Business Times

Home » Business Times

Governance levels unlikely to improve – BT Poll

Governance levels unlikely to improve   – BT Poll

Not many people believe Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation would improve governance and accountability levels, a quick Business Times poll conducted through email on Friday, reveals. But it was noted that this is a landmark development in Sri Lankan politics where an accused (not proven guilty yet by a court of law) has resigned. Some [...]

Sri Lanka struggles with debt trap

Sri Lanka appears to be entangled in a skyrocketing debt issue as the country’s revenue has become inadequate to bridge the state expenditure during the first quarter this year, Finance Ministry data showed. The government has resorted to heavy borrowings more than its revenue during the first four months this year risking its external debt [...]

Long-delayed NBT revision boosts dwindling tax revenue

With the passing of the Nation Building Tax (NBT) Amendment Bill in parliament last week, this long-delayed amendment comes into retrospective effect from April last year, The imposition of the NBT was delayed due to legal and administrative issues of the Treasury. Considering five FR petitions filed impunging the Finance Minister’s decision to impose NBT [...]

SEC after Perpetual Treasuries’ “spoils”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probing some trades that under-fire Perpetual Treasuries PLC had done during 2009 to 2015, informed sources say. This is in a bid to ascertain whether there was any price-pushing and dumping the shares on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), they told the Business Times. The Perpetual Group has [...]

Reining in ‘talkative’ ministers

Reining in ‘talkative’ ministers

Hee … hee, cackled Kussi Amma Sera. “Mey balanna, Mahattaya. Ekapaththakin atha ussanawa, aanith paththen atha bassanawa,” she said, raising her head from the morning newspaper and pointing to a news story she was reading. The article in context was headlined: ‘I will return ownership of H’tota Port to the people: Wijeyadasa’, where Justice and [...]

PM tells plantation companies: “Nothing for nothing”

PM tells plantation  companies:  “Nothing for nothing”

All Sri Lankan regional plantation companies (RPCs) will come under Parliamentary scrutiny using a more active golden shareholder, the Treasury, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday. He was speaking as the chief guest at the opening ceremony of the Colombo International Tea Convention at the BMICH in Colombo which is part of the year-long [...]

Printcare invests Rs 750 mln in new printing technology

Printcare Plc, the nation’s top packaging exporter and pioneer in Sri Lanka’s tea packaging sector, is investing over Rs. 750 million (US$5 million) in new printing technology through Germany’s Heidelberg. Heidelberg is among the world’s biggest manufacturers of printing machines and also in the digital label printing industry. “We have a history of innovation and [...]

IPM re-elects Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri as President

IPM re-elects Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri as President

IPM Sri Lanka re-elected Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri as its President at the AGM held on July 29 at the Waters Edge. Prof. Dharmasiri together with the newly elected Executive Council while continuing with the many new important programmes that were implemented during the previous year, has plans to embark upon many new initiatives and programmes [...]

Galle Fort post office transforms to a revenue generating venture

Galle Fort post office transforms to  a revenue generating venture

After carrying out postal services for hundreds of years since the early 18th century, the historic Galle Fort post office has been run down, a dusty labyrinth of rooms, damaged walls and collapsed roof spread out over the building. Now, this dilapidated building – originally constructed and used by the Dutch Administrator as his official [...]

IFC’s $100 mln to ComBank to boost energy financing projects

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is lending US$100 million to the Commercial Bank of Ceylon aimed at increasing loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the country. In a media release IFC said this is its largest financing “for its own-account” in the country. This 7-year financing to Commercial Bank [...]

Lanka Leyland’s new school bus has unique features

Lanka Leyland is aiming to aggressively promote a new generation “Sunshine” school bus with an ideal combination of safety, comfort and value powered with revolutionary design, being the first frontal crash protected and rollover compliant bus. In a media release announcing its quarterly results, the company said that the new bus with its special features [...]

Sri Lanka’s rental market is too small

Sri Lanka’s rental market is too small

It’s only 5.4 per cent of the total housing stock and this number is dominated by high-end luxury apartments. It is worse for mid and low income segments. Analysts say that the market for middle-and low-income renters is almost non-existent especially in Colombo. In recent times, rents in luxury/high-end apartments have risen by an average [...]

Dehiwala residents follow suit after Mount Residents’ Association

Taking a leaf from the Mt. Lavinia Residents’ Association, the citizens at the bordering town, Dehiwala got together recently to form an association of their own. “We started this in late July to fight related unauthorised structure issues and mainly corruption,” a member of the Dehiwala Residents’ Association (DRA) told the Business Times. He said [...]

Zero-level city planning in Colombo, says Lankan expat from Arizona

Zero-level city planning in Colombo, says Lankan expat from Arizona

Colombo is becoming a congested city in Sri Lanka with endless number of apartments coming up sans proper standards and approvals owing to zero level planning of the city. Lack of development on infrastructure of roads, sewage lines and garbage disposal facilities are concerns that could create a bubble very soon in the real estate [...]

