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Lipton scales operations to remain on top

Lipton scales operations  to remain on top

Unilever-owned, Lipton is handing over its local operations – auctioning, evaluation and buying of its tea – to Finlays as part of ensuring cost efficiency. Lipton seems to be constantly moving out its operations, outsourcing its business to some of the other companies in a bid to ensure cost efficiency and in the wake of [...]

SL Government taps informal sector to widen tax base

In the face of dwindling revenue, low tax compliance and a narrow tax base, the government is to introduce a progressive tax structure for the informal sector while strengthening the income tax collection mechanism. This is through the 2018 ‘Designer’ Budget shifting from the stance of the ‘Robin Hood’ budget 2015, Finance Ministry sources disclosed. [...]

Kingfisher Beer Europe to distribute 2 Lion Brewery brands

The European arm of United Breweries in September has tied up with Sri Lanka’s Lion Brewery, in which Carlsberg holds a stake, to launch two of its beer brands across Europe. Kingfisher, bought by Heineken is now carrying out distributing and marketing duties for Lion Lager and Lion Stout in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, [...]

Special committee to probe SLT irregularities

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has appointed a 3- member committee headed by retired Appeal Court judge, N. Sunil Rajapaksha to inquire into alleged malpractices and irregularities at the company since 2008, union sources said. This follows continuing protests from workers over alleged corruption who launched a work to rule and sick note campaign three weeks [...]

SL’s new Forex Act in force on Nov.1

Though Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Exchange Act got a second, new operational date – November 1, 2017 – it is unlikely to come into force since the relevant regulations are yet to be gazetted, informed official sources said. The limits and conditions under which the related foreign exchange rules will apply should also be published [...]

Great expectations

Great expectations

This Dickensian-connected headline was triggered by a casual remark on Thursday by Kussi Amma Sera on the forthcoming budget. “Mahattayo, mey sarey, monawa thiyai-da, budget-eke?” she asked sipping tea from her favourite mug inscribed with a smiling picture of the late Gamini Fonseka, a famous 1980s Sri Lankan actor who was also her favourite star. [...]

Most people do two jobs to survive:

Most people do two jobs to survive:

Sri Lankans see little or no improvement in their living standards, the level of corruption or transparency, according to an email poll conducted recently by the Business Times. This was one of two opinion polls jointly conducted by the Business Times and Research Consultancy Bureau (BT-RCB) last week. While the results of the street poll [...]

Amidst protests,Veekesy India steps into Sri Lanka’s footwear industry

A leading Indian non-leather footwear manufacturing company is set to make inroads into the Sri Lankan market with Board of Investment (BOI) approval to sell 100 per cent of its products locally in spite of protests from local footwear and leather product manufacturers. Veekesy Slippers Lanka Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of VKC Group India, will [...]

A.N.S.Kulasinghe memorial lecture by Thilan Wijesinghe

This year’s Dr. A.N.S. Kulasinghe memorial lecture will be delivered by Thilan Wijesinghe, entrepreneur, public servant and private sector consultant, on “Relevance Public – Private – Partnership and the Role of Engineers” on October 26 at 5.15 pm at the Institution of Engineers auditorium in Colombo. This lecture series is presented by the institution in [...]

Coomaraswamy named CB Governor of the Year, South Asia

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Governor Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been named Central Bank Governor of the Year, South Asia, by Global Capital publication at Global Capital Markets Awards ceremony in Washington DC last week, which coincides with the World Bank-IMF Annual meetings. GobalCapital is a leading news, opinion and data service for people and [...]

Ashok Leyland reports nearly 50% income rise for 1H

Lanka Ashok Leyland, which started the results season at the Colombo Stock Exchange this Monday, saw its income rise to Rs. 7.2 billion for the first six months of this year, which is a 49 per cent rise against the same period last year. Its 2Q income was at Rs. 4 billion, a 41 per [...]

Placing retail market investors on a platform

Placing retail market  investors on a platform

It largely sounds like a socialist mantra, but this may be the first time someone tried it. Tony Weerasinghe, Sri Lankan founder of software company MilleniumIT that helped rebuild the London Stock Exchange’s core trading technology, re-launched his new company, low-cost US online retail brokerage Ustocktrade. When we say re-launch, there certainly is a story [...]

New ‘Watch List’ for errant firms

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) after renaming the default board as ’Watch List’ with effect from January 2018 in line with the new enforcement procedures to the CSE listing rules, will be scutinising firms on their behaviour. “Now it’s easy and rules are streamlined for us to maintain tabs on these companies,” a CSE official [...]

