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Roses galore

Roses galore

“Roses are red my love, violets are blue,” sang legendary singer Jim Reeves. Colombo florists had a brisk business of roses this week to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara  

China-Lanka tariff plan needs extreme caution: Local industry

While professionals and businesses have been focusing attention on the alleged, ill-effects of the proposed trade and services pact with India, unknowingly the pendulum has swung quickly in favour of China with a trade agreement close to be finalised. The Business Times reliably learns that China wants to fast-track the deal, before India, with a [...]

Billion rupee problem for RPCs

In the wake of overgrown weeds on tea estates due to the non-use of herbicides, regional plantation companies (RPCs) have been given another Rs.1 billion infusion to also tackle growing cost of production endangering the crop’s export prospects. The Rs.1 billion allocation has been made almost at the same time that the Ajitha De Costa [...]

Sri Lanka Treasury’s internal debt service ratio moves towards a danger zone

Sri Lanka Treasury’s internal debt service ratio is moving towards a danger zone with state banks’ overdraft touching over Rs.120 billion and the balance outstanding of government’s borrowings for the current financial year showing a staggering figure of Rs. 1,579.11 billion. According to Finance Ministry estimation a sum of Rs.1, 480 billion is needed for [...]

Finally 15% interest on Rs.1.5 mln deposits enforced

Finally, senior citizens can heave a sigh of relief. The budget proposal to pay 15 per cent special interest on fixed deposits of up to Rs 1.5 million held by senior citizens in commercial and specialised banks is being finally imposed, it was announced on Wednesday. Earlier the limit was up to Rs 1million. The [...]

Blue brigade – friend or foe

Blue brigade – friend or foe

Ten years ago, the armed forces and police would be patrolling the streets of Colombo and the suburbs to deter a LTTE suicide bomber or in preparedness for LTTE cadres entering the city and causing mayhem. On Wednesday, while passing the Police Park grounds at Thimbirigasyaya, I saw a group of police personnel training in [...]

Effective leadership: Most urgent need to resolve economic crisis

Effective leadership: Most urgent  need to resolve economic crisis

The economic development policies and programmes of the current government can be described as being appropriate for improving the wellbeing of the people though there are shortcomings such as the inadequate emphasis on an enabling environment for investment and on removing the anti- export bias. However, the government appears to be falling behind in implementation, [...]

Universities, actively engaged in agri research, now take part in agri fairs and exhibitions

Many people who man stalls of exhibitions and fairs in Colombo lack professionalism, display the wrong attitude – more like a devil-may-care-, and are not attentive when questions and clarifications are sought from viewers and members of the public. These comments were made by Malik de Alwis, President, Food Processors Association of Sri Lanka at [...]

Northern Coop farmers group gets Fair Trade Certification

After five years of operations, the Vavuniya North Fruit Growers Cooperative Union continues to grow and increase profit. Over 10,000 metric tons of Red Lady papaya have already been exported and over US$2 million (Rs. 300 million) earned by farmers in export earnings, according to a media statement by ILO Colombo, the foster-father of projects [...]

Bank of Ceylon, Mastercard in new payment partnership

The Bank of Ceylon (BoC) announced this week that it will be strengthening its long-standing partnership with Mastercard, enabling it to tap into Mastercard’s global technology and expertise to bring payment innovation to Sri Lanka faster. The BoC aims to roll out safer, smarter, and more innovative payment options by connecting to Mastercard Integrated – [...]

Negotiations over union dispute at FTZ factory collapse

Negotiations between trade unions and theGlobal Star Logistics Company (Pvt) Ltd at Liyanagemulla, Seeduwa in a dispute over the creation of a union, collapsed on Tuesday, union sources said. Efforts by Labour Minister W.J.M. Seneviratne to mediate in the dispute ended inconclusively due to rigid positions maintained by both sides. Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary, Free [...]

hSenid solutions to the banking and financial sectors

hSenid Mobile Solutions, in the business of software and digital services, recently addressed a cross-section of the banking and financial sectors in Colombo, demonstrating its services and products potential. Dinesh Saparamadu, CEO, hSenid, said that today a shopper would not go to the nearest store to purchase but first grab the nearest digital device and, [...]

