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Colombo Port City work to resume soon

Colombo Port City work to resume soon

The Government this week announced that work at the controversial Colombo Port City will resume shortly. Seen here are some tourists walking past the site with an excavator in the background. Pic by Indika Handuwala

Suspect NGO was expecting two foreign remittances, local bank says

Suspect NGO was expecting two foreign remittances, local bank says

A Sri Lankan non-governmental organisation (NGO), at the centre of a billion-dollar global money laundering probe involving unknown hackers who broke into the website of the Bangladesh Central Bank (CB), had been registered with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) on October 16, 2014, a Business Times (BT) investigation has revealed. The BT probe revealed that [...]

Deadlock on tea plantations

Sri Lankan plantation companies and tea estate workers continue to be in a deadlock for nearly a year – the longest to reach a consensus on the wage hike. A date for the next meeting between the two parties is expected by the end of this month. Both Regional Plantation Companies (RPC) and the Ceylon [...]

Government mulls removing Cess on all items except tourism

In a major step towards tax reforms in Sri Lanka, the government is mulling the possibility of removing Cess (a special tax) on all items other than on tourism with the aim of promoting exports and helping local industrialists and farmers. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CEM) has suggested that it is necessary to [...]

15 % interest deposit rate for some senior citizens

Senior citizens, already getting 15 per cent interest on a deposit of Rs.1 million under the scheme announced in the interim budget 2015, can renew these 1-year deposits at the same rate when it expires, bankers said. However that doesn’t apply to any new deposits in this category. This is until fresh guidelines are issued on [...]

Forensic auditors, lawyers examine ‘Entrust’ files

The Central Bank (CB), while a police probe is on, has independently contracted forensic specialists and corporate lawyers to examine the Entrust Securities PLC files, a top CB official said. “We have handed over the case to the Financial Crimes Investigation Department and in parallel we contracted other parties to accelerate the process,” he told [...]

Call for a ‘Commission to Address Economic Development Grievances’

Call for a ‘Commission to Address  Economic Development Grievances’

The current process of constitutional reform has given much needed importance to concerns such as structures of the State, rule of law, separation of powers and power sharing arrangements. However, such an approach to Constitution-making has ignored a major concern for the people, of economic depravity and harm caused by development projects. Constitutional mechanisms to [...]

Deadly blow to entrepreneurship – Comment

It’s unfortunate that Sunil Perera, Sri Lanka’s legendary entertainer and a leading light in the campaign by artistes for political change in end 2014, is relatively quiet these days.  Otherwise this popular balladeer would have ‘played the merry devil’ dishing out song after song of the chaos and confusion that’s taking place in the aftermath [...]

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)- Tax on the tree that bears fruits

In an era where capital gains tax is the object of the attention, appreciating the distinction between capital and income receipts is fundamental. Justice Pitney used the metaphor of the tree that bears the fruit (capital) and the fruit (income) to draw the distinction between the two concepts. CGT would be applicable on “capital gains” [...]

Urgent need to re-assess, prepare blueprint of country’s renewable energy resources

It’s not only Mother Nature that stands in the way of a brave band of entrepreneurs who are trying to do their bit for the country, but self-important politicians and busy-body local government officials also occasionally play a role in stalling the continued growth of mini hydro in Sri Lanka. As a source of renewable [...]

Hemas Hospitals takes out full re- accreditation with Australian Council Health Standards International

Hemas Hospitals was recently awarded full re-accreditation for another four years, of the highly esteemed Australian Council of Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI). “This gold standard in healthcare, now in its second cycle, confirms the hospital’s outstanding clinical outcomes as well as its commitment to maintaining high quality patient care through stringent adherence to processes and [...]

Indian currency swap will help but not totally salvage Sri Lanka’s forex crisis, Moody’s says

Recent foreign exchange inflows from India under a currency swap with the Sri Lankan government will help ease pressure on the country’s balance of payments, a top rating agency said on Thursday. “However, recourse to such official funding also highlights the fact that Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange earnings and reserves fall short of its external financing [...]

Bahrain ready to engage in Sri Lanka’s economy, top visiting official says

Bahrain is ready to engage with Sri Lanka’s economic growth, as its businesses are very confident of the commercial potential Sri Lanka has.  This was said by the Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Salman Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, when he visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce during the last week. He [...]

Dell introduces data centre solutions to support enterprises

Dell announced this week the addition of new solutions aimed at building future-ready enterprises and workforce. From PCs and thin clients to servers, storage and networking products, Dell’s solutions equip businesses with the agility and resilience to keep up with a dynamic marketplace and define the future of the connected workforce. Local companies are seeking [...]

Discussion on ‘recent policy changes’ in Sri Lanka at STBC meeting

Recent policy changes in Sri Lanka and its impact on business will be the focus of this month’s meeting of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC). The event will feature a presentation by Dr. Nishan De Mel – Executive Director and Head of Research at Verite Research dealing with ‘recent policies and policymaking changes in [...]

