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On a busy highway

On a busy highway

Have you seen this crow perched on a nest on the signal lights section where St. Anthony’s Mawatha (Kollupitiya) connects Galle Road from Duplication Road? It may not be an unusual sight but what is interesting is that this bird has been there throughout the past week to 10 days, sitting on the nest unfazed [...]

RFPs to be issued for SriLankan Airlines

The Ministry of Public Enterprise Development is looking for an investment bank or a consultancy firm to facilitate the process of seeking a foreign partner to manage and invest in the ailing national carrier, SriLankan Airlines.  ”We’ll issue the Request for Proposal (RFP) within the next three weeks calling for a financial adviser to restructure [...]

Legal reforms frame to handle sick SOEs

The government is to gradually withdraw from state ownership/management of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) by listing some of those in the share market, find strategic investors, resort to outright sale or private management as the country’s economic prospects are severely constrained by its underperformance.  Legal reforms will be made in corporate bankruptcy laws to facilitate the [...]

CB considers new authority for banking/finance supervision

The Central Bank (CB), in a bid to strengthen monitoring of banks and finance companies, is considering removing its supervisory functions for and setting up a separate authority which will report to the Monetary Board.  ”This will be quite like the Financial Conduct Authority in UK,” CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran told the Business times. He [...]

SLPA market share slides

The Colombo port has been growing but Chinese terminal operator CICT has been comfortably boosting its volumes compared to state owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) whose market share is now less than 50 per cent.  First quarter figures released by the Colombo Port indicate that SLPA’s market share for the first quarter of 2016 [...]

More drama at Entrust: Audit finds 8 new accounts

The scandal-hit primary dealer Entrust Securities (Entrust) has had a new twist in its saga with The Central Bank – ordered forensic audit conducted by the KPMG auditors, with the discovery of eight other accounts that Entrust monies have gone into, informed sources said.  ”The Central Bank (CB) has contracted KPMG to carry out an [...]

Economic challenges highlighted, but policy directions unclear

Economic challenges highlighted, but policy directions unclear

Sri Lanka’s economic growth fell marginally to 4.8 per cent last year from 4.9 per cent in 2014 with the slowdown attributed to slowdown in the export sector and foreigners taking away their funds from Sri Lanka owing to a stronger US economy.  This is according to the Central Bank’s annual report for 2015 released [...]

Economic growth drops in 2015; blame on export slowdown and exit of foreign funds

The Central Bank in its 2015 Annual Report released on Tuesday pinpoints the economic difficulties encountered by the country last year. They include growth slowdown, inflation pick-up, fiscal imbalance, debt commitments, dampened national savings and balance of payments deficit. The budget deficit jumped to 7.4 per cent of GDP in 2015 as against the targeted [...]

Faux pas by the Finance Ministry

Was it a faux pas, blunder or simple inefficiency that led to a major gaffe in the latest gazette ‘missile’ to the business community?  Last week’s gazette pertaining to export proceeds being brought back to the country forthwith to boost sagging foreign exchange reserves is said to be a comedy of errors.      “Is [...]

May Day grabbed by politicians; workers totally ignored, BT Poll shows

May Day grabbed by politicians; workers totally ignored, BT Poll shows

Most Sri Lankans believe the essence of May Day, which is marked to celebrate International Workers Day, has been lost and the event usurped by political parties for their own ends, a Business Times (BT) poll has revealed.  In a quick email poll this week titled “May Day, May Day”, the BT while stating that [...]

Panama Papers data to be released on May 9

The Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists -(ICIJ) is scheduled to publish on May 9 the largest-ever release of information about secret offshore companies and the people behind them, based on data from the controversial Panama Papers investigation. At least three (still to be identified) Sri Lankan companies and their associates are said to be [...]

Sri Lanka should learn from other experiences and trends

Sri Lanka should learn from the trends and the experiences in the other parts of the world and make the correct strategies to achieve good results, the head of a local chamber has said.  “Every change in the world can create opportunities or threats to us. It is very important for the policy makers to [...]