Mahindra enters 3 new businesses in Sri Lanka

Mahindra enters 3 new businesses in Sri Lanka

India’s Mahindra and  Mahindra Ltd last week announced its entry into three new businesses in Sri Lanka with the debut of Truck and  Bus, Construction Equipment and Powerol businesses. The company will set up these three new businesses in partnership with M/s Ideal Motors Ltd, its long standing partner of over eight years, a company [...]

Seminar on shipping matters and needed laws

The Company of Master Mariners of Sri Lanka (CMMSL) a professional organisation of Sri Lankan Ship Captains, jointly with the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) held a seminar in Colombo last week on the theme “IMO Conventions and Maritime Regulations in Sri Lanka”. There were two presentation of which one by Capt. [...]

Auxenta’s Assetminder bags major award in Ireland

Assetminder, an ingeniousfleet maintenance and workshop management solution developed by Auxenta Inc. (Auxenta), won the prestigious Innovation Award at Ireland’s Fleet Transport Awards 2017 held in Dublin, Ireland recently. The award recognises a product or service that is characterised by unique innovation for the industry and stands out for the change that it has created. [...]

Higher education hampered due to double standards

Although different higher education institutions such as the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology and National Institute of Business Management have not being questioned by authorities on their degree-awarding status, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) has been questioned by the Sri Lanka Medical Council on their inadequacy of proving students with [...]

The big deal about capital markets

The big deal about capital markets

Sri Lanka’s capital markets are desperately in need of some firm policies and one could hope against hope that this industry could help move the economy away from the negative reliance on bank lending. For many, it’s easy to dismiss the capital market as just one of the big ideas and a posh way of [...]

Round-up of key company results

Round-up of key company results

Lion Brewery says ‘unfair and discriminatory policies’ Lion Brewery PLC has said that it’s been a very difficult time with challenges posed by the external environment – both natural and manmade – being many and of significant proportions. “The company operates under a patently unfair and discriminatory policy framework, competing against arrack and toddy players, [...]

US bond rate increase good for CSE; not so much for local bonds

Despite being one of the poorest performing markets in the region, Sri Lanka’s stock market which has been in the doldrums has attracted a lot of foreign buying interest since of late. This heavy investor participation stems mainly from the rate increase in the US bond market. While the rates going up is seeing foreign [...]

Capital Alliance pitches for retail base with futurist digitisation

Capital Alliance pitches for retail base with futurist digitisation

For the past 31 years since the advent of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the sale and purchase of stocks hasn’t changed much. Stock trading typically took place at the CSE (and before that in the rooms of brokers) and during trading hours when the market was open. Today, it’s hard to imagine that the [...]

SA stock exchanges to meet in Colombo end Feb

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) which plans to host the Executive Committee Board Meeting for the current term of the South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) towards February end will discuss with its South Asian counterparts on showcasing the SAARC region as a potential investment destination to the rest of the world. “Chief Executives of [...]

Nimal, new CEO at PABC

Nimal Rohana Tillekeratne, former Seylan Bank Senior Deputy General Manager Branch Operations, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Pan Asia Bank (PABC) with effect from April 3, PABC said in a stock market announcement. Mr. Tillekeratne counts almost 40 years of service in the banking industry in Sri Lanka and overseas and [...]

CSE to visit Australia on a roadshow

In a fresh attempt to bring some colour to the drab stock market, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is to go on a roadshow to Australia. CSE sources told the Business Times that this will be happening next month and that they along with a delegation of stock brokers will be going to Sydney and [...]

Sri Lanka’s real estate sector contributes 30 per cent to economic development

Sri Lanka’s real estate sector contributes 30 per cent to economic development

Over the past few years real estate development sector in Sri Lanka has directly contributed more than 30 per cent to Sri Lanka’s economy and indirectly much more than that, says Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka. He made this comment while speaking at the 1st Lanka Property Show organized by the [...]

Rentals to witness a glut

Rentals to witness a glut

Landlords of upscale properties in the country are bracing for rough conditions in 2017 that will likely force them to slash rents and offer deep concessions as a glut of supply brings the apartment boom in Colombo to an end, analysts say. The slowdown in rentals, they say is being driven not by shrinking demand [...]

