Business Times

Home » Business Times

Agri-companies battered by drought

Agri-companies battered by drought

Battered by drought and hammered by losses as diminishing purchasing power eats into agriculture-linked companies, Sri Lanka’s public and private sectors are feeling the twin effects of erratic weather and sinking cash flows following the worst drought in 40 years. While the government has been forced to cough up Rs. 380 billion as humanitarian assistance, [...]

SC determines IR Bill merits referendum

The Supreme Court has determined that certain clauses in the new Inland Revenue Bill are inconsistent with the Constitution and thus needs approval through a 2/3rds majority of parliament or referendum. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed parliament on Friday that the court has held that the bill needs to approved by a parliamentary majority or merits [...]

PAB rejects BIA’s Aviation Refuelling Terminal tender

The latest tender called for the redevelopment and upgrading of Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA)’s Aviation Refuelling Terminal and the existing Fuel Hydrant system has been cancelled following a recent decision taken by new Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunge. The minister took the decision after considering a determination made by Sri Lanka’s Procurement Appeal Board [...]

US firm’s land title registry plan rings alarm bells of privatisation

The cash-strapped Government is going ahead with a new land and property title registry modernisation and regularisation plan with the assistance of a US firm amid fears from surveyors that the 117 year-old Sri Lanka Survey Department (SLSD) will be handed over to a US company. Major management functions of the SLSD, including Land Information [...]

Where is the water?

Where is the water?

While last week, Kussi Amma Sera was afflicted by a bout of uncontrollable laughter reading about a proposal from a minister to create a costly airport at the Colombo port, this week it was a case of being distraught. “Mahattaya, balanna. Minisunta kochchara amaaru..da wathura nethi hinda,” she said with sadness, watching on TV women [...]

Glyphosate debate: Who’s killing Ceylon Tea?

Glyphosate debate:  Who’s killing  Ceylon Tea?

Glyphosate is a killer (of weeds!!!). Proponents of the “Vasa Visa Nethi Ratak” (A country devoid of poisonous food) has been successful in getting the substance banned in Sri Lanka since the World Health Organization (WHO) reported it was possibly cancerous based on laboratory tests conducted on animals. Smallholders and regional plantation companies (RPCs) are [...]

Sri Lanka kicks-start 2018 budget preparations cutting expenditure

Sri Lanka’s 2018 budget preparation is now underway with officials of the National budget department computing budgetary estimates based on the macro-fiscal framework. Budget proposals will be made on the directions of Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in consultation with all ministries to determine budget limits considering priority programmes of the government. All sectors representing trade [...]

Central Bank sets up a financial system stability consultative committee

The Central Bank (CB) has set up a 15-member financial system stability consultative committee spearheaded by veteran Chartered Accountant Rajan Asirwatham for the first time to assist the bank to maintain this core objective of the bank. This was disclosed by CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy at the monetary policy review media conference in Colombo [...]

Lankan unions oppose USAID entry in labour reforms

Sri Lankan unions have strongly objected to the entry of a foreign party and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade in labour reforms, saying this is the role of the Labour Department and the Ministry of Labour, and no one else. These objections have been raised in an August 3 letter to S.A. [...]

SL’s One Verge Holdings renews partnership with Apalya Technologies

SL’s One Verge Holdings renews partnership with Apalya Technologies

One Verge Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, one of Sri Lanka’s second generation digital companies, recently renewed a partnership with pioneers of mobile video streaming, India’s Apalya Technologies (Pvt) Ltd which has a presence in over 11 countries across South and South-East Asia, West Asia and Africa. One Verge is a streaming specialist with half a decade [...]

Coconut crisis: Growers raise key questions at crucial meeting

The absence of the Minister in charge of coconuts (Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake) or his deputy at last week’s 23rd AGM of the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGASL) irked members who expressed disappointment over the absence of senior government politicians at a crucial meeting. During the question and answer session, a member said [...]

