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No joke: New tax regime from April 1

No joke: New tax regime from April 1

Rajendra Theagarajah, MD/CEO – Cargills Bank, stresses a point watched by Suresh Perera, Principal, Tax and Regulatory –KPMG (extreme left) and Roy Joseph -MD of Hemas Manufacturing (Pvt) Ltd) (second from right) during a panel discussion on the new taxes at the Sunday Times Business Club meeting on Tuesday. Club President Chaturanga Perera is also [...]

EAP group exits from subsidiaries to save two finance companies

Crisis-ridden, Edirisinghe Trust Investment Finance Ltd (ETIFL) a licensed non-bank finance institution, will be resurrected with a capital infusion of US$17 million by a Singapore-based investment fund, official sources revealed.The EAP Group has entered into a deal with Blue Summit Capital Management Pvt Ltd to sell some of its major subsidiaries to this Singaporean firm [...]

FM official tipped to head promotions in travel industry?

The government is likely to consider a diplomat with sound knowledge of state bureaucracy to head the promotions arm of the state run tourism body. It is learnt that the criteria for the selection process is to find someone with the ability to engage in the proper procurement processes of the government and in this [...]

Phone components and airplane landing gear built in Sri Lanka

European based telecommunication companies embed transformers and inductors manufactured in factories in Ratmalana, Sri Lanka? Absolutely … the next flight you take could ensure a safe landing because the gear is manufactured here by a company named Etal that has been carrying out operations for the past 10 years. Etal Group Pvt Ltd General Manager [...]

Deals in abundance at the CSE

So far this year the CSE has seen so many deals – crossings, buybacks and private equity.  This trend was started by On’ally Holdings PLC, engaged in property development and real estate business when its 12 per cent crossed on January 3. The buyer was Renuka Capital PLC which has been collecting this share since [...]

New VAT on apartment sales suspended

The 15 per cent value added tax (VAT) on sales of apartments from projects after April 1 won’t be effective from today, as planned earlier, since the amending legislation to enable this process hasn’t been presented to parliament as yet, officials sources said. Many people had rushed to buy apartments to beat this deadline with [...]

Killing the spirit of entrepreneurship

Sri Lanka has become dysfunctional. Over the past few months, including the period of the recent local government elections, some key state institutions have ground to a halt like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where the terms of office of the commissioners including the chairman ended (and no replacements have been made so far). [...]

2017: An economy on crutches

2017: An economy on crutches

The residence of my one-time teacher, named as “wana leheba” (shrubbery) is located in a beautiful piece of forest-like garden, hidden within the Kurunegala city – a sanctuary with shades of big trees and beautiful natural landscaping for art-lovers as well as bird-lovers. It was after many years that I recently had an opportunity to [...]

Government to dispose unproductive non-financial assets

The cash-strapped Sri Lankan government is embarking on an ambitious plan of making maximum use of its non financial assets through the newly established Comptroller General’s office at the Finance Ministry, a senior Treasury official told the Business Times. This office was set up recently, with a view to monitoring the management of the assets [...]

Will Sri Lankan family firms be around in 3 years?

There are three corporate decision makers in Sri Lanka right now, says a HR solutions firm. “First, the founder of a company, hesitant to hand over the reins of a company that took him or her years to build. His or her children are uninterested in taking over the family firm or intent on pursuing [...]

Lanka Hospitals launches Male Wellness Centre

Lanka Hospitals PLC has announced its latest addition to the Centres of Excellence- the Male Wellness Centre (MWC) – in a bid to offer services to improve health and wellbeing of men. It’s also significant that a fully-fledged wellness centre dedicated solely for men has been established for the first time in Sri Lanka, the [...]

Wide powers to Tax Chief in new tax laws effective today

Wide powers to Tax Chief in new tax laws effective today

The new Inland Revenue Act effective from today (April 1) gives wide and far reaching powers to the Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) where, in one instance, he alone can decide whether a taxpayer can be accompanied by a lawyer or another representative to the IRD, or not. Also under certain circumstances [...]

Grant: Reggie Candappa’s business of ideas celebrates 60 years

Grant: Reggie Candappa’s business of ideas celebrates 60 years

It wasn’t Madison Avenue by any stretch of the imagination, but when Reggie Candappa returned home from the US, one day in 1958 with a thousand American dollars in his pocket, his dining table at home – 91, Galle Road, Bambalapitiya – was where “the business of ideas” took off in Sri Lanka, or Ceylon [...]

CSE gets tough with more errant firms

Some 16 quoted companies are on the chopping block for flouting the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) regulations, officials say. Of this, trading of shares in seven firms currently on the Watch List will be suspended with effect from tomorrow April 2, the CSE announced recently, unless they comply by March 29 (last Thursday). It wasn’t [...]

Union Bank’s breakfast forum for Elite Circle clients

Union Bank recently hosted its Elite Circle clients to an exclusive breakfast forum at the Jetwing Colombo Seven with the participation of over 75 bank clients. The breakfast forum was held under the theme ‘Personal Taxation and highlights of the Exchange Control Act of Sri Lanka’. An informative presentation and discussion on Personal Taxation was [...]

