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Flood victim’s anger against officials

Flood victim’s anger against officials

An angry businessman, severely affected by floods, has displayed this warning notice in front of his devastated shop at Bulathsinhala issuing a death threat against tax officers, PHI’s and Consumer Affairs Authority officials if they return to collect money from him in the next three years. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara  

Floods: Economic loss could be as high as Rs. 30 bln

Sri Lanka could be facing economic losses in the range of around Rs. 30 billion based on some preliminary estimates of the cost of last week’s twin disasters of floods and landslides A rough estimate of the total economic loss would be around Rs.30 billion covering all sectors including plantations and agriculture, a senior government [...]

Japan intervenes in Central Expressway tender impasse

Japan has stepped in to ‘firmly’ recommend Fujita Corporation’s eligibility in the construction of section 3 of the Central Expressway in the wake of uncertainty since November last year in awarding the tender. Shigeru Kiyama, Special Advisor to the Japanese Cabinet, has informed Sri Lankan high authorities including Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella that ‘Fujita’ is [...]

Finance Ministry monitoring units to be disbanded

Recently established administration and revenue monitoring units at the Finance Ministry as well as personnel divisions of the former finance minister are being disbanded, removing its staff numbering around 20. Informed sources disclosed this decision was taken to avoid the duplication of work at the Ministry and Departments of Customs and Inland Revenue. The aim [...]

IMF-SL dispute over Inland Revenue Bill continues

Conflicts between the Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the disputed  Inland Revenue Bill continues after local authority changed some sections without fund approvals. The changes, made by the Legal Draftsman as per instructions given by high authorities recently, provide for exemptions in IT, tourism, agriculture and export sectors, a move frowned on [...]

Sept 30 date to register microfinance firms

All microfinance companies operating legally need to register under the new Microfinance Act No.6 of 2016 on or before September 30, 2017, according to the Central Bank (CB). Though the Act was made law in July last year, there are provisions for the CB’s Monetary Board to specify a date in which it becomes operative [...]

Sri Lanka’s ‘Karumaya’

Sri Lanka’s ‘Karumaya’

Earlier this week, when a Sri Lankan alerted a fellow Bangladeshi that cyclonic storm Mora was moving in their direction, his response was: “We have been preparing for this.” Reports from there state that people have been evacuated to at least 400 cyclone shelters, schools and government offices in coastal areas. “… this time we [...]

Cinnamon Authority vital to promote value-added exports

Cinnamon Authority vital to promote value-added exports

The “Ceylon Cinnamon” or “true cinnamon”, is the dried bark of Cinnamomum zealanicum Blume. It belongs to the family Lauraceae, which contains nearly 250 species and subspecies. It is indigenous to Sri Lanka and is an evergreen perennial plant with spirally arranged, broad laminated dark green leaves having palmate venation. Ceylon Cinnamon, a plant indigenous [...]

New company formations surge with the reduction in registration fees

Sri Lanka’s registration of new companies has surged to an average of 40 per day at present from less than 20 earlier due to a massive reduction in registration fees by Rs.11,000 compelling the Department of Registrar of Companies (DRC) to open new counters with additional staff, Registrar General of Companies D.N.R. Siriwardena told the [...]

Hemas through J.L. Morison to export OTC items to Myanmar

Hemas Holdings PLC’s (Hemas) generic pharmaceutical manufacturing operation at JL Morrison Son & Jones (JLM) aims to export over the counter (OTC) products within a year to Myanmar, top officials said. JLM CEO Trihan Perera told the Business Times that their new US$13.5 million manufacturing plant now under construction at the Homagama Sri Lanka Institute [...]

Expolanka attracts foreign funds during Q4

Expolanka PLC (Expo) has attracted buying from Barca Global Master, its main foreign buyer in the last quarter. This fund, which bought into Lion Brewery Ceylon Beverage Holdings in 2013, had 6 per cent in Expo in March this year. Matthews Emerging Asia Fund has also increased its stake in Expo during 4Q17. Expo saw [...]

