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Soros presence seen boosting more foreign investment

Soros presence seen boosting  more foreign investment

Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros is keen to invest in Sri Lanka and contemplating initially US$300 million as he has confidence in the government and several business leaders with international connections, sources close to the Hungarian-American business tycoon told the Business Times. The Soros Fund Management (SFM) team is evaluating the pros and cons [...]

Sri Lanka needs to get fundamentals right

While there was all-round praise for the ‘new’ Sri Lanka, speakers at this week’s economic forum also had words of caution in the country’s effort to speed development.Among the issues raised was the need for consistent policies and getting the fundamentals right in the economy, particularly tax revenue. Another point raised was that the crisis [...]

Snags in easing NRFC, RFC accounts restrictions

The relaxation of restrictions on foreign accounts announced on Monday by the Central Bank (CB) was welcomed by the industry, but there was no clarity on its implementation as of Friday.”We had meetings with the Exchange Controller for the past two days on implementing this,” a banker told the Business Times. The CB is to [...]

4 domestic airports to be privately managed

At least four domestic airports in Sri Lanka in proximity to key tourist resorts are likely to be handed over for private management. Civil Aviation Authority Director General H.M.C. Nimalsiri told the Business Times that they had submitted a proposal to the government to ensure that the domestic airports currently manned by the Sri Lanka [...]

Entrust showed Rs.48 mln loss in last reported quarter

Under-fire Entrust, according to its latest financials released to the Colombo Stock Exchange, had reported a net loss of Rs. 48.8 million in the quarter ending 30th September 2015 from a net profit of Rs. 298 million in the same 2014 period. However for the six months ending 30th September 2015, the company reported a [...]

New SL debit card to be introduced

Sri Lanka is introducing a local debit card that is poised to gradually increase the use of cards for payments at points of sale and reduce the use of cash, newly appointed head of LankaClear said on Thursday.Renowned ICT industry veteran Channa de Silva took reins as the General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer of LankaClear [...]

Entrusted with public funds, they failed!

Entrusted with public funds, they failed!

Serious questions are being raised as to why early action was not taken against crisis-hit Entrust Securities PLC (Entrust), a primary dealer of the Central Bank (CB), by the regulator when issues relating to mismanagement first came to light more than two years ago in 2013.The close connection between Entrust’s majority owners, the (Anuruddha) Ratwatte [...]

Issues of former regime pertaining to fraud at finance companies haunt Central Bank

The woes of, and accusations against, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) ever since the days of the former regime and under the watch of (former) Governor Nivard Cabraal don’t seem to be over yet.Just a few weeks after Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as President in January 2015 and veteran banker Arjuna Mahendran, [...]

Positive week for Sri Lanka

It was an unusually busy and crucial week for Sri Lanka in both a political and economic context. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was the first in the line of high-profile visitors, meeting top dignitaries in the government amidst reports that his firm would be hired as a highly—paid consultant to the government, followed [...]

Sri Lanka to sign an FTA with US becoming trade gate for South Asia

Sri Lanka to sign an FTA with US  becoming trade gate for South Asia

Sri Lanka is to become the gateway to countries such as Pakistan to penetrate the US market as the island nation plans to enter into a Free Trade Agreement(FTA) or a Comprehensive Preferential Trade Agreement (CPTA) with the US.This was disclosed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with a tone of confidence after launching the “Pakistan [...]

Budget proposal on appointment of directors

The so-called ‘Yahapalanaya’ regime’s second budget seems to have disturbed not one, but several hornets’ nests in numerous sectors. It is possibly the most contentious budget ever presented in a Sri Lankan parliament.Permit me to draw attention to another curious aspect that has not as yet attracted much attention, but is nonetheless of immense importance [...]

Indian trade team for this month’s Jaffna International Trade Fair

A 60-member trade delegation from the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce & Industry is participating at the Jaffna International Trade Fair on January 29 – 31. The chamber President along with leading businessmen and industrialists representing various business sectors such as Food Processing, Agriculture Commodities, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Jewellery and FMCG have planned to visit Jaffna [...]

International personalities steal the show at SL Economic Forum

International personalities steal the show at SL Economic Forum

What was expected to be the most anticipated day in the country’s economic calendar was just another ordinary day, barring the arrival of some major international personalities. This was the opinion of more than a few dozen participants at the Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2016 themed ‘Steering Sri Lanka towards Sustainable and Inclusive Development’ held [...]

Soros to boost Sri Lankan economy, Stiglitz to provide ‘sound’ advice’

Soros to boost Sri Lankan economy, Stiglitz to provide ‘sound’ advice’

Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros on Thursday exuded confidence in Sri Lanka and told the Sri Lanka Economic Forum in Colombo he wanted to assist and invest in the once, war-torn country.President Maithripala Sirisena, who participated as the chief guest at the economic forum held under the theme of “Steering Sri Lanka towards Sustainable [...]

BOI veteran Duminda Ariyasinghe appointed as new Director General

BOI veteran Duminda Ariyasinghe appointed as new Director General

Duminda Ariyasinghe, an experienced senior executive with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) was this week appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena as its new Director General.Mr. Ariyasinghe headed a multitude of key departments at the country’s investment promotion and facilitation agency, BOI officials said.The appointment comes as the government is setting ambitious targets [...]

Kurunegala feed mill, crowning glory of Bairaha Farms

Not only the best machinery counts; a clean and efficient building with modern state-of-the-art commercial animal feed manufacturing factory also matters. Bairaha Farms Plc did just that by purchasing machinery from ‘Buhler’ a Switzerland company to set up the new factory in the Kurunegala district as a large scale modern feed mill in the country [...]

