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“Wait and see” from foreign investors

“Wait and see” from foreign investors

This week’s unrest in Kandy and the imposition of a state of emergency immediately led to tourist cancellations and triggered alarm bells in the economy, officials and economists at the Treasury and the Central Bank (CB) said. As long as communal tensions persist, the country will be vulnerable to an economic crisis, a senior government [...]

Tourists cancel visits to Kandy

Foreign travellers are calling up Kandy hotels to cancel their holiday plans for bookings already placed with most online visitors opting to stay clear of the violence that this week hit the hills. At least 10 per cent of tourists scheduled to visit Kandy cancelled travel plans in the wake of the tension experienced in [...]

Seasonal flights from Cinnamon Air

Cinnamon Air has announced its seasonal schedules for April between Colombo and Nuwara Eliya from April 7 to 15. The airline said it will be operating a daily scheduled flight from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya, departing Colombo City (Waters Edge) water aerodrome at 10:30 am and arriving in Nuwara Eliya (Lake Gregory) at 11 am. [...]

President directs his SLT Chairman-brother to punish corrupt officials

Amidst mounting pressure from Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) workers, President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered his brother P.G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena, Chairman SLT to take stern action against corrupt officials and streamline operations. Heeding trade union demands, he directed his brother to immediately stop heavy investments leading to financial instability of the institution and unproductive operations and [...]

Stocks: Foreign buying may slow down

The Colombo Stock Exchange’s (CSE) rally by foreign investors looks dicey now that a state of emergency has been imposed by the government on Tuesday, some stock analysts say. “From Tuesday onwards some funds were trying to book profits on selected blue chip blocks such as John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank,” an analyst told [...]

Multi-faceted roles of women

Multi-faceted roles of women

Kussi Amma Sera came rushing into the living room shouting, “Mahattaya balanna, mey kalabala kale, kaantavan-te thamai karadara”. (Sir, when there are problems, it’s mostly the women who get affected.) She was carrying the Lankadeepa newspaper in one hand and delicately balancing my morning’s, steaming cup of tea on the other, not dropping an inch [...]

Peculiarities of labour shortage in Sri Lanka

Peculiarities of labour shortage in Sri Lanka

If “things did go right” since the end of the separatist war in 2009, Sri Lanka would soon be faced with a shortage of labour – more of “skilled” than “unskilled” labour, according to a study that I myself undertook for the ILO in 2011. Employment projections of the study were carried out by my [...]

Sri Lanka sets foot in cruise tourism with tariff changes

With the aim of capitalising on the ever increasing popularity of cruise tourism, the Sri Lanka government is mulling more concessions for travellers arriving in the island on ships. Necessary changes are to be made to tariff system and voyage fees of passengers in accordance with the suggestions made by the Parliamentary Sectorial Committee on [...]

Lack of recognition for innovation in Sri Lanka

While innovation appears to be one of the core strengths of some young graduates who pass out from national universities in Sri Lanka, there is lack of recognition for innovation by the industry experts and corporate heads. Sri Lanka ranks 90 out of 130 nations worldwide in terms of innovation, according to the global innovation [...]

Corporates, not only governments, responsible for sustainability issues

While several areas in Sri Lanka still face severe drought conditions the government is looking at providing artificial rain to areas affected by importing emergency power purchases and other essential food items to its affected people. “Owing to this scenario we have seen food costs going up and other social and political issues emerging with [...]

Laugfs Gas PLC announces new restructure aimed at profitability

Laugfs Gas PLC will be segregated with three out of its six subsidiaries to be individually listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from April 1 this year. Following the un-relatable existence of businesses within the conglomerate, the decision has been taken by the board of directors approving the restructuring initiative in a move towards [...]

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle celebrates its first rice harvest

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle celebrates its first rice harvest

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort celebrated the harvest of its first rice crops from its own organic paddy fields, located within the premises of the resort. The rice paddy fields are one of the latest farming initiatives that further enhance the resort’s continued sustainability commitments. The resort gardeners adhered to traditional planting methods and started [...]

Asia Siyaka’s Anil Cooke to address key Dubai tea forum

Sri Lanka’s Anil Cooke, President and CEO, Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC is among a list of high-profile speakers who will address a two-day Global Dubai Tea Forum from April 25-26 under the theme “Brewing the future of trade.” Organised by DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, this 7th edition event [...]

Ravi Dadlani new MD at CEAT Kelani

CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced the appointment of Ravi Dadlani, a Sri Lankan, as Managing Director of the company with effect from March 1. Previously Vice President Sales, Marketing and Exports at CEAT Kelani, a company he has already served for 11 years, Mr Dadlani succeeds Vijay Gambhire, who returns to CEAT Ltd India on [...]

