Business Times

Home » Business Times



A salesman drinks a cup of tea during a break in selling balloons at Katubedde, Moratuwa. Pic by Amila Gamage

Drug firms lose millions due to rupee depreciation

A galloping US dollar against the rupee has severely hurt the bottom lines of pharmaceutical companies to the extent of an exchange loss of around Rs. 3.2 billion in 2017/2018 in addition to lower revenues arising out of the government’s drug pricing policy. Well-informed industry sources said the first quarter 2018/2019 (April-June) loss to two [...]

Visa-free entry to tourist-friendly nations

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is spearheading a task force that is considering granting visa-free entry to certain countries that patronise the destination as tourists. “There is some thinking to make it (Sri Lanka) visa-free entry to certain countries,” Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga told the Business Times. Some of the countries under consideration are India, [...]

Confusion continues over the implementation of WHT

Commercial banks are deducting the 5 per cent With Holding Tax (WHT) from the interest paid to any person on any rupee or foreign currency deposit including the Non-Resident Foreign Currency accounts in accordance with the Inland Revenue Act (IRA), Finance Ministry sources confirmed. The same 5 percent WHT is applicable for foreign currency deposits [...]

India, China object over digital ad issue

Sri Lanka’s long-awaited digital advertising campaign has run into objections from two key bidders from India and China. The digital advertising campaign is set to get stalled by two more weeks as bidders from India and China have objected to the selection of the bid. Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga told the Business Times that [...]

Government servants cry foul over taxing allowances

Sri Lanka’s top bureaucrats have blasted the government’s imposition of Pay-as-You-Earn Tax (PAYE) on their all inclusive salary including allowances granted to them for expenses as part of performing their job. According to the new Inland Revenue Act (IRA), employees will have to pay a higher level of taxes on employment income with the maximum [...]

“Thallu start” to racing cars

“Thallu start” to racing cars

Many decades ago, cars which stalled on the road, got the push-start treatment; some passers-by pushed the car, while the driver (in the driving seat) set the gear to ‘first’ and the car fired after a few stuttering starts. That was the era of the Sri series cars and before. I was reminded of this [...]

Grateful Greece under grace

Grateful Greece under grace

At least there is one thing in common between Greece and Sri Lanka: High government spending with “loads of handouts” which has been financed by borrowings! What is not common is that when Greece got into trouble with this, there are 18 nations around it to rescue either willingly or grudgingly. They are the nations [...]

Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert

Colombo high rises a major fire risk, says UK expert

The fire risk in high rise buildings in Colombo is very high according to Dr. David Kirkham. Why? Because many developers are using combustible cladding. Cladding is a covering or coating on a building. It was made infamous by the Grenfell Tower fire in the salubrious area of North Kensington in West London which left [...]

Sri Lanka lacks skilled workers, need for improvements

While the lack of skilled personnel is well known, the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) is now assessing the skills of Sri Lankans and moving to recognise the existing skills of employees. Kanishka Weerasinghe, Director General/CEO, EFC mentioned the above while answering queries by the media at a panel discussion on the Education Budget Proposals [...]

Ceylinco Insurance marks 30 years, aims for 15 % annual growth

Ceylinco Insurance marks 30 years, aims for 15 % annual growth

As it celebrates 30 years of business as Ceylinco Life and 80 years in total in the business, Ceylinco Life – just like its iconic ‘father and child’ logo – is aiming at a future with 15 per cent annual growth and the challenge of making insurance a preferred job for school leavers. “Our goal [...]

NDB making strides in Bangladesh

National Development Bank (NDB) is the only foreign investment bank that operates in Bangladesh in a growing economy. “We have also launched a strategic plan last year to be among the five commercial banks in Sri Lanka and have a short and long term strategy to improve the bank’s performance,” said NDB’s Director /Group CEO [...]

Dhammika Fernando, elected President IPM Sri Lanka 2018/19

Dhammika Fernando, a versatile, dynamic and experienced human resource management professional, was unanimously elected as the President of the IPM Sri Lanka Executive Council at the Annual General Meeting held on Saturday July 28. He will lead the highly acclaimed professional body to the next level of growth and expansion in the year 2018/19. Dhammika [...]