UltraTech Cement and IESL to continue free services to support Sri Lankan public

UltraTech Cement Lanka and the Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka have signed an MoU in a continuation of its partnership to offer free expert engineering advice through ‘building clinics’ to homebuilders island wide. These clinics offer professional advice free of charge to people with no access to technical knowledge and engineering information. The MoU, [...]

Club Med to open 1st South Asian property at Beruwela

Club Med to open 1st South Asian property at Beruwela

French luxury accommodation brand, Club Med, is opening its first-ever resort in South Asia, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Last week, the company signed management, sales and marketing agreements with LOLC to brand, market, manage and operate Riverina Resort as the first Club Med resort in Sri Lanka. The 367-keys Riverina Resort to [...]

Cinnamon’s tourism conference explores technology, innovation and authenticity

The Cinnamon ‘Future of Tourism’ summit on September 26 in Colombo will look at best practices around the world on the theme ‘Innovation, Technology and Authenticity’. The topics will focus on practical solutions to the evolving challenges of the hospitality and tourism industry delivered by a high profile panel of international speakers, Cinnamon Hotels and [...]

Book review: “Small is beautiful”

Book review: “Small is beautiful”

(Author – Roshanga Wickremesinghe. How small countries can compete and grow: A case for Sri Lanka. Colombo: R & R Associates Consulting) “Even though we are an island nation,” writes Roshanga Wickremesinghe, “Sri Lankans are not sailors by any stretch of the imagination.” The deep-going truth contained in this statement lies at the core of [...]

SOBEs cause heavy debt burden to the country

Sri Lanka’s State owned Business Enterprises (SOBEs) have recorded mixed performances during the first four months of this year with Ceylon Electricity Board ( CEB) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) incurring losses during this period in comparison to the first four months of 2016, mainly due to the dry weather conditions which prevailed in 2017 [...]

SriLankan achieves superior level of on-time performance 2017

SriLankan Airlines has recorded a ‘consistently superior on-time performance during the first six months of this year’, in comparison with its peers, the airline said this week in a media release. It said the latest statistics by the global flight data tracker ranks Sri Lanka’s national carrier as the 5th most punctual among 40 [...]

CSE saw spate of new funds last year

Some 121 global, regional and country funds, approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year, have invested in listed securities in Sri Lanka. Many new funds were seen entering listed firms and picking up sizeable stakes, data showed. Some of the new names were WM Pool – Equities Trust, AB SICAV I – [...]

Proper expertise needed for complex Sri Lankan trade negotiations

When looking at regional trade agreements one must look at the offensive and defensive mechanism that affects Sri Lanka’s interest and must be mindful when selecting countries involved in free trade agreements, said Ms. Sonali Wijeratne, Director General of Commerce at a workshop held at the JAIC Hilton Residences Colombo on the topic “Free Trade [...]


Seylan Group says strong 1H performance this year Seylan Bank and its group reported a strong growth momentum with its performance for the six months ended June 30, recording a post-tax profit of Rs. 2,310 million, up by 32 per cent from the corresponding 2016 period. The bank’s post tax profit was at Rs.1,805 million, [...]

Sri Lanka seen boosting golf tourism to attract high spenders

Sri Lanka seen boosting golf tourism to attract high spenders

HAMBANTOTA – While Sri Lanka has missed many opportunities in promoting some of its valuable assets that could attract tourists to the country, golf is among products that remain untapped and has potential to expose the country’s beautiful golf courses to the rest of the world. Golf is not popular among Sri Lankans as it’s [...]

SLIM’s brand excellence awards draws the best out of brand marketing

Sri Lanka’s Brand Excellence Awards is to encourage strategic and results-oriented thinking in the fields of brand development, sales, advertising and research, said Elangovan Karthik, President, Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. Speaking at a briefing in Colombo to launch the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards (BEA) 2017, he said that SLIM serves to produce initiatives in [...]

