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China’s Tiens Group enters Sri Lankan e-commerce arena

China’s Tiens Group enters Sri Lankan e-commerce arena

Tiens Group, another Chinese multinational conglomerate, is ready to set foot in Sri Lanka with a minimum investment of over Rs.2.3 billion (10,000,000 RMB) in a major business expansion drive under the company’s flagship initiative ‘One body-Multiple wings.’ This was stated by the head of this Multi-national conglomerate, Chinese billionaire businessman Li Jinyuan in an [...]

Mixed views over EPF being private-managed

Mixed views over EPF being private-managed

Sri Lankans, in a sample poll on email by the Business Times, have mixed views over plans by the Government to entrust management of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to the private sector. While 44 per cent were in favour of private management, 43 per cent were not while 13 per cent were undecided. Last [...]

Confusion continues on EPF taxation

No clear guidelines or circular has been issued so far on imposing a 14 per cent tax on Employees Provident Fund (EPF) income and 14 per cent tax when members receive dividends, informed sources revealed. The Central Bank has sent a letter to the Treasury seeking clarity on the matter but no action has been [...]

Uncertainty prevails over applicable date of withholding tax

Confusion continued to prevail this week over the 5 per cent withholding tax (WHT) on interest income with banks imposing the new tax rate on the entire duration of the deposit, and not from April 2018 onwards. Senior citizens who wanted to withdraw their one year fixed deposits (July 2017 to July 2018) were informed [...]

Invite in a cube

As invitations from corporate houses get more and more interesting, the latest one from The Kingsbury “Ce la vi Colombo” is a cube full of surprises that opens up to showcase their delectable offerings on a palette. This same set of squares then folds out to highlight the insides filled with visuals of dancing people [...]

PDL minority shareholders seek answers

Minority shareholders of Property Development Plc (PDL) are seeking answers to a delayed proposal to delist the company from the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). “Since the extraordinary meeting of PDL on April 4 on the plan to delist and make an exit (price) offer, we have had no communication from the company,” one shareholder said. [...]

Iconic Green Cabin land to be sold

The iconic Green Cabin restaurant on the Galle Road near Bambalapitiya is due to shut down on Tuesday, July 31 with a family dinner representing four generations. The café which opened in the 1930s and later was owned by entrepreneur Cyril Rodrigo, has been the subject of discussion among the family representing the company’s business [...]

The ubiquitous midwife

The rain had ceased and Kussi Amma Sera and her two ‘amba yahaluwo’ (mango friends) were seated under the margosa tree chatting about events in their village and so on. “Nangi, ara midwife nona hariyata udaw karanawa apey gamme kattiyata (that midwife Madam is very helpful in our village),” Kussi Amma Sera was telling Serapina [...]

“Parable of talents” and spending free money

“Parable of talents” and spending free money

If you receive a few millions of dollars free, what would you choose to do? Some of you might decide to distribute it among the poor, thinking that it is the best thing to do with free money. Some of you might dig a hole in the ground and hide it. There might be some [...]

Government steps up anti-money laundering efforts

The Sri Lanka government has stepped up anti-money laundering efforts to prevent bank frauds, investment scams and other such suspicious financial transactions and also to crack down on terrorist financing, official sources disclosed. The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank has directed the country’s Designated Non-Finance Businesses (DNFBs) to report any suspicious financial [...]

99X Technology ranked among SL’s Best Workplaces for 6th consecutive year

99X Technology has been ranked among Sri Lanka’s 25 best workplaces for the sixth consecutive year by the Great Place To Work® Institute Sri Lanka. Additionally, it received honours at a regional level when it was listed among Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2018, the only Sri Lankan company among the 25 enterprises in the Small [...]

Kensington computer accessories launched in Sri Lanka with Thef: llstop

A range of computer accessories from Kensington, the global leader in innovative and reliable anti-theft security solutions, desktop productivity accessories and ergonomic computer furniture, has been launched by Thef:;llstop, recently appointed sole distributor in Sri Lanka for the renowned US brand. The range comprises laptop locking kits, wireless presenters, trackballs, Thunderbolt docking stations, SmartFit® Sit/Stand [...]

