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The second phase of the Outer Circular Highway

The second phase of the Outer Circular Highway

The second phase of the Outer Circular Highway, the 8.9 km stretch from Kaduwela to Kadawatha opens for public.

Top Sri Lankan bankers visit Dubai, Abu Dhabi

A high level delegation of Sri Lankan bankers led by Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran visited Dubai and Abu Dhabi this week for a series of meetings with banks to explore options for credit lines and technical cooperation pacts, official sources said. There was no official statement on the September 16-18 visit by a team [...]

CID, FCID probe on millions of dollars spent on foreign PR

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) are in the process of investigating millions of unauthorised dollars paid by the Central Bank (CB) to US-based lobbyists and public relations firms during the term of the former regime, informed sources said.“The investigation is likely to start in days at the CB [...]

SEC gets tough on ‘too smart’ investors

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is keeping a close watch through its ‘surveillance’ mechanism and has warned a few stockbrokers for trying to be ‘too smart’.  Informed sources said that warning comes on the back of the regulator bracing itself for an internal restructure in a bid to enhance its efficiency level while getting some [...]

Two more high profile, former CIFL officials arrested

Two more high profile suspects have been arrested and joins Deepthi Perera, former chairman of the failed Central Investments and Finance Co (CIFL), in temporary custody over the CIFL crash. CID took into custody J.K. Wickramaratne, former CEO and S. B. Kondadeniya, a former Director, CIFL and produced them before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya [...]

Budget 2016 considers austerity measures to cut deficit to 5.5% of GDP

Sri Lanka’s Treasury has taken up the challenge of preparing Budget 2016 to achieve an economic growth of over 8 per cent while reducing the budget deficit to 5.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), officials said.  The Budget is being devised in accordance with the Medium Term Budgetary Framework for 2016-2018 in consultation [...]

Effects of money laundering on economic progress

Effects of money laundering on economic progress

“Money Laundering” has become a liberally-used term post January 8, 2015. ”Money Laundering”, “Terrorism” and “Narcotics” are inter-related. Sri Lanka is a country that had to endure terrorism of an extreme nature. Add narcotics and bootlegging operating outside the mainstream economic activity. It is regrettable to note the lacka daisical attitude demonstrated at a policy-making level. [...]

Warning bells for a 150-year old product – Comment

The call by a foreign businessman for Ceylon Tea to be marketed as a premium, upscale brand echoed across a Colombo hotel ballroom last week. That however was nothing new and in essence is a plea that has gone on well over two decades, led by Merril J. Fernando, Sri Lanka’s top tea entrepreneur who carved [...]

Single window revenue and tax systems

It is vital for policy makers in a country to evaluate and compare best economic solutions in the world so that those models can be implemented with a view to improving their own economy. As a practice, the annual DBI (Doing Business Index) Reports discussing many exceptional or rather best cases in the world, so [...]

Lankan tea industry struggling but 150th anniversary next year a silver lining

Sri Lanka’s tea industry ravaged by the storms of a disturbed market has been trying to make its workers understand that the sector needs people who can be paid for their productivity as opposed to simply marking time. There is no reason why the trade unions should reject the model of productivity-based payment system, Tea [...]

Discussion on ‘ageing and policy issues’ on Sept 28

Two pioneer organisations in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) and the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASS) are organising an interesting discussion this month titled “Ageing Population – Are we Prepared?” The Monday September 28 event at 5 pm at the Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium, Mahaweli Centre, Ananda [...]

Suncity Developers starts construction on newest apartment complex

Colombo’s Suncity Developers has begun construction on its new luxury apartment complex at St. Anthony’s Road, Colombo 3. This complex named Prestige will offer residents luxury living, convenience, strategic location and premium amenities. Pre-sales of apartments is expected to start in mid September, the company said in a statement. This 11-storey complex will comprise three [...]

ADB loan for Govt. to channel Mahaweli water to the North

The Government with ADB assistance is planning to channel Mahawali water to the northern parts including the North Western, North Central and Northern Provinces which would help farmers in those regions. This initiative comes under the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Programme with the aim of maximizing the productivity of Mahaweli River Basin water resources. The [...]

