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Hotels get busy

Hotels get busy

Pic by Sameera Weerasekera   A simple pineapple vendor walks past the sign outside the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. Like the Taj hotel, Shangri-La is located amidst a great mix of people, all kinds of food and different entertainment at the breezy Galle Face Green. Meanwhile hotels are preparing for the winter season and the [...]

Opposition mounts against Indian footwear entry

Pressure is mounting against the entry of an Indian footwear manufacturer into the domestic Sri Lanka market with local shoe manufacturers and private sector companies jointly opposing and, now joined by trade unions. Sources at leading footwear manufacturers like DSI and Bata who provide subcontracts to local manufacturers to supply their needs, say local manufacturers [...]

Govt. takes tourism by the horns

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to make new appointments and revamp the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). This is in the wake of allegations against delays in getting the tourism industry’s much-awaited digital marketing campaign off the ground on time. Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told the Business Times earlier this week that the [...]

Bankers write to the Treasury

Commercial banks, visibly upset over the tax on transactions that was proposed in the recent budget, have jointly written to the Treasury requesting its removal, some bankers told the Business Times. The letter was sent through the Sri Lanka Bankers’ Association (SLBA) this week, they said. This time the banking sector was the main target [...]

Telcos to absorb telecom tower levy

Sri Lanka’s telecom companies say they are compelled to absorb the Rs.200,000 mobile tower levy imposed in the 2018 budget. The government’s aim of introducing this levy is to reduce the number of new towers mushrooming and proliferating countrywide, mobile operators said. These companies will not pass their additional cost following the imposition of the [...]

3 ailing finance companies to be liquidated

This week’s cancellation of the licence of the ailing Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL) appears to be the first step towards liquidating a total of three troubled companies and partly settling their depositors, informed banking sources said. The part-repayments to depositors of CIFL, the Standard Credit Finance Ltd (SCFL) and City Finance Corporation Ltd [...]



The conversation about last week’s commotion created by cart-puller Pedris in a drunken stupor continued this week with Kussi Amma Sera asking,“Mahattaya, Lankawey hari kalabala mey dawas wala. Apey Sirimal Mahattaya honda, honda katha liyanawa apey viyadama gana?” “Eh kiyanne,” I asked. “Aie Mahattayo eda Sir kathakara neda,” she replied, bringing in my morning’s elixir [...]

Government’s Balance Sheet

Government’s Balance Sheet

A balance sheet of any organisation such as a firm or even a family shows either income and expenditure, or receipts and payments, or credits and debits, or assets and liabilities. The balance sheet projects the financial position and financial progress. If the balance sheet does not look healthy, then there should be changes and [...]

Brush manufacturer BPPL faced tough six months

Brush manufacture, and exporter of sanitary maintenance tools, BPPL Holdings PLC has had a tough six months ending September this year. The impact of floods in May/June affected timber supplies, restricting their sales growth during the period. In a bid to avoid such hardships in the future, the company has opted to import some timber [...]

Millennium Housing records Rs.169 mln profit

Millennium Housing Developers PLC (MHDL), a township developer, has announced its financial performance for the H1 ending September 2017 posting an all time high revenue of Rs.1,378.25 million with a post-tax profit of Rs.168.89 million. When compared to H1 performance of the last financial year, the company has grown by Rs.794.19 million in top line [...]

Interest among Lankan students to study medicine abroad

Lot of interest has been shown among Sri Lankan students to study medicine abroad with the majority being females, an official from a well-known foreign university told the Business Times last week. This was on the sidelines of a media briefing by St. George’s University (SGU) Grenada at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo to promote [...]

Sri Lanka gets Harvard assistance to promote foreign investments

Sri Lanka is getting assistance of the Harvard Centre for International Development (HCID) in attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) promoting emerging exports, targeting new non-existent industries, identifying and engaging with potential new investors, fixing the investment climate for new emerging industries and figuring out how to create new tourist destinations. The Board of Investment (BOI), [...]

Brandix in JV to produce synthetic fabric and webbing at new factory

Sri Lanka’s leading exporter Brandix has announced plans to launch a joint venture with the global synthetic materials manufacturer Best Pacific of Hong Kong to produce synthetic fabric and webbing in Sri Lanka with specific focus on warp knit synthetic fabric. An agreement signed by the two companies in Colombo last week envisages the construction [...]

Hyperinflation affects economic growth

When countries experience hyperinflation, the domestic prices of goods and services rise every minute and in such a situation no one wants to hold onto the local currency. This results in people rushing from the banks to the shops to buy goods, fearing their currency will lose value along the way, according to a senior [...]

