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Janashakthi acquires AIA’s Sri Lankan General Insurance Business

Janashakthi acquires AIA’s Sri Lankan  General Insurance Business

Janashakthi Insurance PLC is taking full control of AIA General Insurance Lanka Ltd at a cost of Rs. 3.2 billion. Prakash Schaffter, Managing Director, Janashakthi Insurance PLC, told a media conference in Colombo on Friday that Rs. 3.35 billion raised from a recent rights issue will be used for this investment while adding that the [...]

SEC to tighten, enhance surveillance mechanisms

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to tighten loopholes while enhancing its surveillance system in a bid to better combat market frauds, officials said. ”With a new system we want to detect manipulations/frauds early so that we can put a stop to such things immediately,” a SEC official told the Business Times. Currently the SEC [...]

New asset holding company to manage SoBEs

Sri Lanka’s 55 major state-owned business enterprises (SoBEs) are to be transformed to profitable ventures with a new management under an independent asset holding company putting an end to the accumulation of massive losses year after year, officials said. These enterprises have not been managed properly during the past 50 years and have become white [...]

Colombo urged to get fiscal house in order and restore credibility

Sri Lanka should restore the credibility of its fiscal accounts, because without credible policies, economic growth could be stifled below its potential, a leading bank suggested in an economic update ahead of next month’s budget. An economic health check by HSBC on Thursday urged fiscal and monetary restraint in the country. The report also underlines what [...]

Did green leaf subsidy destroy the tea market?

Did green leaf subsidy destroy the tea market?

During the last Presidential election campaign the then opposition made an announcement that if they come to power that they would provide a price subsidy up to Rs. 80 per kg of green leaf to leaf suppliers. In an article I published on Feb 5, 2015 in a local newspaper, I outlined a mechanism describing [...]

Motor vehicles and road congestion

If there is one sector in Sri Lanka that keeps hogging media headlines in recent months, it is motor vehicles and the related traffic congestion. Increased or reduced taxes, rising demand for hybrids, new computation of valuing cars for duty purposes, policies encouraging more Sri Lankans to be car owners and contradictory policies are among [...]

National Chamber of Exporters backs CB plan to merge EFP-ETF pension funds

The National Chamber of Exporters this week welcomed a proposal by the Central Bank, as reported in the media, to merge the two pension funds – Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF). The chamber said in a statement that it is proposed to merge the EPF and ETF Pension Funds, which collectively [...]

Second Sri Lankan annual real estate conference to explore technology in real estate

Sri Lanka’s second annual real estate conference will take place on October 21 at the BMICH focusing on the changes to Sri Lanka’s real estate market. It will be hosted by global property portal Lamudi. In addition to the changes in the real estate market, this year’s conference will focus on technology, with demonstrations of [...]

Around 70 PHEVs await Custom clearance due to classification issue

At least 70 Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have been blocked from clearing by Sri Lanka Customs as it is still to determine specific classification/HS code for those vehicles, motor traders complained. Previously importers who made PHEV custom declarations on the basis of electric car have been permitted to clear PHEVs by paying duty [...]

Patrick Amarasinghe (1932-2015): The forgotten pioneer

Patrick Amarasinghe (1932-2015):  The forgotten pioneer

It is not every day that one gets to talk about a man who has been an inspiration to the private sector of the land and it is not every day that one gets to tell others about the good works done by such a man. Here is a man who pursued his dream, despite [...]

Trade unions to draw roadmap for GSP + path

Trade unions will be holding a Delegates Conference on October 18 to draw up a roadmap to regain GSP + trade concessions from the European Union (EU) and establish a tripartite body involving all stakeholders. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed to the establishment of the tripartite body involving employers, workers and unions and the [...]

Celebrating IIT’s contribution to Sri Lankan education

British High Commissioner James Dauris recently congratulated the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) for its contribution to local private higher education in Sri Lanka over the past 25 years. The achievement was recognised at an event held at the High Commissioner’s residence recently attended by Professor Geoffrey Petts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Westminster along [...]

Citi Sri Lanka, CCC Solutions and NDB Bank in joint plan to help aspiring micro entrepreneurs

Citi Sri Lanka, CCC Solutions and NDB Bank in joint plan to help  aspiring micro entrepreneurs

The Citi CCCS Rural Economic Empowerment Programme launched last week seeks to help micro entrepreneurs by enabling capacity building through financial literacy and development of entrepreneurship skills. The initiative spearheaded by Citi Sri Lanka, CCC Solutions, a subsidiary of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, and the National Development Bank will also facilitate microcredit assistance, as [...]

Sunday Times Business Club provides support to village school in Sigiriya

Sunday Times Business Club provides support to village school in Sigiriya

The Sunday Times Business Club (STBC), one of the premier business clubs in Sri Lanka, carried out its annual CSR project recently focusing on a school in Sigiriya, whose children are in dire need of basic educational items in order to progress in their academic journey. The club and its’ members purchased school bags, shoes [...]

Call for urgent pension reforms in Sri Lanka

A call for reforms in Sri Lankan pensions was made this week during an event organised by the Pensions Department to celebrate Pensioners Day. “I think there has to be reforms in the Sri Lanka pensions system. While looking at the pension system I do not think it is sustainable,” said economist and Deputy Minister of [...]

Ways of invigorating the innovation landscape in Sri Lanka

Ways of invigorating the innovation landscape in Sri Lanka

The Government’s recent focus on an innovation-led economy draws our attention to the ever so important aspect of intrinsic human and intellectual capital development and leverage thus ensuring an exponential growth of our economy. Inventions thus could play a pivotal role in delivering upon this promise. However looking at the historic track of the number [...]