Growing trend in young investors in condominiums

While high rise buildings and condominiums are at the peak of construction in Sri Lanka, especially in Colombo and its suburbs, there is a growing trend among young businessmen and young professionals to invest in this sector. Mostly it’s the young entrepreneurs who are very passionate about investing in new apartments and condos catering to [...]

Saturation in luxury segments forces developers to next level

Sri Lanka’s apartment sector has been flooded with cash in recent years from a wide variety of investors and many of them large players but they have shifted focus from the luxury markets and are seeking out higher mid and mid-level markets in line with smaller investors. The pet game especially by large companies was [...]

New visa changes has influenced Sri Lanka’s real estate market

New visa laws were proposed, as part of an on-going process to improve administrative procedures following the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s government imposed stricter rules on visa requirements. “The process of applying for a visa and having a visa approved is now more similar to processes in fully developed countries like [...]

Sri Lanka’s Google Loon Project stalled

Sri Lanka’s ambitious Google Loon Project initiated almost two years ago with the aim of increasing the country’s Internet penetration has now become a non-starter following the refusal of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to allocate the required spectrum, Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Frenanado told a media conference in Colombo on Thursday. Sri [...]

‘Architect 2017′ exhibition ends today

‘Architect 2017′  exhibition ends today

‘Architect 2017’ the pre-eminent and most popular exhibition hosted by Sri Lanka Institute of Architect’s (SLIA) began on February 16 and ends today (February 19) at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). There are 305 stalls and 135 panels displaying architects’ work and is open to the public from 10 am to 10 pm. [...]

Implications of adding socio-economic rights to the Sri Lanka constitution

The implications incorporating socio-economic rights to Sri Lanka’s proposed constitution will be the focus of a Colombo seminar by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a political scientist with extensive international and South Asian experience. The public seminar is organised by the Advocata Institute, an independent, free market think tank. It will be held on Tuesday, February 21, [...]

Making waves by transforming plastic garbage into productive use

Making waves by transforming  plastic garbage into productive use

HORANA – While Sri Lanka still appears to be struggling with garbage, waste polythene and plastics, there is a silver lining in the case of polythene and plastic waste. Recycling is fast becoming a cottage industry with a few large polythene recycling plants. A true lover of nature, Damith Nishantha of Wagawatte junction, Poruwadanda, Horana [...]

Love Digits: First of its kind dating app launched in SL

Love Digits: First of its kind dating  app launched in SL

Love Digits, an app that brings both dating and gaming services to users, was launched in Sri Lanka this month. Ancient astrology brings new insight to modern dating with this app which works on a swipe-based platform to find compatible matches for users. As the first love-compatibility tool in the market to combine several schools [...]

Leadership transition in the pipeline at Dialog’s

Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dialog Axiata PLC and the operator of, Sri Lanka’s largest ecommerce site, recently announced a transition of leadership. As part of the Axiata Group’s accelerated leadership development programme, the outgoing CEO, Sheyantha Abeykoon will take on a new assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as [...]

MTI to help South Asia Textiles with a new business plan

South Asia Textiles Ltd, a leading Sri Lankan textile manufacturer specialised in producing exceptional quality weft knitted fabric and polar fleece, has assigned MTI Consulting to conduct a detailed review of its current position and develop a long term strategic business plan. This project will also encompass South Asia Textiles’ future direction in terms of [...]

Pannipitiya Private Hospital introduces many new tech features

Pannipitiya Private Hospital, one of Sri Lanka’s top outstation private hospitals, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and at the same time introduced several modern technological features to its portfolio for the benefit of patients. The hospital has now been equipped with the most sophisticated testing tools that can cater to any of the top- most [...]

US-led Trump policies on immigration could benefit tech companies

US-led Trump immigration policies, the potential for tech businesses to move out and the rapid growth of Virtusa Corp with a positive future ahead, emerged at a discussion Virtusa Chairman and CEO Krish Canekeratne had with a group of Sri Lankan business writers on Monday in Colombo. On a whistle-stop trip to Colombo (from the [...]

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