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Chande … chande … chande

Chande … chande … chande

Speakers (from left): Nalin Abeysekera, Member, Election Commission; Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director – PAFFREL: and Asoka Obeyesekere, Executive Director – TISL, at a discussion on elections organized by the Sunday Times Business Club at the Movenpick Hotel Colombo. Pix by Amila Gamage

Global insurers eye SL amidst Janashakthi sale

Janashakthi Insurance PLC (Janashakthi)’s Rs. 16.4 billion sale this week of its general insurance business to multinational insurer, Allianz has set off wide speculation that global insurance players are eyeing Sri Lanka. The deal, which appeared to have caught the st0ck market by surprise, triggered reports that the other remaining Sri Lankan insurance companies, barring [...]

Two city hotels up for sale?

Two major properties (in Colombo) of a large conglomerate are in the market for sale, according to leisure industry sources. This is a bid to fund their largest projects todate. The project costs for this large construction which is their ‘magnum opus’ have run out with the group facing funding issues, the sources said. They [...]

Rejection of Government Printer’s bid for e-Passport raises eyebrows

The rejection of the Government Printer’s bid for the e-Passport facility at a cost of Rs.650 million in July, 2017 making way for De La Rue Lanka’s bid of Rs.1.2 billion proposal without competitive bidding has come to the limelight due to the legal tussle over the award of the tender without competitive bidding. The [...]

CNN campaign in mid-Feb.

Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga has been able to convince his cabinet colleagues, overriding tourism industry opinion, to go ahead with a CNN advertising campaign in mid-February. Despite continued protests by the industry stating that a media advertising campaign was not the best option, Mr. Amaratunga has bypassed the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) [...]

Emergency moves to restore confidence in Ceylon Tea

Emergency moves to restore confidence in Ceylon Tea

Sri Lankan authorities are battling on two fronts to restore confidence in Ceylon Tea, sending delegations to Japan and Russia where the country’s main agriculture export has encountered problems. Efforts are being made to boost the product image in Russia while the delegation to Japan aims to discuss new regulations on use of weedicides in [...]

Nicknames and booby traps

Nicknames and booby traps

Laughter echoed across the room when it was revealed that one of the candidates contesting the local government elections preferred to be called by her nickname ‘Thana kola kapana akka!’ This happened during an interesting discussion on “local elections and new processes” at the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) on Tuesday at the Movenpick Hotel, [...]

Colombo: City in the Dark

Colombo: City in the Dark

Misaki Shimakawa is a university student from Japan who visited Sri Lanka last year as a member of a Japanese group of students. Groups of Japanese university students visit Sri Lanka every year. They interact with Sri Lankan university students and, carry out their study tours in Colombo and other parts of the country. As [...]

Low ranking for SL in global assessment of budget transparency

Sri Lanka has been ranked 60 among 115 counties in the world on the recent assessment of the 2013/2014 and 2016/2017 budget transparency processes. The ranking was released on the Open Budget Survey, the world’s only independent assessment of information disclosure in public budgets, Verite Research (VR) Executive Director Dr. Nishan De Mel revealed at [...]

Top union seeks meeting with President to discuss bond fiasco

Trade unions are urging the Government to immediately appoint a committee of legal and management experts to work on issues to protect the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) following revelations made in the Bond Commission report. The proposed committee should work closely with the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), says Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary, Free Trade [...]

Japanese unaware of the ‘real’ Sri Lanka, visiting business leader says

Japanese unaware of the ‘real’  Sri Lanka, visiting business leader says

Akio Mimura was 11 when Sri Lanka’s former President J.R. Jayewardena stood up for Japan at the San Francisco international peace conference in 1951. World War II had been over for six years and the allied powers had been deliberating how vanquished Japan would be punished. They wanted the country on its knees, paying reparations. [...]

Gilt-edged securities make people rich

Do people crave for wealth than ever before to seek stability and comfort in life or do they shun such ideas to seek solace in the spirituality they desire? The answer to these questions however depends on individuals who make such choices in life according to their wish. Well if people seek wealth and material [...]

SC petitions against new alcohol rules postponed to end March

There won’t be a quick, legal resolution of opposition to the ban on the sale of alcohol to Sri Lankan women, after some petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the rule were postponed to end March and early May. On Tuesday, when two petitions challenging the withdrawal of the gazette notification allowing the sale of [...]