BPPL launches Sri Lanka’s first ever Polyester Yarn Production Facility

BPPL launches Sri Lanka’s first ever Polyester Yarn Production Facility

BPPL Holdings PLC (BPPL), among the top brush makers in Asia, recently inaugurated the country’s first ever state-of-the-art polyester yarn plant. The facility is another milestone for BPPL, spearheaded by wholly owned subsidiary Eco-Spindles (Pvt) Ltd, towards bringing forth the advantages of innovative sustainability where yarn is produced exclusively from recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate, commonly known [...]

NBT bill limits, grants new exemptions

Parliament has last week passed the Nation Building Tax Bill by limiting and granting new exemptions, according to a note to its clients by tax consultancy EY (Ernst & Young). It said: Limitation of Exemption 1. Liquor Liquor had been exempted from NBT under the existing provisions at the point of importation, manufacture or sale [...]

Sri Lanka’s SMEs struggle to survive amidst corruption

Sri Lanka’s small and medium scale businesses are struggling to survive in the face of a moderately high risk of corruption including the soliciting of payments to avoid bureaucratic red tape, alleged bribes by government officials, nepotism and cronyism, a report compiled by a SME group in the Southern province has revealed. One of the [...]

UN reaches agreement on Global Compact for Migration

UN Member States on Friday, July 13 reached a historic agreement on migration; endorsing the final text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The symbolic knock of the gavel performed by the Swiss and Mexican UN Ambassadors emphatically concluded the intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact, UN agencies said in a [...]

FTZMA hails National Export Strategy

The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association (FTZMA), the apex body of export manufacturers operating in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone which largely consists of foreign investors, has hailed the new National Export Strategy (NES) launched last week, as an initiative to boost exports. This strategy which was developed by about 750 private and public stakeholders [...]

Tokyo Cement involved with The Music Project for the 2nd Year

Tokyo Cement Group has extended its sponsorship with The Music Project for the second year. The Music Project is a NGO committed to empowering and uplifting the lives of disadvantaged youth through music. The partnership this year will see Tokyo Cement sponsoring two schools; one in Mullaitivu and the other in Mawathagama, Kurunegala, where The [...]

BIA – Palaly air route to open for commercial operations

Sri Lanka is preparing to open its air route from its main international airport at Katunayake to Palaly in Jaffna for commercial flights in a bid to cater to a growing demand in commercial traffic.  Currently flights between Colombo and Palaly originate from the Ratmalana airport. “We are trying to attract domestic operators to bring [...]

Australia’s biggest investment bank has its first female CEO

Shemara Wikramanayake will replace Nicholas Moore, who will end a 10-year tenure as managing director and chief executive of Macquarie Group when he steps down in November. Ms. Wikramanayake, who is currently group head of Macquarie Asset Management, has also been appointed to the board of Macquarie Bank Ltd, according to Australian media reports. The [...]

Sri Lanka H1 tea export earnings up on last year

Customs data shows that Sri Lanka earned Rs. 113.9 billion in January – June compared with Rs. 110.4 billion during the same 2017 period, a media release issued by Asia Siyaka stated. However this amounts to an approximate US Dollar value of $728.9 million almost equal to the previous year’s six month figure. It is [...]

EPF: Private sector management without political interference

EPF: Private sector management without political interference

While a BT email poll on the proposed private management of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) revealed mixed views from the public, most respondents said that even if private management is entertained it shouldn’t be politicised. Last month, unions representing both employers and workers took a cautious approach to the question of EPF reforms with [...]