Regus educates commercial real estate agents on flexi-working concepts

Regus educates commercial real estate agents on flexi-working concepts

Regus Sri Lanka, local operation of the global workplace provider Regus, organised a seminar targeting commercial real estate agents recently. The awareness session was held amidst a selective gathering at the newly launched Regus@Parkland Building, Colombo 2 in partnership with Lamudi Sri Lanka, a leading global real estate portal, the company said. The programme covered [...]

Sri Lanka’s corporates stunned by recent power outages

While this week hasn’t been ‘easy’ for local corporates especially in the manufacturing sector owing to intermittent power outages, survival has been the keyword. However if the power crisis spills over to next week, many say it’ll be tough to sustain bottomlines. “Most industries are equipped with back-up power or generators. They can run for [...]

Advantis Engineering invests Rs. 400 mln in SL’s first Container Conversion Plant

Advantis Engineering recently opened Sri Lanka’s first fully fledged sheltered manufacturing plant for container conversions.  Advantis Engineering, formerly known as Logiventures, has invested Rs. 400 million on this production facility at Peliyagoda, which is dedicated to manufacturing Convertainers – the container conversion solutions offered by the company. The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant coupled with Advantis Engineering’s [...]

Top property website using smartphone to create new, innovative access to SL’s property market, seen as Sri Lanka’s leading property website, has launched its revamped site designed to work responsively by way of self-optimising itself to fit multiple screen sizes. Desktop Internet usage has been overtaken by the mounting number of mobile Internet users in Sri Lanka who currently exceed 2.5 million (57 per cent of total internet [...]

71 Commercial Bank branches to be kept open on Good Friday

Commercial Bank of Ceylon, for the second time this month, will keep 71 branches open for business on a public and bank holiday, this time on 25th March, which is Good Friday. The bank announced that its 30 Supermarket Banking Centres and 25 ’365-day’ branches will work their customary hours on that day, while another [...]

NCE export awards aimed also at stimulating medical services as forex earners

The annual export awards presented by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) is not only to encourage direct exports but also other ways of earning foreign exchange like healthcare by medical specialists, etc. These facts were revealed at the media briefing held last week in Colombo to launch the NCE Export Awards 2015 which will [...]

Asian corporates should cut ‘power distance’ to reach top

Asian firms which rate high on ‘Power Distance’, the distance a person feels or keeps between them and a person in position of power, needs to cut it notably to reach the top, a leadership guru says. “Asia is high power distance, which means that subordinates maintain a distance from their superiors and have a [...]

Cinnamon Travel Bloggers Conference and awards 2016 to host award winning travel bloggers

Cinnamon Travel Bloggers Conference and awards 2016 to host award winning travel bloggers

Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts together with SriLankan Airlines are preparing to host upto 60 travel bloggers from across the world as part of the Cinnamon Travel Bloggers conference “Sri Lanka- Cinnamon TBCasia” from June 2 to 7.  This year a novel component has been introduced, which is the Cinnamon Travel Blogger awards, the resort chain [...]

Healthguard on expansion mode; hopes to soon realise dreams of making own drugs

Now that the buyback agreement for locally produced pharmaceuticals by the government is to kick in by this year, those who are keen to manufacture their own drugs like Sunshine Holdings PLC can see a lot of sunshine ahead. A Board of Investment (BOI) official told the Business Times that these agreements are being finalised [...]

Nelson Liu appointed Chairman of CICT, Ray Ren becomes CEO

The Board of Directors of Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd. (CICT) has announced that the company’s first Chief Executive Officer Nelson Liu has been appointed Chairman effective March 8, and that the CEO position has been filled by Chief Operations Officer Ray Ren. The announcement said CICT will be spearheaded by Mr. Liu, who in [...]

Indian’s ‘Iconic Development’ prepares second major condo

The property boom has hit Sri Lanka with Iconic Development Ltd (ID) an infrastructure and property developer here, planning to build its second big project in the suburbs of Colombo having successfully sold out the first project almost two years ago. Rohan Parikh Managing Director of Apurva Natuvar Parikh Group of India which is ID’s [...]

SL’s poor not just poor but destitute and barely managing to survive

On February 2, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake signed a gazette bringing the Welfare Benefits Act (WBA) into effect from February 15. The Act, passed in 2002 by a previous incarnation of the current regime, provides a “legal framework for the payment of all welfare relief benefits”. The WBA contemplates a comprehensive national institutional structure to [...]

Urgent need to make CPC work efficiently

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was created by an Act of parliament  in1961 so that large profits made by the foreign owned petroleum companies at the time and valuable foreign exchange savings achieved through our own refinery productions can remain in the country. But have we been able to achieve these objectives? It is sad [...]

Fairfax in talks with Asian Alliance to buy general insurance biz

Fairfax Financial Services Holdings Ltd (FFHL), a Canadian property and casualty insurer, is in talks with Asian Alliance Insurance PLC (AAI) which is a Softlogic Holdings subsidiary, to buy its general insurance arm, an industry source said. Both parties were tight lipped about the deal, but industry sources said that AAI’s general insurance business is [...]

Microsoft – equipping students with 21st century skills

Microsoft Sri Lanka recently launched its Teaching with Technology (TwT) initiative in Sri Lanka, targetting both educators and students. The initiative helps both parties identify how information technology can enhance the teaching and learning experience and enable students to acquire 21st century skills, according to a Microsoft media release The initial part of the TwT [...]

