possibilities

Sri Lanka’s mini budget and economic possibilities

While most Governments promise to carry out 100 day programmes after the elections, few in reality do so. Thus the pace with which the newly formed Government has moved on its election promises during the first month of its tenure is welcome. Here, the Government’s mini budget announced on 29th January 2015 has brought some [...]

Budget: Like taking Panadol for quick relief

To many, it would seem a panel discussion organised by Sri Lanka leading economists on the budget, two weeks after the event, is outdated and would run out of steam. Not really. The analysis from three eminent panellists and veteran economist Prof. A.D.V.D.S. Indraratne, who chaired the event, threw open many new issues that needs [...]

Colombo 10: From a concrete jungle to a thriving commercial hub

Emerging from its former image of a highly congested area with large under-served communities, Colombo 10 is currently in the process of enjoying a complete transformation that is starting to have a significant impact on the areas real estate market. Taking into account the developments in and around the area, it’s only a matter of [...]

Land and construction costs in Sri Lanka among the highest in the world

The theme for the Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), this year is ‘Conversations with the Sky’. It will be held from 17 February to 22 at the BMICH. The launch of these sessions was held this week in Colombo and at this launch it was revealed that architecture has always [...]

South Africa to talk reconciliation, bilateral ties next month

South Africa to talk reconciliation, bilateral ties next month

High level meetings with South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Maithripala Sirisena during their meeting next month in Colombo is set to centre on Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process ahead of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session due in March/April. Mr. Ramaphosa is due to visit Colombo next month, the country’s High Commissioner [...]

Hemas Hospital- Thalawathugoda introduces convenience based solutions to its clientele

Hemas Hospitals Thalawathugoda, which says it is rapidly creating a footprint for itself as a leader in community healthcare, has looked into the aspects of consumer driven services and affordability, and devised a proactive mechanism to address the requirements of special customer groups in the market. These include the elderly population, housewives, post-natal mothers, etc [...]

MillenniumIT to provide technology to India’s National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange

MillenniumIT, the ultra-low latency technology provider and part of London Stock Exchange Group, this week announced that it has been selected by India’s National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), to provide the core technology infrastructure for both the derivatives and spot market segments of NCDEX. The online commodity exchange has chosen MillenniumIT’s multi-asset and ultra-low [...]

Emirates offers 2 free air tickets and hotel accommodation for March 29

Emirates offers 2 free air tickets and hotel accommodation for March 29

ICC cricket final Emirates, an official partner of the ICC World Cricket cup, is offering Sri Lankan fans a chance to win the ultimate in prizes – a place at the March 29th final for two, with air tickets and hotel accommodation thrown in. The airline said in a statement on Wednesday that the competition [...]

Transforming young minds – the Tokyo Cement All Island Quiz 2015

Tokyo Cement, for the second successive year, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Swarnavahini, is presenting the Tokyo Cement All Island Quiz. Bringing together students from around the country, the competition empowers young minds to strive for academic excellence and encourages a mastery of diverse fields of knowledge, the company said this week. [...]

CA Sri Lanka spreads its global wings with new UAE Chapter

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) continued to expand its presence across the world map by establishing yet another overseas chapter in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The newly mooted CA Sri Lanka UAE Chapter represents more than 100 chartered accountants, who are CA Sri Lanka members working in multiple [...]

Did CB hire IMF’s Dominic Strauss Kahn for financial services or pimping?

It is reported that the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had engaged the services of the former managing director of the IMF, Dominic Strauss Kahn at a fee of US$750000. Since it is known that Mr. Kahn provided both financial consultancy and allegedly pimping services could we know the kind of services obtained by the [...]

Former Tea Board chairperson says many things achieved during her tenure

Janaki Kuruppu, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, announced her resignation this week saying she stepped down after a record-breaking year for Ceylon Tea. In a statement to the media, she said the past three years from 2011-2014 saw a renaissance in Ceylon Tea with the year 2013 breaking all records and the 2014 [...]

Walkers Tours handles the largest ever MICE incentive movement from India

Walkers Tours handles the largest ever MICE incentive movement from India

Walkers Tours Ltd, one of the leading Destination Management Companies (DMC) in Sri Lanka, recently concluded the biggest MICE incentive group from India that has ever been handled by a DMC in Sri Lanka. The company organised the tour for over 1600 Phillips employees who travelled from all parts of India to attend a series [...]

HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions

LONDON GUARDIAN, Sunday February 9 – HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files. The files – obtained through an [...]

