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Handover SriLankan management -BT Poll

Handover SriLankan management -BT Poll

Most Sri Lankans polled in a new survey by the Business Times (BT) on the future of debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines (SLA) say management must be handed over while ownership needs to be retained.  Asked whether SLA should continue to be managed and controlled by the Sri Lankan government, 78.6 per cent of the respondents said [...]

Sri Lanka embarks on a pipeline of FDI projects from China

Sri Lanka is set to implement a pipeline of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects from China.  The Exim Bank of China has agreed to fund all the projects in the Chinese project pipeline and a priority list of projects will be submitted to the bank to obtain funding on priority basis, a report submitted to [...]

3 Maldivian firms to list on US$ denominated board

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), says at least three Maldivian firms are discussing plans to list on the exchange’s to-be-launched-soon board for dollar denominated securities.  ”We obtained (exchange control) approval to list foreign companies in the CSE and now we’re discussing (prospects) with three firms in Male,” Vajira Kulatilleke, Chairman CSE told the Business Times [...]

Reconciliation process in Jaffna gets 5-Star flavour

Reconciliation process in Jaffna gets 5-Star flavour

JAFFNA, Saturday – Navaratnarajah Nimaltan counts his blessings with a radiant smile on his face. He says he was too young to know much about war-torn Jaffna. And if things hadn’t changed he might have been forcibly recruited by the LTTE. But fate was kind to him and instead of dishing out death he was [...]

Public Service under Yahapalanaya: A Rant

Public Service under Yahapalanaya: A Rant

When I entered the Ministry of External Affairs to get my education certificates validated, I was pleasantly surprised to see the orderly queue the crowd had formed. It was, admittedly, a form of musical chairs without the music, but it worked. The queue moved along regularly, and I was getting closer to the lady who [...]

SriLankan Airlines: Nosedive or take-off?

For many months now, the talk of the town, at least in Colombo, has been SriLankan Airlines and its future.  Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development, told parliament recently that losses total Rs 1.7 billion now compared to a Rs. 4.4 billion profit in 2008.  Stung by the cancellation of the management contract, [...]

Sri Lanka needs to ‘reboot’ its image in Norway

Sri Lanka needs to refurbish a battered profile if it is to attract significant tourist numbers as well as more investments from Norway, according to a top official from the Scandinavian country.  Thorbjorn Gaustadsaether, Norway’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, believes “an awareness challenge” is the biggest hurdle facing the island nation as it bids to [...]

SAGT tops global rankings for terminal productivity

South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), the first private container terminal operator in Sri Lanka, has been ranked number one in South Asia and number four in the world for Terminal Productivity by the Journal of Commerce USA, a media release stated.  Ted Muttiah – Chief Commercial Officer and Dhashma Karunaratne – Commercial and Marketing Manager [...]

Local study to increase daily intake of essential vitamins through rice

Local study to increase daily intake  of essential vitamins through rice

A pilot study on rice fortification in Sri Lanka to increase the daily intake of vitamins amongst the population is to be undertaken by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) office in Colombo.  According to a media announcement, WFP Sri Lanka has invited expressions from organisations to conduct the study with an April 15 deadline [...]

SL corporates focused on targets thro’ advertising rather than building brands

In today’s context advertising costs have soared on promotions by any organisation through various means such as newspapers, television, radio, posters and banners, etc.  However the purpose and meaning of advertising is not deeply thought of by many local corporates who are focused mainly on achieving targets within a year and using advertising to reach [...]

New Venture Engine award recognises high-growth biz plans with social impact

Venture Engine, a platform already widely recognised for empowering Sri Lankan entrepreneurship, is keen to attract high growth potential companies, both start-ups and firms looking to expand, which also have a social impact, the company announced last week.  As such, in 2016, Venture Engine has added a new award, sponsored by Aavishkaar and the German [...]

Restructuring the country’s plantation sector and restoring its former glory

Restructuring the country’s plantation sector and restoring its former glory

Due to the crisis the plantation industry is currently facing, here are some suggestions on how we feel the industry could be resurrected. Prior to nationalisation: 1. All plantations in the country were owned by Sterling Companies, Rupee Companies or by private individuals/families both in Sri Lanka and abroad. 2. Plantations were managed by Agency [...]

Swiss Institute of Hospitality and Banking to open in Sri Lanka

The Swiss Institute of Hospitality and Banking is to soon commence operations in Sri Lanka with land being scouted for this purpose.  This is a major business venture that would include a training institution, a hotel property, a school campus, and a marina with a marine park.  It is founded by BaSSAG AG and partnered [...]

Textured Jersey, Peradeniya University to develop ‘Textiles of the Future’

Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJ), the region’s largest textile manufacturer, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Peradeniya (UoP) aimed at expanding the smart textile segment of the industry, in collaboration with the university.  The company will fund research on the development of advanced textile materials, conducted by an expert research [...]

Need for consensus decision-making between the President and the PM

Need for consensus decision-making between the President and the PM

Will the Right to Information Bill (RIT) presented in parliament last month change the culture of the public service and the course of the people in future? This was a question raised by Executive Director of Verite Research Dr. Nishan de Mel addressing the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) meeting at the Kingsbury Hotel in [...]

Avurudu cheers hotels, credit cards

The tourism industry is gearing to cater to growing local demand during the Avurudhu holiday season with most Sri Lankans digging deep into their pockets and making use of generous credit card discounts.  Hoteliers Association President Hiran Cooray told the Business Times that most Sri Lankans will look forward to the discounts as there is [...]

