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Egg prices rise

Egg prices rise

A shortage of fish in the local markets has led to sharp demand in and increasing prices for eggs. Pic by Amila Gamage

Coconut prices to consumers soar

Coconut prices to consumers are soaring and three times that of the farmgate price. While the farmgate price is Rs. 23 per nut, prices on the street is around Rs.68-69 per nut, a coconut producer said adding that the middle-man was fleecing the consumer. The industry is also facing a crisis in the form of [...]

Bandaranaike Quay opens for PPP to boost cruise tourism

The Government is set to take a fresh look at the East Container Terminal and Bandaranaike Quay in the Colombo Port by improving its infrastructure, shipping and naval services through public private partnerships (PPPs), official sources confirmed. Several key renowned players in the shipping industry including two local conglomerates and a Chinese company have shown [...]

Global promo to kick off in London this November

Sri Lanka is expected to launch its much awaited global tourism promotion campaign in November this year at the World Travel Mart in London. This annual travel mart attended by international travel agents and destination promotion companies, including state tourism organisations is tipped to create the platform for the launch of the global promotion campaign, [...]

Rooms in Colombo now cheaper

Sri Lanka’s commercial capital Colombo is likely to have its room rates drop by about 20 per cent this year in the wake of the minimum prices set by authorities not being implemented this year. Sri Lanka’s Hoteliers Association President Sanath Ukwatte said that the gazette pertaining to the imposition of minimum room rates in [...]

Caution urged in Government spending, local borrowing

Sri Lanka’s cash-strapped government continues its spending spree and local borrowings to meet recurrent expenditure despite heavy debt servicing obligations, Finance Ministry sources said. According to Treasury reports the government has spent Rs.403 billion, 91 per cent of the revenue earned during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. The revenue collected by the government [...]

Developing? No way

Developing? No way

It was a good, morning: No … a great, morning. The rain had ceased the previous day and the Thursday morning rays came clearly through the leaves of the Margosa tree in the garden. I was watching the tranquil scene from my office window with a steaming cup of tea for company, made by myself [...]

Reversing negative export trends

Reversing negative export trends

If an economy is growing without export growth, economists know that there are enough reasons to doubt such growth. At least they know that economic growth in the absence of export growth is not going to last long. Sri Lanka has been there for many years now. After long years of silence, I am happy [...]

Hayleys Group consolidates to deliver better results

Hayleys Group consolidates to deliver better results

Sri Lankan multinational, diversified conglomerate, Hayleys PLC is continuing its consolidation process amidst competition and volatile economic conditions in the country trading at fair value while celebrating 140 years of its business excellence and innovation this year, top officials of the company asserted at a media round table in Colombo recently. “Hayleys Group remains number [...]

SLT to issue 90 m new shares in pvt placement

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) plans to issue nearly 90 million new ordinary shares, representing 4.74 per cent of the issued shares, through a private placement. This decision was made by the company’s board of directors at a meeting on August 9, SLT said in an announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). It is based [...]

Many issues confronting SL banking sector, economy-HNB

HNB, one of Sri Lanka’s largest banks, in its review of activity for the first half of 2018 has flagged many issues confronting growth in the banking sector and the economy at large. “As we move into the second half of 2018, we are fully cognizant of the macro-economic challenges, slow-down in economic growth and [...]

Depreciating rupee results in exchange profit gains for ComBank

Commercial Bank, like many other banks, has seen solid gains in foreign exchange profits due to the depreciation of the Sri Lanka rupee. Reporting its latest 6-months-ending June 2018 results, the premier Sri Lanka bank said that “other income, including net gains from trading and on financial instruments, exchange profit and recoveries, grew by a [...]

Kantale sugar factory revival becomes a distant dream

Kantale sugar factory revival becomes a distant dream

The Kantale Sugar Factory revival is now embroiled in legal issues, a scrap iron tender and bribery scams delaying the project indefinitely with the relevant line ministries grappling to trace missing documents and files owing to the change of the subject from the Lands Ministry to the Ministry of Public Enterprise and Kandy City Development, [...]

