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Oranges for a song

Oranges for a song

Oranges for a song Hit by an oversupply of imported oranges, local growers in Navagaththegama in the Puttalam-Anuradhapura region face difficulties in fetching a reasonable price for their produce this season. (Inset: Local grower Champa Dilhani). Pix by Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe

Unions, CB discuss EPF investments

Amidst the doom and gloom in the country, there was some welcome news for Colombo’s stock market. The authorities are close to winning the unions over in the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) continued investment in the stock market, after a meeting on Wednesday between unions, affiliated to the National Labour Advisory Council, and Central Bank [...]

New financial inclusion strategy

Research agency Nielsen Lanka has been assigned by the Regional Development Department of the Central Bank (CB) to conduct a survey leading to developing a National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Sri Lanka. In a public notice, the CB said the survey is in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation and aimed at collecting data and [...]

Dilemma in allocating funds for 2019

Sri Lanka’s dilemma on allocating funds for the year 2019 continues even after the endorsement given by the cabinet of ministers newly appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena for the 3-month Vote on Account this week as it needs parliamentary approval to draw for expenditure from the consolidated fund, official sources said. According to Article 150 [...]

President intervenes to remedy public sector breakdown

President Maithripala Sirisena has taken prompt action to remedy the current breakdown in day-to-day state administrative functions in the public service as a result of political uncertainty for almost four weeks. The President has directed his secretary Udaya R. Seneviratne to immediately look into concerns expressed by senior officials of state institutions who were reluctant [...]

Uncertainty and confusion at Sri Lanka tourism

With uncertainty prevailing over the incumbent Tourism Minister’s presence or lack of it, officials were awaiting the new boards being appointed next week in the midst of concerns by the industry over future bookings. There was confusion at the Tourism Ministry in the wake of the subject Minister Wasantha Senanayake claiming he would be submitting [...]

Economy : All messed up

Economy : All messed up

As I began to write the column, a short text message – a news alert message, on my mobile phone, read: “The Sri Lankan rupee further depreciated against the US dollar…selling rate is 179…” Although it wasn’t any unusual news for a few months now, this time it looked scary to me. I remembered my [...]

State of flux

there was a commotion down the road. Kussi Amma Sera and Serapina were at the gate watching a to-and-fro argument between Simon, the often, amiable bakery man on his choon-paan 3-wheeler and Mabel Rasthiyadu over the current political impasse. “Madam, Sirisena janadipathi gey weda hariyata kara (Madam, President Sirisena did his job correctly),” said Simon. [...]

Guaranteeing the safety of what we eat and drink

Guaranteeing the safety of what we eat and drink

When I consider the safety and quality of what we eat and drink, I look no further than my own home: Every day, I have a responsibility to ensure my wife and two daughters have only the best quality and safest food available. Food Safety and Quality (FSQ) is essential to build long-term trust in [...]

Failed Pramuka Bank: Depositors’ saga continues

The improper supervision of the country’s finance companies by the Central Bank has become endemic as corruption and mismanagement by the management of some of these companies which were unchecked have ended up in failure. People who have invested their hard earned savings, in these finance companies, were expecting an appreciable return on their deposits. [...]

SLT Group 2018 3QYTD profits up by 23%

The Sri Lanka Telecom (PLC) last week released its group financial results for the nine months ending September showing a Year on Year (YoY) growth of 23.4 per cent with Net Profit After Tax reported at Rs.3.99 billion. The continued revenue growth of the group has largely contributed to the improvements in net profit. “Backed [...]

Janashakthi Insurance announces new Chairman, Board Members

Janashakthi Insurance announces new Chairman, Board Members

Janashakthi Insurance PLC on Wednesday announced the appointment of Prakash Schaffter as its Executive Chairman. Mr. Schaffter, who has three decades of experience in the insurance industry, had led Janashakthi as its Managing Director since 2006. This announcement comes with the addition of two new board members, Nathan Sivagananathan and Avindra Rodrigo. These appointments, which [...]

Crying wolf at Chinese debt trap when real worry is hidden elsewhere

It is perhaps fashionable to cry ‘wolf’ at China when we talk about the country’s debt trap, but a leading economist, Subhashini Abeysinghe, has pointed out that such warnings are mis-directed and that it is the island’s borrowing from international financial markets that is the bigger threat. Speaking at the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) [...]

Shangri-La’s Hambantota, Tourism Skills Committee launch “Young Tourism Ambassador Initiative”

Shangri-La’s Hambantota, Tourism Skills Committee launch “Young Tourism Ambassador Initiative”

The Private Sector Tourism Skills Committee (TSC), in partnership with Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, and the YouLead project (USAID-funded Youth Employability and Business Start-up Programme) launched an exciting tourism internship programme on November 5. Designed to familiarise post A/L students from the Hambantota area with the realities of the modern tourism industry, the ‘Young [...]