Women remain marginalised in fisheries in Trincomalee

While there are discrepancies, hegemonies, racism and marginalisation of various castes of people around the country, the fisheries industry in Trincomalee faces the situation on a much larger scale. There is lack of recognition and inclusion of women in fishing-related decision-making and fisheries management positions. Last week the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) conducted its [...]

Making politicians accountable to their voters, than parties

Everybody is talking about elections! It’s not only local government polls but also general elections and in some instances, presidential polls. Apart from the enormous cost of conducting elections, for whose benefit are these elections? For a long time since independence and since we were students, all of us wanted to get involved in our [...]

Sri Lanka urged to develop a “National Trade Policy”

Sri Lanka urged to develop a “National Trade Policy”

Given the current shortage of labour, Sri Lanka needs policies aligned to increase skilled labour availability and to get these segment employed in export related industries, according to President of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Sujeeve Samaraweera. Speaking at the NCCSL’s 59th AGM in Colombo recently in the presence of the [...]

Spence’s gated N’bo residencies project suspended

Aitken Spence Residencies’ 140 luxury villas named Heritage Grove, has been suspended indefinitely due to the proposed second runway at the Bandaranaike International Airport, the company has said. This is owing to the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development disallowing the continuation of the project, the company [...]

Large state bank, small bank and finance firms hit by bad debt

Large state bank, small bank and finance firms hit by bad debt

Some Rs. 1 billion bad debt by a vehicle importer is being probed by authorities in a large state bank, highly placed sources said. They said that this amount is likely more than Rs. 1 billion and it’s unclear whether it’s an unsecured loan. They also said that a small commercial bank is also affected [...]

Allianz takes over Janashakthi’s general insurance unit

Allianz takes over Janashakthi’s general insurance unit

Allianz has entered into an agreement (see picture) with Janashakthi Insurance PLC to acquire 100 per cent of its subsidiary, Janashakthi General Insurance Ltd. (See story on Page 1). From left: Ajith Fernando – Managing Director, Capital Alliance Partners Ltd; Prakash Schaffter – Managing Director, Janashakthi Insurance Plc; Chandra Schaffter – Founder, Janashakthi Group; Husein [...]

JKH profits hit by leisure sector slump

John Keells Holdings’ (JKH) profits were hit by its leisure sector decline which saw a profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 901 million in the third quarter of 2017/18 which is a decrease of 34 per cent over the third quarter of the previous financial year (2016/17 Q3: Rs. 1.36 billion). The decline in profitability [...]

Singapore-Sri Lanka FTA will enhance cross-border trade

The Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) is expected to enhance the cross-border trade of goods and services and promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) between the two countries, says rating agency Moody’s. While pointing out that the countries are yet to publicise the full details of the pact, Moody’s noted that the SLSFTA will have [...]

DPL earnings in plantations up, hand protection down

Dipped Products Group’s (DPL) plantation sector Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) was up sharply both Year on Year (YoY) and Quarter on Quarter (QoQ) in 3Q18, but hand protection sector EBIT was down YoY, despite being up QoQ, latest accounts showed. The plantation segment reported Rs. 9.3 billion in revenue, 33 percent higher than [...]

Energy firms struggle against rising oil and LP gas prices

Among the third quarter results of the financial year ending March of listed companies issued so far, energy companies have shown a negative performance, analysts say. “Energy sector saw a drop by 105 per cent. This was mainly owing to its two large companies’ – LIOC and LAUGFS Gas PLC – slump in earnings. LIOC [...]

Poll: Know your local candidate and exercise your franchise

Poll: Know your local candidate and exercise your franchise

Underworld figures and crooks engaged in illegal activity are among those nominated by some political parties to contest the forthcoming local government elections on Saturday February 10. “We have compiled a list of names of candidates and found that several underworld figures and corrupt businessmen engaged in illegal activity have been given nomination this time [...]

Behind the scenes: Creating a slum-free Colombo

Behind the scenes: Creating a slum-free Colombo

The skyline in North Colombo is now increasingly dotted by the high-rise complexes built for the working class poor of Colombo. The yellow and orange painted apartment complexes being constructed by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) since 2012 are part of the UDA’s Urban Regeneration Project and will be home to around 75,000 families upon [...]