Ray at CSE helm gears for ‘All or nothing’

Ray at CSE helm gears for ‘All or nothing’

The new chief of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), Ray Abeywardena is eagerly awaiting some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to go public.   In this respect, he’s upbeat that the CSE is reviving the ‘All or Nothing Board’, a mechanism that is used when buying or selling a (large) parcel in its entirety at an open auction. [...]

JKH concerned over uncertainties in tax and reforms

JKH concerned over uncertainties in tax and reforms

John Keells Holdings, considered to be Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate, has expressed concern over an issue which has been been one of the reasons why foreign investors are not coming in droves: inconsistent policies. Group Chairman Susantha Ratnayake alluded to this in the group’s annual 2016/17 financial year ending March 31 report released this week [...]

Historic PBT of Rs. 24 bln from LOLC, ousts JKH from top earnings bracket

The LOLC Group has concluded its best year ever with pre-tax profit (PBT) reaching Rs.24.4 billion, doubling its 2015/16 end March performance and taking a lead in the results flowing out of the stock market this week. As 2016/17 end-year financial results of Sri Lanka’s top conglomerates rolled in this week, LOLC’s performance has seen [...]

Dialog bullish on IT, IT-related start-ups

Dialog Axiata PLC is bullish on IT related businesses and has signed a few MoUs with firms in this area they aim to work with, industry sources said. The Dialog Axiata Group which saw a growth momentum across mobile, tele-infrastructure and fixed line businesses to record consolidated revenue of Rs. 22.2 billion for Q1 2017, [...]

Hike in VAT, coconut prices and low consumer spend hurt Nestle

Nestle Lanka’s results were impacted by an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), sluggish consumer demand and high coconut prices aggravated by the prevailing drought, officials said. Nestle largely depends on imported raw materials such as skimmed milk powder, cocoa, sugar, palm oil, wheat, etc. The depreciation in the Rupee coupled with price increases of [...]

Singer furniture factory at Horana BoI soon

Singer Sri Lanka PLC (Singer) has secured a 10-acre land at the Horana Board of Investment (BoI) zone to expand its furniture manufacturing, top officials said. “This year the company wants to accelerate the renovation and expansion of our existing shops to increase the retail space to cater to our additional products and brands (in [...]

Tough building code in Sri Lanka

Tough building code in Sri Lanka

The building code in Sri Lanka is pretty extensive so much so that it’s on par with the UK standards, industry experts say but the recent building collapse at Wellawatte has had the industry reeling with questions being raised about safety standards. “Before any building plan is approved it has to be submitted to the [...]

Builders urging state support for affordable housing

South Asian property developer, Iconic Developments (Pvt) Ltd is calling for state support for cheaper housing catering to middle and lower income segments. “The government should incentivise those who want to get into this sector,” Rohan Parikh, Managing Director, Iconic Developments told the Business times. The company is eyeing affordable housing sector and Mr. Parikh [...]

Call for specific policies on waste management

The amount of waste that is being created is increasing. The nature of waste itself is changing with many stakeholders saying that a series of environmental action plans and a framework of legislation that reduce negative environmental and health impacts is the call of the hour. There has to be specific policies dealing with waste, [...]

Smart cities are closer to being real than you think

Urban populations are growing rapidly and 60 per cent of the world population is predicted to be living in cities by 2030. Philips Lighting in a media release said it was helping to pave the way for massive urban growth by developing a people-centric blueprint for lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) services in the [...]

Colombo outskirts better for real estate investment ~ study

While the ‘apartment’ gold rush happened in Colombo, other cities in the suburbs are now outstripping this competition. While much development has focused on Colombo, improved transport infrastructure is expected to open up opportunities for property investment in areas away from Colombo and more recently, its immediate surroundings. A study published by Jones Lang LaSalle, [...]