Inflation pick-up worsens economic instability; monetary tightening on hold

Inflation pick-up worsens economic  instability; monetary tightening on hold

Sri Lankan inflation shows an increasing trend in recent months as the demand pressures gather momentum. Year-on-year headline inflation based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) increased to 2 per cent last month from 0.1 per cent a year ago. Year-on-year core inflation, which remains higher, rose to 4.5 per cent last month from [...]

‘Black and White Money’: Catch-22 in Business

‘Black and White Money’: Catch-22 in Business

‘Black money is so much a part of our white economy, a tumour in the centre of the brain – try to remove it – and you will kill the patient’, said Robinton Mistry.  That tells us White could also mean mere shades of Grey – and it could be spiritually challenging to many and [...]

Watchdog website hits streets of Colombo, the Sri Lanka version of a powerful watchdog website which operates in 15 countries, was promoted on Monday through a public awareness campaign conducted at the Fort railway station by many youth volunteers.  Launched in Sri Lanka by Asanga Abeyagoonasekera last December, the website could be accessed in all three languages from The [...]

SriLankan online bookings get popular

SriLankan Airlines has been able to attract many visitors to its website as a result of which the national carrier re-launched its online booking facility to prop up sales with increased innovative features.  The in-house built website has shown an increase in its online bookings reaching 12 per cent of total passenger revenue in March [...]

Myths and realities of fertilizer subsidy: Will it protect the farmer, consumer and the nation?

Myths and realities of fertilizer subsidy: Will it protect the farmer, consumer and the nation?

‘Fertilizer subsidy’ has become a popular topic of informal discussions among almost every fraction of society fuelled by fierce resistance from the farming community to changes implemented through the recent budget proposals by the government. Unfortunately, legislators/policymakers also seem to be in a dilemma partly due to the controversial demands of their vote base, raising [...]

Proxy indicators: What are they and why do they matter?

Proxy indicators: What are they and why do they matter?

What are proxy indicators and what purpose do they serve? Targeting is a critical aspect of finding the most-needy beneficiaries for poverty reduction programmes. Given the recent interest in revamping Sri Lanka’s largest poverty reduction program, a discussion on measures to reach the poorest of the poor is important. But how can poverty reduction programs [...]

SEC says won’t split hairs over public float percentages

SEC says won’t split hairs over public float percentages

Some 30 – 40 listed firms have asked for more time to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) minimum public float rules, officials said.  This was revealed on the sidelines at a discussion on ‘Minimum Public Float: An Open Discussion’ for company directors on Wednesday at the Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo organised by the [...]

S&P/CSE Sector and Industry Group Indices to enhance CSE’s visibility

S&P/CSE Sector and Industry Group Indices to enhance CSE’s visibility

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and S&P Dow Jones Indices jointly launched 31 S&P/CSE Sector and Industry Group Indices on Wednesday with CSE officials saying that this will showcase the local stock market and increase visibility.  CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilleke noted that this move will lift the CSE to being a regional player, adding: “We [...]

Commercial Bank forging ahead on ties with Chinese banks

The Commercial Bank (CB) is in discussion with two Chinese banks in a bid to set up ties, a top official said.  With one bank Commercial has set up the SWIFT keys, a set of authentication mechanisms to start the process in transacting with them, Jegan Durairatnam, CEO Commercial Bank told the Business Times.  This [...]

Royal Ceramics to open outlets in the US

Royal Ceramics Lanka PLC is to venture into the US and will open 15 outlets there soon, officials said.  The company planned to do this through the purchase of a defunct firm in a related business which has outlets in 15 locations in the US, they said. The company is also venturing into export markets [...]

Dankotuwa Porcelain to sign Afghanistan deal, hopes to enter Far East, Africa

Dankotuwa Porcelain on the back of sealing a deal with Egyptian-based Al-Dahbya group is to enter into a similar deal with Afghanistan, officials said.  Dankotuwa Porcelain CEO Wasaba Jayasekara told the Business Times that this month the company will sign a sales agreement with a company in Afghanistan to supply exclusive designs of its products. [...]

Nestle doesn’t just offer new products but new solutions

On the back of celebrating 110 years in Sri Lanka and 150 years worldwide this year, Nestle says that they aim to place a strong priority on understanding changing consumer needs and are innovating and renovating products in line with the company’s ambition to be a leading ‘Nutrition, Health and Wellness’ company.  ”Our Nespray milk [...]

“No airline will invest in SriLankan Airlines unless the balance sheet is cleaned up first” – BT poll

There was a free flow of comments and constructive criticism of SriLankan Airlines in the Business Times poll conducted this week. Here are some of the responses: On whether SriLankan Airlines (SLA) should reduce routes to cut losses?  Reduce only unprofitable routes  Yes, but some routes that are strategic to Sri Lanka like London, Frankfurt, [...]

Government’s Megapolis Plan needs overhaul

Government’s Megapolis Plan needs overhaul

The Sri Lankan government’s proposed US$12 billion investment for improving transport as part of its Megapolis plan lacks technical and procedural cohesion, according to a respected expert in transport and logistics management.  Amal Kumarage, senior professor in the Department of Transport and Logistics Management at the University of Moratuwa and a Fellow of the Chartered [...]

Touchwood to prove Thai property sales

Touchwood, a company embroiled in a scam in selling plantations, is found to have sold its properties in Thailand to non-Thai foreigners as well.  Touchwood Liquidator Sudath Kumar noted that South African and Germans were among other nationals who invested in agarwood properties in Thailand which the Touchwood Forestry Company in Thailand claimed to have [...]

Vista Rooms aims to build largest network of branded stays in South Asia

Vista Rooms, an online accommodation website an aim to provide comfortable, standardized stays, following a wave of success in India has announced the launch of operations in Sri Lanka.  The online accommodation site has already tied up with over 200 properties across 25 cities to build the largest network of branded stays in Sri Lanka. [...]

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