List SOEs to elevate Sri Lanka to Morgan Stanley index

List SOEs to elevate Sri Lanka to Morgan Stanley index

Sri Lanka could attract nearly US$ 4 billion by getting the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) reclassified into one of the world’s most popular emerging markets equity indices, the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Emerging Markets Index, industry analysts say. And this can be easily done through going public with some State Owned Enterprises (SOE). In [...]

To beat the heat Chevron seeks better strategies

Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC (Chevron) which has been literally ‘under the weather’ owing to the choppy climate during the past six months, says it will get better at executing better strategies including a strong focus on the exports to beat the heat. “The drought has been affecting the North Central Province (NCP) from the last [...]

An insider dealing probe dusted in ’16

Two insider dealing probes began in 2016 one of which has been completed with the report pending while the other investigation was at the final stage by the end of the year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) annual report for 2016, said without disclosing any names. It noted that the report of another investigation, [...]

Investor Forum in Negombo

Investor Forum in Negombo

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the Colombo Stock Exchange have begun a series of public investor forums titled “kotas welenda pola: nagarayen nagarayate” aimed at showcasing the benefits of investing in the capital market. The first in the series was held at Grandeeza Hotel, Negombo on Saturday July 29.

CSE plans stricter enforcement rules on disclosures

The Colombo Stock Exchange is planning some enforcement rules pertaining to their ‘Continuous Listing Requirements’ to take ‘errant bad boys’ to task, officials said. There have been some issues in terms of Section 7.8 of the Listing Rules of the CSE, which specify immediate disclosure pertaining to a firm’s share dealing. The CSE has found [...]

CSE cleans up anomalies

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is being progressive, and is cleaning up the anomalies that have been dogging the share market for years. Firstly they included non-voting shares which are listed and traded on the exchange in its Index Market Capitalisation (IMC) calculation. In jurisdictions where they allow non-voting shares to be traded, those same [...]

Sugar, salt content in Sri Lankan hotels being reduced for health reasons

Sri Lankan chefs are showing concern about the health of those who patronage their hotels and accordingly bringing down the sugar and salt content to the accepted health levels. This was stated Gerard Mendis, Chairman of the Chefs Guild of Lanka while addressing the inaugural meeting of the Culinary Art Food Expo 2017 – the [...]

New appointment at Ogilvy Sri Lanka

New appointment at Ogilvy Sri Lanka

Phoenix Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide’s flagship advertising agency in Sri Lanka this week announced the appointment of Rajiv R. Menon as Chief Executive Creative Officer. This is Mr. Menon’s second stint with Ogilvy, the first being in account management at Ogilvy Mumbai in the early 90s, according to a media release issued in Colombo. [...]

Coordinated effort to overcome drought in Wilpattu

Coordinated effort to overcome drought in Wilpattu

Sri Lankan authorities met on Monday to discuss the prevailing drought in the northern and central regions which have had an adverse effect on wildlife. One of the most affected areas has been identified as the Wilpattu National Park. As a result of the drought almost all of the waterholes in the park have gone [...]

Golden Key Hospital celebrates 10 years of Eye and ENT care

The Golden Key Hospital celebrates its 10th anniversary next month, marking a decade in which it performed more than 40,000 cataract and other eye surgeries and over 5000 ENT surgeries. In a media release, Sri Lanka’s super specialty hospital for Eye and ENT care said it will offer a 10 per cent discount on all [...]

VTA and Jetwing Hotels to provide better future for Pottuvil youth

The Vocational Training Authority (VTA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jetwing Hotels Ltd to improve and increase employability in the hospitality industry for youth in Pottuvil in the eastern Batticaloa district through the provision of necessary training and technical support. Jetwing Hotels Chairman Hiran Cooray and VTA Chairman/CEO (Dr.) Lionel Pinto signed [...]

British-trained nurses for local care

Health care service in Sri Lanka will get a boost with the setting up of a home English Nursing Care Service to provide quality care service to the needy and to invalids. The English Nursing Care Service is a registered nurse supervised home nursing service located at Colombo 10. Richard Gould , Director , English [...]

