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Taking a break

Taking a break

Workers take a break at the Colombo Port City near the Galle Fce Green where work is rapidly progressing. Pic by Anuradha Bandara.

Tourism promotion to kick-start in May

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector can heave a sigh of relief. After nearly seven years, Sri Lanka Tourism in May will launch a comprehensive destination campaign initially through digital platforms and thereafter through all media. The aggressive digital marketing promotion campaign will focus on boosting markets like Germany, Western Europe, Middle East, China and India, said [...]

Chinese elbow out other contractors in Central expressway deals

While Japanese funding has been offered for part three of the Central Expressway and with that the Government is 0bliged to hire Japanese contractors, there are allegations that a powerful Chinese firm is behind the soon-to-be awarded Japanese bidder. Taisei Corporation, with which the government is having negotiations, is backed by China Harbour and Engineering [...]

BIA runway overlay completed

Overlay work on the runway at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) was completed ahead of schedule last week but re-opening for all flights would take place as planned on April 6. The airport has been closed during the day (8.30 am to 4.30 pm) since January 6, and opens only at night. When the BIA [...]

France wants investment stability, eyes leisure sector

Sri Lanka needs to have “investment stability” with a quiet and stable legal environment, French Ambassador Jean Marin Schuh said. “Sri Lanka is on (the) right path of politics and constitutional reforms and commitments regarding human rights,” but legal stability remains to be addressed, he told the Business Times on the sidelines of a meeting [...]

Money printing spree ahead of Avurudu

Sri Lanka has printed currency worth Rs.217 billion to service cash-strapped public finances during the period of January 1 to February 17, official data showed. The Treasury has found it difficult to maintain the cash flow for the payment of public sector salaries and other state expenditure as government revenue is far below present expenditure, [...]

Interest rates hike after 8 mths

Sri Lankan interest rates have gone up for the first time in eight months, after the Central Bank (CB) on Friday announced a rate hike. The CB’s Standing Deposit Facility Rate and the Standing Lending Facility Rate were lifted by 25 basis points each, to 7.25 per cent and 8.75 per cent, respectively, with effect [...]

Naming and shaming

Naming and shaming

It was chance encounter with a sociology professor during a walk at the ‘Weli’ Park at Nugegoda that triggered the thoughts behind today’s column. Prof: Hi Feizal, How are things? Me (FS): Well, while there is freedom of expression which is a huge plus, there are still issues in governance. Prof: Absolutely. Things are moving [...]

Government very slow in approving viable solar power projects

Government very slow in approving viable solar power projects

As government looks to boost solar power units to meet the growing power demand in the country, investors are not too keen to invest in mega solar power plants anymore. Why? Because of a lethargic attitude and delays in decision-making by the Government in approving projects. Currently, the government seems to focus more on LNG [...]

One lakh turns into one million for DLB lottery winners

For decades the Development Lotteries Board (DLB) has been dedicated to uplifting lives in Sri Lanka and has contributed to development in the country through its marketing and corporate social responsibility endeavours. Recently it made a record breaking change and relaunched the popular product ‘Lakshapathi’ by rebranding it as ‘Dasalakshapathi.’ The objective of revitalising the [...]

Experts suggest telecommuting for Sri Lanka’s productivity improvement

With present technology advances not only the computer or Internet but the ability to do everything virtually from mobile phone, it is easier to be working from home. Telecommuting is an option that Sri Lanka should consider in the face of losing valuable man hours owing to heavy traffic congestion in Colombo and suburbs, several [...]

EFL marks 35 years as the sub continent’s first global logistics provider

Leading logistical services provider Expolanka Freight (Pvt) Ltd (EFL) celebrated its 35th anniversary this week with a reaffirmed commitment to its core mission and values, with a strengthened focus on Asia’s flourishing fast fashion market, according to a company media release. Since 1982, EFL has set itself on par with international contemporaries by focusing on [...]

Cheaper, locally produced medical kits can save lives

Though there are numerous innovations based on extensive research in the health sector to save lives, there are some constraints in Sri Lanka as these imported products are out of reach for patients due to the cost. Four medical  academics from the universities of the country – Prof. Ranil Dassanayake, Department of Chemistry, University of [...]

Chinese Minister visits BMICH

Chinese Minister visits BMICH

The Chinese Communist Party’s International Department Minister Hon Song Tao paid a visit to the BMICH during his recent visit to Sri Lanka. He toured and viewed all the facilities of the BMICH and was very impressed with the high standard of maintenance and upkeep of the premises. He regarded the BMICH as a symbol [...]

Fund allocation for EXIM Bank creates controversy

The setting up of an Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank) in Sri Lanka, initially due in 2016, has run into fresh controversy after two separate allocations were made for its proposed operation, economic analysts said. The proposal to set up the EXIM Bank was first made in the 2016 budget with a Rs. 50 million [...]

Agalawatte’s Rs.2.5 billion loan repayment for restructuring

The government is looking at restructuring the loans repayment for Agalawatte Plantations as it had obtained loans from 12 financial institutions upto a staggering Rs.2.5 billion with interest. Agalawatte Plantations had obtained loans from DFCC, Hatton National Bank, the Bank of Ceylon, Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank, NDB, People’s Bank, State Bank of India, Softlogic Finance, [...]

