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Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money

Shantha Kumara, a resident of Wellampitiya, has been dealing in Sri Lanka’s old coin and currency business in Fort for the last two years. He has a sizable stock of rare coins and notes at his outlet. Picture shows some of his collection worth much more than its face value.( Inset: A 1957 coin ) [...]

CID questions SEC officials on Rs. 5 mln Tharunyata Hetak grant

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) recently summoned several officials attached to the Securities and Exchange (SEC) to record statements on the Rs. 5 million ‘grant’ by the regulator for a youth movement headed by former President’s son and politician, Namal Rajapaksa’s Tharunyata Hetak Fund some two years ago. Senior CID sources told the Business Times one [...]

Hikkaduwa hotels to legally challenge arbitrary liquor tax

The Hikkaduwa Hotels’ Association (HHA) will go to courts next month against Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake for imposing an arbitrary liquor tax, hotel sources said. “We are trying to get a writ on the Minister of Finance against the unreasonable tax on the issuance of our liquor licences,” a HHA member who wished to [...]

Government continues borrowing spree with controversial T-bond issue hanging like Damocles’ sword

With the recent controversial Treasury bond issue hanging like the ‘sword of Damocles’, the government continues its local borrowing spree to provide provisional advances to the state expenditure authorised under the consolidated fund. The Central Bank (CB) has issued Treasury bonds amounting to Rs. 26 billion once again recently to safeguard ministry funds without resorting [...]

SL-China FTA to allow skilled workers here

A storm is brewing over renewed negotiation of the proposed Indo-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw the ball in the Sri Lankan court saying India was interested in finalising this agreement. However, at a recent discussion on CEPA and its future,Subashini Abeysinghe, an economist at research firm [...]

Sri Lanka Tourism spells out Rs. 3.4 bln budget for tourism promo

Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is planning to market the island as a “peaceful destination” and increase awareness among tourists from mostly the traditional markets under a promotion campaign costing Rs. 3.4 billion. Some of the plans under the Tourism Master Plan include branding Sri Lanka as a “peaceful destination” for tourists, investors and [...]

Auditors as whistleblowers

Some years ago the Business Times in an editorial raised a conflict of interest issue pertaining to audit firms offering other services to the corporate sector. Such services included consultancies and head-hunting for top positions. The question raised was what happens when an individual head-hunted by an audit company for a client is found to [...]

New challenges for CEPA as Sri Lankan professionals turn on the heat

New challenges for CEPA as Sri Lankan professionals turn on the heat

Pushing through the long-delayed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Sri Lanka and India is going to be much harder now as new local groups are joining the anti-agreement campaign If during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime, some ‘favoured’ industrialists led the charge against the proposed agreement, determined to block it on the grounds that it is [...]

Euromoney to hold global confab in Colombo in September

Sri Lanka has drawn the attention of one of the largest global banking-investment media and confab institutions which is holding an investor conference in Colombo. “This is the first time that we, the Euromoney Magazine, would be holding an investor conference of such a scale in Sri Lanka. We just don’t want to hold a [...]

Precision Lapidaries celebrates 20 years

Precision Lapidaries celebrates 20 years

Precision Lapidaries, one of the leading exporters of high quality cut and polished calibrated sapphires, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in Colombo. The company felicitated employees who contributed to the successful journey of 20 years, awards being given depending on the service period, the talent shown in different divisions, and performance shown in production, according [...]

Asiri Laboratory’s first local lab to receive 15189-2012 accreditation

Asiri Laboratory, seen as the market leader in diagnostics, recently received the esteemed 15189-2012 international accreditation, the first in Sri Lanka to obtain this new version. “The globally recognised standard evolved from its predecessor, 15189-2007, evaluated excellence at every touch point of medical lab services, starting with advice to clinicians, collection, transport and reception, examination [...]

On currency notes

In last week’s P1 photo caption story published under the heading “An English signature of a CB governor appears on new currency notes after over 26 years” , it was inadvertently stated that “An English signature of the then Governor Dr. Neville Karunatilake was in currency notes issued in 1988″. The English signature in 1988 [...]

Commercial Bank – steady start to 2015, 1Q profits up 10%

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC made a steady start to 2015, with profit after tax of Rs 2.509 billion for the three months ended 31st March, an improvement of 10.1 per cent YoY, the bank said this week. A robust YoY growth in loans and receivables coupled with customary strong deposit growth and lower [...]

HNB Group PBT in Q1 2015 tops Rs. 3 bln

Hatton National Bank PLC continued its growth momentum with Group PBT increasing by 92 per cent to Rs. 3 billion and Group PAT increasing by 79 per cent to Rs. 2 billion in Q1 2015, according to a bank media release. Commenting on the performance, Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/CEO of HNB PLC stated that “we [...]