Hemas Holdings growth up 21% in 1Q 2018-‘19

Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) has recorded consolidated revenue of Rs.13.5 billion for the first quarter ended June 30, a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 21.3 per cent, led by higher contributions in our consumer and healthcare sectors. Group operating profit at Rs.895.7 million in the first quarter of the financial year is an increase of 3.5 [...]

Janashakthi’s premiums grow in 1H 2018

Janashakthi Insurance PLC has reported a 6 per cent year on year (YoY) growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) for the six months ended 30th June 2018, ending the period under review with premiums of Rs.1.445 billion. Janashakthi, continuing to honour its commitment to policyholders, saw claims grow by 12 per cent YoY, from Rs.546 [...]

Economic slippages, high interest rates in challenging times-Softlogic

Economic slippages, high interest rates and taxes plus a weakened rupee poses many challenges resulting in a further erosion in consumer demand and market sentiment in Sri Lanka, the head of a top consumer goods conglomerate said this week. Reporting the company’s financials for a 3-month period ending June 2018, Softlogic Holdings Plc Chairman Ashok [...]

Women’s Chamber honours women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka

Women’s Chamber honours women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka

The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Awards ceremony of the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) was held recently at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo in the presence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. In her welcome address, Ms. Chathuri Ranasinghe – WCIC Chairperson said that today an increasing number of school leaver- [...]

PickMe launches ‘PickMe Trucks’

PickMe, the taxi hailing service, recently launched ‘PickMe Trucks’ through its smartphone app. The new service will now make the transportation of heavy goods on –demand, much more convenient safer and affordable for individuals and businesses in Sri Lanka, with the feature being available at the tip of their finger, the company said in a [...]

Virtusa creates Tech Trend Almanac to help companies improve investment ROI

Virtusa xLabs, the global consultancy’s digital innovation hub, has identified the top 10 tech trends likely to impact business within the next five years. The xLabs team analysed 40 reports from leading analysts, futurologists, consultants, and industry influencers – including the likes of Gartner, Fast Co, and Forrester – and correlated the data to identify [...]

British Council’s English assessment tool Aptis is now available

The British Council in Sri Lanka has appointed Third Space Global at Orion City as a reseller of its popular English assessment tool known as ‘Aptis’. This new partnership is intended to make it easier for organisations to access Aptis to assess the English language proficiency of their staff. Aptis is a new generation, industry-agnostic [...]

Rs.85 m tourism promo attracts over five bids

A 85 million-rupee worth tourist promotion campaign is on the cards for which more than five bids were being received from local companies and were reviewed last week. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Managing Director Sutheash Balasubramaniam said that they have already floated a bid aimed at stimulating the low season and creating interest [...]

“Chartered Association of Sri Lanka’s qualification to be recognised globally”

The headline in the above story on Page 7 of the Business Times last week is erroneous. It should read as “Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka” which is also defined as CA Sri Lanka. This error was also spotted in the first paragraph of the story by an alert reader to whom we [...]

Sri Lanka “hidden gem with highly qualified talent”- British official

Sri Lanka “hidden gem with highly  qualified talent”- British official

The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), the leading professional body for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals based in the UK, recently relocated to its new office premises in Sri Lanka at 345, R.A.De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3. The Sri Lanka office, functions as the institute’s international operations centre providing support to [...]

Launch of investor platform part of Sri Lanka’s push for more FDI

Sri Lanka has moved to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) flows following the launch of a new programme aimed at streamlining Customs procedures to boost trade. In late May the Board of Investment signed a memorandum of understanding with six government agencies to develop the National Single Window (NSW), an online one stop shop for [...]

Employment bureau opts out of Mattala

Airport authorities at Mattala interested in attracting workers travelling to West Asia through Mattala have found it difficult to convince the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment to open up an office there. It has been found that the employment bureau and the medical profession are opposed to such a move as there has been [...]