Seylan Bank to get new Chairman

Seylan Bank will get a new chairman next week, according to sources close to the bank.  The bank, on the back of posting Profit after Tax reaching Rs. 720 million, for the three months ended 31st March 2016, a per cent increase over the Rs. 691 million reported in the corresponding period of 2015, will [...]

Oceanpick – into the deep to sail high

Oceanpick – into the deep to sail high

Trincomalee – For Fayaz Buhari manoeuvring the rough terrain of Trincomalee in his pickup truck is just another day at the office.  It’s no small fry for this young man of 24 years on his first job at a tinned fish farming company. Fresh and armed with a BSc degree in Fisheries and Management from [...]

Sri Lanka should increase global apparel market share, says WB

The World Bank on Tuesday highlighted that Sri Lanka is in a position to grab a share of the apparel market as China scales back its operations in the sector.  Sri Lanka stands to gain a larger market share as China scales back in the apparel industry, World Bank Operations Advisor Dr. Rolande Pryce said [...]

Women in the Gulf await a Standard Contract

SAARC governments will be coming together in Kathmandu on May 3-4 to shape a new Plan of Action on migration.  After decades of ignoring the plight of South Asian migrant workers abroad, SAARC members recently pledged to cooperate on the matter, according to a statement issued by labour migration advocacy group Migrant Forum in Asia [...]

UGC promotes online applications

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is hoping to increase online student applications during this admissions cycle by simplifying the UGC Handbook and explaining the admissions process through newspaper advertisements in Sinhala, Tamil and English.  UGC Chairman Mohan De Silva told the Business Times that the old handbook was so complicated that a newer one was [...]

Regaining GSP+ huge boost to apparel sector, says new research report

Regaining GSP + for the local apparel sector will be a big bonus as Sri Lanka has lost market share over the past few years.  Commenting on a report by NDB Securities Pvt Ltd (NDBS) on the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) special incentive arrangement (GSP+) and its expected impact on the apparel sector of [...]

Sri Lanka should identify the right people for a sustainable IT sector

As a developing nation Sri Lanka is doing well in the Information Technology (IT) sector. The growth in the IT sector is very fast. But the country should identify the right people in order to sustain the growth and achieve great milestones in going forward.  These comments were made by Indian High Commissioner to Sri [...]

More blackouts in future (by 2018) unless Lankan authorities act fast

Can Sri Lanka go nuclear to solve its future electricity woes – and have no doubts there will be more blackouts and outages in the years to come? This was the question posed by the Business Times at the end of a 2-hour seminar this week on the ‘Electricity Crisis’ jointly organized by the two [...]

ETCA, for what and for whom?

ETCA has become the talk of the town lately. What really is ETCA? ETCA is the abbreviated term for ‘Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement’ to be signed between the Indian and Sri Lankan governments. The purpose of the new agreement is to expand the scope of the free trade agreement signed between India and Sri [...]

An alternative to the 500 MW Sampur Coal Power Plant

Sri Lanka should focus on the commercial development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) fields discovered already. A 500 MW LNG power plant is the first step, initially based on imported LNG, until the Sri Lanka owned gas field is tapped.  International tenders should be called for this project with the power plant and at [...]

BT reporting on Entrust praised

We wish to sincerely congratulate the Business Times and its reporter Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera for reporting the frauds and other criminal activities committed by the Directors of Entrust Securities PLC and Multi Finance PLC in the recent past. In regard to Entrust Securities the fraud seems to go beyond Rs. 9 billion, which makes it [...]

US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation holds discussions with Ceylon Chamber

US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation holds discussions with Ceylon Chamber

A delegation from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US Government agency, held discussions with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, during its recent visit to the country.  The delegation was met by the chamber chairman Samantha Ranatunga, Board Director – Vish Govindasamy, CEO of the Chamber, Ms. Dhara Wijayatilake and Former Chairman of the CCC, Suresh [...]

19 new female mechanics from Brandix further advance gender equality

19 new female mechanics from Brandix further  advance gender equality

Brandix has taken another significant step in its ongoing efforts to promote gender equality across the group by graduating 19 female mechanics who completed an in-house training course on sewing machine maintenance and repair.  The 19 female associates from four business clusters of the Brandix Group completed the intensive four-month training programme that covered 10 [...]