Sri Lanka needs smart grids, solar power pioneer says

Sri Lanka needs smart grids, solar power pioneer says

COLOMBO – Among the pioneers in Sri Lanka’s early days in solar power generation, consulting for multinational agencies on the benefits of renewables or facilitating a tour for Maldivian energy officials, Lalith Gunaratne has come a full circle from his ‘exploits’ — some 30 years later and still fit-as-a-fiddle – and is now keen to [...]

India eyes “fair diplomacy” in Sri Lanka

India believes it needs to engage in “fair diplomacy” by keeping a check on the Chinese interaction in Sri Lanka which, India’s former Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. S. Narayan believes has increased today. “All of us are aware from 2004-2014 there was very little traction between India and Sri Lanka,” he said and as a [...]

Shipping agents continue lobbying at highest levels

Sri Lanka’s leading shipping agents headed by two conglomerates continue to lobby at the highest level in government against the 2018 budget proposal to liberalise shipping services, top level official sources revealed to the Business Times. They were scheduled to make their representations to the president to protect their interests in the shipping industry, these [...]

DFCC Bank unveils new incubator for youth looking beyond conventional careers

Aiming to encourage Sri Lankan youths to look beyond conventional career options after ending their school or university education, the DFCC Bank has established a youth entrepreneurship incubation centre promptly responding to the 2018 ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ budget call. The bank has been giving its full support to the SME sector by setting up a [...]

Second Curve: Disrupting the market research status quo

Second Curve (Pvt) Ltd, formerly Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) founded by experienced market strategist Ravi Bamunusinghe, was formally launched at the 16th SLIM Brand Excellence Awards held on November 21 at the BMICH Colombo. Pioneering the next generation of market research in Sri Lanka, the company’s value proposition is to gather insight into people’s emotions [...]

Revenue up at AIA Insurance

Consolidated revenue of AIA Insurance Lanka PLC (AIA) for the nine months ending September 2017, rose by 17 per cent to Rs. 12,673 million, with the growth mainly driven by the increase in the gross written premium (GWP) of the conventional life business. GWP premiums in life insurance business increased by 13 per cent to [...]

Ceylinco Insurance records net profit of Rs 3.4 bln in 3Q

Ceylinco Insurance PLC, the holding company of Ceylinco General Insurance Ltd and Ceylinco Life Insurance Ltd, recorded a consolidated after tax profit of Rs.3.4 billion, resulting in a growth of 41 per cent for the period ended 30th September 2017. Announcing the results for Ceylinco Insurance PLC up to 30th September 2017, Ajith Gunawardena, Managing [...]

Eric Rajapakse Opticians marks 100 years in business

Eric Rajapakse Opticians marks 100 years in business

Sri Lanka’s best known optician, Eric Rajapakse Opticians, is celebrating 100 years this year, making it the country’s oldest eye care brands. The company, in a media release issued this week to mark the centenary, recalled how when Alfred Rajapakse started Colombo Optical company in 1917 there was just a handful of other optical companies [...]

People’s Insurance PLC records consecutive underwriting profits

The Sri Lankan insurance industry continues its growth as a result of increased awareness on life insurance, introduction of new life insurance products to cater to customer requirements such as retirement solutions and investment products, enhanced customer service, etc, insurance sector experts said in Colombo. The country has a Rs. 498 billion insurance industry in [...]

First Capital ties up with foreign brokerages

First Capital Equities, the equity arm of First Capital Holdings PLC, has taken several steps to strengthen its business by establishing strategic partnerships with brokering houses based in Asia and the US, in addition to reinforcing its local efforts through the group’s expanding branch network. Director/Group CEO, Dilshan Wirasekara told the Business Times that they [...]

Only Sri Lanka’s top five stockbrokers profitable

Only Sri Lanka’s top five  stockbrokers profitable

Out of the 29 stockbrokers operating at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), only the top five are profitable, the next 10 may be breaking even while the rest are full of woes, market analyst say. Some stockbrokers are closing their outstation branches in a move to cut costs and manage bottom-lines and some who boasted [...]

Licensing cigarette importers won’t grow CTC’s bottom line

The proposal in the recent budget to license ‘illegal’ cigarette importers won’t directly impact Ceylon Tobacco Company’s (CTC) bottom lines positively in the near term, analysts say. “It’s all about how the authorities aim to regulate the importers and the cost of the licence, etc,” an analyst told the Business Times. CTC’s volumes were hit [...]