JV between Galle Face Group and Zhen Hua Engineering

JV between Galle Face Group and Zhen Hua Engineering

Ceylon Hotels Maldives Ltd (CHML), a subsidiary of Ceylon Hotels Corporation PLC and a member of the Galle Face Group of Companies, has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Zhen Hua Engineering Company Ltd (ZHEC), a group company of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC). The duo will develop upscale resorts in the Maldives. [...]

Government removes cess on ivory paper boards to pacify printers

In an effort to help Sri Lankan printers aspiring to enter the export market with value added printing, the Finance Ministry has removed the cess on ivory paper board imports recently, a senior Customs official told the Business Times. By relieving printers cum exporters from some import duty, it is expected to enhance the competitiveness [...]

No plans to increase interest rates:Central Bank

Based on current projections, an increase in market interest rates in Sri Lanka is not expected in the near term, the Central Bank (CB) said on Monday. Clarifying unnamed media reports which said interest rates may go up, the CB said in a media statement that the recent movements in headline inflation, core inflation, inflation [...]

EPF, ETF must prove their case to ‘return to capital market’ : PM

Given the investigations and the ‘bad record’ by superannuation funds in the past the Central Bank has to be ‘convinced’ about the capital market to invest in it, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has told stockbrokers recently. He said this on the sidelines of a dedicated meeting after the ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ Investor Forum organised by [...]

Lower commission on share trades will attract more foreigners

Lower commission on share trades will attract more foreigners

Liquidity is the biggest issue hindering more foreign investments to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), but the CSE can follow a few steps to attract foreign inflows, a top foreign fund manager says. Outlining what can be done, next generation emerging fund, Tundra Fonder AB Founder/Chief Investment Officer Mattias Martinsson told the Business Times that [...]

Namal Acuity’s portfolio shows Rs. 1.35 bn value for ‘17

The Namal Acuity Value Fund (NAVF) has an equity portfolio value of Rs. 1.35 billion for the period ended 31st December 2017, latest data showed. The NAVF generated a return of -3.2 per cent for the three month period ended December 2017, compared to the All Share Price Index (ASPI) return of -1.1 per cent [...]

Gender Equality at CSE: Maithree rings bell for diversity, unity and peace in SL

Gender Equality at CSE: Maithree rings bell for diversity, unity and peace in SL

“None of us lives everyday life on the basis of a singular and unitary identity. Rather, we are an assemblage of multiple identities, and we may foreground a specific identity in a given context, perhaps vis-à-vis our profession, sexual orientation, language, class, geography, education, politics, age, ability or disability, and so on.” Making the keynote [...]

Lankan women in IT commit to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace

A group of high-profile professionals from some of Sri Lanka’s leading technology-driven companies, in a bid to bring gender diversity to the forefront, has committed time, effort, and energy towards a series of programmes under “Driving Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace”. Titled “Diversity Collective”, the group said it’s committed to the advancement of [...]

Banking for women or banking on women?

Banking for women or banking on women?

Banking on women (or rather banking for women) has been a matter of interest and attention both in local and international financial circles. Almost all leading Sri Lankan banks offer special products/accounts dedicated to women with a multitude of offerings including additional interest, gifts, card offers and insurance packages to lure the consumeristic woman to [...]

Women’s Chamber seminar on International Women’s Day

The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce is marking International Women’s Day 2018, with a seminar titled “Press for Progress” on Thursday, March 15 at the Hotel Galadari Colombo. The chief guest is Michelle Simmons, General Manager -South East Asia New Markets, Microsoft Asia Pacific who will address the audience on “Press for progress with [...]

Women still less likely to be active in the labour market than men: ILO

GENEVA (ILO) – Women are less likely to participate in the labour market than men and are more likely to be unemployed in most parts of the world, says a new study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) released on the eve of International Women’s Day (marked on March 8). According to the World Employment [...]

Hollywood Photographer and STHRIbySelyn capture essence of women’s empowerment

Hollywood Photographer and STHRIbySelyn capture essence of women’s empowerment

Chris Burgess, an international photographer associated with many leading Hollywood blockbuster movies, recently with marketing agency Vision1 and ethical fashion label STHRIbySelyn to collaborate on an empowerment passion project in tribute to the Sri Lankan woman. In celebration of International Women’s Week, the collaboration this week launched a special online photo gallery – “STHRI”, that [...]

New Port City’s hidden truth spells danger for future generations

New Port City’s hidden truth spells danger for future generations

Marine biologist Carmel Corea begins her argument against the Port City by quoting Arahat Mahinda who is believed to have told King Devanampiyatissa “the birds and beasts have an equal right to move about in any part of the island as thou and that the island belongs to the people and that thou are only [...]

