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Dumping ground for old, imported vehicles

Dumping  ground for old, imported vehicles

Is Sri Lanka fast becoming a dumping ground for used vehicles with old, imported body and spare parts as this picture at a Kandy sales centre shows? This is what the motor vehicles’ industry is worried about based on recent statements on changing policies. (See full story on Page 6 and 7) Pic by Indika [...]

Sri Lanka’s budget undergoes complete overhaul

Sri Lanka’s budget preparation for the next financial year 2018 is set for a complete overhaul, doing away with ad hoc taxes following the government’s failure to implement a large chunk of previous budget proposals and new tax revisions owing to legal procedural issues in the past two years. At least 22 proposals in the [...]

SL, India in economic partnership before ETCA

Amidst mounting protests against the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) by local professionals and businessmen, Sri Lanka is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on partnership cooperation during Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe’s forthcoming visit to India. The aim is to ensure speedy implementation and follow up in the identified development projects with [...]

Plantations bleed to brew new models

State policy to change the existing structure on Sri Lankan tea plantations has caused a stir among the regional plantation companies (RPCs) complaining that they have been unjustifiably dealt with by a team of experts from a bygone era who have landed here after nearly 25 years since privatisation took place. In this respect the [...]

CSE disowns OTC Group plan

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) disowned connections to the OTC Markets Group Inc on Friday saying the exchange hasn’t collaborated with any party for trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink markets in the US. This was in response to an online story which said that the CSE has become a Qualified Foreign Exchange allowing [...]

Tug-of-war at Treasury continues

The ongoing tug-of-war between two factions at the Finance Ministry is continuing causing interruption to the normal functions at the Treasury and the Ministry, informed sources disclosed. The work at departments coming within the purview of the ministry has also been affected to great extent as a result of appointing new monitoring staff by the [...]

“Gaana … gaana”

“Gaana … gaana”

It was the usual moan-and-groan conversation about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, this time, its ‘interference’ in tax matters that set the stage for this week’s discussion. Auditors, accountants and  tax advisors all appear to be in opposition over the new Tax Bill. For once, they are on the side of the Inland Revenue [...]

Govt. assessment of viability of plantations runs into protests from RPCs

Govt. assessment of viability of plantations runs into protests from RPCs

The Government is currently studying the prospect of bringing changes to the regional plantation companies (RPCs), mainly concentrating on ensuring profitability of the estates as a result of which Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed the Plantation Reforms Committee (PRC) headed by R. Paskaralingam which has called for an assessment and an audit of the RPCs. [...]

Unit trusts to be given some tax concessions

Unit Trusts are confident of some tax concessions following a meeting that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) had with the Treasury recently, sources said. Both SEC and CSE senior officials had met with the Treasury and submitted a paper on the related tax concessions that they proposed. The [...]

Going global with the Colombo Tech Startup Seminar 2017

Going global with the Colombo Tech Startup Seminar 2017

The Colombo Tech Start-up Seminar 2017, the country’s ultimate tech startup event here to be held on May 2, is a one-stop shop for everything and everyone related to tech start-ups. The event has been crafted to provide thriving entrepreneurs with a platform that grants them market access and connectivity with investors, as well as [...]

Small rice mill with CCTV

Small rice mill with CCTV

A small rice mill at Kahathuduwa near Piliyandala has installed CCTV to prevent robberies. Twice in recent times, the mill has been robbed of rice brought in for milling and then the owner  decided to install the cameras.   -Pic by Athula Devapriya  

Hurulle appointed to Com Bank board

Themiya Hurulle has been appointed a director of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon with effect from April 5, the bank announced this week. He joins a board that includes K.G.D.D. Dheerasinghe (Chairman), M.P. Jayawardena, Jegan Durairatnam (Managing Director/CEO), S. Swarnajothi, S. Renganathan (COO/Executive Director), Prof. A.K.W. Jayawardane, K. Dharmasiri, Lakshman Niyangoda, Ms. Shiromal Cooray and [...]