15,000 users, 30 hospitals sign up with trilingual over 3 years

More than 15,000 users and 30 hospitals are currently using trilingual online medical advisory service, a Sri Lankan outfit which started operations a little over three years ago, according to a statement. As per the statement, this service provides “medical advice either online or via phone. An understanding, non-judgmental platform where no question is [...]

CA Sri Lanka, IFAC and SAFA in joint effort to empower Asia’s small and medium businesses

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka together with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), in a fresh effort aimed at empowering the Small and Medium practitioners and enterpises in the South Asian region, has organised a regional SMP Forum to help educate Small and Medium [...]

Ford regains demand in Sri Lanka

Ford regains demand in Sri Lanka

Resurgence in demand for the Ford range of vehicle in Sri Lanka has prompted the local agent Future Automobiles to spruce up and improve customer care, a letter the new CEO sent to existing Ford owners recently revealed.The company recently enhanced its premises at Battaramulla welcoming customers into an expansively designed showroom with wide selection [...]

Sri Lanka’s messy vehicle valuation system creates confusion once again

Sri Lanka’s messy vehicle valuation system is creating confusion once again following the decision taken by the newly appointed Director General of Customs (DGC) Chulananda Perera to release 189 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado TRJ jeeps which were earlier detained at the Hambantota port by the Customs Central Investigation Directorate (CCID).According to the CCID, the reason [...]

Motor Traffic Dept. to streamline road worthiness certificates

The Motor Traffic Department (MTD) is to streamline the issue of road worthiness certificates for motorists as it has received complaints relating to a large number vehicles breaking down on main roads and highways, MTD sources revealed. According to a survey conducted by the Traffic Police, emergency vehicles operated on southern expressway by Sri Lanka [...]

Micro Cars improves after sales service

Micro Cars Ltd continues its vehicle assembly process further diversifying its functions towards after sales services and a rent a car facility amidst challenges arising out of an inconsistence tax policy during the past few years, officials of the company said.Today Micro Cars remains the only national car manufacturer assembling a full range of vehicles, [...]

Volkswagen launches ‘smart’ electric revamp of minivan

LAS VEGAS, Jan 6 (AFP) – Meet the revamped Volkswagen Kombi. Once a hippie favourite, the minivan has been transformed into an electric, connected vehicle of the future.BUDD-e, unveiled late Tuesday in Las Vegas, is “a new concept for long-distance electric vehicles,” explained VW brand chief Herbert Diess on the eve of the official opening [...]

Emission levy jolts Lanka’s clean air policy -experts

Imposing the proposed emission testing levy by the government has created an adverse effect, negatively impacting the industry which does a yeoman service in maintaining Sri Lanka’s high environment performance ranking in South Asia, emission control, industry experts say. The emission levy introduced in the Budget 2016 comes in a backdrop where Sri Lanka has [...]

‘Tikka’ and the holiday warrant”

‘Tikka’ and the holiday warrant”

The voice at the other end of the phone was a tad imperious, “Tilakaratna. Can you bring my holiday warrants if they are ready?”“Yes, they are ready,” I answered briskly. “Can you come and collect them from my desk?” There was a click as the call was disconnected and I resumed my work, which was [...]

Bluster, fire and fury with my ‘Boss’

In around July 1956, I was transferred out of the Exchange Control Department in the Central Bank (CB) after six months, and became Assistant Secretary under the interesting personage (P.M. Jayarajan) described as having a ‘gruff exterior but a warm and fuzzy heart’. I remember he had generated that kind of reputation those days at [...]

Norway wants business with SL, no more peace mediation

Norway wants business with SL, no more peace mediation

Norway is focused on entering Sri Lanka through investment and business opportunities and would support reconciliation efforts but (unlike before) will not have any role in it, the visiting Norwegian foreign minister said on Thursday.Minister Borge Brende told the Business Times that they will have “no role” in the reconciliation efforts with the Sri Lankan [...]

Workshop on Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Social Value Creation

Workshop on Social  Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Social Value Creation

The Department of Industrial Management, University of Kelaniya together with Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies and the local affiliate of CEFE (Competency-based Economies through Formation of Enterprise) is presenting a workshop on “Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Social Value Creation”.It will held on Tuesday, January 12 from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Bandaranaike Centre [...]

Sharif welcomes Colombo as a go- between Pakistan and India

Visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a strong endorsement of Sri Lanka’s ability, on Wednesday welcomed a suggestion that Colombo can play a vital role in mending relations between Pakistan and India.Responding to a question from a Business Times journalist at an exclusive breakfast discussion with Sri Lanka’s business community at a Colombo hotel [...]

Templeton selling Commercial Bank stocks

The Templeton Fund, an emerging market equity fund has been selling its holding in the Commercial Bank (Commercial) and possibly some other investments owing to a range of issues the fund is facing in the region and the attractiveness of the European and US markets, officials and stockbrokers say.Commercial, the only local commercial bank with [...]

IMF focuses on current state of SL economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is focusing attention on the current status of the Sri Lankan economy and measures to keep the deficit under control.The new IMF Executive Director, Dr. Subir Gokarn told the Business Times during a visit to Colombo that his meetings with Sri Lankan ministers this week focused on the current state [...]

Golf tourism to spotlight Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Tourism has made a concerted effort to bring down high spending golf-playing tourists by creating the right arena for their stay in the country for which the sport’s top tour operator visited Colombo.International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) President Peter Walton visited the country this week meeting with tour operators, hotels and [...]

US rate hike has local repercussions

US rate hike has local repercussions

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has raised interest rates terminating its near-zero rate policy that was launched seven years ago in the aftermath of the worst global financial crisis experienced ever since the Great Depression. Given the economic outlook, and recognizing the time it takes for policy actions to affect future economic outcomes, the Fed [...]

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