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In, out, in?

In, out, in?

With the political wrangling throughout the week as Sri Lanka struggled to form a new government, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama brought the reality of the complex political discussions to a Colombo conference on IT on Thursday. “I still haven’t lost my job,” he said, smiling as this picture taken by photographer [...]

10 containers of props for Sound of Music

There were “oohs and aahs” by Sri Lankans watching enthralled the Sound of Music theatre production at the Nelum Pokuna in Colombo which ends today after a five-day run bringing entertainment to a new level in Sri Lanka. But what was unsaid and unseen is the effort that went into organisation and the volume of [...]

SL: Walking a tightrope

Last week’s topsy-turvy local government election result has triggered uncertainty in whether the authorities will pursue with the IMF-led, painful but crucial economic reforms. At the Colombo stock market, normally the first sector to react to political developments, share prices fell but were seen, cautiously rallying. Speaking to the Business Times, economists, stock market analysts [...]

High-tech vehicle number plates soon

Sri Lanka is rolling out new high tech security number plates for vehicles to help Police in the detection of vehicular movements, prevent counterfeiting, duplication and crimes, a senior Transport Ministry official said. These new number plates will be introduced to ensure the security of vehicles, assist police to keep tabs on vehicles, detect theft [...]

SriLankan stops Kunming flights next month

SriLankan Airlines will be pulling out its operations to Kunming as a result of a poor load factor on this route that has been highly dependent on Chinese travellers alone. “Since the inception, the Kunming route has been highly dependent on the Chinese tourist market with very less contribution from other network stations, therefore it [...]

Tourism industry protests to PM on CNN campaign

Sri Lanka’s most powerful tourism industry bodies have raised serious concerns with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over irregularities in the planned CNN media blitz by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB). The Business Times reliably learnt that the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators [...]

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t

Damned  if  I  do,  damned  if   I  don’t

Was it loud, friendly voices or an argument? Just beyond the garden on this bright sunny morning, six days after one of Sri Lanka’s most challenging local council elections, Kussi Amma Sera and her comrade-in-arms, Serapina, are engaged in a heated debate. Kussi Amma Sera seemed to think it was the increased cost of fertiliser [...]

Picking winners: Myths and realities

Picking winners:  Myths and realities

Quite often we have heard a popular argument from laypersons’ comments to policy references: “The government should support or protect the production of that activity or this activity in order to make the country developed.” Similarly, we have also heard that “when we have so much potential in this area of production, why can’t the [...]

Hayleys 9-month turnover up 37%YoY to Rs. 112.3 bn

Strong top line performances across the Hayleys Group and the addition of recent strategic acquisitions resulted in a 37 per cent YoY increase in turnover to Rs. 112.3 billion during the nine months to end December 2017. Gross profit rose by 29 per cent YoY to Rs. 24 billion, the company said in a media [...]

CB action plan to fulfil global anti-money laundering requirements

CB action plan to fulfil global  anti-money laundering requirements

Sri Lanka will be implementing an action plan to receive the “green light” by October this year from a global anti-money laundering body, from the “amber light” signalled to Sri Lanka, Central Bank (CB) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Answering a question raised by a Business Times journalist at the CB’s monetary policy review media [...]

Fonterra’s dairy development focus surpasses Rs. 3 bn investment in 3 years

Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, the dairy co-operative behind Anchor, recently surpassed the Rs. 3 billion investment in its commitment to build a thriving local dairy industry and boosting the availability of high quality, local dairy nutrition for Sri Lankans. These long-term initiatives span the breadth of the dairy value chain with the local dairy farmer [...]

National Print Conference on March 15

The Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP) will hold its biennial print conference on March 15 at Waters Edge, Battaramulla from 8.30 am to 5 pm. This year’s theme focuses on “Going Global” and concepts and strategies discussed will benefit not only printers but professionals from any industry and business discipline who are interested in [...]

TESS AGRO returns to profit owing to GSP+ return

The return of GSP+ concessions has propelled TESS AGRO to a winning position from losses earlier. Dilshan Fernando, company Director/CEO, said in a media release that TESS AGRO recorded a sharp growth in its profits during the last quarter of 2017 ending December 31. The operating profit grew by 297 per cent to Rs. 8.27 [...]

