Business Times

Home » Business Times

Bullock-cart ride to fame

Bullock-cart ride to fame

In today’s world of tourism where visitors prefer experiences other than sitting on the beach or lazing round the swimming pool, this picture taken in Sigiriya shows a tourist couple enjoying a ride on rough country roads in a bullock cart.

Norway central bank invests in top SL stocks

Norway’s Central Bank, Norges Bank’s pension fund (Norges Bank Investment Management or NBIM) has shown interest in local high valued shares during the past quarter, results released by firms to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) showed. This US$960 billion sovereign wealth fund has shown keen interest in CSE shares for the past three years, analysts [...]

Top officials’ dream of BMW or Benz comes true

Senior public officials including Ministry Secretaries are in luck’s way: They will be getting new car permits with high duty cuts and unlimited values, in some cases at almost zero duty. The Government has completely overhauled the senior public sector official’s duty slashed car permit scheme by removing the upper ceiling of the vehicle value [...]

Lowest commission rates through UPay app

While digital payments are leading the way forward globally, UPay a Sri Lankan mobile app introduced by a start-up, Payment Services (Pvt) Ltd provides the lowest commission rates for merchants during transactions. The Central Bank (CB) approved mobile app is the first in Sri Lanka to use the JUSTPAY payment gateway platform a brainchild of [...]

Chinese cash calms down dollar-rupee volatility

While the US dollar was mixed this week in Colombo’s money markets with the currency gaining slightly against the Sri Lanka rupee on Friday, sizable inflows from overseas Chinese companies are helping calm the dollar-rupee volatility. The dollar which traded at 154.77 rupees (per 1 dollar) earlier in the week was seen trading at an [...]

Govt. to release glyphosate to tea plantations

Sri Lanka’s tea industry that continuously campaigned to lift the ban on glyphosate said the government’s decision to do so would definitely increase yields and enable lower production costs thereby easing the conditions on the plantations. Planters Association Chairman Sunil Poholiyadde told the Business Times on Friday that yields could go up by as much [...]

Messing with education

Messing with education

It was raining cats and dogs, just like the popular expression, for a few days this week. However, what intrigued me most was that the rain was accompanied by strong, angry winds, once again taking away a few roofs with it (as it did some months back) as friends told me later. “Machan, the Gods [...]

Economic implications of corruption

Economic implications of corruption

“Do you know how those businesses have been doing so well?” The question was raised by someone in the group recently referring to some businesses and business locations. We, a group of friends meeting after sometime, were chatting about corrupt practices by politicians and bureaucrats. Some of us were curious to know the answer to [...]

Listed firms on good behaviour after ‘Watch List”

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) after renaming the default board as ‘Watch List’ with effect from January 2018 and enforcing the procedures to the CSE listing rules has seen ‘better’ behaviour by listed firms, officials say. ”Now they are better and ‘on time’ with disclosures,” a CSE official told the Business Times. Also now the [...]

Extension of private sector retirement age gets go-ahead from the government

After dilly –dallying due to some concerns of employers, the government is mulling to extend the retirement age of private sector employees up to 60 years providing the same opportunity given to public sector workers, a senior cabinet minister said. Labour Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne recently told the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting that the [...]

E-bikes at major Colombo trade show in August

CEMS –Global USA, a large exhibition organiser especially in the garment and textile machinery, plans to organise an exhibition in Sri Lanka of motorcycles and e-bikes in August this year. In the meantime, CEMS is holding three international exhibitions for the textile and garment sector of Sri Lanka from March 8 to 10 at the [...]

Sri Lankan businesses bullish for 2018: OBG survey

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of high-level executives interviewed for the inaugural edition of the Business Barometer: Sri Lanka CEO Survey carried out by Oxford Business Group (OBG) are bullish about local market conditions for 2018, in a sign that the impact of last year’s challenging weather conditions on the economy is easing. As part [...]

CA Sri Lanka’s YCAF guiding young chartered accountants

CA Sri Lanka’s YCAF guiding young chartered accountants

The Young Chartered Accountants Forum (YCAF) of CA Sri Lanka has taken the lead to inculcate the necessary skills among young Chartered Accountants to help them achieve success as globally sought after professionals. For this purpose, YCAF recently organised a career guidance workshop to help the young Chartered Accountants transit from trainees to fully fledged [...]