NTB commences year with a steady performance

The Nations Trust Bank (NTB) closed the first quarter ending 31stMarch 2015 with a post-tax profit of Rs. 493 million underpinned by a moderate growth of 9 per cent in operating income and a commendable containment of operating expenses growth to 5 per cnt over the corresponding quarter. These levels of growth in income and [...]

DFCC Banking Group extends support to Nepal

DFCC Banking Group extends support to Nepal

The DFCC Banking Group recently supported the Government initiative to send basic necessities to the survivors of the disastrous Nepal earthquake. Staff from across the group contributed water filters, tents and blankets which were handed over to the Disaster Management Co-ordination Unit (Colombo District). Picture shows the items being handed over to the unit’s Assistant [...]

Singer in good start for F Y 2015

Singer Sri Lanka began its 2015 financial year on a good note with consolidated revenues growing by 28 per cent over the corresponding period last year to reach Rs.8.6 bllion according to recently announced first quarter financial results, a company media release said. The group’s net profit for the quarter grew to Rs.277.8 million, up [...]

NDB Bank posts Rs. 1.6 bln post tax profit

National Development Bank concluded the first quarter of 2015, posting a post tax profit (PAT) of Rs. 1.5 billion, up 30 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2014. NDB CEO Rajendra Theagarajah, commenting on the results reiterated that NDB is committed to adding tangible value to its stake holders through excellent financial performance. [...]

Nestlé Lanka maintains steady momentum in Q1 2015

Nestlé Lanka PLC said this week that revenue for first quarter 2015 at end-March was Rs. 9.2 billion, up 7.3 per cent from the previous year’s period despite a very challenging and volatile environment. Post-tax profit was Rs.1.2 billion. The company said in a public announcement that the first quarter of 2015 witnessed two new [...]

Dialog growth up 6% in 1st quarter

Dialog Axiata PLC said this week that its group continued its growth momentum across Mobile, Digital Pay Television and Fixed Line businesses to record consolidated revenue of Rs.17.3 billion for the 1st Quarter ending March 2015, demonstrating a growth of 6 per cent on a Year on Year (YoY) basis. Group revenue was stable on [...]

Ceylinco Insurance records after tax profit of Rs.2.1 bln for 2014

Ceylinco Insurance said that it recorded an after tax profit of Rs.2.1 billion, for the year ended 31st December 2014. A media statement by the company said that it has announced a dividend of Rs 20 per share to its shareholders for the year 2014, which is a 200 per cent dividend of the original [...]

Seylan Bank growth up 27 per cent in 1stQ

Seylan Bank recorded a strong quarterly performance with pre-tax profit reaching Rs. 968 million, up 21 per cent for the first quarter ending 31st March 2015. Post-tax profit was up 27 per cent to reach Rs. 651 million compared to Rs. 514 million in the corresponding period in 2014. The bank said in a media [...]

Ceylon Tea brand has made Sri Lanka famous across the world

The brand ‘Ceylon Tea’ is a top-end drink in the world and Sri Lanka, the big green island in the Indian Ocean, has been made famous by this brand was the inference made by one of the world’s best known marketing strategists to show Sri Lanka’s economy could be improved by branding. Prof Al Ries, [...]

Sri Lanka’s IronOne partners with Bangladesh’s Robi on paperless meetings

IronOne Technologies of Sri Lanka has partnered with Robi Axiata Ltd, a leading mobile phone company in Bangladesh, to facilitate paperless Board and Senior Management Committee meetings using IronOne’s ‘BoardPAC’ software solution. “It is expected that the iPad-enabled paperless board meeting automation in Robi will pave the way for widespread adoption of the solution in [...]

Government irons out cost estimate issues of Chinese- funded highway projects

The Government has ironed out cost estimate issues on several highway projects that were being carried out with Chinese financing, Highways Ministry officials revealed. Certain changes will be made to highway construction plans in consultation with contractors with the aim of bringing down costs and the work of such projects will commence shortly, they said. [...]

DSI inspires future generation through art competition

DSI inspires future generation through art competition

DSI, the Sri Lankan footwear specialist, said last week it was re-launching Sithuwili, an art competition to capture and nurture the inherent talent in school children in a countrywide competition. The competition provides an opportunity to children from all parts of Sri Lanka – from privileged backgrounds to the under-privileged to express their thoughts, impressions, [...]

Current Lankan political scenario holding back Swiss investors, Swiss envoy says

Envoys of Switzerland, Bahrain and Croatia held discussions with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce recently to find out ways and means of exploring trade, tourism and investment opportunities between their countries and Sri Lanka. Croatian envoy Amir Muhareni, representing most South Asian countries, was the first to have discussions during which he explained the 500 [...]