Sri Lanka to raise over US$ 1 b from China with love

The Central Bank is set to raise US$ 250 million from the issuance of its maiden Panda (Renminbi) bond this year in an effort to boost foreign reserves, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told a media conference in Colombo on Friday. The Panda bonds with a three year tenor, will be issued in the [...]

‘Senehe Siyapatha’ initiative provides homes to landslide- affected victims of Kotapola

‘Senehe Siyapatha’ initiative provides homes to landslide- affected victims of Kotapola

The continuation of the ‘Seneha Siyapatha’ initiative saw the completion of eight houses in Kotapola, Matara district, through generous donations from Dialog subscribers, tripled in value through a donation by Dialog Axiata PLC and further supplemented by support in civil construction services from the Sri Lanka Army. The house keys were ceremoniously handed over to [...]

e-passport tender dispute activates passport shortage

Sri Lankans will face hardships in trying to renew or obtain passports for overseas travel within the next few months as a result of a delay in placing a fresh order to procure passport booklets from the current supplier due to an e-passport tender dispute, official sources confirmed. The Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) [...]

Understanding the Digital Space

Understanding  the Digital Space

Trace City is essentially an IT park where companies come in and use on rent the established infrastructure facilities. It is a common service around the world so that services companies such as those which are in ICT do not have to worry too much about construction of office space, their maintenance and the upkeep. [...]

Sri Lankan team in early major breakthrough on early detection of NCDs

Sri Lankan team in early  major breakthrough on  early detection of NCDs

Three young graduates from the Moratuwa University along with a medical practitioner have made a major breakthrough in the medical world where their invention helps in early detection of non-communicable diseases; heart attacks, diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), the main of deaths in the world. The trio – Kirthi Kodithuwakku, Isuru Rajakaruna and Charith [...]

Entertainment industry to get a boost from Canada

Entertainment industry to get a boost from Canada

Plugging into a global chain of entertainment and bringing that over to Sri Lanka, from a far flung place like Canada involves a mountain of work. That is exactly the dream that Kumar Jeyakumaran cherishes. Mr. Jeyakumaran is the Chairman of Platinum Promotions, a Canadian based entertainment company that specialises in promoting entertainment in other [...]

BNI launches its 4th chapter in Colombo

Business Network International (BNI), the world’s largest referral organisation, recently launched its 04th Chapter in Sri Lanka. Known as ‘BNI Inspire’, this chapter was launched as the first platinum chapter with an impressive 53 members at its first meeting. The launch also saw over a hundred visitors, 158 referrals and over Rs. 5 million totally [...]

Opening agency reps to attract maritime industries, futile exercise

The recent proposal of the Minister of Finance to increase maritime activity in Sri Lanka is a laudable idea. In an effort to do so, he intends to remove the 40 per cent restriction currently in force for shipping agency representation. It is apparent from this that the Minister of Finance has not been correctly [...]

The Chinese are a–coming!

The Chinese are a–coming!

They may be loud and easy to identify and they are the world’s largest travelling force and every destination is waiting to grab a share of the Chinese holidaymakers but Sri Lanka has a problem with them. The authorities are currently working out a plan to ensure that unfair trade practices would not be entertained [...]

Over 1 m tourists visit Sri Lanka in H1’18

Over 1 m tourists visit Sri Lanka in H1’18

Tourist arrivals in the first half of this year increased by 15 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, statistics released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority stated. Sri Lanka was able to witness increased arrivals through the first half in all months and some of the key markets that performed significantly [...]

Hotel Show 2018 spotlights innovation

The Hotel Show conducted this year in Colombo saw a number of entrepreneurs displaying certain unique items on display from furniture to containers and even waste recycling innovations. A wastewater treatment technology by Eco Engineer’s and Co Global highlighted the most durable and economical wastewater treatment in the market, according to the company. It was [...]

