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Quenching one’s thirst

Quenching one’s thirst

A wayside vendor sells a trio of fruits that is snapped by customers overcome by thirst and the drought at Sittandi town in Batticaloa district. Pic by Nayanajeewa Bandara

Central Bank mulls curbs on finance companies

The Central Bank (CB) is mulling measures to restrict finance companies from mobilising public deposits, senior officials said.  While this will not be done in the short term, they said the regulator is keenly studying the Indian model where finance companies borrow from the banks – not the public – to carry out their operations. [...]

Magistrate orders Entrust directors to be present in court on May 13

A Colombo Magistrate’s Court was told that due to the lackadaisical supervisory function of the Central Bank (CB) some failed financial companies are allegedly involved in criminal frauds which would place the entire financial health of the country at peril due to losing investor confidence in government-backed securities.  On a private plaint filed by C. [...]

Praise for BT-RCB polls

Praise for BT-RCB polls

The opinion polls jointly conducted by the Business Times and the Research Consultancy Bureau under the BT-RCB tag came into focus at the launch of Advocata, an independent policy think tank, in Colombo on Thursday.  Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister of State Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne said that divergent views have been expressed in [...]

ADB considers $250 mln budget support to SL

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is mulling a US$250 million budget support concessionary loan for Sri Lankan projects, an official source said. He added that if this goes through, some $500,000 will be allocated for capital market development.  A 6-member ADB team was in town recently meeting up with key officials in major state agencies [...]

Domestic tourism promo gets Cabinet nod

The Sri Lanka tourism industry is planning to induce more locals to patronise hotels since there is a growing number going overseas with about 1.3 million recorded in 2014. The Cabinet granted its approval this week to this programme.  According to latest available data from the Indian Tourism Ministry, the number of Sri Lankans visiting [...]

Railway electrification the way forward

Railway electrification the way forward

Ask any audience to raise their hands, if they support the renewed thrust for railways in Sri Lanka to be electrified and modernised; all of them are most likely to raise both their hands. The engineering community of the country strongly supports the upcoming project to modernise and electrify the railways. This article says why [...]

GDP is a bad gauge of material well-being: Time for a fresh approach

ECONOMIST, London,April 30 – Which would you prefer to be: a medieval monarch or a modern office-worker? The king has armies of servants. He wears the finest silks and eats the richest foods. But he is also a martyr to toothache. He is prone to fatal infections. It takes him a week by carriage to [...]

European carriers and domestic tourism

Some significant developments are taking place in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, this year in particular when the country marks its golden jubilee in the organised leisure sector.  Two announcements this week should not go unnoticed for many reasons. The return of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to Sri Lanka after a near 20-year absence bodes well [...]

Sri Lanka sails towards fiscal consolidation

Sri Lankan Government is set to prune capital expenditure of state institutions amounting to Rs. 626 billion while re-working the 2016 budget aimed at fiscal consolidation in the wake of an agreement with the IMF on a 36-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for 185 per cent of Sri Lanka’s quota in the IMF (about SDR [...]

Of peacocks, lizards and humble homes; Amaara Forest off the beaten track

Of peacocks, lizards and humble homes; Amaara Forest off the beaten track

DAMBULLA, April 13 – The setting is pastoral. From the moment a right turn is taken off the Dambulla-Habarana Road (towards Habarana) at the inconspicuous Hiriwadunna junction, what meets the eye are vast tracts of paddy with watch-huts atop trees and beautiful peacocks, prancing and strutting about with their rainbow-tinted tails, serenading the more innocuous [...]

NDB Mobile App wins ‘Most Admired Mobile App’ at the ACEF Awards

NDB Mobile App wins ‘Most Admired Mobile App’ at the ACEF Awards

National Development Bank PLC was felicitated for its recently introduced NDB Mobile App as the “Most Admired Mobile App’ at the recently held Asian Customer Engagement Forum (ACEF) Awards in Mumbai. The award was accepted on behalf of the bank by its Assistant Vice President – Marketing Sanjaya Senarath. Commenting on the receipt of this [...]