NASDAQ has faith in SL story

NASDAQ Vice Chairman Meyer “Sandy” Frucher says that the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalisation believes in the Sri Lanka story, a claim he backed by representing NASDAQ at the “Invest Sri Lanka Investor Forum” in New York recently. “I have viewed and watched Sri Lanka for a long time and I think [...]

Cold Stores hit by consumer spend freeze

Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS), manufacturer of Elephant House soft drinks and ice creams and a leading consumer food company, has seen its manufacturing income drop during the last quarter owing to low consumer spend hit by inflation. Inflation was largely triggered by taxation and tardy economic outlook. For instance, the special commodity levy on sugar [...]

Chinese delegation from Guangzhou expresses confidence in Sri Lanka

The Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka hosted a delegation from the Guangzhou municipal Government headed by Tu Hongze, Vice Counsel, with the delegation expressing confidence in investing in Sri Lanka. The 6-member delegation was on a fact finding visit to evaluate the possibility of enterprises from Guangzhou formally known as Canton, investing and [...]

Sri Lanka’s nation brand value stagnates in Brand Finance’s global survey

The 2017 nation brand report released by Brand Finance in London last week, shows that Sri Lanka has dropped one place in its rankings from 58 to 59, with just a 4 per cent increase in brand value to US$77 billion. The global report which is available on the Brand Finance website ( provides a [...]

Rs.4.8 bln tea campaign shortlists three agencies

The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is currently finalising the Rs. 4.8 billion global campaign for tea promotion for which cabinet approval is awaited, having shortlisted three agencies. SLTB Director Promotions Premila Srikantha told the Business Times on Tuesday that they have sent the details of the shortlisted agencies and recommendations to obtain cabinet approval. [...]

Mini diesel generator tender tainted with malpractice allegations

A multi-million rupee tender to procure 50 mini diesel generators and associated gear has now come under the scrutiny of the Procurement Appeal Board following allegations leveled against the awarding of the tender to an undeserving bidder with questionable credentials, disgruntled bidders revealed. According to the documents seen by the Business Times, 18 bidders submitted [...] marks anniversary with new warehouse and pickup location, an e-commerce website, marked its first anniversary by opening up a new warehouse and pick up location in Colombo. Guests at the special event were Reckitt Bankiser’s Marketing Team Jude Martino and Daraz Regional Director Sumit Jasoria. “Hoping to bring their customers convenience and better service, the new facility dubbed 51 Daraz the Warehouse [...]

LIIN and WUSC initiate programme to empower rural youth

Every year nearly 500,000 youth sit the Ordinary Level (O/Ls) Examination and approximately 250,000 youth get through their O/Ls and qualify for the Advanced Level (A/Ls). Of this 100,000 pass their Advanced Level Examination with three passes, being the minimum qualification to qualify for university entry. However, only close to 25,000 of these students get [...]

Government tightens screws against unfair trade practices

Sri Lanka is takings measures to safeguard domestic industry from unfair trade practices by introducing new legislation against the haphazard import of goods to Sri Lanka. The Safeguard Measures Bill has been gazetted by the Minister of Industry and Commerce on October 9 and will be presented in parliament soon. It has provisions for the [...]

Another residents’ association complains against high-rise units

The Association of Residents of Andarawatta Road, Polhengoda, Colombo 5 (ARAR) has written to the chairman of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to review the practice adopted by them to secure clearance reports. These are in respect of the surveys of the Central Environment Authority (CEA), National Building Research Organisation (NBRO), Colombo Municipal Council, Water [...]

Sri Lanka China grouping announces 7th awards event

Introduced as an annual event in 2011, the Sri Lanka China Business Cooperation Council (SLCBCC) has announced the launch of SLCBCC BUSINESS STAR AWARDS 2017, which will be the seventh in the series. The awards presentation will take place on December 4 at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo. The SLCBCC established in May 1994 has conducted [...]

HNB streamlines recoveries and boosts customer service

HNB PLC recently announced the launch of its state-of-the-art Centre of Aspiration, a new centralised unit within the bank dedicated solely to manage the bank’s debt collection operations. Situated at the bank’s head office in Colombo 10, the Centre of the Aspiration will now be handling all collections operations that had previously been distributed across [...]

CEB seen making operating losses in 2017 : Fitch

Sri Lanka’s electricity consumption is set to grow by five per cent per annum over 2017-2020, there is unlikely to be any electricity tariff increase in the next two years and Rs. 80 billion per annum on average is expected to spend over the next two to three years on generation, transmission and distribution. This [...]