Perpetual Equities sheds more shares in CF

Perpetual Equities, whose associate company Perpetual Treasuries has been under fire over the infamous bond scam, has been steadily shedding its stake in Central Finance Company PLC. After reducing the stake slightly in Central Finance in 1Q18 to 2.07 per cent from 2.14 per cent, the company now has 2,179,822 shares which is some 1.01 [...]

Guardian Capital to shed hospitality businesses

Guardian Capital Partners PLC, earlier known as Watapota Investments, will explore avenues to exit one of its investments – a step which would conclude over the next couple of quarters, the company has said. The company, part of the Carson Cumberbatch group, reported a loss of Rs. 29.9 million in the six months to September [...]

CSE and Korea Exchange agree to pursue mutual development

CSE and Korea Exchange agree to pursue mutual development

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Korea Exchange (KRX) this week announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a collaborative relationship focused on mutual development opportunities in the Sri Lankan and Korean capital markets. The MoU was signed in Seoul on Monday by KRX Chairman Jiwon Jung and CSE Chairman Ray [...]

LOLC to foray into Indonesia/Philippines in micro financing

Having inked a joint venture with Pak Oman Microfinance Bank Ltd of Pakistan early this year, the LOLC Group has plans to foray into Indonesia next year and Philippines thereafter, through acquisitions, according to officials. A LOLC official told the Business Times that LOLC will invest in a microfinance entity in Indonesia by next year [...]

Roofing industry asserts that chrysotile asbestos is safe for use

The industrial lobby opposing the proposed Sri Lankan ban on chrysotile asbestos has been able to come up with scientific proof that this form of asbestos is not unsafe for human habitation, and thus should not be banned. In a media release, the Chamber of Construction Industry offers an explanation from Prof. Ravindra Fernando, Chairman, [...]

Most Sri Lankan women travelling in public transport are sexually harassed:Report

Ninety per cent of women travelling in public transport are sexually harassed and this appears to be a deterrent for women accepting jobs that involves long distance travel, according to a World Bank Report on “Getting to Work: Unlocking Women’s Potential in Sri Lanka’s Labour Force” This report was discussed at a forum held at [...]

Investing in children spurs strong and healthy economic growth, says UNICEF expert

Investing in children spurs strong and healthy economic growth, says UNICEF expert

Early childhood investments integrate health, education, nutrition, stimulation and protection. Good nutrition nourishes the brain during the sensitive periods of development while stimulation and enrichment spark neural connections, increasing the brain’s capacity and function, according to a globally-acknowledged expert economist and researcher. These comments were made by Dr. Michael Samson, Director of Research at the [...]

Aussie-based facilities management company sets up unit in Sri Lanka

NCW Holdings, a facility management company who are experts in building, construction and hospitality design concepts established in Australia in 2015, has entered Sri Lanka with an investment of AUS$ 200,000. Naveen Wijewickrama, Managing Director of the company, speaking to the Business Times on the sidelines of the launch of the company in Colombo last [...]

ICAO’s air services negotiations’ conference next month in Colombo

Sri Lanka will play host to the 10th International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Conference on Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) scheduled to be held from December 4-8 and organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) aimed at updating existing traffic rights or creating new arrangements among member states. Delegations from around the world will converge in [...]

New eco-friendly, road building technique by Sri Lankan engineer costs much less

New eco-friendly, road building technique by Sri Lankan engineer costs much less

An innovative technique developed by a Sri Lankan engineer to minimise costly road building especially in the country’s neglected network of roads in rural areas has seen the light of the day following successful re-building techniques. The novel thing about this new technique is that granite imported from other areas is not used in road [...]

ADB launches partnership book

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reaffirmed its commitment to Sri Lanka following the completion of a 50 year partnership that is detailed in a new coffee table book “Sri Lanka – ADB Partnership : 1966-2016” launched on Wednesday. ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang addressing the gathering said that they would continue to assist the country [...]

Tender irregularities delay the emergency power supply projects

Malpractices in Sri Lanka’s power sector tender procedure have become a stumbling block for the implementation of the proposed power projects in the next two years to avoid a power crisis, the Electricity Board (CEB) Engineers Union alleged. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) recently recommended the power generation plan but the procurement [...]

New solutions to the tea industry

The tea industry is a lifeline of this country. Needless to say survival of the tea industry is a pre requisite for the wellbeing of the country and is also a life line for a larger portion of the plantations workers. For the tea industry to survive and move forward to the next decade the [...]

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