Softlogic Glomark, first flagship global supermarket opens

It had been one of the biggest challenges during the past two years of launching the first global supermarket in Sri Lanka with selected international brands and with exclusively selected local products for its customers. This was stated by Andrew Dalby, CEO of Softlogic Glomark at the launch of the Softlogic Glomark global market at [...]

LVL Energy Fund 6-mth profit exceeds profit for full previous year

LVL Energy Fund PLC with an operational footprint covering Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, has recorded a strong financial performance in the first half of the current financial year, which is reflected in the company’s provisional financial results for the 6-month period ending September. “In a remarkable achievement, its 6-month profit of Rs.461 million was [...]

Businesses behave unethically in pursuit of profits: Top academic

Businesses behave unethically in pursuit of profits: Top academic

Businesses behave badly in the pursuit of higher profits and shareholder value. Even though the fines and penalties appear large, they are often easily absorbed by the sheer volume of revenue generated by such unethical actions, according to a top Sri Lanka-born, Australia-based academic. “The company’s management accountants are assessing the profitability of law breaking [...]

Sustainable regional strategic plan was to eradicate poverty

The sustainable regional strategic path of Sri Lanka is one of the first strategic plans to be created that stresses the importance of water. Water is among 17 other sustainable development goals mentioned in the United Nations agenda and with universal integration “we” in Sri Lanka have to adopt to such goals to eradicate poverty [...]

Roadblocks for Indian automobiles

Sri Lanka’s recent raft of measures towards curtailing vehicle imports to ease pressure on the exchange rate has become a roadblock mainly for Indian car imports, motor traders complained. The value of Indian car imports has dropped to US$ 36 million during 2017-18 period from $300 million, 3-4 years ago, they revealed adding that the [...]

New car registrations face number plate shortage

New car registrations face number plate shortage

Sri Lanka’s new car registration is likely to face a shortage of vehicle number plates due to the delay in awarding the tender to procure new number plates owing to allegations of corrupt practices and irregularities, informed sources said adding that extending the ongoing contract is also hampered by the present political impasse. The Motor [...]

Volvo operates fully-fledged service facility in Peliyagoda

Volvo Cars Sri Lanka, a new subsidiary under the IWS Holdings Group, is now providing sales, service and spare parts for customers at its state-of-the-art showroom and fully-fledged service facility in Peliyagoda. The 20,000 square foot, 3S facility is expected to be among one of the best in Asia, and is developed with an investment [...]

Mitsubishi seeks to increase footprint across Sri Lanka

Mitsubishi seeks to increase footprint across Sri Lanka

The introduction of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SUV and the Xpander in Sri Lanka marks the expansion of its Small Utility Vehicle (SUV) models in the local market, United Motors Lanka officials said. United Motors Lanka PLC, the sole distributor for Mitsubishi vehicles in Sri Lanka, launched two new models recently. Two new vehicles have [...]

Sri Lanka-Japan auto exporters explore foreign used car markets

Sri Lanka Automobile Exporters Association of Japan has stepped in to assist Sri Lanka to explore the used vehicle export market especially in Africa, the Caribbean and some Asian countries. Former President of the Association, Jagath Ramanayake said that he would like to collaborate with Sri Lankan motor traders, to penetrate those markets as such [...]

Luxury vehicle surveillance tightened to detect money laundering

Sri Lanka has tightened surveillance and investigation into vehicle imports especially super luxury car imports with the aim of preventing the integration of illicit funds into the legitimate sector, Motor Traffic Department (MTD) sources said. The procedure of vehicle registration and issuance of vehicle license has been automated linking the MTD, Sri Lanka Customs, and [...]

Challenges to Sri Lanka in the climate change discourse

Challenges to Sri Lanka in the climate change discourse

The latest report by an international panel of scientists has highlighted that everyone on this earth can do something to help the world to avoid or change the anticipated catastrophic climate change due to human activity. We humans have created this situation and we have to contribute towards the restoration of the environment for future [...]

Moody’s downgrades ratings of three Sri Lankan banks

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the long-term local currency deposit and foreign currency issuer ratings of Bank of Ceylon (BOC), Hatton National Bank Ltd (HNB) and Sampath Bank PLC to B2 from B1. At the same time, Moody’s has downgraded the long-term foreign currency deposit ratings of the same three banks to B3 from B2 [...]

Seminar on sharing experiences in local economic development

The Industrial Services Bureau (ISB) has organised a national level, experience-sharing forum on “Local Economic Development in Practice” under the theme “Shaping Local Economy Through Lessons Learnt” on November 28, at the Centre for Banking Studies, Central Bank, Rajagiriya, Colombo. The objective of this forum is to create an opportunity for various development agencies and [...]