TMI Solutions Pvt Ltd partners with Daiichi

Directors of TMI Solutions (Pvt) Ltd, a fast growing medical equipment trading company in Sri Lanka recently, met Kohzoh Hayakawa and Masahiko Yamamura of Daiichi Medical Products Co. in Japan to discuss the prospects of marketing Daiichi Medical products in the South Asian regions which TMI Solutions operates in. Daiichi Medical Products co was established [...]

Alliance Finance to stage first-ever Motorbike Show in Sri Lanka

Alliance Finance Co. PLC, Sri Lanka’s third oldest finance company, will stage the first ever motorbike show in the country shortly.  The “AFC Motorbike Show 2016 – The World of Biking Under One Roof” will be held on May 14- at Green Path, Colombo.  This event will bring together motor bike dealers and biking enthusiasts [...]

CIMA organises discussion on ‘Economic Consequences of Global Terrorism’ on May 13

CIMA Sri Lanka is organising a discussion session on the economic imperatives of approaches to global terrorism. This interactive session will focus on several key areas including trends in contemporary terrorism, drivers of terrorism/ extremism, economic costs of responding to terrorism, effects on developing economies and collaborative approaches to combat terrorism.  The free workshop will [...]

CSE announces change in methodology of calculating Price Multiples

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has revised the methodology of calculating Price Multiples (P/E, P/BV and DY), it was announced this week. The Price-Earnings Ratio (P/E Ratio) and Dividend Yield Ratio (DY) will be calculated taking into consideration “Rolling Four Quarterly Earnings” instead of the current practice of sourcing earnings from the annual results of [...]

Drama at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)

I can imagine the range of emotions the mere mention of this public institution will inspire in a number of you. Particularly those of you who, like me, do not have a generator, and sweated it out through the power cuts over the last so many weeks. But this article is not aimed at grumbling [...]

MTI’s ‘ideas2fund’ contestants pitch for funding

The Colombo Hilton recently hosted the commercial presentations of MTI’s ‘ideas2fund’, where the investment pledgers, providing funding worth Rs. 700 million, were presented with 39 pitches from the short-listed ‘ideas2fund’.  This round of presentation which included the review of the financial and investment implications, which were scrutinised and challenged by the judges. The ‘ideas2fund’ were [...]

SLASSCOM revs up IT/BPM industry

SLASSCOM is aiming to increase revenue from the IT/BPM industry to US$1 billion in 2016 with an 80,000 strong direct employment workforce. As part of its initiative to advocate the creation of regional cities and bring about inclusive growth in Sri Lanka, it is organising the Kandy IT/BPM week from 10 to 12 June 2016 [...]

Central Bank appoints new Assistant Governors

The Monetary Board, at its meeting held on April 5 has promoted Ms. K. Saravanamuttu, E.A. Hettiarachchi, R.A.A. Jayalath, K.M.M. Siriwardana and S.J.A. Handagama, all five Staff Class Grade IV officers, to the post of Assistant Governor of the Central Bank (CB).  ”These promotions have been made in line with the succession plan of the [...]

CSE and CFA ring ‘Opening Bell’ in support of ‘Putting Investors First Month’

CSE and CFA ring ‘Opening Bell’ in support of ‘Putting Investors First Month’

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the CFA Society Sri Lanka jointly held a special market opening ceremony on Wednesday in support of the “Putting Investors First Month” campaign, as a to call attention to the needs and rights of investors. The ‘Putting Investors First Month’ is a month-long global initiative focused on promoting the [...]

Sri Lanka’s first General Insurance Sales Congress this month

For the first time in history, Sri Lanka will see a gathering of its general insurance companies under one roof and in a common forum.  The General Insurance Sales Congress (GISCO) will take place on May 10 at Waters Edge under the theme, ‘Growth through Innovation’, chosen specially to encourage companies to pay more attention [...]

Nearly 1 in 3 paid a bribe in Middle East and North Africa in past 12 months, TI says

BERLIN, Germany, May 3 — Nearly one in three citizens who tried to access basic public services in the Middle East and North Africa paid a bribe, a Transparency International (TI) report said on Tuesday, showing that governments across the region have failed to hear their citizens’ voices against corruption.  According to a public opinion [...]