HNB Grameen Finance PBT up to Rs. 2.02 bn in FY 2017/18

HNB Grameen Finance Ltd continued its growth momentum into the fourth quarter of 2017/18 with steadfast performance in all key indicators, including Net Interest Income (NII) exceeding Rs. 4.1 billion and assets surpassing Rs. 25.3 billion. Profit before tax (PBT) of the company stood at Rs. 2.02 billion. “HNB Grameen Finance continues to display resilience [...]

Gem industry urges removal of taxes

The Ministry of Finance is ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’ by taxing the gem and jewellery industry, an action which would destroy the export of gems and jewellery from Sri Lanka amidst fears that the underground market will prevail to avoid taxes. These comments were made by A.H.M. Imtizam, Chairman, Sri Lanka [...]

Sri Lanka made electric 3-wheelers for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Sri Lanka made electric 3-wheelers for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Tuk-tuk, three wheeler, trishaw, auto-rickshaw — no matter what you call them, those, 3-wheeled autos will become a thing of the past after more than four decades with the introduction of environmentally-friendly electric 3-wheelers. The government has recently launched electric three-wheelers which will be made in Sri Lanka with Japanese assistance – with a batch [...]

Maldives wants Lankans to laze on white beaches

Sri Lanka to holiday in its growing guest houses in 80 of the inhabited islands of the atoll nation. Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) Vice President Abdullah Suood speaking with the Business Times on the sidelines of the Maldives Showcase 2018 in Colombo said that the Maldives was in town to [...]

Teejay Lanka in strong start to 2018-19

Capacity expansion in India and an increased order book from the US and EU have enabled Teejay Lanka PLC, Sri Lanka’s only multinational textile manufacturer, to make a strong start to 2018-19 with healthy sales and profit growth. Profit after tax grew by 27 per cent to Rs 279.3 million on revenue of Rs. 6.8 [...]

FB urges users to learn about its new tools protecting people’s data

Global social media web, Facebook – as part of its commitment to protecting people’s data and details, is urging users to learn more about the new and improved tools that are available via the social media platform. Obtaining a better understanding of these tools will empower users to take privacy into their owns hands. Users [...]

Union Bank sees 42% growth in 1H pre-tax profit

Union Bank has recorded a pre-tax profit (and before VAT) of Rs.558 million in January-June this year, up by 42 per cent from the same period last year, the bank said on Wednesday. Post-tax profit was Rs. 253 million, up by 22 per cent YoY. The profit was adversely impacted due to the changes in [...]

Start-ups to drive exports from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is no more a low cost country and anybody exporting from Sri Lanka has to be innovative and add value to their products than their competitors. “We need a completely different mindset in terms of entrepreneurship. We are focusing on new enterprises on start-ups but it is not limited to that,” Chairman of [...]

Japanese Football team demonstrates to the world – Letter

A popular video clip going around in social media shows how the Japanese football team cleaned and tidied the dressing room and their spectator stand, after they lost their match recently at the FIFA soccer World Cup and was getting ready to leave for home. To some, this was surprising and even unbelievable. Having been [...]

More jobs for seafarers in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan seafarers have been provided with a good opportunity to bag some jobs with international shipping lines as the International Maritime Employers Committee and the Sri Lankan Seafarers enter into an agreement in this regard. These international jobs are backed with international job security, Palitha Athukorala, labour activist said at a media briefing held [...]

“RockStars- Growing Stellar Performers in Organisations” – Book review

In a world exhausted with publications on leadership and ‘how to’ guide on coaching and mentoring, with proliferative educational and corporate events on the same, RockStars stands out as a beacon of hope. Between its slim covers lay 136 pages filled with intrigue, excitement and heart-warming tales of the human journey taken by two ordinary [...]

Colombo stocks see dreary prospects

Colombo stocks see dreary prospects

Colombo shares are hardly trading with the market losing money daily with analysts saying the next six months would be bleak on the back of political uncertainty plus foreign selling. They said that foreign investors sold diversified stocks such as conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC and Aitken Spence PLC during the past few months and [...]