“Real CSR vs Bogus CSR”

This is in response to your Business Times editorial ‘Real’ CSR Vs ‘bogus’ CSR which appeared last week. First I wish to thank you for putting CSR under the microscope. The media has an important role to play here and having the Business Times scrutinising CSR activities is definitely a plus point. We appreciate our [...]

Travel Agent still an integral part of global travel planning

With more than four decades of experience in the travel industry under his belt, Trevor Rajaratnam has now taken over Go Holidays (Pvt) Ltd as its Chief Executive Officer. A veteran and one of the senior most advocates in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry, Mr. Rajaratnam formerly served as the Head of Mackinnons American [...]

Open data culture needed in Sri Lanka – ICT policy expert

Open data culture needed in Sri Lanka – ICT policy expert

Sri Lanka should facilitate an open data culture, which will, amongst other things, foster products being built out of the public ‘Big Data’ resources currently restricted by the government, according to Prof. Rohan Samarajiva. The Founder/Chief Executive of Sri Lanka-based ICT policy and regulation thinktank LIRNEasia, Prof. Samarajiva also comsmented that additional problem areas that [...]

Five tips for Secure Business Computing

Five tips for Secure Business Computing

Businesses in recent times have taken advantage of new technologies and models that originated and developed in the consumer space. This is the culmination of a fundamental shift in the relationship between employers and employees. This shift has now worked its way into the world of enterprise technology. Enterprises continue to capitalise on collaborative technologies [...]

Taking control of your health and wellbeing with personal health records on your mobile device

Taking control of your health and wellbeing with personal health records on your mobile device

The world of e/m-health is full of electronic medical records/electronic health record systems. But in reality almost everyone in the world has a personal health record. This record is generally an incomplete collection of medical reports, notes, etc which one carries around with him/her in a file when he/she visits the doctor – sounds familiar? [...]

SL software start-ups that think on a global are needed – entrepreneur

For the Sri Lankan computer software industry to truly grow, more start-ups that think on a global scale are needed, notes dynamic young entrepreneur Chandika Jayasundara, a mainstay in local tech circles; also commenting that “we miss the dynamic network and the energy that’s usually there when you work in Silicon Valley”. Mr. Jayasundara also [...]

Can Sri Lanka contribute to the global electronics industry in design and manufacturing segments?

Can Sri Lanka contribute to the global electronics industry in design and manufacturing segments?

Technology consumers: How would you rate Sri Lankan’s familiarity with world technological trends? We were first in the South Asian region to introduce 3G, 3.5G and then 4G. Mobile phone subscription exceeds the country population. The majority is quite familiar with mobile reloads and sending SMSs. Latest models of all brands of laptops, tablets, Apple [...]

Lankaputhra Bank to crackdown on loan defaulters

Sri Lanka’s state-owned Lankaputhra Development Bank (LDB), ruined by the Rajapaksa regime by giving massive loans to their cronies and allowing them to default public money, is to be directed towards a correct path following the new government’s social market economic policies, the head of the bank told Business Times. Bank Chairman Lasantha Gunawardena said [...]

Lanka Exhibitions-led hotel show in Maldives for 11th time

The Maldives largest annual food and hospitality event “Hotel Asia Exhibition and International Culinary Challenge 2015” will be held in Male from August 23 – 26, its organisers said. This years’ event is supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives along with the Sri Lanka – Maldives Bilateral Business Council and the [...]

Archetyping comes to Sri Lanka- top leaders Niranjan Deva Aditya, Suresh Shah to address forum

Archetyping comes to Sri Lanka- top leaders Niranjan Deva Aditya, Suresh Shah to address forum

Local brand specialist Michel Nugawela will introduce ‘Leadership Archetyping’ at a VIP CEO Breakfast Forum on May 25 to an audience of CEOs and leaders in government and not-for-profit. “Michel brings over two decades of senior level corporate consulting in brand strategy and identity development with related specialisation in change strategies across newly rebranded or [...]

Commercial Bank launches ‘Sipnena’ e-learning on Microsoft Cloud

A new educational website that will bring the universe of knowledge closer to Sri Lankan children has been launched by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon as a community initiative that builds on the Bank’s on-going commitments on a national scale, in the spheres of IT literacy and online education, the bank said this week. A [...]

Pixel Ads wins Platinum at USA’s Hermes Awards

Pixel Ads wins Platinum at USA’s Hermes Awards

A fledgling boutique creative agency Pixel Ads, started in Kandy just six months ago, has won a Platinum Award for Advertising and Marketing at the annual US-based Hermes Awards. According to the agency’s founder Sanjaya Rathnayake, who previously studied brand development in Japan, only two companies from India and Pixel Ads from Sri Lanka won [...]