Difficult year for Sunshine Holdings amidst drug price controls

Sunshine Holdings PLC went through a difficult and challenging 2016/17 financial year amidst controls on drug prices and mixed tea and palm oil performance. The group involved in healthcare, plantations, FMCG, packaging and renewable energy, saw consolidated revenue reach Rs. 19.2 billion for the latest financial year, up 10.3 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) while Profit [...]

Sadaharitha offers landowners good returns in new initiative

Sadaharitha Plantation, a leader in commercial forestry in the country, is inviting landowners with over five acres in the districts of Kandy, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara to team up with the company and get a good return on their investment. In a media release, the company said it will provide [...]

NTB workshops for SMEs

NTB workshops for SMEs

Nations Trust Bank recently hosted a series of workshops for the stakeholders of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) in Kiribathgoda, Negombo and Chilaw. Keynote speaker at the events was Aminda Perera, Senior Lecturer at the Wayamba University, who spoke on how SMEs can best position themselves for growth and how they can differentiate themselves [...]

COYLE praises PM, Govt. on regaining GSP +

The Chamber of Young Lankan entrepreneurs (COYLE) has expressed its appreciation on the re-implementation of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) by the EU this year noting that it presents both opportunities and challenges for Sri Lankan exporters. COYLE Chairman of COYLE Kushan Kodituwakku, in a statement said, “COYLE hopes to take full advantage of [...]

Allianz Lanka records impressive Q1 2017

Allianz Lanka continued to maintain its growth momentum across its life and general insurance businesses through Q1 2017. The non-life company, Alliance Lanka recorded 33 per cent YoY growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) at Rs.1.493 billion during the period under review, with a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 13 million despite expenditure on [...]

SL should have embraced national unity according to vision of first PM D.S. Senanayake

Sri Lanka should have adhered to the vision of the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, D.S. Senanayake who stressed on national unity and living together as one Sri Lankan nation, Parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said. Speaking as Chief Guest at the Felicitation Ceremony for National Honour Awards 2017 organised by the National Chamber [...]

MTI acquires equity stake in Carbon Consulting

MTI acquires equity stake in Carbon Consulting

MTI Consulting, the internationally accomplished boutique strategy consultancy, is taking an equity stake in The Carbon Consulting Company – Sri Lanka’s pioneering provider of integrated sustainability solutions. Founded by Eswaran Brothers, The Rainco Group and The Munasinghe Institute of Development, Carbon Consulting has rapidly gained a reputation as one of South Asia’s leading sustainability solutions [...]

“Saga of the depositors of failed companies”

Apropos W.K. Ruberu’s letter which appeared in the Business Times on 28th May 2017 under the above heading, as the present chairman of the companies referred to, namely Finance and Guarantee Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd and Real Estate Co Ltd and their subsidiaries (F&G PDL 7&RECL), may I please be permitted to piece together the [...]

SriLankan Airlines to fly to Australia from Oct

SriLankan Airlines will resume flights to Australia, operating daily, non-stop services to Melbourne from October 29 this year, a move which was exclusively reported in the Business Times on May 7. In a media release last weekend, the national carrier said the non-stop services will also facilitate passengers from the Middle East and South Asia [...]

Ceylinco Life’s 1Q net profit up 58% to Rs. 673 mln

Ceylinco Life has posted robust income growth and exceptional profit growth for the three months ending 31st March 2017. Profit before tax rose sharply by 51 per cent over Q1 2016 to Rs. 822.73 million. Profit after tax for the three months, at Rs. 673.34 million, reflected even higher growth of 57.8 per cent despite [...]

Sri Lanka safe to travel, says Sri Lanka Tourism

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry on Tuesday teamed up to highlight that the country is safe to travel to and that last week’s floods had not impacted the leisure sector. In the aftermath of the floods in the country there were adverse reports in the foreign media that had spelt doom and gloom about the situation [...]