Mount Residents’ Association tackles high rises

The Mount Lavinia Residents’ Association (MLRA) has got as many as 50 complaints after the Business Times had highlighted their issues pertaining to illegal high-rises. Kishan Ratnayake, President MLRA told the Business Times that the association has taken up most of these issues on behalf of the citizens. “These citizens are mostly from the Dehiwela [...]

Controversial tender haunts Kerawalapitiya power plant

The awarding of the 300 MW (LNG) Combined Cycle Kerawalapitiya power plant tender is set to drag on further owing to certain disagreements in opening the financial bid of Samsung JV Korea Group without considering bids of seven other firms. This decision was taken by the Standard Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) amidst disagreement of [...]

99RetailStreet ‘Unorganised Retail’ platform now in Sri Lanka

99RetailStreet, a Cloud-based Common Commerce Platform provides services to “Kades”, individual pharmacies and other small retailers. The 99RetailStreet solution helps the “Unorganised Retail” to compete on an equal footing with “Modern Trade” (supermarkets) through sales growth, access to and improved financial capabilities and increased business efficiencies across the value chain. The company said in a [...]

PAYable draws in major investment; gears for accelerated growth

PAYable draws in major investment; gears for accelerated growth

Launched just last year, the revolutionary PAYable cashless mobile payments platform has gained the trust and support of a diverse cross-section of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs and has become the leading choice for major banks. PAYable is a free mobile app paired with a free Bluetooth card reader that enables merchants [...]

Major cement mix use creates history in Sri Lankan construction industry

Major cement mix  use creates history  in Sri Lankan construction industry

A major concrete ‘pour’ of 6500 cubic metres was done at the ITC One Colombo One project site in the 5.87 acres of land in Galle Face Road, Colombo adjoining the Taj Samudra hotel over the long weekend (August 5-7). The cement mix was continuously ‘poured’ over a period of 70 hours, a record in [...]

Applications open for “Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award”

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has begun inviting applications from Sri Lanka’s corporate firms to compete in the “Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2017,” (BCCS2017) an annual event conducted for the 14th consecutive year. The competition, which is aimed at encouraging the Lankan companies to adopt best sustainability practices, focuses on all stakeholders of the [...]

Swisstek (Ceylon) PLC celebrates 50 years of business

Swisstek (Ceylon) PLC which began in 1967 as the pioneer wooden flooring company in Sri Lanka, celebrates 50 years in 2017, marking this event recently with a celebratory event. A five-time recipient of the prestigious Presidential Export Award for ‘Excellence in the Wood sector’, the industry pioneer’s journey has been a trailblazing one interspersed with [...]

Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s tea industry

Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s tea industry

History of tea Shen Nong, whose name means the ‘Divine Farmer’ and who is considered as the ancient Chinese Father of agriculture, discovers tea. According to the legend, one fall afternoon, Shen Nong decided to take a rest under a Camellia tree and boiled some water to drink. Dried leaves from the tree above floated [...]

Serious concerns over HDFC’s ability to raise required capital

Serious concerns were raised this week about Sri Lankan state bank HDFC Bank and its ability to meet the legislated January 2018 deadline of a capital requirement of Rs. 5 billion. The issue was raised in an announcement by Fitch Rating which said that it “would take HDFC Bank more than four years to generate [...]

CDS relocates operations to Rajagiriya

The Central Depository Systems (Pvt) Ltd (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), in a move aimed at supporting the expansion planned for the organisation going forward, has relocated its operations to a larger premises located at the M & M Centre, No.341/5, Kotte Road, Rajagiriya from Thursday. While the new [...]

Group revenue and profit up at Aitken Spence

Revenues and post-tax profits have risen at Aitken Spence PLC, among the largest Sri Lankan conglomerates, according to the quarter ending June 2017 accounts released to the public. It shows that net group revenue rose to Rs.11.5 billion against Rs.7.4 billion in June 2016 while net company revenue was reported at Rs. 218 .2 million [...]

Singer Group revenue up but profits drop

Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC has reported a challenging period for the first half of 2017 with the group’s net profit dipping by 27 per cent to Rs. 666.5 million (compared to the performance of the same 2016 period) though revenue improved by 13.6 per cent to Rs. 25.1 billion by end June 2017. In a [...]

Ceylon Tobacco recognised as second most efficient factory in BAT

Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), a member of the British American Tobacco (BAT), was recently recognised as the second most efficient factory among BAT’s subsidiaries across the globe. A media release issued by CTC this week quoted its CEO Michael Koest as saying that, “CTC takes great pride in this recognition. This achievement is a [...]

Hayleys PLC: Turnover high but staggering 91% drop in post-tax profits

Is Hayleys, one of Sri Lanka’s largest, listed conglomerates, going through a bad patch? These questions and concerns were raised by investors and analysts after the group released its latest end June 2017 quarter results which shows that while revenue has increased to a commendable Rs. 29 billion against Rs.24 billion in the same June [...]