Transact Lanka appoints new chairman

Transact  Lanka appoints new chairman

Transact Lanka Pvt Ltd (TLPL), developers of the acclaimed cashless mobile payment system ‘ROKA’, this week announced the appointment of Simon Lourensz as the new Chairman of the Board. Mr. Lourensz will oversee ROKA’s core operations in Sri Lanka and the Maldives in addition to its worldwide support services. He presently serves as the Managing [...]

Central Bank strongly challenges Moody’s ‘latest rating decision’

The Central Bank (CB) on Wednesday strongly challenged a decision by Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) on Monday (November 20) to downgrade the Government of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings from B1 (Negative) to B2 (Stable). The CB said the downgrading does not properly reflect the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals, and (was) therefore [...]

Akshata distributes 10,000 kg of low-GI, non-GMO paddy seeds

Akshata, a brand of local rice in its drive to increase low-GI Rice varieties that are high in antioxidants with medical properties, has expanded its farmer base by eight fold, distributing 10,000 kg of paddy seed free of charge and benefitting 200 new farmers. The project would enable these farmers to earn three times the [...]

Kalhari wins Gold award for recycling

Kalhari wins Gold award for recycling

Kalhari Group won the Gold Award for Recycled Products at the recently held NCE Export Awards 2018 in Colombo. The company which has consistently won NCE Awards over more than 10 years is today a leader in the field of exporting recycled products to various countries around the world. This is also the first time [...]

Conference of Asia-Pacific Depositories and Clearing organisations in Colombo

The Central Depository Systems (Pvt) Ltd (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), will host the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Central Securities Depository Group (ACG) in Sri Lanka on November 26-28. The event will be organised on the theme “Fintech – shifting or shaping the future of CSDs,” [...]

Misleading ads

Although advertising is a separate industry today, the nature of their ads on behalf of their clients, is mostly misleading the consumers and prospective customers /investors of banks and the non-banking finance companies. We see some advertisements representing some products have used celebrities whose endorsements have generated a false confidence among the consumers. For example [...]

South Asia’s largest textile sourcing fair now in its 4th edition

The 4th edition of Intex South Asia, the largest international textile sourcing show in South Asia, was inaugurated at BMICH, Colombo last week by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka. Among those present were Ms. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Export Development Board, Sharad Amalean, Chairman, Joint Apparel Association Forum of [...]

Lamudi Sri Lanka launches Property Guide page

Lamudi Lanka Pvt Ltd, the premier online real estate marketplace in Sri Lanka, recently launched a Property Guide page, as a part of the company’s efforts to increase understanding about the Sri Lankan property market. The page can be accessed through the URL, and provides an extensive guide for property buyers, sellers and local [...]

Reasons for the present issues in the rubber industry

Reasons for the present issues in the rubber industry

My attention has been drawn to an article on October 21 in the Business Times under the title of “ways to revive the crisis-hit RRI” by P.H. Sarath Kumara, who says he is an advisor of rubber in Liberia and former Research Officer of Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRI). Since Mr. Kumara has [...]

10-20 % farm produce lost due to wild animals

Around 10-20 per cent of the agriculture harvest in Sri Lanka is lost today due to wild animals rampaging farm lands which has become a grave problem, according to the Additional Secretary (Development) Ministry of Agriculture I.U Mendis. He was speaking at a media briefing held at the Hilton Hotel Colombo recently on empowering innovative [...]

Genie partners Food Studio at Colombo City Centre

Genie partners Food Studio at Colombo City Centre

Genie, Sri Lanka’s first PCI-DSS certified payment app, announced its recent partnership with Food Studio Pvt Ltd, the company responsible for creating the island’s first Food Atrium, located on the third floor of the Colombo City Centre. The partnership will enable Genie Customers to enjoy special concessions when they use the platform at the Atrium. [...]

SLASSCOM urges quick end to political crisis

The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) representing the knowledge services and innovation industry, Sri Lanka’s fifth-largest and highest value-adding exporter, this week requested a swift, constitutional settlement to the current political crisis. “We urge those in authority to put aside personal prejudices and narrow agendas at this point and collaborate towards [...]

Ceylinco Healthcare’s new linear accelerator to commence operations in December

Ceylinco Healthcare Services Ltd (CHSL), which owns the leading specialist radiation treatment facilities in Sri Lanka’s private sector, has announced that its latest hi-precision linear accelerator unit will commence treatments in the first week of December; three months after its installation began. Purchased from Varian Medical Systems, a global leader in Radiation Oncology, the state-of-the-art [...]

Mesmerising evening, a night of illusions at SLID bash

Mesmerising evening, a night of illusions at SLID bash

The month of November hosted the most awaited event of the year in the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors’ (SLID) social calendar: the Annual Directors’ Dinner. The event took place on November 2 at the Balmoral, Kingsbury with around 250 guests attending, the institute said in a media release. This year SLID presented a unique [...]

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