MCB opens refurbished main Colombo branch

As part of its drive towards providing an enhanced customer experience across Sri Lanka, the fast growing Pakistan-based MCB Bank declared open its newly refurbished country office and corporate branch located in Colombo Fort on February 22. The ceremony was graced by Chief Guest Imran Maqbool – President and CEO of MCB Bank Ltd, Farid [...]

PM to revise RPC leases with World Bank

PM to revise RPC leases with World Bank

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to underline immediate changes to be initiated on the tea plantations, ideas that would also be included in a World Bank report to be released later this month. The plantations industry is expected to have a meeting with Mr. Wickremesinghe shortly with the aim of obtaining instructions on the [...]

Whistleblowing – an insurance against corruption, fraud, malpractices

We were pleased to hear that the President having realised the value of eradicating corruption, fraud, waste, bribery and malpractice in the public sector has declared his campaign towards building a country free of fraud and corruption and called for proposals, ideas and support from the professionals and the general public. As a precursor to [...]

Mindfulness lessons for politicians

Mindfulness lessons for politicians

The best thing about us Sri Lankans is that we can laugh at ourselves. And there was plenty of laughter when top Tamil politician and TNA member of parliament M.A. Sumanthiran was holding the floor at the Global Mindfulness Summit which was held for the first time in Sri Lanka and Asia last week. Mr. [...]

Global audit body wants to engage with South Asian countries

The mission in Sri Lanka is to enhance, collaborate and share information to build capabilities of its auditor-members, said the Chairman of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) Brian A. Hunt in a recent interview with the Business Times in Colombo. Speaking on the sidelines of an IFIAR meeting last week, he said: [...]

Union Bank-Union Assurance in cutting-edge cash management technology

The Union Bank recently partnered Union Assurance PLC (UA) with the bank’s revolutionary cash management solution Union Bank Biz Direct, enabling greater cash management efficiency for the leading insurer. The customised solution, designed and delivered for Union Assurance PLC offers comprehensive Payments Initiation through the H2H channel while facilitating Receivables, Collections and Reconciliation though MT940 [...]

No Indian workers under ETCA but entry possible through SL immigration rules

The labour market or Indian workers visiting Sri Lanka is completely outside the scope of the proposed Sri Lanka- India Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with such issues being dealt independently under the Immigration Act, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said this week. In a statement to the Business Times, on [...]

New Sri Lankan factory to reuse and recycle electric vehicle batteries

New Sri Lankan factory to reuse and recycle electric vehicle batteries

While electric vehicle batteries when they are worn out are reused and recycled, in Sri Lanka this facility is not available for the electric vehicle owners as these vehicles are not imported through official agents. And since they are imported individually the Japanese manufacturer – Nissan doesn’t provide any such support. There are about 5,000 [...]

“Crabs to Kaema Sutra – a heady mix for Dharshan Munidasa”

An unforeseen error crept into the above story last week on Page 10 since what Chef Munidasa Dharshan meant when he spoke of the London Shangri-La was to have a “Pop Up” at this venue, not opening a new restaurant. Thus the para, sub-titled “Crab curry at the London Shangri-La”, should be corrected to read [...]

Shangri-La serviced apartments, ideal for business travellers

Shangri-La serviced apartments, ideal for business travellers

Consider this. The skyline in Colombo is changing so fast that very soon tourists who visited the capital a few years back and arriving in 2020 will find it almost un-recognisable. The Colombo Port or Finance City is another kettle of fish, an unopened package, as someone called it. While current room capacity in Colombo [...]

Sirio Ltd helps build storm affected houses in Badalgama

A leading export oriented apparel company in Badalgama, recently engaged in a CSR programme, providing financial assistance to restore 65 houses of company employees and people in the vicinity who suffered heavy losses due to the recent cyclonic storm at Badalgama. Felix A. Fernando, CEO of Sirio and Group Director of Omega Line; Ms.H.M.L.S. Herath, [...]