Sri Lanka- China FTA negotiations hit a snag

The proposed Sri Lanka- China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has hit a snag following the difference of opinion on right to review this pact after 10 years, official sources said. The Chinese side has insisted to remove the review clause at the official and ministerial level talks, but those talks ended in a deadlock, a [...]

CRI Lunuwila’s first international coconut training course

The Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka held its first-ever International Certificate Course on Coconut Plantation and Management in mid-June at its research headquarters at Lunuwila near Chilaw. This comprehensive eight-week course was organised by the CRI to provide training on scientific coconut planting and management to participants from many coconut-growing countries. The training was [...]

JV fails due to troubled economy

A joint venture between a Sri Lankan conglomerate and a US company has failed to kick off due to troubled economic conditions in Sri Lanka, two years after it was set up. “WAPO and SEAF having given due consideration to the current economic conditions and unfavourable investment environment, have on August 14 mutually terminated the [...]

Rare collection of Sri Lanka’s seashells under Pathfinder Collection

Rare collection of Sri Lanka’s seashells under Pathfinder Collection

Over the years, the MMBL-Pathfinder Group has developed the “Pathfinder Collection” which includes rare Sri Lankan artefacts, coins, stamps, antiques, books, prints, maps and historical documents. The latest addition to this is a rare collection of Sri Lankan seashells which was put together by the widely respected medical doctor and deep-sea diver from Tangalle, the [...]

Sri Lanka Pharma Chamber urges transparent drug pricing mechanism

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) is urging the Ministry of Health to establish a fair and transparent pricing mechanism which factors the impact of US dollar appreciation against the rupee, similar to the pricing formula applied on petroleum products and domestic LPG. A fully resourced quality assurance laboratory, a primary pre-requisite in [...]

Rezgateway supports local travel companies on RezG-Package

Rezgateway Sri Lanka, a fully-owned subsidiary of US, has announced the release of RezG-Package ™ (version 10) for tour operators and DMCs’ in Sri Lanka. RezG-Package is a fully integrated travel reservation system that enables tour operators (inbound and outbound), DMCs’ and OTAs’ to create, manage, book, integrate and distribute travel products from one [...]

Climate change: Changing weather patterns seen hurting agriculture production, yields

International and national experts initiated a dialogue on ‘Climate Reality – Threats, Responses and Opportunities in a Changing World,’ in an inaugural forum initiated by Dilmah Conservation together with Global Compact Network Sri Lanka, Biodiversity Sri Lanka and Citra Innovations Lab at BMICH, Colombo. The forum brought in like-minded individuals from the government, private and [...]

CIMA Sri Lanka organises 41st Business Leaders’ Summit 2018

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka will be organising its flagship event CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit 2018 themed ‘From Insight to Impact – Unlocking Opportunities’ on August 28-29 at Shangri-La Hotel Colombo. Chari TVT, former Chief Financial Officer, Axiata – Malaysia will deliver the keynote address. CIMA’s 85th President, Steve Swientozielskyj will [...]

Tenaga Park Smart selects FriMi as parking meter payment partner

Tenaga Park Smart selects FriMi as parking meter payment partner

Tenaga Car Parks (Pvt) Ltd, South Asia’s largest parking management company, has selected and added on FriMi, Sri Lanka’s first Digital Bank to its portfolio of mobile App parking payment partners, for their Park Smart meters. Motorists can pay for their parking using FriMi, an industry leader in digital banking and mobile payments powered by [...]

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo unveils Co-nnect – a new age co-working space

Co-nnect, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo’s stylish, new co-working space offers a versatile environment to meet, work and create. The exclusive spaces include private offices, meeting rooms, work pods and individual work stations, and is an inspired alternative to working in a traditional office setting, the multinational hotel company said in a media release last week. “The [...]