INSEE Cement prices up by Rs 30 per bag in view of the increasing cost of raw material and other production expenditure

INSEE Cement has increased its MRP (Maximum Retail Price) by Rs. 30 per bag. The retail price of a bag of cement will be Rs. 960 with immediate effect (as at Monday). The price of a ton of cement will be increased by Rs.600 for project customers. These price increases have been approved by Consumer [...]

Real Engine of the Business Cycle

CHICAGO – Every major financial crisis leaves a unique footprint. Just as banking crises throughout the 19th and 20th centuries revealed the importance of financial-sector liquidity and lenders of last resort, the Great Depression underscored the necessity of counter-cyclical fiscal and monetary policies. And, more recently, the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession revealed [...]

Blue Green Revolution in Sri Lanka fades as fertiliser subsidy backfires

The Sri Lankan Government has been forced to bring back the previous chemical fertiliser subsidy scheme as farmers countrywide have vehemently rejected the cash for fertiliser programme aimed at creating a blue green agriculture revolution. The plan to convert the subsidy to a cash allowance of Rs. 25,000 a year to encourage farmers to move [...]

First Capital fostering strong bonds with foreign, local clients

First Capital Holdings PLC has continued its pursuits to establishing strategic partnerships with stock brokering houses based in the US and Japan, in addition to reinforcing its local efforts through the group’s expanding branch network, according to officials. “The company has been playing an active role in exploring capital market prospects and opportunities through international [...]

LOLC Finance launches door-step Savings Cash Collection Service

LOLC Finance launches door-step Savings Cash Collection Service

LOLC Finance PLC recently unveiled yet another cutting-edge financial service that provides a high degree of convenience and security to its customers. The ‘LOLC Finance Savings Cash Collection’ service offers the unparalleled convenience of depositing cash to the customer’s savings account without having to visit the branch, the company said in a media release. The [...]

Sri Lanka’s insurance giant SLIC strongest in the region

Insurance giant, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has laid claim to being one of the strongest insurance companies in the Asian region. Hemaka Amarasooriya, Chairman, SLIC at the media conference held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Tuesday, declared that it is a fact that SLIC paid the largest ever insurance claim – Rs. 37 billion [...]

Central Bank cancels CIFL, seals office in Colombo

Central Bank cancels CIFL, seals office in Colombo

The Central Bank (CB) on Monday sealed the premises of the Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL) in Colombo following a decision to cancel the licence of the troubled company with depositors now hoping a court case they filed will bring some relief. In a statement that followed the sealing of the premises, the CB [...]

SL’s growing IT sector urges zero tolerance against racial and religious hatred

Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry, responding to this week’s racial unrest, has urged its companies to establish a zero-tolerance policy for any incident involving racial or religious discrimination and disrespect. Heads of companies, business units or team members were requested, in a message to the industry by Ruwindhu Peiris, Chairman of the SLASSCOM Board, to “communicate [...]

Ceylinco Insurance group posts consolidated post-tax profit of Rs. 8.3 bn

Ceylinco Insurance PLC, the holding company of Ceylinco General Insurance and Ceylinco Life Insurance, recorded a massive, consolidated after tax profit of Rs. 8.3 billion, for the year ending December 2017 while profit before tax stood at Rs. 9.2 billion. Ceylinco General Insurance and Ceylinco Life Insurance recorded profit after tax of Rs. 1.4 billion [...]

AirAsia’s new 5 mn seats promotion

AirAsia and AirAsia X are offering five million promotional seats in its first major campaign of the year. Book from March 5 (0001h GMT +8) to March 11, 2018 (2359 GMT +8) for travel between September 3, 2018 and May 29, 2019 to enjoy fares from as low as Rs. 13,990 to Kuala Lumpur and [...]

The Blockchain Pipe Dream

NEW YORK – Predictions that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will fail typically elicit a broader defence of the underlying blockchain technology. Yes, the argument goes, over half of all “initial coin offerings” to date have already failed, and most of the 1,500-plus cryptocurrencies also will fail, but “blockchain” will nonetheless revolutionize finance and human interactions [...]

K. Sivagananathan awards on Wednesday

The 16th Annual K. Sivagananathan Memorial Trust (KSMT) awards and memorial oration will be held on Wednesday, March 14. This annual memorial oration and awards ceremony is conducted together with the Association of Professional Bankers of Sri Lanka (APB) in commemoration of the late Mr. K. Sivagananathan who was an innovative banker and contributed much [...]

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