SLT to undergo another transformation to regain market leadership

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is to undergo another transformation to regain market leadership while capitalising on new opportunities created by advancements in the Information Communication Technology (ICT). The organisational structure of SLT will be re-aligned to function as centres of excellence in marketing, planning, sales and operations. Issuing a circular, No 40 of 2015 (a [...]

Muthoot Finance links up with AAF to regain the glitter of Sri Lanka’s gold loan business

With the aim of regaining the glitter of the gold loan business in Sri Lanka, Muthoot Finance Ltd, a Kerala-based gold financing firm has forayed into Sri Lanka by acquiring a 51 per cent stake in Asia Asset Finance PLC (AAF). Muthoot has activated AAF gold loan business providing India’s know how and training in [...]

CH17 partners with IScientia-of UK to provide next-gen loyalty and HRM solutions

CH17 partners with IScientia-of UK to  provide next-gen loyalty and HRM solutions

To prop up its technologically superior “NFC loyalty Program”, CH17 will enter into a strategic partnership seeking the expertise of iScientia – a leading technology solution company in Surrey to develop and customise IT solutions for all its Loyalty Schemes and Customer Relationship Management programs currently underway. This tie-up will also include CH17′s flagship Program [...]

The value of the Sri Lankan Rupee

Coins first contained almost their value in Gold, Silver or Copper. The small difference known Seigniorage, was to cover cost of Minting but subsequently also included some revenue for the Rulers. Bank notes were issued to enable simple transport of large amounts of cash, while significantly reducing the risk of loss. So while the Gold [...]

Bank of Ceylon debenture issue oversubscribed on opening day

The Bank of Ceylon (BOC)’s latest debenture issue has been oversubscribed 2.5 times over its initial issue of Rs.5 billion on the opening day – October 7. The bank received applications far exceeding Rs. 8 billion by 10.30 am. With this issue, total listed debentures issued by the BOC to the market would be Rs. [...]

RIU launch first ever real estate market report for the Maldives

The first-ever real estate market report for the Maldives was recently launched in Male at the Annual Hotel Asia Exhibition and Conference event. During the launch that was attended by a wide-variety of visitors from all parts of the globe, RIU CEO Roshan Madawela said that a colossal amount of work had to be completed [...]

CCC once again opposes Finance Bill, says discourages private sector investment

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), has once again raised its voice against the Finance Bill of March 2015 recently, presented to Parliament, saying it sends a negative signal to the private sector and is likely to deter investment. “This is unfortunate since the Bill comes at a time that the Sri Lankan private sector [...]

Healthy Life Clinic celebrates 10 years of medical care with a unique vision

Healthy Life Clinic, which now provides family medical care, diabetes care and health services for corporates, recently celebrated 10 years of providing and advocating for medical care with a unique and holistic vision. Founded in 2005, as a diabetes clinic, and now located at No. 10, Deal Place A, Duplication Road, Colombo 3, Healthy Life [...]

Etihad breathes new life into Italian airline Alitalia

Etihad Airways, a key investor in Alitalia, believes Italy’s national airline has “fantastic potential to grow” – but only if it embraces change. Speaking in Milan to the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, James Hogan, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, and Vice Chairman of Alitalia, said that, “last year, Alitalia [...]

Microsoft Sri Lanka has plans to introduce ‘TV White Space’ technology to increase Internet speed

Microsoft Sri Lanka has plans to introduce ‘TV White Space’ technology to increase Internet speed

While the Internet speed in Sri Lanka is very slow compared to other countries in the region, Microsoft Sri Lanka has plans to bring in one of the latest technologies, ‘TV White Space’ to Sri Lanka. This is a technology where parts of the TV spectrum are used to transmit broadband over the air waves, [...]

South Asia growth strong but fiscal, financial weaknesses remain

WASHINGTON – Led by a resilient India, South Asia is expected to maintain its lead as the fastest-growing region in the world, with economic growth forecasted to accelerate from 7 per cent in 2015 to 7.4 per cent in 2016, a World Bank report said. According to the twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus, this positive [...]

Pan Asia gears up for Rs. 100 bn asset base

Following the completion of the Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC’s (Pan Asia Bank) Rs. 4 billion debenture issue that was oversubscribed exceeding Rs. 5.5 billion, the bank is now gearing up for a higher growth trajectory aiming to achieve a Rs. 100 billion asset base, a Pan Asia Bank Media release said. “This is the [...]

High growth needed to ‘manage domestic political tensions’ – RBI chief

While there are few areas exhibiting “robust” growth around the world, this type of increase is the need of the hour since current slow growth is “dangerous” because emerging and industrial countries require high growth to “manage domestic political tensons”, according to Dr. Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Speaking [...]

Tea industry needs to help themselves, says Minister

Future state involvement in resurrecting the tea industry should be at a minimum, Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayaka said on Thursday. During an interview with the Business Times, the minister queried why the government should intervene every time the tea industry is down and explained that there should be a revolving fund to finance them when [...]

Finance Minister to bridge a budget deficit of Rs.1,349.12 bln

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake will unveil measures to bridge the budgetary gap of Rs.1,349.12 billion in 2016 when he presents the maiden budget of the new government in parliament on November 20. Budget 2016 is now being prepared based on the Medium term Budgetary framework 2016-2018, a media release issued by the Finance Ministry revealed. [...]

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