Malaysian business delegation visiting Colombo next week

A Malaysian Business delegation is visiting Sri Lanka next week for meetings with their Sri Lankan counterparts to build business ties, both in trade and investment. The high powered delegation is led by the Branding Association of Malaysia and Gifts and Premium Association in Malaysia. The meeting between the Malaysian and Sri Lankan businesses are [...]

HNB signs pact with DEG for US$35 million loan

HNB PLC last week entered into an agreement with the German Development Finance Institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH to raise US$35 million through a six (06) year senior long term loan. The funds raised would be utilized to finance the growth in the SME sector. The agreement is the second between HNB [...]

CIMA President Myriam Madden visiting Colombo for 50th anniversary of Sri Lankan chapter

CIMA President Myriam Madden visiting Colombo for 50th anniversary of Sri Lankan chapter

CIMA Sri Lanka’s Golden Jubilee celebrations marking its 50-year presence in the country will be held under the patronage of Myriam Madden, CIMA President. Ms. Madden has held global governance roles at CIMA since 2007, which include roles as Deputy and Vice President, chair of the global members’ services committee and a board member of the [...]

South Asia Textile Industries launches ambitious Rs. 1 billion expansion programme

South Asia Textile Industries launches ambitious Rs. 1 billion expansion programme

Leading Sri Lankan textile manufacturer South Asia Textile Industries Lanka recently launched a highly ambitious expansion programme. This is after having already begun investing what will ultimately be over Rs. 1 billion, in total, in the latest 5th Generation Hybrid/Nano technology used in state-of-the art textile machinery in all its divisions. These upgrades, comprising high-speed knitting [...]

Export finance solutions to revitalise Sri Lankan SMEs

In a set up showing Sri Lanka’s worst downturn in exports as a share of its gross domestic product since 2000 hurting the country’s economy, the need to introduce export finance schemes and relevant policies to uplift the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) numbering 3,027 has been emphasised by Verite Research at a media conference [...]

Ageing worker population growing issue in Sri Lanka and the world

Human resources planning is often neglected by project managers and this could lead to even failure in the entire project plan, according to one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned architects. Prof. (Ms.) Chitra Wedikkara, Immediate Past President, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects lamented that most often they as project managers forget the planning for human resources, [...]

Asian Alliance Insurance selected as finalist in Asia’s “Innovation of the Year” awards

Sri Lanka’s Asian Alliance Insurance was selected as one of the 47 finalists at the Asia Insurance Awards, the premier regional event of the year which recognises and salutes excellence in the Insurance sector. It was among the “Innovation of the Year” finalists at the 19th Asia Insurance Industry Awards 2015. The other finalists are [...]

Issues thousands of depositors face

The Business Times (BT) has received dozens of letters over the past 12 to 18 months from desperate depositors of failed finance companies who have not seen the colour of their, often, hard-earned cash over periods stretching up to eight years. Authorities have worked in fits and starts to alleviate their problems sometimes stepping in [...]

PFAN (Private Finance Advisory Network) gets new SL Country Manager

The Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), which is a multilateral, public-private partnership initiated by the Climate Technology Initiative (CTI), in cooperation with the UNFCCC Expert Group on Technology Transfer, has appointed D.S Roshan Motha as the Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. PFAN operates to bridge the gap between investments and clean energy [...]

Colombo Fashion Week Resort moves to Galle this season

HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort, the third season in the annual CFW calendar, is moving to Galle and its iconic Fort, this season, the organisers said this week.  The CFW Resort was introduced in 2012 and alternates between Negombo and Galle to showcase the latest resort wear collections by both Sri Lankan and international designers. [...]

LAUGFS celebrates 20 years with “20 Days of Special Offers”

LAUGFS, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has announced 20 days of special offers, discounts and giveaways from across its diverse portfolio of products and services. “In the space of a mere 20 years, LAUGFS has established itself across 20 diverse industries as a trusted Sri Lanka conglomerate, touching the lives of millions every day. The 20 days [...]

Mihin Lanka to launch flights to Muscat in Oman

Mihin Lanka, the region’s leading low-cost airline will commence flight operations to Muscat, the capital of Oman from October 25 onwards.  A total of four weekly flights will be introduced and will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from Bandaranaike International Airport, the airline, a subsidiary of national carrier SriLankan Airlines, said in a [...]