Hilton group to manage six more leisure properties in SL

The Hilton group on Wednesday signed a deal with Sri Lanka’s Melwa Hotels and Resorts to manage six new properties with an investment of US$100 million. The properties would comprise three Hilton Hotels and Resorts and three DoubleTree by Hilton brands that would see a significant expansion of the Hilton presence in the country, a [...]

Cinnamon Air operates seasonal flights to Nuwara Eliya

Cinnamon Air said this week it was operating seasonal, daily flights between Colombo and Nuwara Eliya in the month of April, maintaining its practice since the inception. From April 7 to 16, the domestic carrier will be operating a daily scheduled fight between Colombo and Nuwara Eliya, departing Colombo City (Waters Edge) water aerodrome at [...]

CSE new rules on errant firms of public float in June

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will issue directions on non-compliance pertaining to public float by June, officials said. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now sanctioned the minimum public float rules that represent a portion of shares of a listed firm that are in the hands of public investors as opposed to shares owned [...]

Wage fixing to be decided concurrently with trade unions and employers

In recent years although much focus has been placed on creating enough jobs and quality jobs, the working conditions and adequate compensation issues have received less attention, according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Simrin Singh. She was addressing a workshop on the topic “To disseminate findings on government [...]

Sri Lanka’s biggest bank reports 43% growth in net 2016 profit

Sri Lanka’s biggest bank reports 43% growth in net 2016 profit

Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has reported a record-breaking pre-tax profit of Rs.31.2 billion for the year ending December 31, 2016, while post-tax profit stood at Rs.24.8 billion. The profit for 2016 at Sri Lanka’s biggest bank is a sharp 43 per cent rise from 2015. Total operating expenses increased by 7 per cent in line [...]

Global Recognition for LOLC Al-Falaah

Global Recognition for LOLC Al-Falaah

Al-Falaah, the Islamic Business Unit of LOLC Finance PLC, has been recognised globally on multiple occasions for the financial year 2016/17 by winning several awards at globally recognised award presentations. Al-Falaah secured the “IFN Deal of the Year for Sukuk (Alternate option for Securitisation)” at the “IFN Deals of the Year for 2016” awards ceremony [...]

“Sri Kumar consulted to steer oil palm industry in Sri Lanka”

With reference to the Business Times report under the above headline appearing in the April 2, 2017 edition, retired planter Rex Perera has disputed the fact that S. Sri Kumar was a pioneer in oil palm plantations in Sri Lanka. Below is the full text of Mr. Perera’s letter: “Oil palm was introduced as a [...]

Nalin Perera appointed as CEO of Mobitel

Nalin Perera appointed as CEO of Mobitel

Nalin Perera, a veteran with nearly three decades of experience in Sri Lanka’s telecom industry, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. The company said that Mr. Perera started his career at Mobitel in 2001 as General Manager Marketing and progressed to the positions of Senior General Manager [...]

UTE and HNB combine strengths to support Sri Lanka’s SME

United Tractor  and  Equipment (Pvt) Ltd (UTE) and Hatton National Bank (HNB) recently signed an MoU to provide SME entrepreneurs an easy payment scheme to finance the FS Curtis Air Compressor range.  UTE said this is an initiative to help SMEs remain competitive and meet an increased demand for energy efficient machinery. “Our decision to [...]

HNB offers special services to its pvt banking customers

HNB has announced ‘concierge services’ for their high net-worth customers at ‘Club’ and ‘Priority Circle’ giving them 24×7 access to bespoke services which is much likely of having a Personal Assistant or a Porter. HNB will be using ‘Kapruka’, Sri Lanka’s largest e-commerce platform and on-line shop for a wide variety of luxury gift items [...]

Cargills’ engagement with dairy farming, rural agriculture has transformed farmers

Cargills’ engagement with  dairy farming, rural agriculture has transformed farmers

Private sector engagement in Sri Lanka’s agriculture and dairy farming is revolutionising the lifestyle of the farmers. At the opening of the Kotmale Integrated Dairy plant at Banduragoda, Gampaha by President Maithripala Sirisena this week, M.A. Kirthirathne, a dairy farmer from Balagallayaya, Kanaththe-wewe, confirming the advanced changes in the farmers’ lives said while they now [...]