Progressive insurance web launched with digital insurance agent ‘Amaya’ going trilingual

Progressive insurance web launched with digital insurance agent ‘Amaya’ going trilingual, Sri Lanka’s pioneering insurance-tech start-up which began operations earlier this year, this week announced their official launch following the trilingual launch of Sri Lanka’s first Digital Insurance Agent, ‘Amaya’. The start-up aims to change the traditional perception of procuring an insurance policy as being a tedious legal obligation via digitalisation, and tested its’ platform [...]

Chartered managers launch new awards scheme for excellence

One of Sri Lanka’s top civil servants, brought out of retirement to serve the President, recalled how at one point (in the past) the press (media) did not like him and also didn’t like ‘peace’. Austin Fernando, Secretary to the President, while addressing the launching of the first ever Excellence Awards by the Chartered Management [...]

Issues in new forex laws

I write as a practising Chartered Accountant, with reference to the Foreign Exchange Act No 12 of 2017. Under Section 8 (3) of the Act, a blanket “amnesty” has been sneaked into the Act permitting foreign exchange to be remitted into the country up to US$1 million without the payment of any taxes. Amounts in [...]

Mixed fortunes at Haycarb PLC

While consolidated post-tax profit dropped sharply at Haycarb PLC group for the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, post-tax profit from the company showed a phenomenal 101 per cent rise to Rs. 172 million (2016-17 quarter: Rs. 84 million). According to the results available on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) website, Haycarb’s consolidated post-tax [...]

Professionalism in public relations with setting of PR Council’s Sri Lanka chapter

The Sri Lanka Government is dealing with a delicate balancing act between China and India, according to Mano Ganeshan, Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages. Speaking at the launch of the Public Relations Council International (PRCI) Sri Lanka Chapter on Sunday in Colombo, he said that discussions are now on with Indian officials [...]

Sampath Bank restoring Ambagaswewa (tank) to help farmers

Sampath Bank  restoring Ambagaswewa (tank) to help farmers

Sampath Bank recently began the restoration of the Ambagaswewa in Kahatagasdigiliya under its “Wewata Jeewayak” programme. Several officers of the Govi Samithiya, the Department of Agrarian Development and other government bodies attended the ceremonial inauguration of the project on July 20 along with officers and customers of Sampath Bank and members of the Kahatagasdigiliya community, [...]

LSEG Sri Lanka wins two prestigious CEO Awards

The London Stock Exchange Group – Sri Lanka (LSEG SL) secured two prestigious awards at the recently concluded annual LSEG CEO Awards, taking top honours in the categories for ‘Responsible Business’ and ‘Excellence’. A cross functional team from LSEG Sri Lanka won the CEO Award for ‘Excellence’ for their exceptional contribution to generate high volume, [...]

‘Kelani Shakthi’ transforms Jaffna youth into skilled electricians

‘Kelani Shakthi’ transforms Jaffna youth into skilled electricians

The first batch of students who passed out of the ‘Kelani Shakthi’ programme has established themselves as professional electricians in the north. In a bid to groom youth in the Jaffna peninsula as electrical technicians, Kelani Cables PLC launched the ‘Kelani Shakthi’ professional development programme in 2015 and the MoU of ‘Kelani Shakthi’ was signed [...]

Switzerland urges Sri Lanka to use Swiss GSP facility

Switzerland is urging Sri Lanka to increase exports to the Swiss market using the former’s own GSP facility. This offer came during a recent meeting between Ambassador of Switzerland to Colombo Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn and Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. “Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Switzerland shows a strong short term growth. Still [...]

Internet businesses shaping the Sri Lankan economy

Need to go somewhere? Book a PickMe. Hungry? Why not order from Need a job? is your friend. And the list goes on. Sri Lanka is increasingly shaped by online start-ups who are changing the business landscape by disrupting traditional ways of doing everyday tasks and getting people used to smoother, easier and [...]

Tech One Sanje wins key Microsoft award

Tech One Sanje wins key Microsoft award

Tech One Sanje recently attended the Microsoft Inspire event which was represented by CEO, Lars Jeppesen along with Director, Thariq Sanoon representing the country partner of the year, Sri Lanka. The event was held in Washington, US early last month. Tech One Sanje won the 2017 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for Sri [...]

Sri Lanka’s Lakshman Athukorala appointed to top UN Audit Committee

Sri Lanka’s Lakshman Athukorala appointed to top UN Audit Committee

Chartered Accountant Lakshman Athukorala has been appointed to the Independent Audit Advisory Committee of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in Vienna, Austria as recommended at the 45th session of the Industrial Development Board. This is the first time a Sri Lankan has been appointed to the top UN audit committee. Mr. Athukorala is [...]

Advertising Rates

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