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Chinese firms still call the shots?

Chinese firms still call the shots?

On Friday, some public parking bays in Kollupitiya near Hotel Renuka were occupied by vehicles from the CHNT Electric company as a promotion got underway. The event was to coincide with the arrival of a Chinese government and trade delegation including the founder and chairman of Shanghai-based CHNT Electric. There is nothing wrong in a [...]

Richmond College Galle emerge champions in the Tokyo Cement All Island Schools Quiz – Season 2

Richmond College, Galle, emerged the champions in Sri Lanka’s prestigious inter-school quiz competition – the Tokyo Cement All Island Schools Quiz (Season 2). Thirty-two schools and eight rounds of competition culminated in one final battle of wits between Richmond College (Galle) and Royal College (Colombo), the Tokyo Cement said in a media release. In keeping [...]

Fresh Interpol alert to arrest former CIFL chairman

President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention in the crisis at the battered CIFL (Central Investment and Finance Ltd) where depositors are struggling to get their money back has led to a renewed Interpol alert to arrest the company’s former chairman Deepthi Perera said to be hiding in Thailand. K.W. Gunawardena, President, CIFL Depositors’ Association (CIFLDA), told the [...]

Global tea promo gets cabinet nod

The government has approved the long awaited global promotional campaign aimed at boosting the tea industry, officials at the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) stated. The global promotional campaign set to be carried out in 25 identified markets would cost a total of US$9 million (Rs.3.8 billion), SLTB Director Promotions Ms. Premila Srikantha told the [...]

Prolonged debate over duty free vehicle permits for SL expat workers

The Finance Ministry is weighing the pros and cons over the issuance of guidelines and the relevant circular to implement the duty free vehicle permit scheme for Sri Lankans working overseas, official sources revealed. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 Budget proposed concessionary permits similar to those given to public servants to Sri Lankans working abroad [...]

CB Governor returns to his desk

Under-fire Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran returned to work on Thursday after a long, 5-week absence following a scandal over a Treasury bond issue allegedly involving his son-in-law. “Yes, I am back at work,” the Governor told the Business Times on Friday morning but declined any further comment. He went on leave on March 16 [...]

100 days over but who is in charge?

The 100-day programme or revolution as promised by the Sri Lanka Government has ended and various theories abound as to the extent to which the Government has fulfilled its promises and what it set out to do. The business community however is still not convinced that the country is still on the right path, as [...]

100-day revolution: Mandate of the people must be upheld by those elected

100-day revolution: Mandate of the  people must be upheld by those elected

1948 agenda At the time of attaining independence from Britain in 1948, the main topics in our National Agenda were eliminating the authoritarianism and servitude which had infiltrated into the society; establishing national unity, integrity and equality among comunities; revival of national languages; improvement of the livelihood of the people by eliminating rural poverty that [...]

Agriculture a key component of Government policy

Considering the culture and history of agriculture in this country and the fact that most Sri Lankans are involved in agriculture, a key focus in the national economy should be agriculture and that has been spelt out in the policies of the present governent, according to President Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking as Chief Guest at the [...]

Restrictive trading in India market forces Sri Lankan chocolate exporter to eye other countries

Restrictive trading in India market forces Sri Lankan chocolate exporter to eye other countries

A Sri Lankan chocolate exporter, focusing on compound chocolate for industrial use, is shifting focus to the Middle East and Bangladesh after its main export market – India was hampered by non-tariff trade barriers. Compound chocolate, unlike the chocolate slabs and bars that are consumed, comes from a combination of cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners, [...]

Yaha Palanaya or (Subha) Yasa Palanaya

Yaha Palanaya or (Subha) Yasa Palanaya

A friend of mine told me years ago that Sri Lankans always live ‘in history’. I was not old enough or matured enough to understand this then. Not that I am matured now but old enough to realise what my friend meant. True, we Sri Lankans love to read and repeat our history. Being yet [...]