China’s Plateno Hotels Group to manage Fairway Holdings’ city hotel

Fairway Holdings has tasked the Plateno Hotels Group of China to manage its 200-bed, soon-to-be-completed city hotel in Colombo Fort. The hotel is centrally located on Hospital Street, opposite the World Trade Centre and behind the Old Dutch Hospital premises. “This is the first hotel to be developed by the Fairway Holdings Group, which is [...]

Textured Jersey braces for developing Indian plant capacity

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL) has plans to double its capacity in the newly acquired Ocean Indian factory in India, officials said.  ”Initially we want to integrate Ocean India’s existing mill in India to facilitate immediate production and its consolidation has to happen. Then in the next financial year we want to double its capacity [...]

Fitch withdraws rating on Ceylon Income Fund

Fitch withdraws rating on Ceylon Income Fund

Fitch Ratings has withdrawn the ratings on Ceylon Income Fund’s National Fund which was “Credit Quality Rating of ‘A (lka)’.” In an announcement on Monday, the agency said that there is no National Volatility Rating assigned to the fund, which is managed by Ceylon Asset Management (CAM). “Following the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri [...]

N and E favourite microfinance destinations

The former conflict affected North and East regions have become favourite microfinance destinations even for the formal banking sector, according to industry analysts. “There is a significant microfinance presence in Sri Lanka and the country has one of the highest microfinance penetrations in the world, with an extensive delivery network of over 10,800 outlets,” a Bartleet [...]

Pan Asia Bank’s Rs.4 bln debenture to open this week

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC (Pan Asia Bank) this week announced the opening of its Rs. 4 billion senior debenture issue for subscription on September 23, the second such corporate debt issuance by the bank in 12-months. The bank issued a 5-year, Rs.3 billion subordinated debenture on October 24, 2014 which was oversubscribed on the [...]

Lubricants picking up; Chevron to yield better margins – Analysts

Sri Lanka’s lubricant market has been picking up since 2014 due to increasing disposable incomes of households and the low interest rates’ regime causing consumers to shift from public transport modes to their own vehicles, analysts say. “According to the regulator’s recent statistics (Lubricant market report 2014 – issued by the Public Utilities Commission) despite [...]

Sri Lankan diplomats to adhere to economic diplomacy, says Harsha

Sri Lankan diplomats to adhere to economic diplomacy, says Harsha

The new government will be soon directing Sri Lankan diplomats in missions abroad to re-channel their efforts, energies and resources to improving the country’s commercial interests worldwide.  Newly appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, an eminent economist turned politician, laid out a new strategic direction last week for the country’s foreign service called [...]

Edirisinghe & Co. Chartered Accountants joins Baker Tilly International

Edirisinghe & Co. Chartered Accountants joins Baker Tilly International

Following the firm’s recent admission to the top 10 global accounting and business advisory network Baker Tilly International, Baker Tilly Edirisinghe and Co. will be expanding its multinational clientele and helping small and medium sized companies in SriLanka. The multi-disciplinary firm has enjoyed continued growth in the local market since it was launched in 1985 [...]

Nawaloka Hospitals and NIT Fund in MOU for healthcare services

Nawaloka Hospitals and NIT Fund in MOU for healthcare services

Nawaloka Hospitals and the National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing 2.5 million beneficiaries of the NITF with access to healthcare services provided by Nawaloka Hospitals at concessionary rates. The MoU was signed by NITF’s CEO Sanath C De Silva and Chairman Manjula De Silva. Signatories from Nawaloka were [...]

Richard Pieris plantation revenues flat

The plantation sector at Richard Pieris Group comprising three regional plantation companies saw its revenue being flat year on year (YOY) Rs. 1882.5 million in 1QFY16 mainly on the back of continuous hostile conditions in the plantation industry, analysts say. Namunukula Plantations with a topline dip of 18 per cent YoY to Rs. 486.6 million [...]

Three countries in Asia vow to boost 2-way trade and investment with Sri Lanka

A Colombo gathering of local and foreign businesses last week saw the presence of ambassadors from three countries – Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar – each promising to encourage 2-way trade and investment between their countries and Sri Lanka. The event was the 4th annual general meeting of the Sri Lanka -Greater Mekong Sub region Business [...]

