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Ravi’s confidence

Ravi’s confidence

While this May Day billboard at Thummulla junction in Colombo would appear as an innocuous effort to reflect a politician’s closeness to the Prime Minister, it didn’t stop tongues wagging about this notice depicting Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s confidence that he would not be moved out, as reported in some circles, in an impending Cabinet [...]

IMF: Proposed tax laws a joint ‘product’ with Sri Lanka authorities

Proposed new tax laws, seen radicalising Sri Lanka’s tax revenue structure, is a joint collaboration between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and local authorities, the fund said this week, defending claims that it was an ‘entirely IMF-driven product’. “The Inland Revenue Act (IRA) is a product of the IMF’s extensive collaboration with the Sri Lankan [...]

Mobitel plans to break away from SL Telecom

Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider, will operate as an independent entity exiting from Sri Lanka Telecom after functioning as its subsidiary for more than 14 years. The company will be listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this year with the aim of broad-basing the ownership of Mobitel which is a [...]

President urged not to extend retiring Dep. Governors

A Central Bank union has urged President Maithripala Sirisena not to provide extensions to two retiring deputy governors and immediately appoint a senior official who has been picked to replace one. The bank’s Executive Officers Union, representing over 500 senior staff including deputy governors, in a May 3 letter called for a policy where all [...]

Maldives airline suspends flights

MEGA Maldives, the troubled Maldivian private airline which once claimed to carry 10 per cent of all tourist traffic into the Maldives, has suddenly suspended operations catching the market by surprise. In a May 2 announcement, the loss-making airline said it was temporarily suspending all flights immediately as part of’ “restructuring and recapitalisation” efforts but [...]

SriLankan to resume flights to Australia

SriLankan Airlines is set to resume direct flights to Australia which has been suspended since July 2001. The loss-making carrier in search of a partner to take over its operations is currently working on commencing operations this year to Australia, airline officials said confirming an Australian media report. Australian media quoted an airline spokesperson as [...]

Unstable policy vs unstable government

Unstable policy vs unstable government

It’s official: Sri Lanka’s main problem in attracting foreign investment or for that matter, doing business in the country, is inconsistent policies, not instability in the government nor corruption, two areas the country seems to be slipping down the ladder, all the time. In the Central Bank’s latest 2016 annual report released this week, ‘policy [...]

Unstable policies cause of waning business interest in SL- CB

Unstable policies cause of   waning business interest in SL- CB

The Central Bank (CB), echoing a commonly-held view in Sri Lanka though often rejected by ruling politicians, says that unstable policies are among a range of problems investors are confronted with in doing business in Sri Lanka. In comments which largely flow from concerns raised in previous year, the CB in its annual report for [...]

National carrier carried highest number of passengers in its entire history in 2016/17

SriLankan Airlines carried the highest number of passengers ever in the airline’s history during 2016/17 but huge losses continued to bite the debt-burdened national carrier. Citing ‘difficult market conditions’, the airline said on Thursday that the un-audited net group loss (before finance and one-off charges) was Rs. 6.49 billion (US$15.12 million) in 2016/17, sharply up [...]

Colombo Port City will take 30 years to complete

Colombo Port City will take 30 years to complete

The Colombo Port City project is set to take nearly a lifetime to complete with a 30-year period given for its full completion for which marketing is getting underway at the moment to attract investors to the prime property. The CHEC Port City Colombo Chief Sales and Marketing Director Liang Thow Ming said on the [...]

Construction of LAUGFS LPG Terminal in Hambantota on track

Construction of LAUGFS LPG Terminal in Hambantota on track

LAUGFS LPG Import and Export Terminal in Hambantota is on track for completion in its first phase. This part, construction of which began last year, is with 30,000 MT capacity and seen progressing well on schedule to be commissioned by first half of the 2018 financial year as planned, the company said this week. Built [...]

2017 World Quizzing Championships on June 3

The International Quiz Association (IQA), the world’s premiere Quiz organisation, will be conducting its annual World Quizzing Championships (WQC) on June 3 through local chapters. Organisers said IQA Sri Lanka chapter is conducting this quiz in Colombo for the 12th year running, once again giving the Sri Lankan quiz enthusiasts the opportunity to compete in [...]

ABB to collaborate with Sri Lankan universities to train engineers

ABB, a global leader in electrification products, is partnering three leading Sri Lankan universities to train the next genertion of post graduate and PhD students in the field of electrical engineering At a recent event, ABB Sri Lanka formalized an engagement with the Universities of Moratuwa, Ruhuna and Peradeniya for software capacity building that will [...]