Global independent audit regulators to meet in Colombo

Independent audit regulators from around the world will gather in Colombo tomorrow at the 12th Annual Inspection Workshop of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR). The Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board (SLAASMB) is hosting the 3-day forum which will be held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel with the participation of [...]

Tea industry losing Rs. 10-20 bln annually due to glyphosate ban

Tea industry stakeholders including Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda are urging policy makers to immediately re-evaluate the arbitrary ban imposed on glyphosate-based weedicides. This is in the context of overwhelming scientific consensus that the substance is not harmful to human health, most recently confirmed by Risk Assessment for Glyphosate conducted by the [...]

Serendib Technologies introduces expansion of smartphones, accessories

Serendib Technologies Asia (Pvt) Ltd., the official national representative and distributor of smartphone brand Mi, has recently announced the expansion of its existing portfolio with further products. The company, in a media release, said it expected to officially debut five new Mi brand smartphone and powerbank models in the near future. Xiaomi, often referred as [...]

Boom in commercial office spaces in Sri Lanka

Boom in commercial office spaces in Sri Lanka

One of the biggest loopholes the real estate sector is facing in recent times is the inadequacy of commercial office spaces. While there has been a surfeit of apartments and various property models, developers have been encouraged to also focus on office space. Modern day companies, often today, have just one employee, it may be [...]

nCinga to digitalise Bangladesh’s garment manufacturing industry

Sri Lankan software maker nCinga has opened an office in Bangladesh, in partnership with Robi Axiata Bangladesh. The unit, which will provide next generation smart factory solutions with the launch of nFactory, its Industry 4.0 aligned manufacturing execution software, was launched at an industry event held recently at the Radisson Hotel in Dhaka. Over 80 [...]

Revenues grow but profits ease at Hemas

Revenues grew at Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) for the nine months to end December 2017 while profits faced “challenges” in consumer, healthcare and leisure sectors. “Financial year 2018 has been a challenging year with the trend of good revenue growth in tough economic conditions but depressed earnings continuing throughout the nine months,” said Steven Enderby, [...]

“I still haven’t lost my job” – Malik

“I still haven’t lost my job” – Malik

While there are many ongoing discussions and disagreements in the United National Party as to the future of the leadership of the party after last week’s poll, the UNP Chairman, Malik Samarawickrama on Thursday confidently said he still has not lost his job. Attending the ICT/BPM brand launch of ‘Island of Ingenuity’ as the chief [...]

Policy reforms to prevent future bond scams

The Presidential Commission Report on the Bond Scam of 2015 released last month is historic for a variety of reasons. Never in the history of Sri Lanka (probably in any other South Asian country) has a sitting government’s alleged corruption been investigated to this depth during its own tenure. Secondly, never in the history of [...]

BNI focuses on greater heights

Business Network International (BNI) recently re-launched its second chapter, BNI Dynamic in Sri Lanka. The event was attended by many veteran businessmen, eminent professionals and rising entrepreneurs with a vision for exponential growth, the organisers said. With over 220,000 members in 8000 plus chapters worldwide, BNI is the world’s leading referral organization. In 2017 alone, [...]

Lanka’s external debt repayment at $4 bln in 2019-2022

Sri Lanka’s large external debt repayments total US$ 4 billion per year between 2019 and 2022, a top economist told the Business Times. Sri Lanka’s total net external debt exceeded $50 billion in 2017, he added. The Central Bank (CB) has been quite active since the second half of 2017 and progressing towards raising bonds [...]

SEC halts On’ally’s mandatory offer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week halted the mandatory offer by Renuka Capital PLC to purchase On’ally Holdings PLC. In a letter dated February 8 to On’ally Holdings PLC, the SEC said that it has received a written complaint against Renuka Capital PLC “the offeror” in the said mandatory offer alleging acts of [...]

Cyber Illusions and AV Lab create the VAEG collective

Cyber Illusions and AV Lab  create the VAEG collective

Live experience designer Cyber Illusions has partnered with visual content powerhouse AV Lab to form an experiential technology collective, the Visual Art and Experiences Group (VAEG). A merging of technology and art, delivering unparalleled live experiences, VAEG is a Collective that will facilitate Sri Lanka’s design aesthetic and inventiveness being introduced to the world in [...]

