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Banking for all groups

Banking for all groups

Bicycles and motorcycles parked outside the branch of a local bank in northern Jaffna, reflecting the wide reach of the banking sector to cover small traders and farmers, too. Pic by Lakshman Gunatillake

SL tax authorities at a loss to enforce revenue proposals

Sri Lanka’s tax authorities are at a loss to enforce revenue proposals in the former administration’s 2015 budget and the revised 2015 budget presented by the current regime as many of the finance bills relating to these proposals have not been enacted in parliament. The expected revenue by implementing at least 25 revenue proposals in [...]

GK Directors step down after new payment plan

The Golden Key (GK) Board of Directors stepped down from their posts making way for the Monetary Board of the Central Bank and the Treasury to appoint two new directors as per the Supreme Court directive on Tuesday. One of the GK directors, Dushanthi Hapugoda who is the chairperson of the All GKCC Depositors’ Association [...]

GK investors happy: Other depositors say they are being cold-shouldered

The Government’s speedy resolution of the repayments of Golden Key (GK) depositors has irked depositors from other failed institutions saying the authorities were giving them step-motherly treatment. Depositors from at least two failed organizations – Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL) and The Finance and Guarantee (Developers) and (Real Estate) companies (F&G) said this week [...]

Sri Lanka goes live this week on real time fund transfers

Sri Lanka will, for the first time, make real time bank transfers for payments commencing this week kicked off by Lanka Clear, the infrastructure developer for the financial sector. Eight banks and financial institutions and the state-run Customs Department would be ready to go live from Thursday as scheduled by Lanka Clear that would be [...]

Five ‘strategic development’ projects including Krrish to lose concessions

The Sri Lankan Government will not provide any tax concessions in the future under the controversial Strategic Development Project (SDP) Act with at least five ‘strategic’ projects including Krrish likely to lose this comfort status. Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) officials said concessions under these regulations will be considered only under exceptional circumstances. [...]

Post-conflict Economic Boom: Looking beyond the headline statistics

Post-conflict Economic Boom: Looking beyond the headline statistics

During the five years following the end of the civil war in 2009, the Sri Lankan economy grew at an average annual rate of 7.4 per cent. This was by far the highest average growth rate for any consecutive five-year period in the country’s post-indepenent history. Per capita income increased from US$ 2031 in 2009 [...]

Personal political agendas override national policies – Comment

Three important events this week have struck a chord with key economic policy issues that need to be put right in Sri Lanka. First it was the President’s speech at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s popular economic summit where he enunciated, very correctly, the need for national policy formulation by as many actors as possible [...]

Fake products galore in Sri Lanka: Some soft drinks were discovered with mosquitoes, nails and insects ; CAA says

Counterfeit products have entered the market along with trade logos posing a problem to law enforcing authorities while impacting on the business of genuine companies. ”The most dangerous thing is in the manufacture of medicinal drugs. We do not have enough resources to test whether such drugs were genuine or counterfeit products,” said Chairman Consumer Affairs [...]

Depositors of other failed finance Cos. should also be paid – Letter

Although the recent payments by the Central Bank (CB) to unlucky depositors of the Golden Key (GK) Co up to 41 per cent of their deposits after nearly eight years, reported in your columns last week, is to be appreciated it raises a legitimate question as to which category of depositors should have been given [...]

Sri Lanka may be promoted as ‘Destination of the Year’ by Lufthansa City Centre

Sri Lanka may be promoted as ‘Destination of the Year’ by Lufthansa City Centre

The Sri Lanka Tourist Board is in discussions with travel agency franchisor Lufthansa City Centre (LCC), represented locally by Jetwing, to promote Sri Lanka as a ‘Destination of the Year” to its network of 650 travel agencies as well as, later on, custoers in 85 countries, revealed LCC Managing Director Klaus Henschel. Speaking to the [...]

Proper policy needs to be implemented for poultry feed imports, says industry expert

Proper policy needs to be implemented for poultry feed  imports, says industry expert

With the local production of poultry feed catering to only 50 per cent of the industry in Sri Lanka, the need for imports has become essential while the lack of a proper policy for the industry is an issue, according to a government specialist. Speaking at the launch of Agrotop, a globally renowned agro-technology expertise [...]

Many students fail to enter local universities in Sri Lanka: Where do they go from here?

In Sri Lanka, education is becoming tougher and tougher every year with new syllabuses evolving. Out of approximately 300,000 students who sit the GCE Advanced Level examination every year, only a limited number of around 22,000 students qualify to enter national universities including all streams of studies. Where and what do you think the rest [...]

