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Govt. vows action against pump-and-dump traders

Govt. vows action against pump-and-dump traders

Spending Rs. 36 million in a year on overseas promotional roadshows, donating Rs. 4 million for Namal Rajapaksa’s Tharunyata Hetak political youth scheme and Rs.5 million on promoting the Government’s 20-20 vision! This is only the tip of the iceberg in unnecessary spending at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the tenure of former [...]

Krrish says committed to work with new regime

Indian-based Krrish Group has indicated that it’s committed to working with the new Sri Lankan government on the long delayed controversial multimillion Krrish Transworks Tower project in Colombo Fort, a top official said. Representatives of the company met Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Upul Jayasuriya on Monday. Mr. Jayasuriya told the Business Times that Krrish [...]

Basil’s wife recruits 100 into SLTPB, Jauffer in alleged money scam

While a former minister’s wife was busy recruiting staff for the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) the institution’s head was allegedly misusing state funds, ongoing investigations have revealed. New recruits at the SLTPB numbering almost 100 interviewed by a former powerful minister’s wife have been discontinued. Deputy Tourism Minister Wasantha Senanayake told the Business [...]

Sri Lanka bars entry of Bajaj Auto RE60

Bajaj Auto RE60, India’s first quadricycle, an alternative to the 3-wheeler, will not be permitted to ply on Sri Lankan roads, the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) head said. The MTD has rejected the application submitted by the local agent of India’s Bajaj Auto company to market this low priced vehicle in the island, Commissioner General [...]

Finally! 15% interest rate for senior citizens’ deposits

Finally! 15% interest rate for  senior citizens’ deposits

Nearly two months after it was promised, the 15 per cent special interest rate for deposits by senior citizens was finally accepted by all Sri Lankan commercial banks from Thursday, industry officials said. The Business Times was in the forefront of a plea by elder citizens to enforce this budget proposal. The Treasury intends to [...]

Infrastructure is necessary but is it sufficient?

Infrastructure is necessary but is it sufficient?

Infrastructure was the most popular and widely discussed topic during recently concluded Presidential election campaign. The previous regime cited infrastructure projects ranging from upgrading rural roads to super highways to claim that the country has achieved an unprecedented development during its tenure. The then opposition which is now in government cited the very same infrastructure [...]

SEC: Catch the manipulators

Until this week, there had been absolute silence in the Colombo stock market over the dismal happenings in the past where alleged mafia-like traders controlled the market and also certain officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is painstakingly clear to all and sundry – regular investors, brokers, analysts and the culprits themselves [...]

Provincial and sector household income growth in Sri Lanka

The Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2012/2013 conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics covering a sample of 25,000 housing units across all 25 districts of the country provides interesting insights as to how income and expenditure at the household level have performed over time. With the regime change there is an increased [...]

Some stockbrokers seen ‘jittery’ at CSE event

Some stockbrokers seen ‘jittery’ at CSE event

Some stockbrokers resembled ‘cats-on-hot-bricks’ at a high profile event at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Thursday, the Business Times observed. Dato’ Seri Utama S. Samy Vellu, Special Envoy (Ministerial Rank) to India and South Asia on Infrastructure, Prime Minister’s Department, Government of Malaysia rang the ceremonial opening bell at the start of trading on [...]

Proposed Port City poses many environmental issues to Sri Lankan capital

Proposed Port City poses many environmental issues  to Sri Lankan capital

The Port City project which is being built in Colombo can raise many environmental issues that had to be looked into closely as 300,000 people are expected to live there when the project was completed. “Can you imagine issues that we have to face in terms of water and sewerage etc?” said Deputy Minister of [...]

Sri Lanka MICE travel mart postponed for after polls

The Sri Lanka MICE Travel Mart scheduled for February/March in Colombo with the presence of 50-100 incentive and conference planners from Asia has been postponed with May-July being considered as the new dates due to proposed parliamentary elections, its s organisers said. “Owing to the change of Government and fresh elections in the next few [...]