MillenniumIT tech solution drives Peruvian stock exchange

MillenniumIT, the provider of ultra-low latency, flexible and scalable capital markets solutions, and part of London Stock Exchange Group, last week said that Bolsa de Valores de Lima (BVL), the Peruvian stock exchange, has gone live with the MillenniumI technology solution. The BVL exchange has replaced its legacy trading technology infrastructure with the multi-asset trading [...]

Maps International enters tyre inner flap market

Maps International Pvt Ltd, engaged in vehicle tyres, tyre retreading, electrical goods and building materials, recently embarked on manufacturing and distribution of the inner flaps of tyres. The newest venture of the company began at its state-of-the-art factory at Watareka, Panaluwa FTZ with the introduction of the virgin in-house produce of Maps International tyre inner-flaps. [...]

SEC wants fresh laws creating auditors as whistleblower

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says they want audit firms to ‘blow the whistle’ as and when they come across ‘anything unusual’ in listed firms they audit. “We want them to tell us if they notice anything unusual in the accounts. We want them to whistle-blow,” SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne told the Business Times [...]

Hemas to focus on Bangladeshi market

Hemas Holdings PLC raised Rs 4.1 billion of new capital through its recent Rights Issue to finance its expansion plans in healthcare and personal care – especially for expansion in their Bangladeshi market segment, officials said. An official said that Hemas’ fully owned distribution network for FMCG products was launched in Bangladesh last November. “After [...]

On CEPA agreement with India

This letter is in reference to the article carried in last week’s Business Times, regarding the CEPA agreement with India. Samantha Kumarasingha has been a vociferous advocate against CEPA. I reproduce a few of his statements below and propose to prove their untenability with evidence: “India has 106 times more unemployed people than in Sri [...]

Arosha Perera joins Leo Burnett as COO

Leo Burnett Solutions Inc (LBSI), the local office of the global advertising network Leo Burnett Worldwide, recently appointed Arosha Perera as its new Chief Operations Officer (COO) with effect from May. He takes over operational management of Leo Burnet from Chrishani Kotalawela who dedicated 15 years of service to the agency, the company said. Mr. [...]

MTD Walkers offers affordable housing to the public sector

MTD Walkers PLC in partnership with the Ministry of Public Administration, Local Government and Democratic Governance and the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka, is offering public sector employees an opportunity to own apartments at Richmond Hill Reidencies in Galle. Built under the Nila Sevana Public Servants Housing Project, public sector employees are given [...]

On “The resurrection of Kotelawala”

Your editorial two Sundays ago, brought to mind Mark Anthony’s oration at Caesar’s funeral: ‘The evil that men do live after them; the good is oft interred with their bones;’ LK (Lalith Kotelawala) is still alive and well and living in some comfort at his residence in Colombo’s Havelock Town. But a man can well [...]

Public sector needs urgent reforms inclusive of highly-paid officials like Singapore

Consensus was building up for the Proportional Representation system but final details have not emerged so far due to disagreements. However there are indications that a system based on proportional representation and an electorate system will be retaine where members of parliament will represent electorates, according to Deputy Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion Eran [...]

Transport, Trade and Tourism meet in Germany

Sri Lanka, as an emerging country investing heavily on new transport modes; building mega ports to cater to the growing mega ships; and a hub space for travel and tourism would be falling in line with the changing world as these key issues would be discused at the International Transport Forum scheduled to take place [...]

New hopes for GK depositors under fresh CB financial support scheme

New hopes for GK depositors under fresh CB financial support scheme

Infusing new hope amongst Golden Key (GK) depositors after more than six years of the collapse of the credit card company in December 2008, the government gave a firm assurance this week to initiate the repayment process within a month under the Central ank’s (CB) financial support scheme. The government is exploring the possibility of [...]

Sri Lankan SMEs need an independent policy framework from the state

Lanka Social Ventures (LSV), a group of Sri Lankans interested in the social welfare and community service leading to reduce poverty, inequality and minimise national wealth distribution imbalance has ventured to set up a network on ‘Social Enterprise (S)’, which is being practiced globally. It is headed by its MD/CEO, Dr. Lalith Welamedage. SE is [...]

Sri Lanka launches more business-friendly initiative eliminating bureaucratic red tape

Sri Lanka’s present economic situation is extremely conducive for foreign investment with the country’s economic growth hovering around 7 per cent and it would remain 6-8 per cent till 2025, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He was addressing a vast gathering of representatives of business and trade chambers, businessmen, senior state officials, and heads of [...]

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