Healthguard opens new training centre for staff

Healthguard, the country’s urban pharma, wellness and beauty retail chain, has opened a centre for training of its employees.  The opening of the Healthguard Training Centre is expected to set a new benchmark in the training and development initiatives of Healthguard – a subsidiary of Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Limited (SHL) and a member of the [...]

National HR Conference to kick off in June

The annual National Human Resource Conference (NHRC) organised by the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) Sri Lanka will be held from June  21-22 at the BMICH in Colombo under the theme ‘HR Ecosystem for Competitiveness’. The conference will feature many international and local speakers, experts in HR and business as they share their thoughts and [...]

Kelani Cables bestows the nation with highly skilled electrical technicians with University certificates

Twenty-three students of “Kelani Saviya”’s 7th batch received certificates at a ceremony held at Clarion hotel in Kelaniya recently.  The “Kelani Saviya” is a CSR programme launched by Kelani Cables PLC in association with the engineering faculty of the Peradeniya University since 2007, the company said.  Mahinda Saranapala, Director/CEO, Kelani Cables PLC and Prof. Upul [...]

Love and care for Sri Lankan workers in Korea

The Employment Permit System Centre of the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (EPS Centre of HRD Korea) in Sri Lanka says it has filed claims for returnee workers who previously worked in South Korea and were not compensated for their Return Cost (Air Ticket) Insurance and Departure Guarantee Insurance.  The Return Cost Insurance should [...]

FTA between Malaysia and Sri Lanka at least two years away

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Sri Lanka and Malaysia is at least two years away. However, according to Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed, such a pact would help Sri Lanka redress the trade balance which is presently heavily in favour of his country.  The senior Malaysian minister who was in [...]

CICT invests US$10 mln in green port concept

The China International Container Terminal (CICT) at the Colombo South Harbour has invested US$10 million project to promote the green port concept, the terminal operator stated.  The project initiated by the CICT is to convert its rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTG’s) to electric powered rubber tyre gantry cranes (E-RTG’s).  This project will ensure that all zero [...]

Export proceeds repatriation to increase foreign exchange circulation in local banks

Amidst protests from exporters, the Government has enforced ‘export proceeds repatriation ‘requirement to prevent the stashing away of foreign exchange at the cost of the national economy, a senior state official said.  He noted that the Finance Ministry has taken this decision following discussions with leading exporters and some of them have agreed to bring [...]

Amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT), Nation Building Tax (NBT) and Share Transaction Levy (STL)

The Ministry of Finance last week said Value Added Tax (VAT), Nation Building Tax (NBT) and Share Transaction Levy (STL), shall be amended as follows: 1. Value Added Tax (VAT) VAT rate shall be increased to 15%: Threshold for the registration for VAT shall be Rs. 3 million per quarter or Rs.12 million per annum. [...]

Report on the plantation sector

Report on the plantation sector

A report on Sri Lanka’s plantation sector was recently handed over to Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, by a group styled the Mascots.  The Mascots is an association of ex-planters of the Maskeliya and Upcot District and others who were in the district and were members of the famous Maskeliya Club which was established [...] founder has big hopes for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s largest e-tailer has made its mark since its debut in 2012.  Started by chief executive officer Lahiru Pathmalal along with two friends, has grown over the years, currently selling over US$200,000 each month with 38 employees in its fold. In a write up by CNBC, Pathmalal, a 34-year-old Sri Lankan who [...]

State officials to be given hiring cars

The Government will suspend the purchase of new vehicles for ministries, state institutions and agencies and instead allow the hire or brand new or unregistered vehicles.  Hiring will be permitted for vehicles with a mileage of less than 1,000 km through operational leasing method (use and return option) for a 5-year period on a fixed [...]

Seminar on Megapolis Development Plan

The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) in association with JLanka Technologies is planning to conduct the second seminar in the series titled “Seminar on How to Solve the Urban Traffic Congestion in the Megapolis Development Plan” on May 19 at Hotel Taj Samudra.  The session will be chaired by Lakshman Jayasekera, Project Director and Team [...]