Private sector wants legislation on Rs.2500 wage hike

Trade unions, representing nearly eight million private sector and informal sector workers, are launching an SMS campaign from March 5 until a scheduled rally – possibly accompanied by a token strike – on March 12 demanding the government pay workers the Rs.2500 increase through legislative means. On Thursday, the involved trade unions (TUs) agreed to [...]

Estate Worker unions to meet on wage hike negotiations

Negotiations at the upcoming Collective Agreement for Sri Lankan plantation workers would ensure they get a “reasonable” and “decent” hike in their salaries, a government politician said. State Minister for Plantation and Industry K. Velayutham, who is also the General Secretary of the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union, told the Business Times that they would [...]

Janashakthi records Rs. 8.9 bln GWP despite challenging industry conditions

Janashakthi Insurance PLC has reported a pre-tax profit of over Rs.1 billion in the year ending December 2014,showing healthy growth amidst regulatory change in the insurance sector. Celebrating two decades of existence, Janashakthi posted a Gross Written Premium of Rs. 8.9 billion against Rs. 8.7 billion in the previous 2013 year, according to a company [...]

Confronting corruption: Senior corporate leaders must show commitment toward ethical behaviour

Confronting corruption: Senior corporate leaders must show commitment toward ethical behaviour

Policies, controls, and culture must all work together to withstand the inevitable pressures when they arise. Consider these real-life situations faced by executives in global corporations: – A local political leader has demanded a payment to help settle a labour dispute that he has engineered; he implies that if you refuse, the outcome could be [...]

Commercial Bank assets up 31.29% to Rs. 795.6 bln in 2014

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC ended 2014 on a strong note, withstanding challenging conditions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to post profit before tax of Rs. 15.736 billion for the year, up 8.45 per cent from 2013. The bank’s profit after tax was Rs. 11.180 billion, up by 7.03 per cent amidst marginally lower [...]

EFC’s puerile attempt to invoke ILO Conventions

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC), in a media release issued through its Director General Ravi Peiris has sought to decry the proposal of the government to increase wages of private sector employees and held out the threat to go before the ILO alleging violation by the government of ILO Convention No. 98 and No. [...]

Aitken Spence plans rebranding hotels

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings is looking to restructure its hotel brands in a bid to better elevate its properties, officials say. “We now have Heritance, Aitken Spence Hotels and Adaraan. We may go for two or three tiered branding and we are trying to overhaul our brands and make them more uniform,” a top official [...]

Biz centres most productive for out-of-office work; cafes least productive

Despite being popular, cafes and hotel lounges are some of the least productive places to work out of the office, whereas business centres are the most productive, according to a recent study by Brussels-based workplaces provider Regus that gathered responses from 22,000 survey participants. Further, the company’s findings stated the following: “When respondents were asked [...]

Significant volume growth ‘likely’ in local FMCG in 2015 – Nielsen

Significant growth in terms of sales volumes is “likely” in Sri Lanka’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector over the next few months of 2015, according to market researcher Nielsen. The company also added that this was a result of the current low inflation environment as well as significant recent allowances government sector employees who [...]

China and India to run pavilions at SL food exhibition in August

Global economic giants, China and India are expected to run pavilions at the Pro-food, Pro-pack 2015 Exhibition which will be held from 7 to 9 August at the BMICH for the second consecutive year. Pakistan and Malaysia are also participating in a big way. Further, 20 more countries with 300 participants are expected to run [...]

Current interest rates to remain, Central Bank says

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank on Tuesday, contrary to expectations from Sri Lanka’s money markets, announced that policy interest rates will remain as it is. “Taking the above factors into consideration, the Monetary Board at its meeting held on 23 February 2015, decided to maintain policy interest rates of the Central Bank unchanged [...]

ASUS recognises EWIS as its best partner in 2014

ASUS recognises EWIS as its best partner in 2014

EWIS Colombo Ltd (ECL), a member of the EWIS Group, has been recognised as ASUS’ Best Partner in 2014. Regional Director, India, South Asia and MEA of ASUS – Levis Su presented the prestigious award to EWIS during a recent visit to Sri Lanka, which is the first ever arrival of an ASUS top management [...]