Freight neglected in Colombo Suburban Railway Project

While electrification and modernisation of railways is much needed for the development of the country’s logistics sector, freight has been completely neglected in the Colombo Suburban Railway Project. Also while the initial ground work on the project has already commenced, no backup plan has been prepared to face the upcoming power crisis. A feasibility study [...]

Lanka exporters ask: Was tax on imports removed to allow free trade?

Was the removal of cess (tax) on imported goods part of a policy to allow free trade? This is a question raised by Sri Lankan exporters concerned about the impact on local enterprises after the Government this week announced lifting the cess on some imported goods. A cess or tax is essentially meant to protect [...]

CFA Sri Lanka Capital Market Awards 2017

CFA Sri Lanka Capital Market Awards 2017

The 5th annual CFA Sri Lanka Capital Market Awards 2017 was held at the Hilton Colombo recently, under the theme “Sharpen Your Investment Edge.” The event theme was focused on encouraging those in the investment profession locally to uphold standards of best practice, excellence, and financial market integrity. The speakers of the evening focused on [...]

Silicon Valley’s Synopsys to invest in R&D capabilities in Sri Lanka

Silicon Valley’s Synopsys to invest in R&D capabilities in Sri Lanka

Synopsys, Inc, a global high-tech leader enabling companies to innovate from Silicon to Software, this week announced plans to invest in R&D capabilities in its Sri Lanka operations. To extend its local R&D capabilities, Synopsys is working with the University of Moratuwa, the University of Peradeniya and the University of Ruhuna to build very-large-scale integration [...]

Way forward in developing Sri Lanka’s infrastructure

Way forward in developing Sri Lanka’s infrastructure

Infrastructure is a vital component and the foundation and catalyst of any economy. Nowadays most of the governments, by themselves, cannot afford building infrastructure due to its huge cost. Not only building it but also maintaining it is a challenge for government bodies that have been showing inefficiencies, corruption, political decision-making, etc. Therefore, fixing the [...]

Sampath reports over Rs. 5 bln in post-tax profit

Sampath Bank further extended its growth momentum in the second quarter of the year and recorded a post-tax profit of Rs 5.7 billion for the six months ended 30th June 2017. In a media release the bank said this was a 35 per cent YoY growth in comparison the post-tax profit for the same 2016 [...]

BoardPAC renews ISO 27001 information security certification for third year

BoardPAC, the Sri Lanka developed software solution that enables paperless board and senior management committee meetings, has announced the renewal of its 1SO/IEC 27001:2013 information security certification for the third consecutive year since 2014. The ISO 27001:2013 certification is the international benchmark for Information Security Management. Considered the pinnacle of information security certifications, this certification [...]

Prassanna Pathmanathan wins “Trainer of the year 2017″ award

Prassanna Pathmanathan, CEO/ Lead Trainer of Ultimma Training, won the ‘” Trainer of the year” award at the Sri Lanka Best Employer Brands and Leadership awards held recently in Colombo. These awards are offered to the best performing organisations and individuals in the HR leadership. A media release by his company said that Mr. Pathmanathan [...]

Hirdaramani’s Mullaitivu factory gets LEED Platinum status

Hirdaramani’s Mullaitivu factory gets LEED Platinum status

Hirdaramani Woven Puthukudiyruppu, a factory in the Mullaitivu district, was recently awarded the LEED Platinum certification established by the US Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). “This factory now joins Hirdaramani Woven Kahathuduwa as the highest LEED point scoring projects in Sri Lanka in the Industrial Manufacturing category, making [...]

Government, UN sign Sustainable Development Framework pact

Sri Lanka and UN on Thursday signed the 2018 – 2022 UN Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF), an agreement which provides UN assistance to Sri Lanka’s long term development priorities. The UNSDF provides the overarching framework for the work of the UN in Sri Lanka in line with the national priorities of the “Maithri Palanayak, Sthaavara [...]

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.