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Lankan spices

Lankan spices

Two interested visitors at a stall promoting spices at the Sri Lanka Business and Investment Conclave organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held in Colombo on Tuesday. Pic by Indika Handuwala

SriLankan hires new COO/CFO

SriLankan Airlines, which is going through a restructuring exercise aimed at reducing debt and preparing a business plan that would be attractive to new investors, is revamping its management team. The Business Times reliably learns that the airline has recruited Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Operating Officer cum Chief Financial Officer (COO/CFO). Mr. Gunatilleka, a [...]

Russia, China first to sip Ceylon Tea’s global promotion in Oct.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is tipped to launch its much-talked about Rs.4 billion global promotion campaign by mid-October this year kicking off in Russia and China. Phoenix Ogilvy has been appointed to handle the creative aspect based on the initial tender awarded to them and Dentsu Grants would be working on media scheduling [...]

SLTPB tie-up with airlines on joint promos

Tourism promotion officials are in talks with airlines aimed at attracting more travellers while working jointly with tour operators. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said that currently they were looking at a new kind of promotion similar to that with MasterCard where they would work together with airlines and tour [...]

Power tender controversy

A major controversy is brewing over the proposed awarding of the tender of the Kerawalapitiya 300MW Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) power plant to Lakdhanavi Ltd, in which the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has a 60 per cent stake. Informed sources said that this week the Cabinet requested the Finance Minister’s comments before a final decision [...]

Rubber industry gets Rs.50 m high tech facility next month

The rubber industry will receive a boost with the establishment of a public private high tech venture with seed funding from the Government of Rs.50 million to provide computer simulation to design advanced rubber products in Sri Lanka next month. The Finite Element Analysis Simulation Centre is a high tech establishment created under the Rubber [...]

Lanka’s crisis of skills

Lanka’s crisis of skills

This was one topic I believed was over the top of Kussi Amma Sera’s head, meaning the issue was too technical, complex and needed an analytical mind. Kussi Amma Sera discussing a crisis in skills, my foot and a half, I thought. But I was wrong. On this Thursday morning, KAS and her comrades – [...]

Tuk-tuk driver who wanted a “future”

Tuk-tuk driver who wanted a “future”

Gurbe Scheenstra – a difficult name for an average Sri Lankan to pronounce. It is not a commonly known name even in Gurbe’s home country – the Netherlands. He is the Country Head of ISM APAC (Pvt) Ltd – Sri Lanka branch of a multinational company in the IT/BPO industry. The company has also been [...]

Transforming chicken droppings into ‘gold’ energy

Transforming chicken droppings  into ‘gold’ energy

The dictum ‘garbage or waste is gold’ is being put into practice world over, but unfortunately in Sri Lanka there appears to be an enormous hick-up in transforming or recycling garbage into energy and fertiliser. The concept of transforming garbage to energy is not new and in this country, such proposals of transformation in the [...]

New facilities’ managers emerge as high-rise buildings increase

High-rise buildings in Colombo earlier were confined to five to 10 storeys but now many exceed even 50 storeys, now, which mean the maintenance of the high-rise building is critical. In this scenario to provide some ‘peace of mind’ to the owners of these condominiums McLarens Group in collaboration with Peak Engineering, Singapore is offering [...]

Key priority for Sri Lanka right now is FDIs

Key priority for Sri Lanka  right now is FDIs

Having stabilised the economy of the country over the past couple of years, Sri Lanka’s key priority right now is attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs), says Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama. Speaking at the Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2018 titled ‘Partnering for Prosperity’ organised by the Ceylon Chamber of [...]

Denmark pump giant Grundfos aims to rescue Sri Lanka from floods

Denmark pump giant Grundfos aims  to rescue Sri Lanka from floods

SINGAPORE/DENMARK -Sri Lanka is now ready to embrace new technology in flood and drainage management infrastructure essential to reduce the impact of future floods in the catchment of the Colombo Water Basin after implementing piecemeal solutions for several decades. The scale and intensity of floods hitting the country in an untimely manner during off seasons [...]

