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Not a familiar sight

Not a familiar sight

   A tradesperson pushes an ice cream cart at the popular seaside Galle Face Green. Females are gradually taking up many of the trades that were once the domain of males. Pic by Amila Gamage

Sri Lanka’s tax collection in a major legal tangle

Even after the VAT revision was nullified by the Supreme Court on Monday, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) continues to collect some other taxes revised or introduced in the 2016 budget without the parliamentary approval which could create further legal implications and confusion, legal experts warned.  Apart from VAT and NBT which the court has [...]

Govt. locks horns with “popular” room tariff

The government remains determined to go ahead with the “popular” call for a removal of the state enforced minimum room rates on Colombo city hotels in the face of growing opposition.  Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told the Business Times on Friday that they are going ahead with a decision to abandon minimum rooms from next [...]

Turkish Airlines and Garuda interested in SriLankan Airlines

Four airlines – Turkish Airlines, Hainan – China’s largest privately-owned air transport firm, Japan’s ANA and Indonesia’s Garuda Airlines – have shown interest in crisis-hit SriLankan Airlines which is looking for a partner, official source said.  They also said BNP Paribas and KPMG appointed as transaction advisors in Sri Lankan Airlines’ quest to find a [...]

President silently salutes exporters

This week President Maithripala Sirisena, who was on time to hand over the coveted special Export Presidential Awards including the Exporter of Year which was the final one, was invited while still standing on stage to deliver his address.  However he waved his hand at the announcer to indicate that he would not be speaking [...]

New complex for Hayleys

Hayleys, among Sri Lanka’s three biggest conglomerates, is to develop a gigantic commercial and residential complex at its 6-acre property in Colombo.  The company has been tight-lipped about the plan with no indication in the last 2015-2016 annual report or this week’s quarterly results. However the curiosity of some staff was aroused by soil tests [...]

If food be the music of love, play on Upali

If food be the music of love, play on Upali

ETUL KOTTE: Google, a playful Labrador, greets us joyously as we walk into the palatial home of Upali Dharmadasa set resplendently on the verdant banks of the Diyawanna Oya. It is just past 8.15 in the morning but this is one interview I’m really looking forward to and had no second thoughts of rolling out [...]

VAT ruling victory for ‘good governance’

The Supreme Court this week issued a ruling on the VAT case, decreeing that the due process was not followed and hence, the imposition of the tax – already in place – cannot be proceeded with.  There was no notice however on the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) website or otherwise informing the public of the [...]

Telecom Minister pledges to provide digital classrooms for students

Sri Lankan students will soon get an opportunity to study in modern digital class rooms under the government’s ambitious IT initiative of harnessing high-tech digital technology to leapfrog into a tech-savvy world, Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando revealed this week.  100 digital classrooms will be set up in schools especially in rural areas [...]

IronOne CEO Lakmini adjudged Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

IronOne CEO Lakmini adjudged Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

At last week’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2016 Lakmini Wijesundera, CEO, IronOne Technologies was adjudged the ‘Woman Entrepreneur 2015, receiving the trophy from President Maithripala Sirisena.  She also won two other awards – Gold in the large category and the Woman Exporter of the Year Award.  Rifa Musthapa, Chairperson, Women’s Chamber of Commerce [...]

Good governance forms the nucleus of a strong civil society whose consensus decisions must be respected

Good governance should be the nucleus of a civil society where the voices of the people are given prominence at all levels and decisions are made and implemented based on this discourse.  Dwelling on his book “Construction Steering along the Aphorism of Good Governance” Dr. Chandana Jayalath made the above comment, when the book was [...]

Indian officials due in Colombo for ETCA talks

A high powered delegation from India is due to arrive in Sri Lanka within the next few weeks to look into the proposed economic and technology co-operation agreement (ETCA) with India and also look at investment and services opportunities available in the country.  This was stated by the Deputy High Commissioner for India to Sri [...]

Johnson & Johnson in dispute over distributorship in Sri Lanka

GSG Distributors (Pvt) Ltd (GSG), a local distributor for the multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in Sri Lanka, has filed action in the Commercial High Court claiming damages in a sum of Rs. 250 million for breach of agreement and opportunity lost due to arbitrary actions of the multinational company, a plaint filed by GSG [...]

Janashakthi reports strong growth in 1H 2016

Janashakthi Insurance PLC (Janashakthi) posted a consolidated post tax profit (PAT) of Rs. 630 million for the six months ended 30th June 2016, surging by 198 per cent from PAT in the same 2015 period.  Consolidated Gross Written Premium (GWP) grew by 34 per cent to Rs. 6.5 billion with the company’s Non-Life segment leading [...]

Expolanka Holdings PLC achieves top line growth of 7% in 1Q 2016/17

Expolanka Holdings PLC, through its strategic shift towards focus on growth sectors, has achieved revenue growth of seven per cent year-on-year (YoY) amidst challenges to reach Rs. 14,956 million in the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year (1Q 2016/17). But pre-tax profit (PBT) fell due to other reasons.  According to unaudited figures released to [...]