JKH launches new residential development TRI-ZEN

John Keells Properties, connecting the dots between peace of mind, life in the city and liveable space, has announced the launch of ‘TRI-ZEN’, a new residential property on Union Place. The project is expected to be completed by 2023 and is currently open for sales, the company said in a media release. “John Keells Properties [...]

Panther recognised at the National Excellence Award by SLCSMI

Panther recognised at the National Excellence Award by SLCSMI

Panther, Sri Lanka’s leading educational toy and stationery manufacturer, was recently recognised by Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries’ (SLCSMI) as the winner of the Silver award for ‘National Excellence’ at the “Industrial Excellence Awards” held last week in Colombo. The Panther brand which was created by the paper based manufacturing company Javana [...]

Depositors’ woes continue at failed finance companies

With regard to the failed finance companies (FCs), the Central Bank (CB) appears to have proved that throughout it has neglected its responsibility of ‘monitoring and supervising’ the finance companies as the very purpose of having a separate unit to monitor and supervise is to prevent these finance companies from failing. Instead of fulfilling their [...]

Ironman fever hits Colombo

Sri Lankans, from its tribal groups to its differently-abled, are seeking to showcase to the world their competitiveness and ability to become the next Ironman. The mega Ironman 70.3 Colombo competition, the first ever in South Asia, will see over 3000 athletes and their families from 63 countries participate in a triathlon on February 25 [...]

SriLankan’s direct Melbourne flights boost inbound arrivals from Australia

Srilankan Airlines’ Colombo-Melbourne direct flight has reversed the trend of declining passenger traffic into Sri Lanka prompting the airline to consider services with Sydney and other cities. Despite Australia being home to a large Sri Lankan diaspora and student community, passenger arrivals into Sri Lanka have been on the decline in 2017, one of the [...]

Sampath Bank, first local bank to accept Alipay payments

Sampath Bank has become the first bank in the country to partner with Alipay, the world’s largest online and offline payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group. This latest partnership will allow Sampath Bank’s local merchant partners to tap into the multitude of incoming tourists from China and the considerable number of Chinese nationals [...]

PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards SL in July

The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka), the premier industry awards ceremony that will be held for the first time in Colombo in 2018, will be sponsored by JLL Sri Lanka, a top real estate services firm. Following the unprecedented success and overwhelming positive reception from Sri Lankan developers that were recognised at the PropertyGuru [...]

New Anthoney’s Farms expands as demand grows

New Anthoney’s Farms has begun a major expansion strategy which will allow the company to enhance its products offered and significantly increase its present capacity. This would apply to its operations, ranging from incubation and hatchery, farming through to processing and rendering amongst various others that are fully equipped to cater to the growing demand [...]

NDB offers loans and other benefits to pensioners, senior citizens

NDB Achara, a loan facility catering to pensioners, has a host of benefits such as longer repayment period of up to 10 years, unsecured loan facilities, hassle free documentation, speedy service, life insurance coverage for the borrower/co borrower. In case of death or total permanent disability, the loan will be settled in full by the [...]

Did the Auditor General err in holding a pre-poll media briefing?

I refer to the media conference given by the Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe on February 7 on the eve of the local government elections where he thought fit to inform the public of the shortcomings in the Treasury. I believe this is the first time an AG addressed the media to discuss the affairs of [...]

Only tech companies will survive the future

The world is witnessing an ever-growing influence of tech in business that will only allow tech companies to survive the future, say experts in tech-driven businesses. Mani Kulasooriya – founder of Sysco LABS, and Ron May, Vice President of eSolutions at Sysco, made these comments in a joint presentation titled “Technology is eating the World” [...]

Hemas Hospitals signs up Manipal company to strengthen skills of nursing staff

Hemas Hospitals has announced a partnership with Manipal Global Education Services (MaGE) in India to strengthen and raise the standards and skills of their nursing staff. An MoU for this purpose was signed by Dr. Lakith Peiris, Managing Director of Hemas Hospitals Group and A. P. Ramabhadran, Chief Executive Officer of Manipal Professional Learning (ProLearn), [...]