Roofing industry intensifies protest against proposed asbestos ban

Roofing industry intensifies protest against proposed asbestos ban

While there is no scientific explanation for the proposed ban on the use of asbestos, the economic fall-out from a ban would cost around Rs. 3 billion with many Sri Lankans losing their job, according to opponents of the ban. In a recent interview with the Business Times, Anton Edema, Coordinator, Chrysotile Information Centre (CIC) [...]

Ratmalana Airport to launch 12 yr master plan

The Ratmalana Airport’s initial plans to extend its runway to accommodate larger aircraft have been shelved in the newly drawn up master plan for 2018-2030 as it would not prove a viable venture as per return on investment (ROI). Under the master plan of the 1990s plans had been drawn up to accommodate larger aircraft [...]

Port City project sustainability beyond philanthropy

Port City project sustainability beyond philanthropy

The Colombo Port City’s vision is to be the benchmark in environmental friendliness and sustainability; a new city which will be a showpiece for the rest of the world; where environmentally friendly people, organisations and visitors will want to live and do business and the transit population will be allowed to practise their environmentally friendly [...]

HNB cuts rates on personal finance products ahead of Dec. season

HNB PLC on Thursday announced that it would be reducing interest rates on all of its core personal financial products – spanning leasing, housing and personal loans. Following the rate cut, interest rates on personal financial service products will start as low as from 13.25 per cent for professional category, for housing purposes. On new [...]

Expressway system from Hambantota to Kandy-PM

Expressway system from Hambantota to Kandy-PM

A well-planned expressway system from Hambantota to Kandy, joint ventures for Hambantota Port and Mattala Airport and development of the Kandy City with the Japanese government, were some of the plans of the Government explained on Friday by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. These measures were spelt out by the PM in an “Economic Policy Statement” [...]

Mulatiyana Tea Factory fetches all time high price

At this week’s Colombo tea auction, an OP1 grade tea from Mulatiyana Tea Factory fetched an all-time record price of Rs. 1,300 per kg. The stock of tea was purchased by Quality Ceylon Tea Pvt Ltd, and was traded through Ceylon Tea Brokers Plc at the weekly Colombo Tea Auctions. Mulatiyana Hills tea factory is [...]

Derana honours modern day heroes of Sri Lanka

Derana, the news and entertainment media network recently hosted ‘Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the year 2017′ Awards ceremony for the second consecutive year at the Hilton, Colombo. World renowned Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan received the highest award ‘The Sri Lankan Icon of the year 2017′ at this ceremony for his remarkable sporting achievements [...]

Sri Lanka worker remittances declining since 2015

While Sri Lanka’s latest import/export data for the eight months to August 2017 reflects a mixed performance, according to the Central Bank (CB), what must however be worrying policymakers is the gradual decline in foreign remittances. Remittances, still the largest contributor to foreign exchange earnings, in January –August 2017 fell to US$4,503.3 million against $4,804.1 [...]

International Epihack project in Colombo to fight dengue

Sri Lanka is coming together on November 5-10 with a hackathon to tackle the menace of dengue through the effective use of technology. Titled “epihack Sri Lanka”, the event is described as, “a 5-day hackathon bringing together public health professionals, IT developers, IT designers and government officials to create an open source digital solution to [...]

Sri Lankan inventor develops world-class seawater energy generation unit

Sri Lanka has loads of creative talents capable of producing world-class innovations but one of the biggest challenges in harnessing such initiatives is that the country is slow in the field of patent rights. Many inventors have faced this problem from the authorities and the National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka and have been [...]

Blackpool hotel brings kudos to Nuwara Eliya

Blackpool hotel brings kudos to Nuwara Eliya

The Blackpool Hotel in Nuwara Eliya won gold, silver and bronze medals at the recent Culinary Art Food Expo organised by the Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka and held recently at the BMICH Colombo. The hotel actively participated in eight culinary events and succeeded in winning five awards. The Blackpool Hotel was the only Nuwara [...]

Complexities in the rubber farming sector

Complexities in the rubber farming sector

This is with reference to an article written by Dr. C. S. Weeraratna on the rubber sector which appeared in the Sunday Times recently. Dr. Weeraratna has indicated a number of factors which have contributed towards the downfall of the rubber sector. Among these is the ineffective extension staff. According to Dr. Weeraratna, the number [...]

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