Sri Lanka gets high tech to reduce water revenue losses

Sri Lanka is implementing a project to reduce – what is called – Non Revenue Water (NRW) through a Japanese SME with the assistance of the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA), officials said. The JICA has entered into an agreement with Tesco Asia Co. Ltd for the implementation of a verification survey to introduce its [...]

Lankaputhra Development Bank loans for SMEs in North Central Province

Small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in the North Central Province received a timely boost thanks to the loans provided by the Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB) at concessionary rates. These loans were handed over during a special ceremony organised by the bank’s Polonnaruwa branch recently. The loan scheme falls under the “100 Day Development Programme” initiated by [...]

Sri Lanka persuades new global companies to tap oil and gas resources

With the withdrawal of Cairn India from oil and gas exploration in Mannar Basin after the discovery of hydrocarbons in two offshore wells, Sri Lanka is persuading new global companies to tap these potential resources under the 3rd phase exploration programme, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) Director General Saliya Wickramasuriya told the Business Times. He [...]

Kotelawala makes a mockery of judicial system

I wholeheartedly endorse the letter from a depositor, like myself, which appeared under the heading “Desperate Depositor” of the Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd (GK) in the Business Times last week. Much water has flowed under the bridge since the collapse of GK in December 2008, and, many promises made. However, hundreds, if not [...]

Stockmarket and bond market mafia in for a rude shock

Stockmarket and bond market mafia in for a rude shock

Sri Lanka’s so-called stock and bond market mafia dons seem to have no bearing in the change in government, but they’ll wake up to a ‘rude shock’, a top government minister warns. “This mafia whether in the stock or bond market seem to have no bearing to the change in government. Well, they’re living in [...]

SLT committed towards cooperation with regulators

In the face of rising costs, the SLT Group has maintained its growth momentum by earning revenues of Rs. 65.04 billion for the year 2014, which is an 8 per cent increase over the previous year, officials said. “All revenue streams – fixed, mobile and others – contributed to this increase, which was the more [...]

Local Cos. risk sinking without a monitoring mechanism on their rating

Sri Lankan companies could sink trying to raise easy cash based on fake ratings on the back of an absent compliance system to monitor rating agencies, analysts say. The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) doesn’t have a compliance requirement for rating agencies. These agencies carry out on-the-spot checks, which is essentially about scrutinizing the company’s [...]

CSE to host conference for Regional Exchanges

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) will host the South Asian Investment Conference and SAFE Annual General Meeting on April 26-27, in Colombo. Finance Minister Mr. Ravi Karunanayake, Deputy Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs Harsha De Silva, Chairman of the [...]

Union Bank first to release results in the Jan-March 2015 quarter

Union Bank (UBC), first off the blocks in the new reporting season for first quarter results of Sri Lankan banks, said 3-month (end March) group profit before impairment was Rs. 164.9 million, up 33 per cent from the same 2014 quarter. The group’s net post-tax profit was Rs. 37.9 million, up by 64 per cent [...]

BOC posts Rs. 20.3 billion profit before tax

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) closed its 75th year by recording the highest ever profit before tax (PBT) in the bank’s history as well as in the Sri Lankan banking industry of Rs.20.3 billion, up 29 per cent compared to the previous year, according to a BOC media release. Post tax profit stood at Rs. [...]

Debt for Development: Reflections on CEPA’s 52nd Open Forum

In closing the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)’s 52nd Open Forum, which sought to interrogate credit as a development intervention, moderator Vijay Nagaraj (CEPA) astutely borrowed a line from French philosopher, Michel Foucault: “Not everything is bad but everything is dangerous.” The preceding discussion had very much fallen in step with Foucault’s way of thinking, [...]

LAUGFS to buy second ship

Laugfs Gas PLC’s new subsidiary, Laugfs Maritime Services (P) Ltd (LMS) with plans to strike partnerships in international shipping, logistics and maritime services, is to ink its second cargo ship deal next week, officials said. “We were on the lookout for a second liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessel, having secured our first last September and [...]