Remembering Dr. Saman Kelegama

Remembering Dr. Saman Kelegama

“A person of amazing depth, dignity, and wisdom…” “Once in a generation individual…” “Sri Lanka’s finest champion of economic reforms…” “South Asia’s strongest patron…” “An individual of integrity, humility and humanity…” Dr. Saman Kelegama, the visionary Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka for over two decades, was all this and [...]

Sri Lanka losing battle to increase productivity growth due to cronyism, lack of strong institutions

Sri Lanka losing battle to increase productivity growth due to cronyism, lack of strong institutions

Prof. Razeen Sally does not hold his punches back. He charges the government with doing “bugger all” and says it has done hardly anything to uplift the economy since coming to power in 2015. “Pardon my French, but they have done bugger all and it is a Right Royal ….” Prof. Sally points out. A [...]

CPC starts local production of Bitumen

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has commenced bitumen production at the country’s sole refinery located in Sapugaskanda. Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga was quoted as saying that, “Understanding the rapid growth of the local construction sector and the demand for bitumen, CPC re-strategised the operations of the Sapugaskanda refinery to support bitumen process. By [...]

SLI’s Happiness Carnival

SLI’s Happiness Carnival

Sri Lanka Insurance (SLI) last week (Saturday) organised a “Happiness Carnival” at the Viharamaha Devi Park to celebrate, what it calls, the biggest life insurance bonus of Rs. 6.8 billion in the history of Sri Lankan insurance. Seen here is SLI Chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya releasing a set of balloons to mark the occasion. Pic by [...]

Sampath Bank launches SL’s first blockchain-based banking solution

Sampath Bank this week announced the launch of Sampath igift, a unique person to person gifting mobile app that is set to transform the way Sri Lanka celebrates momentous occasions. The app enables all Sampath Bank account holders to gift money to anyone in their smartphone’s contact list. They can gift any amount between Rs.100 [...]

Hemas Hospitals labs launch revolutionary medical testing

Hemas Hospitals recently launched an orbit-changing bundle of digital services to the customers of its laboratory chain including the three hospital-based labs in Wattala, Thalawathugoda and Galle, and 44 branch laboratories island wide. These digital services include a unique web based laboratory portal, a new website – and a SMS alert service which automatically [...]

Transforming leadership through Rockstars

RockStars is a story about transformational leadership. It is a story of personal growth, finding fulfillment within one’s self, and about the realities of bringing about change in organisations, according to its authors, Rozaine Cooray and Pujitha Silva. The book is written based on the P3 GROWTHS Model; a model that has been tried, tested [...]

Hoteliers search state schools for new recruits

A committed workforce is needed to ensure the tourism industry stays afloat and this is most crucial for those with a sense of taste to lay out a perfect meal for the discerning traveller that steps on the shores of Sri Lanka, hoteliers and travel industry experts highlighted these points to a gathering of principals [...]

Lankan economy grew by 3.2 % in 1Q 2018

Sri Lanka’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) Sri Lanka. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant (2010) prices for the first quarter of 2018 was recorded as Rs.2,223,856 million against quarter 2017 GDP of Rs.2,154,971 million. The four major [...]

Top hotelier pleads for faster, take-off in delayed nation branding campaign

Top hotelier pleads for faster, take-off in delayed nation branding campaign

Sri Lanka’s leading hotelier has lamented the absence of a “coherent marketing and promotional campaign” attributing this to the country’s inability to attract high spending travellers. “As I have continued to do for the past few years, I hope and pray that a marketing and promotional campaign will be launched in the upcoming financial year, [...]

iTelaSoft unveils IoT Test Platform

Sri Lanka’s iTelaSoft has recently come up with one of its latest innovations, IoT Test Platform providing an invaluable tool for feasibility testing and deployment planning of IoT solutions for both telcos and IoT implementers. Having helped one of the largest global telcos to assess the readiness of their IoT platform for real-world demand, iTelaSoft [...]