Euro IV fuel standard triggers auto industry crisis

State plans to introduce Euro IV engines and safety features for new vehicle imports have created a crisis situation in the auto sector, motor traders say. This requirement was announced in the budget to ensure imported vehicles are equipped with Euro IV or above emission standards. The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) says that even [...]

JAT Holdings committed to sustainability

JAT Holdings, in an effort to further reiterate its strong commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen, has carried out several corporate sustainability related projects throughout 2017. In a company media release, JAT said its projects focused on a wide spectrum of areas including commitment to business sustainability, environmental sustainability, employee recognition and welfare, sports [...]

COPA reveals an illicit vehicle registration scam

An illicit vehicle registration scam involving the import of super luxury vehicles by several local car importers working in collusion with some officials of the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) has been bared. Details of a Montero jeep and a Hummer Jeep imported or assembled without paying custom duties came to light at an inquiry conducted [...]

Micro offers all automotive services under one roof in Ratmalana

Micro offers all automotive services under one roof in Ratmalana

Operations in Micro Cars Ltd’s new state-of-the-art 3S Centre (Sales, Service and Spare Parts) took off at a prominent location on Galle Road, Ratmalana providing all services under one roof for Micro customers recently. Micro Cars Chairman/CEO Dr Lawrence Perera told the gathering at the opening ceremony that the new centre allows customers to test [...]

MTD streamlines maintenance of vehicle registration records

MTD streamlines maintenance of vehicle registration records

Sri Lanka’s Motor Traffic Department (MTD) has streamlined the storage of vehicle registration records and transfer of document files as well as details of driving licences and other related documents of vehicles, MTD sources said. After a long period of maintaining such files in an unsystematic and insecure manner at a small room in the [...]

Suzuki Wagon R stands tall in Lanka’s declining vehicle market

Suzuki Wagon R hybrid sales recorded a new high in December last year becoming the only category showing an impressive growth in the small hybrid engine cars category, JB Securities, a Colombo-based equity brokerage and research house, revealed in a research note. It said 128 brand new Suzuki Wagon R hybrid cars were sold through [...]

Toyota Lanka opens latest branch in Matara

Toyota Lanka opens latest branch in Matara

Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorised distributor for Toyota vehicles in Sri Lanka, recently declared open its latest branch in Matara, further expanding its island wide network. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of Toyota Lanka’s Managing Director Shungo Yoshioka and Director/COO Manohara Athukorala. Speaking at the opening of the branch, MD [...]

Sri Lankans receive German standard automobile mechatronics training

The German Chamber of Commerce has stepped in to offer the “German Dual Vocational Education Qualification” for youths who are undergoing training in “Automobile Mechatronics” at the DIMO Academy for Technical Skills (DATS). This academy has been accredited to offer this qualification by the German Chamber of Commerce recently, DIMO Chairman Ranjith Pandithage revealed. This [...]

Motor trade shrinks further on LC payment issue

Motor trade shrinks further on LC payment issue

Sri Lanka’s motor trade is expected to shrink further due to the impact of introducing upfront payment for letters of credit (LCs) and tax hike, depreciation of the rupee and the restriction on vehicle leases. The government has imposed a new directive in the opening of LCs in commercial banks for vehicle importers making compulsory [...]

Sri Lanka to cash in on Maldives’ crisis

Sri Lanka Tourism promotion authorities are likely to initiate a plan of action to take advantage of the current situation in the Maldives to attract tourists to the country while enjoying the sun on blogger posts that have sent the country viral. “We want to create a reverse situation from the time when Sri Lanka [...]

Revenue up but challenging leisure sector at Aitken Spence

Like most companies with exposure in the leisure sector, Aitken Spence Plc faces challenges despite strong performances by the flagship Heritance Kandalama, Heritance Tea Factory and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara. The company in a media release said it recorded a steady financial performance for the nine months ending December 2017 with a 14.1 per cent [...]

Tea Board Chairman resigns

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda tendered his resignation on Friday. He is believed to have made this decision in October last year when he expressed such a desire to Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake to give way for “fresh thinking,” official sources said, adding that the move was unconnected to the recent local [...]

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