Sri Lankan pump and dump offenders must be brought to book – Jafferjee

Sri Lankan pump and dump offenders must be brought to book – Jafferjee

Sri Lankan investors who pump and dump on shares should be prosecuted with the same level of seriousness of other crimes such as burglary and theft, according to the CEO of a top broking firm. Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO JB Stockbrokers told the Business Times that pumping and dumping exists (contrary to some irrational beliefs in [...]

Growth in exports to Australia boosts Piramal Glass turnover results

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC (PGC) has seen turnover grow by 7 per cent to Rs. 4.1 billion in FY15 while profits after tax ( PAT) was marginally up at Rs.231 million in the 9-month results for the 2014-15 year. In a media statement, the company said the domestic market showed a growth of 16 per [...]

Keells hotels in the top slots in resort space

Keells hotels in the top slots in resort space

John Keells Hotels (KHL) competes in the number of 1 to 3 position in the Sri Lanka resort space with competition from Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, privately owned Jetwing Hotels group and Amaya Leisure, a Softlogic Stockbrokers Report says. Being a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry, KHL has the largest room portfolio in Sri [...]

Positive growth momentum in Hayleys extends into Q3

Hayleys PLC says its Q3 2014/2015 results were strong, reporting consolidated group revenue in the third quarter up by 12 per cent to Rs. 22.98 billion. Revenue for the nine months ending December 2014 rose by 14 per cent to Rs. 64.48 billion, according to a company statement The Hand Protection sector recorded an increased [...]

First Capital reports Rs.1.1bln PAT in 9-mths, growth momentum continues

First Capital Holdings PLC has reported a profit after tax of Rs. 1.09 billion for the 9 months ended 31 December 2014 indicating a stable growth trajectory, it said in a statement. The company, which offers a range of investment banking products and services across the financial spectrum, saw an increase in profit after tax, [...]

100 acres of Touchwood properties void

About 100 acres of Touchwood Investments property allegedly sold to at least six persons would be considered void or invalid under the Companies Act, the company’s liquidator said last week. Touchwood Investments Liquidator Sudath Kumar has identified about 100 acres of land that was transferred to six persons that would be invalid since it had [...]

Hedging is good – CPC badly needs hedging

Hedging is good – CPC badly needs hedging

The purpose of this article is to remove serious misconceptions about hedging and to show all Sri Lankans that hedging is a very important tool to manage volatility of commodity prices. Sri Lanka should continuously use hedging strategies for the benefit of its people. The hedging losses suffered by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) were [...]

Ravi says accountants should have protested against past corrupt practices

Finance Minister Ravi Karunananayake dropped a bombshell this week when he asked professional accountants attending a Colombo event whether they discharged their duties well by not exposing corrupt practices of the previous regime. He lambasted auditors for not showing due diligence when preparing accounts of state owned enterprises during the period of the previous regime. [...]

SLT recognised as the first KMPro Certified knowledge management organisation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national ICT solutions provider and the leading broadband and backbone infrastructure services provider, has been recognised as “1st Certified knowledge management organisation” in Sri Lanka by KM Pro, a US based non-profit pofessional organisation that seeks to encourage knowledge management practices among business organisations as well as individuals across the [...]

PCHH subsidiary Bieco Link soon to re-start activated carbon plant

PCHH subsidiary Bieco Link soon to re-start activated carbon plant

PCH Holdings PLC said this week its subsidiary Bieco Link Carbons (Pvt) Ltd will soon be fully operational once its custom-built factory on a 12 acre freehold property in Giriulla is upgraded and refurbished shortly. PCHH majority shareholder Adam Investments Ltd took control of Bieco Link Carbons (Pvt) Ltd in November 2014, launching a programme [...]

Ceylon Tea Houses loses Rs. 1 million monthly

The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) run tea shop at the Race Course shopping mall has been allegedly running at losses amounting around Rs.1 million monthly. In this regard, board officials have been tasked with preparing a board paper and appointing a board committee to review the tea shop run by the SLTB, the board’s [...]

Port City Project to be suspended till environmental, economic and security issues are resolved

Reclamation work at the Port City project is to be suspended till the environmental, economic and security issues concerning the project are resolved, Minister of Investment Promotion Kabir Hashim revealed. He said that the government will re-examine the agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC), a partnership of the China Communication Construction Co. Ltd. [...]

Mattala airport in the middle of nowhere

Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s grandiose project in his hometown of Hambantota, is literally in the middle of nowhere with the new administration uncertain of its way forward as it grapples with cost-cutting as an initial move. Ports and Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told the Business Times that they [...]

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