Sri Lanka’s NPP returns to focus with a new look

The National Payment Platform (NPP) project suspended in August 2017 is returning with a completely new outlook in the next few weeks. It will be within the regulations of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act No 28 of 2005 and in line with the requirements of the Central Bank (CB), Deputy Minister of National Policies [...]

State agencies to charge 15 % more for services-Treasury

All those who received services for a fee from all state agencies will have to pay 15 per cent more than what they have been paying three years ago, according to instructions circulated among all state agencies, by the Secretary to the Treasury. The Circular No 1/2018 of 17/1/2018, issued by the Secretary to the [...]

Teach the teacher, student and most of all the parents

Teach the teacher, student and most of all the parents

It is just not only about educating students, but equally important is educating parents too when it comes to career guidance in Sri Lanka, an expert in the field Dr. Catherine Hughes has recommended. Australian career development consultant Dr. Hughes who was in town last week to offer a helping hand to new start-up CareerMe [...]

NANO SHIELD, a new technology to substitute window films

Designing a house or a tall building with glass windows can be challenging as to how to reduce the heat that penetrates through the glass windows. As a traditional method window films are the only solution interior designers and architects use to combat the heat penetration. However a Japanese company’s product NANO SHIED comes to [...]

MullenLowe attributes 2017 success to “Pure Growth”

MullenLowe attributes 2017 success to “Pure Growth”

MullenLowe Sri Lanka, the fully owned operation of New York- based Inter Public Group (IPG), completed 2017 on a record high. In a tough economic climate in 2017, where market trends were contrary to growth, the company said in a media release that its top-line revenues grew sharply almost two-and-a-half times the accepted global average [...]

NEC fulfills the task of last post for economic management

The National Economic Council (NCE), appointed by the President with the cabinet approval in September 2017 as an apex high-level national body to formulate, coordinate and ensure the implementation of economic policies, plans and programmes will be fully operational in the next two months. The council is an advisory body on economic policy to further [...]

Inquiries for luxury villas from West, West Asia

Two weeks into its launching, Catalina, the first-ever luxury independent living for senior citizens has had inquiries from Sri Lankans residing in Australia, UK, Canada and West East. “This is essentially because for the over 55-year range of individuals’ horizontal living is more popular than vertical ones such as apartments,” said Jeevan William, Managing Director [...]

Sri Lanka agreement on International Solar Alliance

Sri Lanka agreement on International Solar Alliance

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India, Chitranganee Wagiswara recently signed the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the Ministry of External Affairs of India in New Delhi. The signed documents were handed over to Nagaraj Naidu, Joint Secretary (Investments, Technology Promotion and Energy Security Division) of the Ministry of External Affairs of [...]

NDB ends 2017 with strong 41 % growth in PBT

Sri Lanka’s National Development Bank PLC (NDB) completed the financial year 31 December 2017 with impressive performance across all fronts, the bank said. Bank CEO Dimantha Seneviratne attributed the success of the year to a streamlined strategy which was pursued with focus, and the commitment and dedication of NDB’s talented team for “precise execution.” In [...]

“Positive Energy” workshop on February 8

“Thriving! Positive Energy at Work” a workshop organised by ITD World will be held on February 8 at the Hilton Colombo. It will be conducted by Karl LaRowe, who has excelled in different disciplines – as martial arts fighter and teacher, mental health therapist, manager and director, professional speaker, author, trainer and coach. The full-day [...]

Sri Lankan-Canadian investor creating luxury living space in Nilaveli

Ideal Developments Canada and Pura Resorts Canada have announced a mixed development project in Sri Lanka’s eastern Nilaveli region involving luxury living combined with star-class hospitality services. The PURA Luxury Resort will have 50 luxury resort chalets and 62 luxury island homes ready for occupation by April 2020. The promoter told a media conference in [...]

Sri Lanka’s Vidya leads Fonterra’s Malaysia and Singapore business

Sri Lanka’s Vidya leads Fonterra’s Malaysia and Singapore business

Vidya Sivaraja has been appointed by New Zealand-based multinational Fonterra to manage their business in Malaysia and Singapore, the first Sri Lankan to lead Fonterra’s country markets. Ms. Sivaraja is currently Fonterra Sri Lanka’s General Manager of Marketing and has been appointed in the new position from February 1, the company announced on Wednesday in [...]

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