US expert commends Lankan bank officer who thwarted global money laundering attempt

It has been found that cyber-crimes across the world have shot up drastically in the past few years compromising the security of many organisations. According to the Economic Crime Survey data, cyber-crimes have now jumped to the second place globally with hackers being available to extract vulnerable and confidential information from computers scattered across the [...]

Ceywater Consultants, Surbana Jurong in MoU to boost SL growth and development

Ceywater Consultants, Surbana Jurong in  MoU to boost SL growth and development

Ceywater Consultants (Pvt) Ltd recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Singapore’s Surbana Jurong Pvt Ltd to drive growth and development in Sri Lanka through sustainable infrastructure development and management solutions. Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s largest urban, industrial and infrastructure consulting firms, will collaborate with Ceywater Consultants, a well-known water and waste [...]

Meet Gaur Gopal Das, internationally renowned motivational speaker, in Colombo on March 22, 23

In the quest for corporate success, business entities highlight efficiency and productivity in their workforce. Given the speed at which situations arise and change, staff members might sometimes grapple with conditions beyond their area of expertise. There is more chance now of unhappiness in staff members than ever before because of the changes in the [...]

Bus priority lanes cause chaos in Colombo

Bus priority lanes cause chaos in Colombo

The on-going economic activities concentrated in the densely populated city of Colombo are attracting more people from the suburbs to the central business district. As a result, Colombo and its suburbs are forever congested during peak times due to the high vehicle volumes on an already overcrowded road network. As an attempt to decongest and [...]

65 per cent property sales by locals, 27 % by expat Sri Lankans

65 per cent property sales by locals, 27 %  by expat Sri Lankans

While the construction industry is booming in the country on one hand, the demand for real estate properties is also increasing on the other hand. According to data collected by the real estate industry, 65 per cent of property buyers are locals, 27 per cent are expatriate Sri Lankans and the remaining 8 per cent [...]

Multilac dealers enjoy dream visit to US

Dealers who achieved beyond their targets in 2017 were rewarded by Multilac, Sri Lanka’s popular household paint, with a dream trip to see the exciting landmarks of New York and Washington. The company said in a media release that it was a memorable experience for the 38 Multilac dealers who were treated to six days [...]

Sri Lanka’s Public Trustee goes after undiscovered immovable property

Sri Lanka’s Public Trustee Department entrusted with the task of managing private property both movable and immovable worth billions of rupees is seeking public assistance to find immovable property vested in the department which is still to be taken over by them. In a public notice published in newspapers recently, the Public Trustee requested the [...]

7,600 children receive school-related gifts from Brandix

Over 7,600 children of Associates of the Brandix family ushered in the new school year on a positive note, receiving gifts of stationery, a school bag each and other school essentials from Brandix, under the company’s employee welfare initiative, ‘Ran Daru Thilina.’ Launched in 2016, ‘Ran Daru Thilina’ benefits children from nursery age to Grade [...]

Commercial Bank ends 2017 strong, 41% of profit paid as taxes

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has posted profit before VAT and NBT of Rs. 28.064 billion for the year ending December 2017, a growth of 18.14 per cent. Gross income increased by 24.10 per cent to Rs. 115.594 billion, boosted by interest income of Rs. 103.034 billion, up Rs. 22.296 billion or 27.62 per [...]

SEC trails On’ally cash deal by Renuka

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is on the money trail of Renuka Capital PLC’s purchase of On’ally Holdings PLC stake, industry sources said. “The SEC wants to establish the route in the cash transactions based on complaints made by certain parties pertaining to this transaction,” a source told the Business Times. The Business Times [...]

Janashakthi Insurance’s general business grows while life remains flat

Janashakthi Insurance PLC (Janashakthi), registering steady double digit growth in premiums through FY 2017, posted a consolidated Gross Written Premium (GWP) of Rs. 15.115 billion for year ending December 2017, a year on year (YoY) growth of 11 per cent. The Non-Life or General Insurance business grew by 14 per cent to end the year [...]