Treasury imposes strict controls on using budgetary provisions

Given the difficult environment and ambitious budgetary targets, the government is taking measures to ensure the maximum use of financial allocations approved in the 2017 budget. With the aim of maintaining strict monetary control in ministries and state institutions, the Treasury recently issued a ‘state accounts’ circular directing all ministry secretaries, chief secretaries of provincial [...]

Long-delayed Kantale sugar factory revival gets underway

Long-delayed Kantale sugar factory revival gets underway

The long-delayed Kantale sugar factory revival will soon get underway following the release of the 500-acre land to the foreign investor, a senior official said. The land was handed over to the Board of Investment (BOI) to proceed with the project, Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama, Secretary of the Lands Ministry, told the Business Times this week [...]

Former technical college principal has solution for proper garbage disposal

Former technical college principal has solution for proper garbage disposal

A Kandy professional has developed a new garbage recycling process and willing to share such knowledge with any interested party or state institution. The initiative by H.D.S. Hettipathirana of Kandy, a retired Director/Principal of Technical College, Aruppola, has been brought to the limelight by Sajitha De Mel, President Inventors and Entrepreneurs consortium, who believes that [...]

Millennials prefer apartment-living, real estate company says

Paramount Realty, a real estate company in Sri Lanka, said last week that it has through extensive research identified that the demand for vertical living is gathering significant momentum among millennials and is expected to grow in the next few years. The millennial generation, or Gen Y, is considered to be anyone born between 1980 [...]

New Heart Valve Tissue Bank at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital

The first state-of-the-art human Heart Valve Tissue Bank will be set at the Lady Ridgeway Hospial in Colombo soon to treat new born babies and children with congenital heart diseases, a project initiated by the Rotary District 3220. This was stated by District Governor Senake Amarasinghe at a media briefing held at the Galadari Hotel [...]

Ceylon Chamber-led investment and business seminar on May 30

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is organising “Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2017” on May 30 to June 1 in Colombo aiming at attracting more foreign investment into Sri Lanka. The event, which will be held under the theme “Growth through Partnerships” will focus on encouraging investments into the areas of agriculture, apparel, education, [...]

New monthly public auction system for Treasury bonds soon

The Central Bank (CB) is in the process of seeking Monetary Board approval to launch a new monthly public auction system for Treasury bonds with an underwriting facility. The CB is also planning an overhaul of regulatory and supervisory system with rules and principles to promote market discipline, as part of measures to improve transparency [...]

MTI’s idea2fund invests and incubates ‘Bakamuna’ lifestyle designs

MTI’s idea2fund invests and incubates ‘Bakamuna’ lifestyle designs

Rochelle Bibile, a young designer with an eye for the daring and unique, sees her vision become reality through partnering with MTI’s idea2fund. Bakamuna is a mixed media lifestyle design venture with an interest in contemporary art. “We are very excited to launch Bakamuna through the idea2fund platform.  Powered by MTI Corporate Finance, idea2fund enables [...]

Osethma Moringa capsule with “incredible goodness of drumstick tree” in market

Osethma Ayurveda Hospital, which says it’s a well-known name in the Ayurveda medical sector in Sri Lanka, has introduced a herbal product that contains most of the nourishment of the drumstick tree (Moringa) under the name ‘Osethma Moringa’. A supplement meal with nutritious value, Osethma Moringa has received the approval from the Formulary Committee of [...]

Strathspey Estate Factory, Upcot celebrates 90 years

Strathspey Estate Factory, Upcot celebrates 90 years

Strathspey Estate, Upcot, Maskeliya, owned by the Richard Pieris Group and managed by Maskeliya Plantations PLC, recently celebrated its factory’s 90th anniversary. The factory was built in 1927. The event was marked recently by religious activities and acknowledging the services of staff at  Strathspey Estate. A special souvenir, picture postcards and souvenir mugs were distributed [...]

Second John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge 2017 gets underway

Sri Lankan entrepreneurship will hit the fast-track at the second annual John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge 2017 as teams of aspiring innovators and inventors compete for a chance to win entry into a 6-month Accelerator Programme at John Keells Holdings (JKH). The prize? Rs. 2 million in seed investment, a curated growth oriented curriculum, [...]

Police clearance certificates now in 4-5 days through new ICTA online system

An ePolice Certificate system has been developed by the Information & Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) for the Sri Lanka Police in the issuance of Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) online to provide a faster services to applicants. This system was officially launched recently at a ceremony graced by the Inspector General of Police, [...]