Jetwing Hotels in partnership with Germany’s Green Cooling Initiative

Jetwing Hotels, one of Sri Lanka’s largest hospitality brands, recently signed a cooperation agreement with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, to demonstrate climate-friendly and energy-efficient cooling solutions in the country’s hotel industry.  Refrigeration and air conditioning often makes more than 50 per cent of hotel’s electricity consumption, and given the increasing electricity tariffs [...]

Saudi Arabia: Its tourism not oil after 2020

(eTN Global Travel News), April 26 – Not oil, but tourism increase from 8 to 30 million arrivals along with the three pillars: Arab and Islamic division, Saudi investment capabilities, and the use of the country’s strategic location.  This is the vision revealed by Saudi’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on Monday. The Kingdom [...]

Repatriation of Export Proceeds – Taxes and Exchange control

Repatriation of Export Proceeds  – Taxes and Exchange control

This article sets out the legal framework and the tax policy attributable to exporters of goods and services who are the foreign currency earners to the national economy in relation to repatriation of the sales proceeds and fees. The value of foreign currencies to the national economy has gained much importance in the current economic [...]

Anantaya launches ‘Green’ campaign

The Anantaya Resort chain of LAUGFS Leisure Ltd said this week that it has embarked on another green initiative as part of its sustainability efforts.  Renowned for its ‘Eco Luxury’ concept, Anantaya recently launched a tree planting drive at its Chilaw resort, as part of a broader campaign to strengthen its commitment towards the environment [...]

Colombo Leadership Academy grooms Sri Lanka’s next crop of young entrepreneurs

The Colombo Leadership Academy (CLA), following the immensely successful launch of its Young Entrepreneurs Development programme last year, is hard at work grooming the latest generation of young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.  In a media release, the organisation said it has already been able to nurture and inspire a diverse spectrum of young entrepreneurs to [...]

Nehemiah Consultants celebrates its 1st anniversary

Nehemiah Consultants recently celebrated its first anniversary as a public relations firm that focuses entirely on PR and Corporate Communications. Managing Director Sanura Gunawardana notes, “Nehemiah Consultants was conceptualized on the ethos of building. Therefore our aim was and is to provide complete solutions for building and communicating a brand and its message. We don’t [...]

More than 40 % of Sri Lanka’s debt is in foreign currency, Moody’s says

More than 40 per cent of Sri Lanka’s government debt is denominated in foreign currency exposing the government to a larger repayment burden in the event of a depreciation in the local currency, as happened in late 2015, a new report says.  Moody’s Investors Service, in its just-released report entitled “Sovereigns — Asia Pacific: High [...]

Sri Lankan teachers from the Ministry of Education participate in Microsoft’s Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert program

Sri Lankan teachers from the Ministry of Education participate in Microsoft’s Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert program

Sri Lankan educators were given an opportunity to interact with their peers from around the world and experience firsthand how technology can be utilised in successful ways to help students learn better at the recently concluded Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert program in Budapest, Hungary.  The teachers from Sri Lanka participated in creating content and [...]

US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Council adopts action plan to boost bilateral trade

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 12th US-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting in Washington which adopted a ‘path-breaking- action plan to boost bilateral trade and investment.  The council meeting was co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and Minister [...]

Local university students showcase innovative excellence at local Microsoft Imagine Cup finals

BitMasters, a team of students from the University of Moratuwa, was adjudged winners in two categories at the Sri Lankan finals of Imagine Cup 2016, the world’s premier student technology competition organized by Microsoft Corporation.  BitMasters dominated both the innovation and gaming categories while Team Genisys from Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) were declared winners [...]

Whistle-blowing policy was a long felt need

It is heartening to read a news item in the previous week of the Business Times that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the corporate watchdog, has finally decided to bring far-reaching amendments to the Act making it mandatory for the listed companies to have a whistle-blowing policy in the corporate sector.  I have been [...]

SLT call routing racket busted

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said this week it will initiate legal action against illegal termination of international voice calls by passing SLT and Mobitel international gateway switches under the provisions of penal code and Sri Lanka Telecommunication act.  In a full-page newspaper advertisement, SLT has warned the “perpetrators” that civil action will be taken by [...]

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