Traffic light system to monitor health of local ‘fincos’

Former Central Bank (CB) Deputy Governor, Ananda Silva has taken up a new role at the Treasury heading an advisory group on troubled financial assets.  It’s a pre-emptive strike group mooted by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and in reviewing the 54 finance companies the group has strategised the creation of the Financial Assets Management Agency [...]

OPPO launches latest product in Mumbai

OPPO launches latest product in Mumbai

India International Smartphone OPPO which commands the fourth place in the global market launched its newest product “OPPO F1s”, last week in Mumbai, India, the latest in OPPO’s photography-focused F series.  This model will be available in India, Sri Lanka and all other South and South East Asian countries from mid-August, OPPO Vice President and [...]

Sri Lanka exports goats to Male

Sri Lanka exports goats to Male

Sri Lanka has commenced shipment of goats for exports to the Maldives government for breeding and training purposes through a private firm. The goats are exported to the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture which had selected the Sri Lankan firm, Fanam International for the first time last year. Maldives has been importing goats until [...]

Grant Group Chairperson, Neela Marikkar named among CMO’s Top 50 Women Leaders in Asia

Grant Group Chairperson, Neela Marikkar named among CMO’s Top 50 Women Leaders in Asia

Neela Marikkar, Chairperson and Managing Director of Grant Group was recently recognised as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders in Asia, at the 7th edition of the CMO Asia Awards in Singapore on August 4.  The award recognises Neela’s visionary leadership at the helm of the Grant Group and her engagement with local and [...]

Sri Lanka’s real estate dilemma: Tuk-tuk drivers the biggest culprits of false information

Sri Lanka’s real estate dilemma: Tuk-tuk drivers the biggest  culprits of false information

People are not only smart but cheat when selling a property; may be a land, house or an apartment by providing false information about a particular property to a potential buyer.  It’s something that happens everywhere in the world. Sri Lankans are famous for selling properties through tuk-tuk drivers who have mastered the art of [...]

KasiWasi, Sri Lanka’s premier Coupons and Discounts app for tech savvy shoppers

KasiWasi, the country’s newest and most technologically innovative and efficient mobile app for shoppers, recently launched its services to offer consumers the convenience of obtaining coupons and discounts via their mobile phone, for a variety of categories including shopping, dining, entertainment and a countless number of other services, according to a media release issued by [...]

Plantations Committee to pick financial advisors to evaluate state plantations

The Plantations Committee of the Public Enterprise Development Ministry has decided to appoint financial consultants to evaluate state plantations for certain projects, officials said.  The committee was to forward a paper for restructuring state plantations to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) last week, but it decided to first do a financial evaluation on [...]

Solid growth momentum at ComBank during 2Q 2016

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has extended its growth momentum into the second quarter of the year to record robust performance indicators for the six months ending 30th June 2016 amidst increasing costs of funds and shrinking margins, the bank said in a media release.  It reported profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 10.391 [...]

CIFL bail-out plan: Setting a thief to catch a thief?

A decision by the Board of Directors of the failed Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL), which is discussing a bail-out plan with the assistance of court, to propose the name of Deepthi Perera as the new managing agent is akin to “set a thief to catch a thief.”  The recommendation was communicated last week [...]

Central Bank steps in to smoothen flawed payments platform project

An apparently flawed process where an agreement was signed between a state IT agency and the private company to develop Sri Lanka’s national payments gateway 10 months before cabinet approval was received, came to light after Central Bank (CB) intervention.  The CB said it would review the entire process of the National Payment Platform (NPP) [...]

BitMasters recognised and congratulated by government

BitMasters recognised and congratulated by government

BitMasters, a team that was placed runners’ up at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals 2016 was congratulated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure, Wasantha Deshapriya at a small gathering at the Microsoft Sri Lanka office in the presence of senior officials from the Engineering Faculty, University of Moratuwa.  “Firstly [...]

Sunshine Holdings achieves highest-ever revenue and profits in 1Q 2016/17

Sunshine Holdings, achieving its highest-ever Group Revenue and Earnings Per Share (EPS) for a single quarter, has concluded the first quarter of its 2017 Financial Year (1Q 2016/17) on a high note, according to a company media release.  For the quarter ended 30th June 2016, Sunshine Holdings’ post-tax profit rose by 30 per cent year-on-year [...]

Hayleys Q1 revenues up, PBT above Rs. 1 billion

Hayleys PLC, posted Rs.1.03 billion in pre-tax profit (PBT) for the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year. Revenue reached Rs. 24.13 billion (up from Rs.22 billion last year), the group said in a media release.  According to the results posted on the Colombo Stock Exchange website, pre-tax profit in the corresponding 2015/16 quarter was [...]

Hela Clothing gets IFC funding

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with local apparel manufacturer Hela Clothing (Pvt) Ltd to boost trade opportunities through a trade-supplier finance facility. Hela Clothing is the latest apparel company in Sri Lanka to join IFC’s Global Trade-Supplier Finance programme, a media release issued by the company stated on Tuesday.  Through [...]