Investigations must be conducted in an organised manner

It is impractical for the public to believe that investigations into so called corruption/waste and political interference into public service appointments, irregularities can be investigated in haste. This country has been suffering from political interference as far as I know since 1956. In 1965 when the UNP was in power and Dudley Senanayake was Prime [...]

Difficulties and problems private security companies face sans level playing field

Industrial security companies known as private security are faced with many problems and issues and they need the immediate attention of the state. There are approximately 66-70 thousand employees in this trade. The problems are many as seen below: 1. Very poor wage, even below of an office peon, when they are entrusted with public [...]

Cyber crimes threaten to disrupt people and businesses

At a time when the use of cyber space is seen pushing the world towards war (ISIS through Facebook, etc) startling revelations on cyber crimes was made at a presentation given by an official attached to Microsoft Sri Lanka, last week at the SarvodayaFusion Awards Ceremony in Moratuwa. Shalini Ratwatte, Corporate Attorney for Microsoft’s South [...]

Lovely bunch of ‘pera’ (guavas)

Lovely bunch of ‘pera’ (guavas)

This lovely bunch of guavas from Puttalam is seen on a vendor’s cart for sale near the National Hospital Colombo. Guava vendors say demand has risen for local fruits due to safety concerns over imported fruit like apples. Pic by Athula Devapriya

HNB says nearing Rs. 1 Trillion mark, post-tax profit over Rs.10 bln

Hatton National Bank says it recorded “another year of outstanding performance with Group Profit-After-Tax (PAT) increasing by 29 per cent to Rs 10.1 billion while the bank’s PAT recorded a growth of 28 per cent exceeding Rs. 9 billion”. Discussing the performance, HNB Chairperson, Dr Ranee Jayamaha stated that “the Bank has once again demonstrated [...]

COSMOS flying school under scrutiny

COSMOS Aviation’s flying school, which was given a week-long extension on its licence, would be subject to an audit tomorrow by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Owned by former Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, the controversial aviation school came into the spotlight since it had not made payments amounting to Rs.24 million to both the [...]

‘Knowledge’ is what every Lankan needs, says Dr. Harsha

In a world moving with advanced technology and new innovations coming into place, it is time that every Sri Lankan citizen gain knowledge to look at things in a different way, according to Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Hrsha De Silva. Speaking at the Wijeya Graphics Multimedia Graduation Awards ceremony at [...]

Best Western opens only roof top lounge bar in Kirillapone locality

Sri Lanka will continue to evolve as a major tourist destination as South Asia is growing rapidly, according to the Regional Director, Best Western International Asia, Rodney Simpson who was in Colombo for the opening of the City Lights Lounge bar of the Best Western hotel located at Baseline Road at the Kirillapone end last [...]

Hybrid tax hike drives Sri Lanka’s motor dealers round the bend

Sri Lanka’s motor dealers numbering around 650 are facing a threat of losing their business and possible shut down of their car sale centres countrywide due to unbearable tax hike on hybrid vehicles, motor dealers complained. The majority of car sales for dealers now come from hybrids. Sampath Merenchige, President of the Vehicle Importers’ Association [...]

Motor vehicle data at the push of a button

Sri Lanka’s Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will soon be introducing mobile application (mobile apps) and an online system to provide vehicle information next month. This Online Vehicle Information System (OVIS) has been developed by the department to provide details of all registered vehicles with the department for the benefit of authorized users of this facility [...]

British Car Day’ 2015 brings together vehicle enthusiasts from across Sri Lanka

British Car Day’ 2015 brings together  vehicle enthusiasts from across Sri Lanka

The Classic Car Club of Ceylon together with Land Rover conducted the ‘British Car Day’ at Town Hall premises recently attracting close to 100 classic British automobiles. The vehicles, which belong to well-known enthusiasts, were showcased at the venue before they commenced on a parade route through the heart of Colombo. The parade, which was [...]

Electric car re-charging centres to be set up countrywide

With the anticipation of an influx in electric vehicle imports due to recent tax reduction given in the interim budget, the Ministry of Power and Energy is to set up electric vehicle-re-chagrining centres countrywide, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka revealed. These re-charging centres are to be established at fuel filing stations, supermarkets, and other places located [...]