Govt. bank accounts for donations for disaster victims

The Sri Lankan Government, as inquiries are being received from the local and foreign donors to contribute in cash to the recent natural disaster relief activities, has opened special bank accounts to facilitate such cash donations. Those who are willing to make their donations in foreign currencies are kindly requested to remit their donations to [...]

Punctuality and indiscipline, major weaknesses among Sri Lankans

Punctuality and indiscipline, major weaknesses among Sri Lankans

Niranjan de Silva, at 14 years, had a mischievous bunch of friends at Trinity College amongst whom was a boy who one day said: “I want to be the CEO of a multinational company at the age of 28.” “We laughed at this ridiculous idea, telling our friend that none of us even knew the [...]

Uber launches snapchat custom filters in Sri Lanka

Uber, the ridesharing app that is redefining urban mobility across the world, will begin a phased roll-out of a unique integration with Snapchat in Sri Lanka, starting on May 30. With this new feature, riders will be able unlock custom Snapchat filters on their ride. From letting their friends know when they’ll arrive with the [...]

Deforestation, impact on aquatic life negligible through small hydros

Sri Lanka’s small hydropower industry is strongly rejecting negative theories and myths that plague the industry, despite it showing tangible evidence that such negativities have no foundation. Secretary of the Small Hydropower Developers Association (SHPA) Prabath Wickramasinghe in a media release said the SHP industry is faced with numerous problems due to issues created by [...]

INSEE helps municipalities in proper waste management

INSEE helps municipalities in proper waste management

While municipalities across Sri Lanka are struggling with challenges associated with waste disposal and recycling – INSEE Ecocycle, the waste management arm of INSEE Cement, has spearheaded since 2014 a public-private partnership (PPP) for municipal solid waste management. The project which co-processed “segregated non-recyclable plastic and polythene waste” the project has been on for several [...]

edotco, first to deploy innovative bamboo telecom tower

edotco, first to deploy innovative bamboo telecom tower

edotco Group (edotco) recently became the first company to utilise bamboo in the construction of a telecoms tower, which was installed on a rooftop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Developed in collaboration with the Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET) and deployed by edotco Bangladesh Co Ltd, the noteworthy use of this renewable resource is in pace with [...]

Sri Lanka popular amongst Maldivians for healthcare, report shows

Neighbouring Sri Lanka is the most popular destination amongst Maldivians going abroad for healthcare, vacation, study or business. A December 2016 Maldivians Traveling Abroad (MTA) Survey 2016 conducted by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA-Central Bank) shows that 37 per cent of those interviewed travelled to Sri Lanka while 36 per cent went to India. Popular [...]

US and Sri Lanka step up FTA consultations

The United States and Sri Lanka are stepping up consultations and studies on the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the two countries with balance of trade currently in favour of the island nation, officials said. The government hopes to gain a positive outcome from the preliminary work to go ahead with the proposed Sri Lanka [...]

Hertz tie-up with Andrew car rental to serve corporate and tourist clients

Hertz tie-up with Andrew car rental to serve corporate and tourist clients

Three new rental car brands viz Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty were launched in Colombo following the signing of a multi-brand partnership agreement between Hertz Global Holdings Inc and a local franchise partner – The Andrew Car Rental Company (Pvt) Ltd. The event was held in Colombo last week and coincided with the launch of a [...]

Nokia’s first android smartphone to change the mobile landscape here

Nokia, one of the most durable and long lasting phones that have captured the hearts of many mobile phone users around the world, on Wednesday launched three of its first android smartphones in Sri Lanka. HMD Global in Finland has the exclusive license for Nokia acquiring the company, six months back, in December 2016 from [...]

Ravi receives inaugural CFA Lifetime Achievement Award

Ravi Abeysuriya, CFA, has been recognised by CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence, by receiving the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Volunteer of the Year Award. He received the accolade from Paul H. Smith, CFA, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Frédéric P. Lebel, CFA, Chair, Board of [...]

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