New water filter technology aimed to eradicate diseases and infections

One of the world’s leading water filtering systems is now available in Sri Lanka, solely imported by STC Enterprises in Kadawatha.  The water filtering system is manufactured by Aqua-Win -Water Corporation founded by a professional water purification system team in 1992 in Taiwan.  STC Enterprises which imports the products offers a range of solutions for [...]

Dipped Products, Sri Lanka’s biggest medical gloves exporters, heading for worst-ever year?

Dipped Products, once the Hayleys Group’s best performers, is going through one of its worst years with the first quarter (April-June) in the new 2016/17 financial year showing a post-tax loss of Rs. 54 million compared to a profit of Rs. 144 million in the same 2015 quarter.  Group turnover was not as bad at [...]

Brandix, Sri Lanka’s top exporter in 2014-2015 bags 11 awards at Presidential Export Awards

Brandix, Sri Lanka’s top exporter in 2014-2015 bags 11 awards at Presidential Export Awards

The Brandix Group won 11 awards including the Exporter of the Year awards for 2014 and 2015 at the Presidential Export Awards, taking the top honours at this prestigious event conducted by the Export Development Board (EDB), the company said.  “The awards presented by President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH recognise the contribution of Brandix [...]

Young people asked to make a difference in Asia Pacific in new UNICEF competition

UNICEF is asking young people throughout the Asia-Pacific region – including Sri Lanka -to share their innovative ideas to improve the lives of children, families and communities.  The agency, making the announcement in a media release, is urging young people to submit their ideas via an online portal before September 4, 2016. The ideas will [...]

HNB’s post-tax profit up nearly 50% YoY in 1stH 2016

HNB’s post-tax profit surged by 48.6 per cent to Rs. 6.4 billion in the latest half-yearly (January-June 2016) performance with all other statistics showing similar growth.  The group pre-tax profit was up at Rs. 10 billion while the bank pre-tax was up 50 per cent to Rs. 9.1 billion.  Interest income grew by 34.5 per [...]

Slow growth in NTB’s 1H 2016 post tax profit

Nations Trust Bank closed the first half of the year ending 30th June 2016 recording a post-tax profit of Rs. 1,278 million, a relatively slower growth of 2 per cent over the corresponding period.  Narrowing of Net Interest Margins (NIM) coupled with unfavourable impact arising from foreign exchange funding SWAPs slowed revenue growth. NIM impact [...]

Nestlé Lanka reports 7.4 % growth, Rs. 19 bln sales in 1H 2016

Nestlé Lanka PLC, which marks its 110th year and is probably Sri Lanka’s oldest multinational, has recorded a revenue of Rs. 19 billion for the first six months of the year, up by 7.4 per cent while net profit was reported at Rs. 2.5 billion.  The company, in a media release, said it faced stiff [...]

NDB says profits to shareholders reach Rs. 1.1 bln in 1stH 2016

National Development Bank PLC and its group companies this week posted a Profit Attributable to Shareholders (PAS) of Rs. 1,083 million for the first six months of 2016, down by 25 per cent from the same 2015 period.  This, the bank said in a media release, was due to the increase in impairment charges. “However, [...]

High-profile international speakers at global export development forum in Sri Lanka

President Maithripala Sirisena and Minister of Development and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama will headline a list of high-profile speakers including policy makers, trade experts, trade analysts and global business leaders, at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF), scheduled to be held on October 12-13 in Colombo.  The International Trade Centre (ITC) together with the Ministry [...]

Colombo, Kandy and Kurunegala cities are clogged with traffic congestion

Transport issues in Sri Lanka are simply a symptom of a much bigger urban disease that one needs to understand to arrest it, said Nayana Mawilmada, the Head of Investment Western Region Megapolis Planning Project.  Delivering the John Diandas Memorial Lecture 2016 on the topic “Exploring the Nexus between Land Use and Transport” at the [...]

Employability for armed forces through Education and Employment Act

While the government is in the planning stage to present an Education and Employment Act that’ll focus on developing human resources, it is aiming to arm the armed forces’ employability.  Inaugurating the first ever Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit at the Taj Samudra Hotel on Thursday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said a new Education and [...]

Local agency brings down largest single Chinese group on incentive excursion

Reputed travel agent Lanka Sportreizen (LSR) performed an impressive feat recently bringing down a group of 1,566 Chinese from a single company on an incentive tour.  Due to transport logistics issues, the visitors was brought down in 16 groups over a period of four weeks. LSR, active in the Chinese market for over 10 years, [...]

New Managing Director/ CEO at the helm of WNS Sri Lanka

Dinesh Wickremanayake, who left Sri Lanka 30 years ago, has returned and recently took over as Managing Director/CEO of WNS Sri Lanka. A company media release said that he has lived and worked in Sydney, Australia for three decades with a proven track record in a number of management disciplines.  Prior to taking on his [...]

Series of money-swindling scandals confront small banks

A series of money swindling scandals have engulfed several Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society (TCCS) banks while the Department of Co-operative Development (DCD) and the Provincial Co-operative Development Commissioner (PCDC) have been accused of inaction.  A large number of small depositors, lured by the comparatively higher interest rates offered by some of these institutions, have [...]

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