Sri Lanka’s used car registrations record a new high

Sri Lanka’s second-hand car registrations recorded a new high in January mainly due to imports of used hybrids, although higher import duties in the government’s interim budget on hybrids could bring down car imports in the months to come, motor traders said. President – Ceylon Motor Traders Association Gihan Pilapitiya told the Business Times that [...]

Over 2000 hybrids lie idle at Hambantota Port

Over 2000 hybrids lie idle at Hambantota Port

More than 2,000 hybrid cars have been unloaded at the Hambantota Port recently and vehicle importers are delaying clearing the cars due to massive increase in hybrid prices after the tax hike in the January 29th interim budget, official sources revealed.Car dealers said that they were finding it difficult to clear the vehicles imported as [...]

Crisis at Seylan Bank over collective agreement

A crisis is brewing at Seylan Bank between workers and the management over the renewal of a 2-year collective agreement on wages and other issues, union sources said. On Wednesday, Seylan Bank management sought and obtained an ex-parte enjoining order from the Colombo District Court barring unions from proceeding with union action. According to Keshara [...]

Colombo University inaugurates postgrad econ programmes

The Department of Economics, University of Colombo will inaugurate all its postgraduate and extension programmes for 2015 on March 7 at the New Arts Theatre (NAT) of the University, according to the Head of the Department, Professor Ven. W. Wimalaratana.World Bank Country Director Ms. Francoise Clottes will attend the event as the Chief Guest while [...]

Indraratna Foundation Trust awards schols to university students

Indraratna Foundation Trust awards schols to university students

Eight undergraduates, two from the University of Peradeniya and six from the University of Colombo, who did well at the first examination and opted to specialise in Economics were awarded Rs. 25,000 each as scholarships by the S. Indraratna Foundation Trust at a ceremony at the University of Colombo recently. The presentation was made [...]

Vehicle importers cry foul over heavy licence fee

Sri Lanka’s small and medium scale importers of vehicles are under severe pressure with the new requirement of an annual licence fee of Rs.1.5 million for brand new and used vehicle importers. Indika Sampath Merenchige, President of the Vehicle Importers’ Association of Lanka told a media conference in Colombo on Friday that this licence fee [...]

MTD Walkers ventures into infrastructure development support services

MTD Walkers PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s top diversified holding business groups, has further diversified its business interests by establishing a “new” strategic business unit (SBU) named Walkers Equipment Ltd. This new subsidiary was incorporated for the primary purpose of conducting business activities as an Infrastructure Development Support Business (IDSB) and to handle the distribution [...]

Commercial Bank gears for rep office in Male

Having established a representative office in Myanmar, the Commercial Bank is now gearing to operate a similar operation in the Maldives, officials said. “About six months ago, we applied for a banking licence to Maldives and we are awaiting a positive response,” an official told the Business Times. More on foreign expansion, he said that [...]

Carmudi secures $25 mln in new funding for Asia, Latin America

Carmudi, a global car classified site, has raised US$25 million to strengthen its operations in Asia and Latin America. Investors include Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo, Holtzbrinck Ventures, a leading consumer internet investor, Tengelmann Ventures, a division of international multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group, ad a private investor, [...]

Sections of Sri Lanka’s pvt sector engaged in back-room deals, says minister

Sections of Sri Lanka’s private sector were more engaged in back-room operations (deals) than contributing to the economic development of the country, the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said this week. Addressing a seminar on the topic “budget highlights 2015 and how it impacted on businesses” organised by the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri [...]

Apparel industry wants speedy trade concessions with EU

The apparel industry has urged the Government to speed up obtaining trade concessions from the European Union (EU) in addition to upscaling its agreements with the United States (US) to preferential trade ties for the garments sector. The Joint Apparel Association Federation (JAAF) met on Wednesday and submitted a series of proposals to the government [...]

DIMO ties up with Vallibel Finance to promote TATA vehicles

With the infrastructure development in Sri Lanka, and the need for dependable and cost effective transportation solutions, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) is to offer TATA commercial vehicles for contractors and transporters on affordable terms. DIMO will be introducing attractive leasing packages for the benefit of the contractors and the owners to bring the [...]

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