Female entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka need a lot of support

Although female entrepreneurs have now moved from micro enterprise businesses to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) levels, the numbers remain staggeringly low.  According to reports although 80 per cent of the Sri Lankan economy is driven by the SMEs only 10 per cent consist of women entrepreneurs in the country, said the Chairperson of the [...]

Young group undertakes near-impossible task of inculcating ethics in business

A group of young entrepreneurs, community and business leaders has undertaken a near impossible task in Sri Lanka – to inculcate ethics in business.  Bizmeet 2016 is the first ever professional networking events in Sri Lanka by the Junior Chamber International Sri Lanka (JCI) aimed at promoting ethical business practices among the country’s future corporate [...]

Hameedia wins top award at Golden Globe Tiger Summit at Malaysia

Sri Lanka’s Hameedia, shone in the spotlight at the Global Golden Tiger Awards held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  At the prestigious summit, Hameedia was crowned the ‘Retailer of the Year – Fashion & Lifestyle’ while the Deputy Managing Director of Hameedia Hussain Sadique was selected for the prestigious ‘Retail Leadership’ award at the high profile [...]

SriLankan Airlines accumulated debt is Rs.65 bln, airline says

SriLankan Airlines, dented by accumulated losses and seeking a management partner, on Friday said losses for the year ending March 31, 2016 stood at Rs. 8.9 billion, however 46 per cent lower than the same period last year.  But total accumulated losses as at 31st March 2016, stood at Rs. 64.92 billion against the previous [...]

New advocacy group advocates SOE privatisation

Whilst the present government has announced that it is serious about reforming the state-owned Enterprises (SOE), one obvious remedy – the privatisation option-appears to have been ignored. Advocata, an independent policy think tank based in Colombo, is urging the government and the politicians to engage in an open discussion that at least keeps privatisation in [...]

Malaysia’s Khazanah eyes SL investment

A high powered team from Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), the strategic investment fund of the Malaysian Government, was in Sri Lanka for discussions with key government officials, Kabir Hashim, Minister Public Enterprise Development said.  He told the Business Times that Khazanah entrusted to hold and manage state commercial assets and to undertake strategic investments on [...]

NTB announces new appointments to their management team

NTB announces new appointments to their management team

Nations Trust Bank recently announced the appointment of a number of new members to its top team. Among the new appointments, Thilak Piyadigama will assume responsibility as Chief Operating Officer. With over 26 years of experience in banking and technology, Mr. Piyadigama has spent a major part of his career in senior management roles in [...]

Tender bender in Sri Lanka’s fertiliser imports

Sri Lanka’s fertiliser imports are likely to be tainted again with tender manipulations once again by the authorities with the connivance of middlemen following the practice of the previous Rajapaksa regime, local agents representing overseas suppliers alleged.  They revealed that Urea fertiliser stocks are being purchased without following tender guidelines, to suit some companies’ own [...]

National Master Plan for agriculture launched

A National Master Plan for agriculture has been prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture on the advice of President Maithripala Sirisena to boost food production in the country with special emphasis on women taking to agriculture in their respective areas.  This was stated by Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture B. Wijayaratne addressing the ‘Female [...]

Ravi Dias, new chairman at Seylan Bank

Ravi Dias, new chairman at Seylan Bank

Seylan Bank has appointed Ravi Dias as its Chairman with effect from May 9. He succeeds Nihal Jayamanne, who retires from his position as Chairman of the bank as he reaches the age of 70 years.  Mr. Jayamanne joined the board in December 2008 as an Independent Director and later designated as Senior Independent Director [...]

‘Sunrise’ -Sri Lanka’s first dedicated magazine for elders launched

‘Sunrise’ -Sri Lanka’s first dedicated magazine for elders launched

Sunrise Seniors Pvt Ltd, an organisation set up to represent the interests of Sri Lanka’s elderly population, recently launched the country’s first magazine dedicated to the community of elders.  The magazine titled “Sunrise – a magazine for inspired seniors’ has many articles that would interest the society of elders in Sri Lanka. Edited by Ms. [...]

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