Sri Lanka launches new plan to develop export strategy

Sri Lanka launches new plan to develop export strategy

The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) this week conducted the first National Symposium for Sri Lanka’s National Export Strategy (NES) with more than 150 public and private sector representatives to plan the next export growth cycle of the country. The development of an NES is [...]

IOM Chief commends Sri Lanka’s dynamism and perseverance as Chair of the Colombo Process

IOM Chief commends Sri Lanka’s dynamism and perseverance as Chair of the Colombo Process

Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Ambassador William Lacy Swing has commended Sri Lanka on its dynamism and perseverance as the Chair of the Colombo Process (CP) which has led to numerous achievements, and steered the CP to a progressive path and to a very good future. The Colombo Process is a [...]

Foreign funds buy into Singer SL

Five foreign funds have bought consumer durables retailer Singer Sri Lanka PLC’s shares that its parent, Retail Holdings NV sold last month as part of the latter’s global strategy. HSBC International NOM LTD – Morgan Stanley and Co. LLC-RWC FR, BNYMSANV RE-CF Ruffer Investment Funds: CF Ruffer, CLSA Global Markets PTE LTD, Pemberton Asian Opportunities [...]

Mastercard and Eko-Pay to accelerate digital B2B payments in Asia

Recognizing the growing opportunity and need to help digitise business-to-business (B2B) transactions, Mastercard has announced a partnership with Eko-Pay to introduce Eko-B2B, a new best-in-class digital payment solution for businesses in Asia Pacific. Eko-B2B will provide businesses with an automated payment solution that enables them to streamline workflows and improve productivity for B2B payment transactions. [...]

President instigates investigation into Vehicles Lanka assembly operations

President instigates investigation into Vehicles Lanka assembly operations

A top level investigation will get underway on the directions of President Maithripala Sirisena into legal issues faced by Vehicles Lanka Pvt Ltd in carrying out vehicle  assembly operations with used spare parts imported from Japan since 2003, official sources disclosed. The company has been given Board of Investment (BOI) approval for the assembly of [...]

Crisis in the motor trade, job losses feared

Crisis in the motor trade, job losses feared

Sri Lanka’s motor trade is on the verge of a crisis triggering fears of job losses for hundreds of people currently employed directly and indirectly in the industry. As car sales plunged to over 50 per cent compared to previous years, a potential “collapse” in the vehicle import business is evident if the government attempts [...]

Micro Panda now in automatic mode to suit Sri Lanka’s urban conditions

Micro Cars Ltd, a pioneer Sri Lankan automobile manufacturer, has achieved another significant breakthrough with the launch of automatic transmission to its most popular and trusted duo, ‘Micro Panda’ and ‘Micro Panda Cross’. Unveiling the new models, Dr. Lawrence Perera,  Chairman / CEO of Micro Cars told the Business Times on the sidelines of the [...]

Tax hike on synthetic lubricants alarms local market

The recent steep rise in duty and tax imposed by the government on synthetic lubricants effective mid-November has alarmed the market as lubricant suppliers are now starting to pass on the hike to the end users, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) disclosed. The duty and taxes which have been increased by 31 per cent, [...]

Franchised car dealers warn of grey imports

The glory days of Sri Lanka’s franchised car dealers are slowly fading as many used car and other motor dealers opt to ship in popular European and Japanese cars purchased from agents rather than branded companies, a major European car franchised dealer warned. Sri Lanka has become a dumping ground for dodgy vehicles from overseas [...]

EGM for Agalawatte: Damro says around 70% dues already paid

Furniture manufacturer Damro Group has settled more than 70 per cent of the dues which their latest acquisition – Agalawatte Plantation PLC – owed, officials said. In a statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Damro announced an EGM to appraise shareholders on a restructuring plan for the plantation that was originally put forward by [...]

Malaysia enticing Sri Lankans to visit F1 Grand Prix

Tourism Malaysia has seen a drop in arrivals from Sri Lanka last year compared to 2015 and authorities are luring Sri Lankans to reserve tickets for the upcoming Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. Sri Lankans have been continuing to drop travel to Malaysia since 2015 with 51, 337 compared to 61, 670 in 2014. [...]