Nihal Sri Ameresekere on prestigious international group

The International Business Centre of Shenzhen Shuibei Jewelry Group, under the leadership of its President Mr. Lu Lihang, launched a contemporary and futuristic project last month to develop and promote a “Belt & Road” Jewellery Extended Fashion Industry Alliance, with the headquarters in Shenzhen, China. The inauguration was attended by a distinguished gathering of persons [...]

SL exporters hit by skilled labour shortage, may need to import workers

Sri Lankan exporters have been hit by a shortage of skilled labour plus workers moving to the state sector, and the shortage may necessitate importing workers. These include machine operators and other specific skills, particularly in the apparel sector, according to the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE). In a media release, the NCE said it [...]

Sri Lanka’s “living” export strategy to set $28 bn target by 2022

Sri Lanka will launch its National Export Strategy (NES) next month aimed at ensuring US$28 billion in export values by 2022. The document was sent to the Cabinet on Tuesday for approval to commence achieving targets set out for the next five years. Export Development Board (EDB) Policy and Strategic Planning Director Dayani Wegapitiya told [...]

Lankan economy on the correct track

Sri Lanka’s economy has improved and is on track with a 4-5 per cent growth rate expected for 2018 due to prudent policies adopted by the Central Bank (CB), IMF Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, Manuela Goretti said speaking at a video press conference from Washington on Wednesday on the fund’s Extended Fund facility to [...]

CMPort pays final tranche of US$584 m on Hambantota Port deal

The final tranche of leasing the Hambantota Port concession was released by China Merchant Port Holdings Ltd (CMPort) on Wednesday. A cheque to this effect was handed over to the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake by the Chief Representative of China Merchant Group in Sri Lanka – Ray Ren in [...]

Tundra adds ACL Cables to portfolio

Tundra Sustainable Frontier Fund, based in Sweden, last month added to its portfolio ACL Cables PLC, a leading manufacturer of electrical products ranging from cables to power industry to switches and sockets for hotels and housing. “We always reserve a small portion of the portfolio for what we view as long-term strategic positions. Although leaders [...]

Bottled water sector sees new entrants

Bottled water sector sees new entrants

Sri Lanka’s bottled water usage is growing especially within urban areas where the availability and convenience of bottled water is helping it grow. These factors along with a heightened emphasis on healthy lifestyles and improved consumer awareness of the need for proper hydration which have led many consumers to shift from traditional beverage preferences toward [...]

First Capital records highest ever PAT

First Capital Holdings PLC recorded its highest ever consolidated post-tax profit of Rs. 1,960 million for the year 2017/18, showing a significant growth compared to Rs. 232 million in 2016/17. The group recorded a total comprehensive income of Rs. 1,866 million for the year, which is an increase from Rs. 238 million recorded in 2016/17, [...]

Cinnamon city hotels may see tough time ahead

Asian Hotels & Properties PLC (AHPL), the owners and operators of the two city hotels – Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside may have a tough time with competition during the coming years, analysts say. Hotels sector analysts say that these two hotels have been hit badly by new entrants, Shangri-La and Moevenpick. Cinnamon Grand has [...]

Mercantile Investments shows steady results amidst industry slowdown

Mercantile Investments and Finance PLC (MI) saw its pre-tax profits and post-tax profits up at Rs. 879 million and Rs. 514 million respectively for the financial year ended 31st March 2018 reflecting 180.2 per cent and 154.4 per cent growth rates compared to the last year’s moderate performance. Amidst the industry slowdown, MI sustained steady [...]

Minimum capital enforcement on finance companies to increase depositors’ confidence

All licensed finance companies would now have to maintain a minimum level of capital in their balance sheets to account for any losses in their lending books after the new capital regulations that will take the form of BASEL rules on banks. This has come on the back of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealing [...]

GE drops out of the Dow after more than a century

Wall Street Journal, June 19 – General Electric Co. will drop out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) next week, a milestone in the decline of a firm that once ranked among the mightiest of blue-chips and was a pillar of the US economy. The decision to drop GE, an original member of the [...]

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