Sri Lankan expatriates in Canada hope to invest here in a big way

A high powered Canadian -Sri Lanka Friendship Group consisting of several Canadian Members of Parliament (MP’) and business leaders were in the country last week to promote investment and trade in Sri Lanka. It was learnt that several MOU’s were signed between Sri Lankan businessmen and the Canadian expatriates for investment in Sri Lanka. It [...]

New rules barring construction of buildings near power lines

Sri Lanka is introducing new regulations with regard to the minimum gap that should be kept between power lines and buildings to ensure the safety of consumers and the properties . The regulations, approved by the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy on the recommendation of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUC), are [...]

“Inhuman action by banks on death of a customer”

I read with interest Mr. A. Weerasekera’s letter on the above subject published in the Business section of the Sunday Times on February 2. It was very well written. The subject matter was that on the death of a customer, who had a fixed deposit, some banks consider death as a premature withdrawal and calculate [...]

Unit trusts see a glimmer of hope with easy taxation

There may be a glimmer of hope for unit trusts that are anticipating new tax hikes replacing the earlier tax breaks with the Treasury being more receptive to the needs of these investments platforms. Industry players told the Business Times that the Treasury is expected to grant tax concessions targeting individual investors for the unit [...]

Sri Lanka looks at increased connectivity to boost tourism

Public and private sector tourism stakeholders last week identified 15 priority projects including increased connectivity to key markets aimed to boost and sustain tourism growth over the next three years. The came at a full day workshop held at Temple Trees on Thursday to identify these priorities. It was organised by the Ministry of Policy [...]

Spence eyes strategic businesses in Maldives, India and West Asia

The Aitken Spence Group (Spence) is looking at the Maldives, India and West Asia for more strategic investments in hotels and logistics, officials said. Spence already has hotels in all three locations. “We are constantly eyeing opportunities in these two sectors. We are already in discussion with certain parties pertaining to some areas,” an official [...]

SOEs and running Buhari Hotel

Privatising state owned enterprises (SOE) has become one of the most dreaded notions in this country so much so that its terminology has ‘slightly’ been altered to people-lisation. Why? Because successive governments have made a mess of it. While each citizen in the country is aware that something isn’t right with the SOEs, most are [...]

EPF holds onto investments

EPF holds onto investments

The Employee Provident Fund (EPF), the country’s largest pension fund which was accused of improper investments during the former regime, is still on the top shareholders’ list of investments in the stock market. The EPF had 9.6 per cent stake in Amaya Leisure as at December 31, 2016. At Dialog Axiata, EPF remains the number [...]

Big plans by LAUGFS across Indian Ocean region with H’tota terminal

The LAUGFS Holding group has big plans for its terminal in Hambantota (LAUGFS LPG Import and  Export Terminal) and is gearing to supply power and energy to the entire Indian Ocean region. Its chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya told the Business Times that LAUGFS Gas is planning the groundwork to enter the Myanmar market within the next [...]

First leg of capital market promotion in Australia successful – CSE says

The ‘Invest Sri Lanka Investor Forum’ hosted in Sydney by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) last week drew over 150 participants including institutional investors, high net-worth individuals, Sri Lankans living in Sydney and other individuals with a business interest in Sri Lanka. The [...]

Sri Lanka’s real estate bubble likely to explode in five years

Sri Lanka’s real estate bubble likely to explode in five years

A bubble is emerging in Sri Lanka’s over-crowded real estate industry and likely to explode in another five years, a top government official says. Urban Development Authority (UDA) Chairman, Jagath Nandana Munasinghe told the Business Times that Sri Lanka’s residential real estate market is likely to face a serious bubble in another five years. “As [...]

Labour shortage pertinent issue in construction

Labour shortage pertinent  issue in construction

Sri Lanka’s construction sector has experienced rapid growth from 2005 to 2015 in terms of its workload, but there isn’t much to say on the structured development addressing the human resources needs demanded by this rapid growth. The organisational development and capacity of the industry to address these needs have been lacking, resulting in companies [...]

Apartment developers are shifting locations

Competition amidst ‘crazily high prices’ is pushing those in the apartments industry to seek out different investments, which might take them to markets where ‘they traditionally haven’t gone’. The weakening apartment market isn’t too good for the investors, developers and landlords, many of whom have now gripped the demographic realities in their apartment unit locations. [...]

RIU CEO, Roshan Madawela, nominated for ‘Best Regional Enterprise Manager of the Year Award’

Real Estate Intelligence Unit’s (RIU) founding CEO, Roshan Madawela was recently nominated by the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) for the prestigious ‘Best Regional Manager of the Year Award’. The EBA is an independent corporation of economic, social and humanitarian collaboration. The event is to take place on Tuesday, March 28 at the International Achievements Forum [...]

CSE’s roadshow in Aussie sponsored by condo builders

Listless apartment sales in Colombo have spurred many condo builders to undertake roadshows to attract the diaspora – especially in the West. In a fresh bid to entice them, some large builders sponsored the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) led roadshow in Australia earlier this week, industry players noted. The Colombo Port City was the event’s [...]

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