Listed resort hotels poised to cater to growing tourism

With more tourists preferring to experience out-of-Colombo tourism, Sri Lanka has seen an improved demand shifting to resort hotel segment from upscale city hotels, according to analysts. Keells Hotels, Aitken Spence Hotels and Jetwing are some of the leading players in the listed resort hotel segment. “The industry as a whole is well poised to [...]

Multi Finance to get into FinTech tools

Multi Finance PLC is cottoning onto FinTech tools, the new technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial services, officials say. This decision was taken as FinTech or financial technology is swiftly gaining ground with consumers as a more reachable substitute to traditional payment and banking systems offered by financial firms, they say. [...]

CSE warns some firms on late disclosures

The Colombo Stock Exchange has warned certain firms in the past month for non-compliance with rules pertaining to their ‘Continuous Listing Requirements,’ officials said. They are having some issues in terms of Section 7.8 of the Listing Rules of the CSE, which specify immediate disclosure pertaining to share dealings of directors in firms. The CSE [...]

SEC, CSE hold first SME forum at Anuradhapura

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) organised the first regional Small and Medium Entrepreneur (SME) forum on Wednesday at the Golden Mango Resort, Anuradhapura. Several entrepreneurs from construction, tourism, agricultural, healthcare and manufacturing sectors attended the event, CSE officials said. “Over 300 investors attended the forum to educate investors [...]

Cabinet nod to write off microfinance debt opens can of worms

The recent Cabinet decision to write off non-consumption loans up to Rs. 100,000 given to women by all registered finance companies in selected districts has sent the microfinance firms reeling. As per the Micro Finance Association, total loans under Rs. 100, 000 given to women borrowers in the districts mentioned in the Cabinet paper come [...]

CSE hosts briefing event for potential Empower Board sponsors

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) briefed sponsors mid last week in a bid to encourage them to register with the CSE to assist entities listing on ‘Empower’, a listing platform fostering capital raising and growth opportunities for Sri Lankan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), officials said. Amongst the participants, certain investment banks, commercial banks, chartered [...]

Crisis-hit Standard Credit Finance licence cancelled

Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday cancelled the operating licence of crisis-hit The Standard Credit Finance Ltd (TSCFL) which has been facing a liquidity crisis since 2008. In a public statement, the Central Bank (CB), which took the decision, said that depositors of the company have been unable to withdraw their money over the last 10 [...]

Jegan retiring at Commercial Bank – Letter

Jegan Durairatnam, an astute banker who has ensured an astounding growth in the banking sector, would be retiring by the end of the month from the post of CEO/Managing Director, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc. After graduating with a BSc Degree from the University of Peradeniya in 1981, Mr. Durairatnam joined Commercial Bank as an [...]

NCE export awards closing date extended to August 2

The closing date for entries for the annual Export Awards of the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) has been extended to August 2 from July 26. This, the chamber said in a media release, is due to the increased interest shown by a large number of applicants this year, who have requested more time to [...]

Sri Lanka to tee off for upmarket holidaymakers

Sri Lanka to tee off for upmarket holidaymakers

Sri Lanka Tourism is planning to attract golf enthusiasts to visit the country while touring the different regions where they could play their favourite sport. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam told the Business Times on Wednesday that currently there were journalists flown in from Germany and Switzerland visiting the country’s golf [...]

Koggala: New hotspot for country style housing

Koggala in the deep South seems to be the new hotspot for ‘country style horizontal living’ complexes, property analysts say. Koggala is a laid-back resort town set between a lush tropical lagoon and one of the finest beaches in all Sri Lanka, where modern amenities and leisure facilities meet a rich cultural and historical tradition, [...]

Controversial investor’s tyre factory taking shape

The Rigid Tyre Corporation (Pvt) Ltd factory being built at the BOI Wagawatte Industrial Park at Horana is expected to create 3,000 direct employment opportunities, according to an official statement.  A BOI (Board of Investment) media statement, on the occasion of visit to the site by Malik Samarawickrama Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, [...]

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