Bata announces entry into Sri Lankan ecommerce market

Global footwear maker Bata, which has operated in Sri Lanka for the past 67 years, says it has been hugely successful in all countries where it operates, offering convenient shopping and a huge assortment for customer’s offline. To reposition Bata as a top brand in Sri Lanka, more focus and attention will be paid to [...]

Lamudi’s annual real estate report on Sri Lanka released

Lamudi’s annual real estate market report on Sri Lanka has been released, the company said this week, adding that the report known as a ‘whitepaper’  outlines demographic trends and changes in laws in 2016 which are encouraging new target markets, including overseas investors. “The new visa options available for potential buyers are detailed in the [...]

National HR conference provides opportunity to profile best practices in SL organisations

The National Human Resources Management Conference 2017 (National HR Conference 2017), the flagship event of the Institute of Personnel Management, Sri Lanka (IPM), this year adds a new feature – providing an opportunity to the Sri Lankan business community to share the best HR practices. Introduction of this new feature was announced by Prof. Ajantha [...]

‘FastTrack15’ Sri Lanka’s premier internship programme now in its 7th consecutive year

Introduced in 2011, the country’s premier annual internship programme ‘Fast Track15’ (FT15) organised by Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and, John Keells Holdings PLC will commence in June 2017. Each year, FT15 succeeds at providing 15 undergraduates a unique opportunity to participate in a six week internship at all three companies [...]

NDB Q1’17 post-tax profit surge by 45% to Rs. 1.15 bln

The National Development Bank PLC (NDB) has reported a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 1.159 billion for the three months ended 31 March 2017, up sharply by 45 per cent over the corresponding period of Q1 in 2016. During the quarter, the total assets of the bank grew to Rs. 347 billion (4 per [...]

Lanka Financial Services Bureau among top 5 SWIFT Infrastructures in Asia

Lanka Financial Services Bureau Ltd (LFSBL), the SWIFT Shared Infrastructure of Sri Lanka, has been included among the top five SWIFT Shared Infrastructures in the Asia Pacific Region. Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is the global leader in financial telecommunication services. In a media release, LFSBL said this is an [...]

Artificial Intelligence: The good and the bad witch in stock trading

Artificial Intelligence: The good and the bad witch in stock trading

From the imminent influx of drones that deliver things, umbrellas that forecast the weather, the onesies that monitor babies to I-watches and circret bracelets that will dish information at a press of a button, life in general for us humans is slated to see benefits of high-tech in health, communication and entertainment. The dawn of [...]

Rising aluminium prices won’t hurt Swisstek or Alumex

There’s an unprecedented demand for aluminium despite its rising prices owing to the high construction projects around the country, analysts say. Aluminium prices have been spiking up over the past six months by nearly 20 per cent (US$ 1901 / Metric Tonnes (MT) in March ’17) while the rupee has depreciated by some 4 per [...]

Two stockbrokers under fire for breaching CAR

Two stockbrokers are under fire for having failed to fulfil the newly introduced risk-based capital requirements by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), even after an extended timeline was given to them, market sources said. As a result, their share buying operations have been curtailed. In March, three stockbrokers were shown the ‘red light’ to comply [...]

Trading opens for RIL

RIL Property Ltd (RIL) rang the opening bell to commence trading and celebrate the listing of its shares on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Thursday. RIL is an owner, developer and manager of Grade ‘A’ commercial office space in select core markets in Colombo. (In the picture from left) RIL Director Richard Ebell, RIL [...]

Smaller banks challenged by Basel III and minimum requirements

Raising equity capital has been on cards for a considerable time for commercial banks with the Central Bank (CB) issuing the new directions in December last year, but smaller banks will be challenged, analysts say. Banks such as Union Bank, Pan Asia and Nation’s Trust Bank (NTB) haven’t cleared these thresholds. Out of these three, [...]

Finance and leasing companies show sharp growth in assets in FY16

The licensed finance companies (LFCs) and specialised leasing companies (SLCs) sector showed a sharp 26.4 per cent growth in its total assets to Rs. 853 billion at FY16 with improved assets quality reflected in the NPL ration. Analysts said that its growth of assets was largely contributed by the increase in borrowing by 29 per [...]

Ray Abeywardena, new CSE chief

Ray Abeywardena, new CSE chief

Ray Abeywardena, a veteran stock broker, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) with effect from May 5, succeeding Vajira Kulatilaka, who stepped down as the chairman on completion of the customary 3-year term. The announcement was made by the CSE. Mr.Abeywardena is the Managing Director of [...]