Commercial Bank launches low cost insurance for small borrowers

A low cost insurance scheme that will protect micro finance borrowers has been launched by Commercial Bank of Ceylon in association with two insurance companies, Ceylinco Insurance and BIMA. The policy will cover the borrowers against accidental death or permanent disability, compensate for loss of income due to hospitalisation and also contribute towards funeral expenses, according [...]

SLT Broadband launches first ever Terabyte Data package in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the flagship national ICT solutions provider and the leading broadband service provider, recently launched the Terabyte Data package offering its broadband uses the highest data volume given so far by an Internet company in Sri Lanka. SLT Broadband Internet users are now offered with up to 1225 Gigabytes or GBs (1.2 [...]

First batch of Graduate members from SLID Board Leadership Training

The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) recently concluded its comprehensive Board Leadership Director Certification programme which spread over a period of four months -March to June 2015.  The SLID Graduate Member Certificate awarding ceremony was held at the World Trade Centre on July 28 with Thilak Karunaratne, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri [...]

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka presents book featuring award winning work to U.S. Chargé d’Affaires

Leo Burnett Sri Lanka presents book featuring award winning work to U.S. Chargé d’Affaires

Ranil de Silva, Managing Director of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc. (LBSI) together with the Executive Committee of the company, presented a book featuring the agency’s award winning work to Andrew C. Mann, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo recently, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the global network. This coffee table book features [...]

Touchwood owns over 2000 acres in Sri Lanka

All lands in Sri Lanka belonging to liquidated firm Touchwood Investments PLC have been identified by its court appointed liquidator who is currently searching for a company to maintain these. Liquidator Sudath Kumar speaking with the Business Times on Tuesday said that they have already identified all lands belonging to Touchwood Investments PLC amounting to [...]

Need for a credible economic vision for SL

Many economic problems have not been addressed in the parliamentary election campaigns and debates. The Friday Forum raises some concerns relating to an egalitarian and viable economic vision for the voters to consider. he three decades-long war curtailed public discussion of economic priorities. The post-war years characterised by an authoritarian development push further constrained the [...]

13th John Diandas Memorial lecture on Aug. 10

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – Sri Lanka (CILT – SL) is holding its 13th John Diandas Memorial lecture this year on August 10 at the Hotel Kingsbury, Colombo. It will be delivered by Mohamed Imtiyaz Ahmed, Independent Consultant in the field of Traffic and Transportation Engineering and Planning in India, on the [...]

Haycarb turnover up at Rs. 2.9 bln, |pre-tax profit Rs. 220 mln in Q12016

Haycarb PLC this week reported revenue of Rs. 2.9 billion, and profit before tax of Rs. 220 million for the first quarter of 2015/16. The profit after tax was Rs. 191 million.  Haycarb PLC Managing Director Rajitha Kariyawasan in a media release said that the downturn in the gold mining industry coupled with significant depreciation [...]

MAS Group unveils world’s first chemical leasing project for waste water treatment

MAS Group unveils world’s first chemical leasing project for waste water treatment

The MAS Group, as part of a long term commitment to environmental sustainability, recently unveiled its latest sustainability innovation with the signing of the world’s first chemical leasing agreement on waste water treatment. This milestone is one of several stories to spring out of the growing pipeline of sustainability projects currently underway at MAS. It [...]

People’s Bank finalising 2020 strategic plan with MTI

People’s Bank finalising 2020 strategic plan with MTI

The People’s Bank, after a 6-month strategising process in consultation with Bahrain-based MTI Consulting, has submitted the final draft of the 2020 strategic plan, for board approval. It was presented to the People’s Bank Chairman Hemasiri Fernando and the bank’s Board of Directors by MTI’s elite panel of financial services specialists comprising Saliya Rajakaruna, Manilka [...]

UNP-led coalition to establish 20 committees to oversee state institutions

UNP-led coalition to establish 20 committees to oversee state institutions

The United National Front for Good governance (UNFGG) plans to establish 20 Oversight Committees in Parliament when it comes to power. “These will supervise the work of the government institutions and will keep a tab on public expenditure,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said delivering the keynote address at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015, organised [...]

Distinct correlation between ethical behaviour standards and financial system stability

The past financial crises have also shown that there is a distinct correlation between the standard of ethical behaviour and the stability in a financial system, according to a capital market regulator. Quoting Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, Vajira Wijegunawardena, Director General Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) at the Certificate [...]

CIC Group considers new ‘significant’ investments in core area of agriculture for export

CIC Holdings PLC, which says first quarter 2016 results have been impressive particularly in its core area of agriculture, is considering significant investments in the areas of dairy and value added vegetables for export. While feasibility studies in this context are underway, the company said in a statement that it has commenced a project to [...]