Union Bank sees strong growth in profit to Rs.782 mn in 2017

The Union Bank, despite the volatile macro environment, says it performed exceptionally well in 2017 resulting in a 35.6 per cent increase in profits from operating activities to Rs. 782 million against Rs. 577 million in 2016. Pre-tax profit was Rs. 534 million, up by 23 per cent from 2016. Gross income of the bank [...]

CSE, CSBA host second event showcasing S&P SL 20 companies

The second event in the series launched by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) to showcase S&P SL 20 companies to an exclusive audience of local institutional and high net-worth investors was recently held at the Taj Samudra Hotel. The event featured investment case presentations and discussions [...]

NTB’s 2017 results show 31% growth in pre-tax profit

Nations Trust Bank closed the financial year ending December 2017 with a post-tax profit of Rs. 3,371 million, up by 18 per cent over the previous year while pre-tax profit rose by 31 per cent. A higher effective tax rate stemming from the increase in the financial services VAT rate as well as the additional [...]

De-localising local elections in Sri Lanka

De-localising local elections in Sri Lanka

For the first time in the recent Sri Lankan political history, significant attention was paid to the local government election held in February 2018. In fact, it was accorded similar consideration as that given to a national election; and the outcome of the election created political uncertainty in the country. The Centre for Poverty Analysis [...]

Colombo metropolitan transport plan fails to gain progress

Sri Lanka’s Transport Ministry has failed to achieve any progress in the 25-year comprehensive Colombo metropolitan transportation plan prepared with the assistance of Japanese International Corporation Agency JICA, World Bank and Asian Development Bank despite allocating millions of rupees during the 2015 -2016 period, a report released by the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) revealed. [...]

Destructive and unsustainable practice of bottom trawling resurfacing in Sri Lanka?

Destructive and unsustainable practice of bottom trawling resurfacing in Sri Lanka?

In July 2017, Sri Lanka became the first country in Asia to completely ban bottom trawling and the use of destructive trawl nets. Six months later, the Department of Fisheries proposed to weaken this ban by allowing ‘less destructive’ trawling in designated trawling zones. A majority of fishermen in the Northern Province are outraged by [...]

Fresh controversy brews in Sri Lanka’s e-Passport project

Controversy is brewing in Sri Lanka’s e-Passport project after the presentation of the report on the country’s passport survey during the period of legal proceedings over the attempt made by the authorities to award the contract to De La Rue Lanka Currency and Security Print Ltd. (DeLaRue Lanka Ltd.) through a non-transparent and unsolicited single-source [...]

Aitken Spence Logistics enhanced by world class equipment

Aitken Spence Logistics enhanced  by world class equipment

Aitken Spence Logistics, seeking continuous improvement with enhancements to its fleet of equipment, recently added six new forklifts, 12 new prime movers and an empty container handler to advance its operations in the fields of Container Freight Station (CFS), Transportation and Inland Container Terminal (ICT). The purchases were made from Toyota, TATA and KONECRANES, the [...]

Steelcase, world’s largest office furniture manufacturer, comes to Sri Lanka

Steelcase, the global leader in office furniture and innovative workspace solutions, this week announced its entry into Sri Lanka with the opening of its first dealer showroom. Developed in partnership with Widac Commercial Interiors, the new showroom in Colombo further strengthens the presence of Steelcase in the Asia-Pacific region, adding to a comprehensive network of [...]

Global airlines leaving passengers to their own devices

SINGAPORE ( – Airlines in Asia are increasingly letting passengers take in-flight entertainment into their own hands, as they turn their attention to building in-flight connectivity instead. At the (recent) Aviation Festival Asia, Kamal Hingorani, senior vice president & head inflight services and customer experience of Indian LCC SpiceJet, shared that while installing seat-back screens [...]

Habarana resort introduces sustainable farming Model in dry zone

Habarana resort introduces sustainable farming Model in dry zone

The Cinnamon Hotel chain is taking its overarching promise of inspired living to one of their key stakeholder segments at Habarana Village by Cinnamon, spearheading a novel initiative of sustainable and resourceful farming in the drought-ridden region. The resort during the dry season due to the legendary elephant gathering in the bordering lake is introducing [...]

Advertising Rates

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