Govt. steps in to control commercial banks

It’s happening! The Government is slowly but surely getting its way of ensuring its nominees become chairmen of some of the six commercial bank boards slated for this development. Last week, as exclusively reported by the Sunday Times on March 29, N.G. Wickramaratne was appointed as a director and this week became the chairman of [...]

Power of introverts in business

In the world of business, being social and outgoing are priced above all else. In this context being an introvert can be quite a challenge. Contrary to popular belief being “shy” is not the same as being “introverted”. An introvert is energised by spendig time alone as opposed to extroverts who thrive on social interaction. [...]

Sri Lankan inventors win GOLD at Geneva

Sri Lankan inventors win GOLD at Geneva

All five Sri Lankan inventors who took parin the recently concluded 43rd International Inventors Exhibition and Competition in Geneva won GOLD awards for their inventions. Four of them were fully sponsored by Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) having been selected from among the Presidential Award Winners and Sahasak Nimavum Award winners while the other inventor [...] ‘revolutionising the workplace’

Sri Lankan travel site has revealed that it is “revolutionising the workplace with an innovative approach to people and management”. Further, according to a statement, it has noted that one of the ways it is attempting this ‘revolution’ is by offering staff unique benefits such as three free “Hot Deals” travel packages per employee. [...]

JWT Sri Lanka appoints new CEO

JWT Sri Lanka appoints new CEO

Alyna Haji Omar has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the J. Walter Thompson group in Sri Lanka bringing fresh breath to the group, according to Tarun Rai, Chief Executive Officer of the J. Walter Thompson group in South Asia. He made this announcement at a media briefing held in Colombo recently. [...]

Amana Takaful selects GrayMatter’s Insurance Analytics (IA+)

Amana Takaful selects GrayMatter’s Insurance Analytics (IA+)

Amana Takaful PLC, Sri Lanka recently announced its decision to go with GrayMatter’s Insurance Analytics (IA+) to execute the company’s Business Analytics programme across Life and Non Life Insurance in Colombo. “This is in line with Amana Takaful’s strategy to develop a strong analytics culture to gain market share, enhance customer experience and improve operational [...]

Govt. to engage US, Iran on tea exports

The government is expected to request the United States to remove restrictions in marketing Ceylon Tea to Iran. This comes in the wake of sanctions imposed on that country’s financial institutions that impacted on Sri Lanka’s drop in the Iranian tea market share in 2014 and is likely to slip to number two, overtaken by [...]

Michelin star chef presents Dinner and a Masterclass at Aditya Resort

Michelin star chef presents Dinner and a Masterclass at Aditya Resort

Aditya Resort, based in Rathgama, Galle, has long since revolutionised the standards and expectations of a traditional boutique hotel. In yet another innovative step, the resort recently hosted a first-of-its-kind dinner, complete with a master class by world-renowned, Michelin starred chef Alfred Prasad. Organised in partnership with Trekurious, the event centred on Indian street food [...]

Cargills Bank, first to offer limited free cash withdrawals on ‘LankaPay’ ATM network

Cargills Bank, first to offer limited free cash withdrawals on ‘LankaPay’ ATM network

Cargills Bank recently joined Sri Lanka’s largest Common ATM Network, enabling its customers to enjoy island-wide access at over 2500 ATMs connected on the ‘LankaPay’ network. Cargills Bank has also taken an innovative step in offering all its customers upto four free cash withdrawals per month at any ‘LankaPay’ member bank ATM. The system already [...]

UltraTech Cement brings technical expertise to your doorstep

UltraTech Cement Lanka’s most recent initiative, ‘Technical Expertise At your Door Step (TEADS)’ is designed to meet the varied needs of Sri Lanka’s individual house builders, bringing bespoke construction information directly to the public. An extension of its ongoing efforts to promote consumer education and support the industry, TEADS has received encouraging feedback from homebuilders [...]

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