Growing per capita income to drive growth for demand levels in chicken

The increase in purchasing power will spur chicken consumption in the coming year, analysts say. According to the Central Bank (CB) Sri Lanka’s per capita income is predicted to reach US$7,000+ by 2020, and reach the middle income status. “The growth in the per capita income has led to an actual growth in lower and [...]

Expolanka’s core business in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka improves in 1Q2016

Expolanka Holdings has reported a revenue of Rs. 13. 9 billion and a pre-tax profit (PBT) of Rs. 400.7 million for the first quarter of the financial year 2015/16. “Our group has only just started to reap the benefits of our strategic restructuring efforts. Within the last two years we embarked on a steady path of [...]

Piramal results good but concerns grow over furnace oil price issues

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC, saying first quarter results were positive, pointed out this week that the “much awaited furnace oil price reduction did not happen during the quarter under review” impacting on its business. In 2012 furnace oil rate which was Rs. 50 was increased by 80 per cent to Rs.90. At this time the [...]

Pan Asia Bank posts record first half performance

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC has posted a record post tax profit of Rs.450.7 million for the first half of 2015 fiscal year (1H15), sharply up 156 per cent from the corresponding period last year. This has resulted in an earnings’ per share of Rs.3.08 from Rs.1.20 a year ago. This performance has amply been [...]

Govt .target of 2.5 million tourists by 2016 could fall short by around 400,000; report says

The government target of attracting 2.5 million tourists by 2016 may fall short by around 400,000, says a stock market research report. It said proposed gaming centres (under the earlier administration) centering on mixed development projects would have raised the inbound numbers and more importantly, their spending profile. It said the three potential integrated resort projects [...]

Greece, Austerity, and the Struggle for Europe

Greece, Austerity, and the Struggle for Europe

In 1990 West Germany imposed on the East a trust fund agency (Treuhand in short) to take over and rapidly privatise the vast public assets of the former Communist state. In leading the imposition of a Treuhand on Greece as part of the latest ‘bailout’, the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble essentially reprised his role [...]

Improve productivity and enhance mental skills using Mind Maps

Mind Mapping is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps structuring information, helping to analyse, comprehend, synthesise, recall and generate new ideas. In a Mind Map, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Mind Maps can be [...]

BOI discontinues FDI project approvals by the Finance Ministry

While strengthening Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) functions in accordance with the 2006 gazette notification with regulations, the Finance Ministry involvement in the handling of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) negotiations and approvals has been discontinued, a top official of the country’s investment agency revealed. BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya told a meeting of BOI officials, [...]

Jo’burg stock exchange selects MillenniumIT solutions

MillenniumIT, the provider of ultra-low latency, agile and resilient capital markets solutions and part of London Stock Exchange Group, said the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has selected MillenniumIT to provide the technology for its derivatives and fixed income markets. The move will extend JSE’s use of MillenniumIT’s next generation integration platform (MAP), the Millennium Exchange trading [...]

SL president pledges to pursue consistent public policies

SL president pledges to pursue consistent public policies

Sri Lanka needs consistent public policies putting an end to the practice of changing it after each and every general election, said President Maithripala Sirisena when he addressed the closing ceremony of the two-day Economic Summit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo on Wednesday. All previous governments have changed polices to suit their [...]

Message to Rajapaksa regime: ‘Don’t engage in stupidonomics’, urges top economist

Message to Rajapaksa regime: ‘Don’t engage  in stupidonomics’, urges top economist

Policies enunciated by the last regime (in particular by former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera) such as doubling Sri Lanka’s exports and curbing imports (at the same time) are ‘stupid’, a top economist says. Singapore based economist – Dr. Razeen Sally, speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015 held at Cinnamon Grand in Colombo on [...]

Online social media for SL exports

Online social media offer a low-cost way to reach and influence a wide customer base which can help exporters reach wider markets at low cost, a top IT expert says. Presenting the ‘power of social media for exports’ at this week’s Economic Summit by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Muhunthan Canagey, Chief Executive of the Information [...]

Move away ‘Crony capitalism’, in comes transparent development

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the Economic Summit on Tuesday, urged businesses to change their mind-set from crony capitalism to the next generation of reforms.  ”The topic of this summit, which deals with increasing exports to $50 billion, is perfectly aligned with our aim to build a new country in 60 months. We want to [...]

Integrating businesses for intelligent operation

Anoop Sagoo, Senior Managing Director of Accenture responsible for Integrated Operations in the Asia Pacific region, delivering the keynote at one of the sessions of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2015 on ‘Going Up the Value Chain – Export of Knowledge Services’ said that it’s important to integrate businesses for an intelligent operation. According to [...]

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