Too many farmers in Sri Lanka?

Too many farmers in Sri Lanka?

The gist of Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne’s piece titled “Netherlands farmers and Sri Lankan doctors” in the Business Times last week is that (i) the productivity of Sri Lankan farmers is low compared to those in the Netherlands, (ii) that we have too many farmers and (iii) the scale of production of Sri Lankan farmers is [...]

25 years on, Bates Strategic Alliance looks at the future

25 years on, Bates Strategic Alliance looks at the future

Bates Strategic Alliance reputed as a pioneer in Integrated Marketing Communications and Public Relations now driving strongly in Digital, has announced that it will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a ‘Festival of Our Future’ where it will explore vital issues and future trends in four critical areas – brands, communications, environment and society. The Thought [...]

No flying by night to Batticaloa

Sri Lanka’s civilian flights to the East coast opened with the Batticaloa airport being fully commissioned at the weekend however air services are restricted to only day-time operations. There won’t be any night operations for civilian aircraft unless special permission has been granted by the Sri Lanka Air Force, that continues to operate the airport, [...]

COYLE programme with Harvard Business School Professor

The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) will hold a full day programme titled “Best of Harvard for Sri Lankan CEO’s and their Executive Teams” on April 24 from 8.30 am to 4 pm at the ‘Oak Room’, Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. The featured keynote speaker at this forum will be renowned Harvard Business School Prof. [...]

Sri Lanka launches ambitious blueprint for global printing hub

Sri Lanka’s printing community may be small, but they are now being brought under one umbrella with an ambitious blueprint to transform the country as the global printing hub especially for the Asia Pacific region. The Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP), the authoritative body representing the interests of the printing community, has stepped into [...]

Anti-competitor games, state red tape stops FDI

Suspected anti-competitor tactics in Sri Lanka’s lubricant industry and bureaucratic red tape are attempting to stop a large foreign investment, the Business Times learns. Malaysian based local subsidiary, Hyrax Oil’s brand new blending plant hasn’t been granted the necessary approvals to start operations owing to certain vested interests by other industry leaders working together with [...]

Technology will replace over 40 per cent of jobs in 10 years

Technology that is driving the world today will take over 40 per cent of the existing jobs in another 10 years, an industry expert has said. Queensland University of Technology, Head of School of Management Prof. Rowena Barrett, speaking at the CEO’s Forum organised by the Chartered Accountants (CA) of Sri Lanka in Colombo on [...]

Rs. 2 bn investment at Serenia Residences in Talpe

With an investment of Rs. 2 billion, Serenia Residences has set up its footprint in Talpe Galle. The construction of the 47 unit residential property will commence in June 2018 on a 180-perch land. Prices of the beachfront apartments starts from US$ 278,000. Serenia Residences Ltd Executive Director, Dilshan Kodituwakku during the launch of the [...]

Central Bank launches revamped website

The revamped website of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) was launched by Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy on Wednesday. It is a much more advanced and user-friendly website. The main features of the new site include additional content, more dynamic and interactive features with improved functionality, mobile compatibility and active social media integration, [...]

No rush to invest abroad despite forex relaxation

Despite the new Foreign Exchange Act being passed by Parliament last November making the transaction of foreign exchange more relaxed than before, banks haven’t seen any expected increase in ‘intended’ forex transactions, industry experts say. Amongst these regulations which were cited in the Foreign Exchange (Capital Transactions in Foreign Exchange Carried on by Authorised Dealers) [...]

Celebrate Avurudu at the Mövenpick

Mövenpick Hotel Colombo has come up with a ‘sweet’ offer for Sri Lankans this April. From April 1 to 30, a special resident offer awaits you, the hotel said in a media release. The stunning rooms offer panoramic views of the city or Indian ocean. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel’s stylish guest rooms and suites [...]

Green tea expert gets honorary doctorate

Tiran Peiris, the founder of three Green tea plants in Sri Lanka, has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his work. The pioneer of inventing specialty Green tea products and promoting Green tea, he has been honoured by the Hebron Eco University with a honorary doctorate “Doctor of Humanities” for his contribution to the Green [...]

York presents “Most Energy Efficient” VRF air-conditioning technology

The most energy efficient and cost effective VRF technology York air conditioner by Johnsons Controls was recently presented in Colombo to an audience of engineers and consultants. The versatile and comprehensive smart climate control York YES series variable refrigeration flow (VRF) air conditioners have come a long way since their introduction and today the technology [...]

Softwave Printing group wins prestigious awards

Softwave Printing group wins prestigious awards

Chaminda Kariyawasam Managing Director of Softwave Printing & Packaging (Pvt) Ltd, receiving a Gold Award from SLAP Past President of SLAP Sanjeev Mohan. Others seen are Zakeer Kamrudeen (Exco member), Sashi Hettiwatta (Director Marketing, AGXA Global), Anton Godfrey – Group CEO AGXA Global and Krishantha Rajapaksha, General Manager Softwave Group. Softwave Printing & Packaging (Pvt) [...]