Wifyer addresses crucial low cost mobile usage when abroad

Imagine going abroad, trying to access your e-mail and stopping short when you remember charges for data transfer are expensive? Well it’s not so anymore, because the Wifyer application(app), created by software developer, Global Wavenet Pvt Ltd, allows peer to peer mobile data sharing powered by a transactional platform. Suren Pinto, CEO of the company [...]

Hirdaramani Group’s IT arm, H ONE launches 360-degree sales visibility solution

The Hirdaramani Group’s IT venture H ONE which is best known for its award-winning cloud practice, recently partnered with software company, TECLEVER SOLUTIONS, to build a 360-degree sales visibility solution, ESB Apps. The partnership builds on H ONE’s strong foundation of cloud-services and expertise in Sri Lanka and its strength as a regional cloud consultant [...]

Commercial Bank enhances understanding of southern rice millers with awareness programme

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon recently conducted a programme to enhance the proficiency in rice milling of rice millers in the deep south of Sri Lanka under the bank’s initiative to assist micro businesses and SMEs countrywide by providing them with essential knowledge. The programme, organised by the bank’s Tissamaharama Agriculture and Micro Finance Unit [...]

Nawaloka sets sights on Myanmar, Cambodia for next construction projects after Maldives

With the success attained by its latest construction project in Maldives, the Nawaloka Group is looking for contracts in Cambodia and Myanmar, top officials said. “We are sure that this construction project would place the Nawaloka Construction Company’s name in high esteem in the Maldives for future construction projects and also on the global list [...]

Virtusa and PMICSL develop unique program for Virtusa staff

Virtusa Corporation, a global business consulting and IT outsourcing company, has announced that it has designed and developed a Virtusa specific Project Management Professional Program in partnership with the Project Management Institute Colombo, Sri Laka (PMICSL) Chapter. The course consists of Virtusa specific content and case studies along with modules that meet PMI’s global standards. [...]

National Chamber discussion of trade with Swiss Ambassador

A session on “Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Switzerland” with the Ambassador of Switzerland will be held on Tuesday, September 22 at the National Chamber of Commerce auditorium at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha Colombo. Ambassador Heinz Walker will discuss trade and investment issues and respond to questions. Sri Lankan exports to Switzerland are mainly gold [...]

LRA hires Entrust as its negotiator

Suspended rating agency, Lanka Rating Agency (LRA) has hired the Entrust Group as its negotiator to strike a new deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), officials said. “We signed up Entrust to negotiate LRA’s divestiture along with settle the extension of our licence. We aim to complete both processes by mid next month,” [...]

SriLankan Airlines invests in continuous employee development

National carrier SriLankan Airlines has initiated a new venture towards harnessing the potential and talents of its employees, by proposing to fund their post graduate higher education under the airline’s Continuous Professional Development Programme. The objectives of the programme is aimed at developing a motivated and highly skilled professional workforce that would contribute positively to [...]

BOI to get tough with firms having land leases

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) will get tough with companies that have leased state land and are ‘sitting on their’ projects, officials said. “We found that there’re many companies who secured lands on long lease from the BOI and ‘not done anything’ on them. Now we’re planning to revoke them,” BOI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya [...]

Lanka IOC seeks new Govt’s assistance to earn more dollars for the country

Lanka IOC, the subsidiary of Indian state-owned Indian Oil Corp, is seeking a bond facility or tax concession from the new government for the sustenance of its bunkering business at Trincomalee oil terminal which started two months ago, a top official of the company told the Business Times. “The transport cost of bunker oil from [...]

Pan Asia Bank completes $20 mln funding from Europe-based financier

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC (Pan Asia Bank) in its mission to contribute towards helping to create a climate friendly economy has embarked on a green lending drive to fund small, medium and large scale renewable energy and energy efficiency project, a media release by the bank said. “To this end, the bank has completed [...]

Commercial Bank to commence fully-fledged banking operations in the Maldives

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has announced plans to extend its services to the Republic of Maldives following the receipt of regulatory approval for the establishment of a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the idyllic archipelago. Sri Lanka’s largest private bank has received approval from both the Maldives Monetary Authority and the Central Bank of [...]

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