CSE: Foreigners ‘activated’ by Aussie roadshow

Foreign inflows mainly from Australia have led to a marked improvement in trading during April following the recently-conducted ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ investor forums in Australia, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) says. Australian inflows have contributed a total of Rs. 487.62 million since the events in Australia. The CSE in April saw keen interest among foreign [...]

Standard Chartered lead—manages successful international bond

Standard Chartered on Friday said it was Lead Arranger for a successful US$1.5 billion 10 Year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured 144A / Reg S issued on behalf of the Sri Lankan government. Jim McCabe, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered, commenting on the deal, said: “We are honoured to be a Lead Arranger for the Government’s [...]

CB $1.5 bln bond draws $11 bln worth of interest

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka successfully launched and raised US$1.5 billion in a 10 year bond, the 11th US Dollar benchmark offering in the international bond markets by Sri Lanka since 2007, with the call for subscriptions triggering interest worth $11 billion. The issue was priced with a coupon of 6.200 per cent pa, [...]

Airbnb bookings saw 126,000 stay in ‘homestay’ segment in Sri Lanka

Airbnb bookings saw 126,000 stay in ‘homestay’ segment in Sri Lanka

Over hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world are visiting Sri Lanka annually to stay at homes that open up for hospitality via the world renowned Airbnb service for the past six years. Airbnb started operations in Sri Lanka taking its first booking in 2011 with about 10,080 active listings and recording 126,000 [...]

Sancharaka Udawa 2017: Varied participants

Sancharaka Udawa 2017: Varied participants

A varied participation of hotels, government establishments and domestic airline and boating operators took part at the Sancharaka Udawa trade fair exhibition at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition and Convention Centre on Friday. Some notable exhibitors were Fly Southern, the twin engine aircraft operator that provides unique flight operations for VVIPs including the Dubai Sheiks [...]

Attractive fares from SIA and SilkAir

Singapore Airlines together with SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines (SIA), is offering attractive Business Class and Economy Class fares to selected destinations to give more reasons for customers to travel to their preferred destinations. SilkAir flies to 53 destinations, including Sri Lanka across 15 countries in the world. Singapore Airlines operates to 328 [...]

New GMs

New GMs

Giles Selves has been appointed Area General Manager overseeing Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Anantara Kalutara Resort and Avani Kalutara Resort Mr. Selves, who is British, started out as a headwaiter at the Sheraton Park Tower, A luxury Collection Hotel in the UK. He joined Anantara in August  2015 as general manager for Anantara Mai [...]

Earl’s group expands property base

The Earl’s Group has begun establishing a number of new properties with the latest being a property at Kurunegala in close proximity to the proposed Colombo-Kandy expressway. The new property is being built by the Earl’s Group at Bandaranaike Mawatha in Kurunegala with 36 rooms and two banquet halls, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager [...]

PATA heads to Negombo discusses ‘disruption in travel’

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) scheduled to meet in Negombo this month will look at the future of tourism and the disruption caused by external factors that have grown and are taking shape today in a prominent manner. With international travel set to double to two billion in the next 15 years the industry’s [...]

Holidaymakers’ numbers spike in April

Travellers to Sri Lanka have increased last month with a 17.5 per cent growth recorded compared to the same period last year. Arrivals fell in February and March primarily due to the partial closure of the main airport, Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for maintenance work. Over 160,000 visitors arrived in the island during the New [...]

Dondra-head Lighthouse opens for tourists

Travellers visiting Sri Lanka and even locals now have the opportunity of freely touring the Dondra-head Lighthouse after the authorities took  action following criticism over a mafia group charging the public to enter its premises. The lighthouse, which is a property of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), was officially opened following renovations and new [...]

“Healthy dose of sincerity”

Given the strong criticism that some US airlines drew recently in handling passengers on board, here is a great example from on how some airlines handle customers: Andrew Kosasih, Front Office Duty Manager at Pan Pacific Perth: “Today I was flying on GA725. Unfortunately during dinner service, I was notified that they had run [...]

Action water sport lures UK travellers

The Lanka Powerboat Association is set to attract new travellers from the UK to view the Formula 2 (water sport) racing season in Colombo. The revolutionary action motorsport scheduled to be held this month will be launched at the Waters Edge from May 27-28 with the participation of world F2 Champion Mette Brandt Bjerknes from [...]

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