Sri Lanka’s manufacturing future in a digital era

Microsoft recently revealed how rapid advances in emerging technologies have created new ways to turn data into iterative insights at a C-level conference in Colombo titled “Manufacturing in the Digital Era”. The event, which took place at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, revealed how data and the advent of connected devices and platforms are driving the persistent [...]

First Sri Lankan company to manufacture transformers locally

LTL Holding that began first by exporting locally manufactured transformers to Iraq in 1980, now exports transformers to 25 countries. Sixty per cent of its locally manufactured transformers are exported while only 40 per cent of them are used locally, said the Chief Operations Officer of the LTL Holdings Dammika Nanayakkara at a media briefing [...]

Trade fair held to promote treated water solutions for dry zone communities

A trade fair on ‘Advanced and Appropriate Water Treatment Systems’ to treat water in locations with serious water quality issues was held at the BMICH Colombo recently in commemoration of World Water Day 2018, where nine companies showcased nature-based solutions, in parallel with alternative approaches, in water treatment technologies and practices. This was initiated by [...]

Fitch affirms Hemas Holdings at ‘AA-(lka)’, outlook stable

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Hemas Holdings PLC’s National Long-Term Rating at ‘AA-(lka)’ with a stable outlook, saying that the group’s business risk profile has improved from the recent acquisition of Atlas Axillia (Pvt) Ltd (Atlas), the largest domestic manufacturer and distributor of exercise books, pens, colour products and other school stationery. However, the benefits are [...]

Tea industry export earnings losses at Rs.15 bn in 2017

The Sri Lankan tea industry has accrued losses amounting to approximately Rs. 15 billion in export earnings last year, a top government official said on Thursday. Plantations Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith told the Business Times that the glyphosate ban had impacted on export earnings resulting in a loss of Rs.15 billion in 2017. As a [...]

Port of Colombo – 13th Best Connectivity Port in the World

The Port of Colombo has gone up by five places and is now ranked the 13th best Connectivity Port in the world in the 4th quarter 2017. The port that had been ranked as the 18th Best Connectivity Port by the Drewry Port Connectivity Index is up by five places and is now ranked the [...]

“New Sri Lankan factory to reuse and recycle electric vehicle batteries”

The Electric Vehicle Club of Sri Lanka (EvClub) has pointed out an error in the story with the above headline appearing in the Business Times on March 4. In that interview, what the EvClub said was that the factory will be set up in Japan (not in Sri Lanka as reported).

HUTCH to go 4G in 2018

Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (Hutch) says it would be launching 4G services in the second half of 2018. In a media release, the company said it has received all approvals from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. The deployment of 4G services will allow Hutch to continue its work towards providing their customers [...]

“New board for SriLankan Airlines”

With reference to the story in last week’s Business Times on the appointment of a new board of directors to SriLankan Airlines, my view is that appointing a new board will not resolve the existing problems of the airline. Spending time and funds on restructuring will be a waste if we are looking for foreign [...]

World Bank in talks to accelerate start-up community acceptance in Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka’s start-up ecosystem is booming and various angel investments are coming into the country, the government has three major roles to play in terms of recognising the potential for start-ups. A team from the World Bank is in discussion with the government to accelerate the start-up community acceptance. The three main roles of [...]

Beware of New Year ‘Bank Loan on Card’ Schemes

Beware of New Year ‘Bank Loan on Card’ Schemes

In anticipation of the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year, many commercial banks are offering tempting loan schemes to unsuspecting customers. As an example, a bank is offering customers a pre- approved loan of Rs. 1 million with a convenient monthly repayment plan based on a ‘loan on card’ programme. Options for repayment are in [...]

CB suspends March 31 deadline for defaced currency

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) on Thursday suspended a March 31 deadline for the acceptance of willfully defaced currency notes saying these would be accepted until “further notice”. In a public statement, the CB said: “Considering the immense requests made and the difficulties faced by the general public in exchanging willfully defaced currency notes after [...]

Kiwi companies to explore business opportunities in Sri Lanka

A New Zealand business delegation representing 13 innovative companies arrives in Colombo tomorrow on a 3-day visit aimed at forging business and trade links with Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an increasingly important partner for New Zealand in South Asia, evidenced by the recent visits from New Zealand businesses and a new Zealand High Commission [...]

National Payment Platform ball now in the CB court

The much-debated National Payment Platform (NPP) project suspended in August 2017 will be further reviewed before it gets off the ground under the watchful eye of the Central Bank (CB), official sources said. The CB, now coming under the Finance Ministry on a directive of the President, will supervise and monitor the entire process of [...]

Coca-Cola President meets PM, to invest $50 mn by 2023

President/CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, James Quincey, met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during his, recent maiden visit to the country. Affirming the company’s commitment to Sri Lanka, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partner, have committed to contribute US$50 million+ into the ecosystem of the country over the next five years. Mr. Quincey’s visit to [...]

Bank of China (BoC) enters Sri Lanka strengthening strategic cooperation

Bank of China (BoC), one of the largest state-owned commercial banks in that vast People’s Republi,c began its operations in Sri Lanka on Wednesday by opening of its first branch in Colombo with the aim of boasting active entrepreneurial activities and promoting investments. The bank has made an initial capital investment of US$ 80 million [...]

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