Winner of Ranaviru Real Star powered by Dialog receives home from President

Winner of Ranaviru Real Star powered by Dialog receives home from President

The awarding of a new home to the winner of the Ranaviru Real Star Mission-V powered by Dialog, an aesthetic mission directed by the Ministry of Defence for the war heroes of the Tri-forces, was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in the presence of Mahinda Samarasinghe ,Minister of Ports & Shipping, Ruwan [...]

Sri Lankan investors transform Bangladesh economic landscape

With Sri Lanka becoming the first country to recognise Bangladesh’s potential as an investment destination, Sri Lankan investors have transformed the economic and social landscape of Bangladesh since 1972, a top official affirmed. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Chairman, Kazi M Aminul Islam made this statement at a forum organised by NDB Investment Bank titled [...]

Benefiting from Enterprise Sri Lanka

Enterprise Sri Lanka could be the most valuable development programme any government has introduced so far. The problem with our country is all the valuable ideas become ineffective at the implementation stage. The first example that comes to my mind is an educational step that the government took in 1974 to introduce pre-vocational studies to [...]

LAUGFS Gas Bangladesh bags Gold award at CNCI Achiever Awards

LAUGFS Gas Bangladesh bags Gold award at CNCI Achiever Awards

Reinstating its commitment to excellence, LAUGFS Gas (Bangladesh) Ltd, one of the largest LPG downstream distributors in Bangladesh, clinched the prestigious Gold Award under the “Sri Lankan Industry in SAARC Countries” Category at the CNCI Achiever Awards 2018. The award ceremony was organized by the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries in Sri Lanka and was [...]

Panasian Power constructing more solar power plants

Panasian Power PLC, which saw a growth spurt in the last quarter ending June 2018, has begun construction on another 900 Kw rooftop solar plant in Kelaniya while a 1 MW ground solar plant is expected to begin construction during the second quarter of the current financial year. According to Pathmanatha Poddiwala, the company’s General [...]

“Thallu start to racing cars”

You have raised good points about Sri Lanka’s automotive industry entrepreneurship and traffic congestion in the Kussi Amma Sera column on August 5. People make modal choices depending on their travel purposes, destinations, physical abilities, incomes, and risk averseness. If the trip purpose is work, for example, one would typically consider availability, reliability, speed, comfort, [...]

Cyber Illusions and AV Lab win big at WOW Awards Asia

Live experience designer and consultant Cyber Illusions, supported by local audiovisual pioneer AV Lab, won big at WOW Awards Asia, bringing home multiple metals from the prestigious awards show that was held recently at New Delhi Aerocity. The recognized work was conceived and executed by the VAEG (Visual Art and Experiences Group) Collective, a creative [...]

New trends in worker welfare

A new strategy to enhance productivity is now being promoted in Japan, focusing on the health and the wellbeing of the employees of all organisations. Emphasizing the importance of the above new approach, Kai Kawano, Director, Standards and Regulations Division, Intellectual Property and Innovation Department, Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) said that they are now [...]

Start-ups must speak the language of the investor

Start-ups must speak the  language of the investor

One of the main reasons why start-ups are unable to obtain the necessary investment is the inability to speak the language of the investor; a language that makes the investor motivated and energised to invest on a start-up to raise a million dollars. It’s not the language in which an idea is pitched, but the [...]

New tax regime of the Yahapalanaya Government

Under the new tax regime, the tax on public servants is calculated by treating as income, the monetary value of facilities given to them such as vehicles, driver salaries, telephones, etc. I would like to ask the mandarins of the Treasury whether in calculating the salaries of politicians for tax purposes, whether they value and [...]

EU exports up after SL regained GSP + concessions

Exports to the European Union (EU) have risen by 11 per cent in the 12 months since Sri Lanka regained GSP + concessions. Apparel, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent of these exports, grew by 8 per cent in the past year, according to a media release issued by the Ministry of Development Strategies [...]

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