“Most RPCs in the dumps, study shows”

The Planters’ Association of Ceylon has drawn reference to the Business Times report last week under the above headline, and points out certain inaccurate comments. The letter is as follows: “The Planters’ Association of Ceylon wishes at the outset to register its serious concern at the severe breach of confidentiality that has been committed by [...]

Sri Lanka could become a junkyard for used goods, industrialists warn

Sri Lanka’s business community and industrialists are not happy at the free trade agreements (FTAs) reached with other countries as they do not benefit the local industry and the country’s overall economy, it was revealed at a forum last week. At the Sri Lanka Economic Forum 2017 in Colombo, Kulatunga Rajapaksa, Managing Director, Samson Group, [...]

Sri Lanka to open up banking system, enhance trade liberalisation

Sri Lanka will open up the banking system and further liberalise trade while going in for offshore financing as there is no other way, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week. Speaking at the launch in Colombo of new vistas in digital banking in Sri Lanka, the PM said those who oppose market economy and [...]

Dialog Introduces First VoLTE Smartphones in Sri Lanka with Samsung

Dialog Introduces First VoLTE Smartphones in Sri Lanka with Samsung

Dialog Axiata recently joined up with Samsung Sri Lanka to offer Voice over Long-Term Evolution technology (VoLTE) for Samsung Galaxy J5 and J7 2016 smartphone users. Dialog introduced VoLTE to Sri Lanka in August 2016, the first network in South Asia to do so, and the partnership with Samsung to activate this cutting-edge service on [...]

Altair hosts high-powered Canadian delegation in Colombo

The growing overseas interest in high-end Sri Lankan property developments was seen when an influential parliamentary and business delegation from Canada was hosted in Colombo recently by Altair, the twin tower luxury condominium redefining the Colombo skyline. The delegation comprised Members of Parliament representing Legislative Assemblies as well as the Federal Parliament of Canada and [...]

Carbon credits for Vidullanka’s small hydro power project

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has issued carbon credits to the Lower Kotmale Mini Hydro Power Project of Vidullanka PLC under the clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for the carbon emission reductions achieved by the project. The 4MW project is owned and operated by Lower Kotmale Oya Hydro Power (Pvt) Ltd, a [...]

Brandix felicitates employee adjudged Commonwealth Young Person of the Year

A young female executive employed at Brandix, who won global recognition for herself and her country through her community work, has been felicitated by her company as an inspiration to her peers and co-workers across the group. Krystle Reid, a Senior Executive – Projects at Brandix Lingerie, was presented with a memento in appreciation and [...]

The truth about development aid

SEATTLE – US President Donald Trump’s recently released 2018 budget blueprint proposes deep cuts in US foreign aid, prompting a discussion on the role of such spending in improving the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people. This discussion is important, because, when it comes to reducing many of the world’s greatest inequities, [...]

High tech in the village

High tech in the village

This picture was taken outside the Mahaweli office at the Kotmale dam recently by Business Times reader. Chinthaka Indikadahena. Inspired by our Page 1 picture on blouse pieces being sold on the Pettah pavement and “suggesting that the start-up community can help this vendor to go high tech”, Mr. Indikadahena says that this Kotmale ‘sales [...]

Aitken Spence Travels records landmark 150,000 visitors in 2016

Aitken Spence Travels records  landmark 150,000 visitors in 2016

Aitken Spence Travels, the largest inbound operator of the country, closed the 2016/17 financial year with a total inbound volume exceeding 150,000 visitors to Sri Lanka. The year’s performance builds on the previous year’s record high 129,000 visitors, signalling continued growth for the country, the company said in a media release. Commenting on this achievement, [...]

SriLankan Cargo handles loads of freight from India to China and vice versa

SriLankan Airlines Cargo is handling freight from India to China and from China to India – two of the largest economies in the world – which proves that the national airline has a world class facility not second to any other airport in the world. This revelation was made by Chamara Ranasinghe, Head Cargo, SriLankan [...]

Sri Lanka’s efforts to draft a national policy on Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions commended

The Director General of the Geneva based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry has commended Sri Lanka’s efforts to draft a national policy on Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs). He has also expressed a hope that the WIPO supported twin national and cross-regional workshops on this theme to be held [...]

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