Ce La Vi spotlights entertainment at The Kingsbury

Night clubs in Sri Lanka are set to take a new turn with the launch of Ce La Vi opening at The Kingsbury for which an estimated cost of Rs.160 million had been incurred as investment. “We wanted to bring the brands into Sri Lanka and the expertise in terms of night clubs so that [...]

India supports Lanka’s Ramayana Trail

Indian and Sri Lankan governments have entered into an agreement to boost pilgrim traffic on the Ramayana trail, a popular pilgrim attraction among Hindus that is lately gaining momentum with a number of operators offering travel plans. Only about 1 per cent of the total Indian traffic is said to visit these sites, according to [...]

Coconut imports akin to lowering export quality like in tea

Coconut imports akin to lowering export quality like in tea

While Sri Lanka is striving to maintain quality tea exports as ‘Pure Ceylon Tea’ but is threatened by low grades for blending purposes entering the re-export market, the same danger is looming in coconut exports. At the 24th AGM of the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka held last week in Colombo, its President, Jayantha [...]

Improved infrastructure key role in real estate values – JLL

With the recent announcement that the much-anticipated Colombo Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is all set to proceed with Phase 1 following the green-light from government ministries, there has been widespread speculation on its effect on the price of property within close proximity to the line. Taking into consideration various factors and an accumulation of [...]

SLPA, Customs meet to resolve industry issues

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) together with other key stakeholders met recently to discuss a number of issues pertaining to anti-corruption, zero tolerance policy and the introduction of a digital signature and electronic delivery order system. This joint meeting was initiated by the SLPA and Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) with the members of the [...]

Prime Finance raises Rs. 864 m from rights issue

Prime Finance Plc has raised Rs. 864 million capital in cash considerations from a recent rights issue. The allotment was completed in July 2018. With this, the core capital of the company exceeds Rs. 1.4 billion which is well above the regulatory threshold of Rs. 1 billion stipulated by the Central Bank, the company said [...]

Impairment provisions affect DFCC’s bottom line

DFCC Bank PLC, the banking arm of the DFCC Group, has reported a drop in profit for the second quarter amidst a challenging business environment. The drop in profit was due to higher impairment provisions, as well as a one-off gain from the disposal of shares of Commercial Bank during the previous period. Overall, the [...]

Sampath’s pre-tax profit over Rs 10 B in 1H

Sampath Bank’s Group pre-tax profit for the first half of the year exceeded Rs. 10.3 billion, up from Rs. 9.9 billion in the same 2017 period. Post-tax profit grew by 19.9 per cent to Rs. 6.8 billion for the first half of 2018. Sampath Group also posted a post-tax profit growth of 20.2 per cent. [...]

Chinese ship deal triggers financial hardships for Shipping Corporation

The Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) is now running at a loss owing to heavy loan interest payable to a state commercial bank for the purchase of two vessels from China and a decline in revenue from coal transportation, the 2017 performance report released by CSC revealed. The CSC has been facing financial hardships in the [...]

CB to ascertain source of funding from customers

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) this week reiterated rules governing all financial institutions pertaining to “Know your customer (KYC)” and the source of funds being deposited to ensure it is not illegal money. In a public notice, the CB said all these institutions are required to obtain information according to the Financial Institutions (Customer Due [...]

Scientific culture must be created in this country, says Minister Amunugama

Scientific culture must be created in this country, says Minister Amunugama

Sri Lanka has unfortunately not been able to develop a “critical mass” of scientific personnel and scientific attitudes that is necessary to take it forward in the modern world, according to Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development, & Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage. Speaking as Chief Guest at the National Science [...]

Sri Lankan hailed by Ireland’s business community

Sri Lankan hailed by Ireland’s business community

Raomal Perera, a Sri Lankan now domiciled in Ireland, was inducted into the Business Excellence Institute’s Hall of Fame at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, Ireland recently. Educated at St Joseph’s College Colombo 10, Mr. Perera is an engineer and serial entrepreneur, turned educator. He co-founded ISOCOR, which was listed on the NASDAQ in 1996, [...]

Advertising Rates

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