Sri Lanka trio aims high in the property market in Australia

A Sri Lankan entrepreneur trio now domiciled in Australia and having established a property development enterprise there is extending an invitation to Sri Lankans to invest in the real estate market in Australia. They have assured a 20 per cent return on the investments. Navin De Silva, Sanjika Abeyratna and Theekshana Somaratna have spearheaded Dwellings [...]

ComBank introduces e-passbook on mobile phone

Commercial Bank of Ceylon announced this week a new product where customers can get an e-Passbook that provides access to details of savings, current, NRFC and RFC accounts on Android and iOS powered mobile devices. The app, which updates automatically whenever the user is online, also stores the last view of the e-Passbook on the [...]

Carl Cruz, new chairman at Unilever Sri Lanka

Carl Cruz, new chairman at Unilever Sri Lanka

Carl Cruz assumed duties as Chairman of Unilever Sri Lanka from March 1, taking the helm from his predecessor, Shazia Syed who has returned to Pakistan to assume her duties as the Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Pakistan, the company announced this week. Mr. Cruz comes from the Philippines, where he last served as the [...]

Korea in determined push to regain 1980s’ status as SL’s biggest investor

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) are supporting an aggressive push by Korea to regain its 1980s’ position as Sri Lanka’s biggest investor.  In the 1980s, Korea was the top foreign investor to Sri Lanka especially in the textile industry. However as at 2013 Korea is not [...]

IMF concludes New Delhi conference taking stock of Asia’s strong economic performance

The International Monetary Fund has taken stock of Asia’s strong economic performance and its ongoing policy challenges in the space of an increasingly uncertain global economic environment during deliberations at a 2-day conference on “Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future” which concluded in New Delhi last Sunday. IMF Director Christine Lagarde told a media conference [...]

HNB keen to acquire SME, Micro – Financing here and abroad

The Hatton National Bank (HNB) is eyeing opportunities both locally and overseas to acquire Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Micro – Financing firms, a top official said. “We continue to look into businesses that we can acquire and SME and Micro financing are definitely on the radar locally,” Jonathan Alles, Managing Director / CEO [...]

Sri Lanka is on the door-step of a public debt-driven economic crisis

Sri Lanka is on the door-step of a public debt-driven economic crisis

“The Queen’s Question and the Fatal Conceit: In spring 2009, Queen Elizabeth visited the Economics Department of the London School of Economics to discuss the financial crisis. She asked a simple question: Why did no one see it coming?” The response, delivered by letter some months later, was that there had been “a failure to [...]

JLanka Technologies hosts World’s number 1 solar manufacturer – Trina Solar

JLanka Technologies said this week that it is hosting an official visit from Trina Solar, the world’s leading manufacturer of solar PV modules.  JLanka Technologies is a premier solar solutions provider in the country with a longstanding reputation for quality and unmatched service in the industry. As part of its commitment to source the cutting [...]

Hayleys eyes hydro power investments in S. Africa, Myanmar

The Hayleys Group, on the back of a major deal which saw it buy 75 per cent in Fentons Ltd, a leading integrated solutions provider for Building Systems and ICT infrastructure, is gearing to invest in hydro power projects in South Africa and Myanmar, a top official said. “We are in discussion with firms in [...]

Top Lankan team off to Brussels on EU fisheries ban

A high level team of officials from Sri Lanka is scheduled to depart for Brussels for decisive talks with the European Union (EU) on the lifting of the fisheries ban imposed on the country. The team will include members from the Prime Ministerial Task Force on EU Fisheries ban. “A top Lankan delegation on the [...]

E-Wis, Sri Lanka’s only original device manufacturing plant; new life experience for local citizens

E-Wis, Sri Lanka’s only original device manufacturing plant; new life experience for local citizens

HAMBANTOTA – In Sri Lanka one comes across many factories that manufacture various products from local resources and sell them in the local market and also export to other countries. There is a trend and mindset amongst people that when you say it’s a local brand, not much appreciation is given to it. Many products [...]

HNB keen to acquire SMEs, micro-financing units here and abroad

The Hatton National Bank (HNB) is eyeing opportunities both locally and overseas to acquire Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro – financing firms, a top official said.  ”We continue to look into businesses that we can acquire and SME and Micro financing are definitely on the radar locally,” Jonathan Alles, Managing Director / CEO [...]

People’s Bank launches ‘People’s Green Pulse’ Environmental Sustainability journey

People’s Bank said this week that as a socially responsible financial institution, it has embarked on a “powerful sustainability journey” to measure, manage and mitigate its environmental footprint by launching a formal Environmental Sustainability Policy, called ‘People’s Green Pulse’. The pioneering bank says in a media release that it will collaborate with The Carbon Consulting [...]

SriLankan Airlines helps crackdown on illicit travel through BIA

SriLankan Airlines (SLA) is playing an increasingly important role in the campaign by government agencies to crack down on illicit travel through Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with 230 persons with false travel documents being apprehended by the airline last year, the national carrier said this week. SLA said its employees work closely with other [...]

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