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Devastated gem trader’s love for Sri Lanka

Devastated international gem trader Lewis Allen’s love for Sri Lanka saw him being invited as the guest of honour at the FACETS 2019, the International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition which ends today at the BMICH, Colombo. Mr. Lewis lost his wife in the Easter Sunday bombings, when they were visiting Sri Lanka. “I do not [...]

Crisis at Osusala shops

Sri Lanka’s state-owned pharmacy retailer – Osusala drug stores – is currently operating at a loss due to thin margins, market competition and rising inflation despite an increase in demand for medicines, latest official data showed. Some 19 out of the 37 Osusala stores were running at losses and some original drugs were no longer [...]

Samantha quits CIC; joins medical tech firm

Samantha  quits CIC; joins  medical tech firm

Samantha Ranatunga, Managing Director/CEO of CIC Holdings PLC, has retired from the CIC Group after 30 years of service and 10 years as its Managing Director/CEO. In addition to being a Director of Chemanex PLC and several other unquoted companies of the CIC Group, he was an Independent Director of Seylan Bank PLC for nine [...]

TPG not selling Union Bank

Disputing speculation that Union Bank’s (UB) major shareholder Culture Financial Holdings Ltd is selling a part of its holding, a top UB official said that it’s not true. Culture Financial Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Texas Pacific Group(TPG) (one of the world’s largest private equity firms) invested close to US$100 million for a 70 per [...]

Prepaid electricity meter facility with new tariff

Sri Lankans will be getting a prepaid electricity meter facility with new tariff structure soon replacing the existing domestic electricity meters, Power and Energy Ministry sources said. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), Dialog Axiata and the Ministry of Power and Energy will be implementing this programme to introduce a smart meter. This [...]

Cinnamon spearheads Sri Lanka’s destination recovery plan

Spearheading a tourism-industry-led revival after the Easter Sunday attacks is Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, strategically driving forth multiple campaigns, promotions and initiatives in the recent four month period. “First and foremost, the support and love Sri Lanka received soon after the attacks from across the globe was truly reassuring and promising,” said Jit Gunaratne, President [...]

Dousing forest fires

Dousing forest fires

Yearning for ‘bakery paan’ (bread), and not for the sliced mass-produced kind, for breakfast this sunny Thursday morning, I walked down to the nearby ‘tea kade’ to purchase two loaves. At the ‘kade’, a young chap was engaged in a lively conversation with the shopkeeper on recent forest fires. “You know, forests fires are not [...]

A different airport

A different airport

How can an airport be different, when every airport is built for the same purpose? There are planes landing in and taking off. There are air-travel passengers going out and coming in. There are offices, customs, shops, and amenities to meet the regulatory requirements and passenger needs. However, we are not looking at the differences [...]

Spices industry affected by falling prices

The biggest problem faced by the spices industry is the present declining prices, lamented Rumesh Jayasuriya, Chairman, Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders Association (SPPTA), speaking at the 35th AGM of the SPPTA held at Ramada Hotel Colombo, last week. He pointed out that the industry has to improve unrestrained innovation and show continuous [...]

Sri Lanka’s e-passport project hits another snag

Sri Lanka’s much delayed e-Passport project has been hit by another snag following the sale of the international identity solutions business of De La Rue Plc (DLR) which was selected for the project contract directly. DLR has exited the prime system integration in the identity market with the sale of its international identity solutions business [...]

Access celebrates 30 years of growth

Access has become one of Sri Lanka’s leading conglomerates since beginning operations as the sole agent for a host of Japanese companies in the country back in 1989, three decades ago. Access has steadily grown in capacity and diversified into many areas over the past 30 years, contributing significantly to the growth of the country’s [...]

Allianz Lanka appoints new Deputy CEO

Allianz Lanka recently announced the appointment of Nihal Handunge as the Deputy CEO for Allianz Life Insurance Lanka Ltd. With this new appointment, Mr. Handunge will take the responsibility of overseeing the growth strategy of the business along with the overall management responsibility of Allianz Lanka’s Life operations in Sri Lanka. Speaking on this occasion, [...]

Lanka Hydraulic Institute firmly establishes worldwide footprint

Lanka Hydraulic Institute Ltd (LHI), a leading Sri Lankan engineering consultancy firm, has been extending its hydrology expertise for 35 years in the coastal and water sector with more than 400 consultancy projects completed worldwide, senior officials of the institute said. LHI has completed 26 major projects including 2D physical modeling for coastal protection ventures [...]

Education system in Sri Lanka kills innovation,creativity

Education system in Sri Lanka kills innovation,creativity

As the world moves towards a new era, considerable attention has been focused on technology. But little evidence is seen of technology transferring from initial planning to the marketplace. Primarily, the question is centered on the basic issue of whether engineers could, in fact, be developed in such a way as to turn out to [...]

CIFL depositors seek Supreme Court relief

The Central Investment and Finance Ltd Depositors Association (CIFLDA) though resorting to all the possible means to obtain their deposits and interest for the last seven years have not been able to recover their dues fully and have lost all hopes for such a full recovery. In this rather disappointed backdrop, the CIFLDA held its [...]

CMA’s annual National Management Accounting Conference this month

This year the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) of Sri Lanka is celebrating its 20th anniversary and will be holding its15th annual flagship conference on September 9-10 while the International Integrated Reporting Workshop will be held on September 11 at the Taj Samudra, Colombo. The ‘CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019’ and the [...]

Nepal’s Binod Chaudhary wins prestigious SAARC award at India’s Annual CEO Awards

Nepal’s Binod Chaudhary wins prestigious SAARC award at India’s Annual CEO Awards

Chairman of CG Corp Global and strong investor in the Sri Lankan hospitality sector, Dr. Binod Chaudhary was named the Outstanding Leader – SAARC at the CEO Awards 2019 held in Mumbai recently. The prestigious annual awards organised by CEO India magazine, celebrates excellence in the boardroom and beyond and is touted as one of [...]

NTB’s ‘20 Weeks of Rewards’ for business customers in celebration of its 20th anniversary

Nations Trust Bank (NTB) is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary and to mark this major milestone, the bank is offering its business customers a special 20 per cent bonus on Nations Business Rewards through the recently launched ‘20 Weeks of Rewards’ programme. Nations Business Rewards is a special loyalty programme available to Gold and Platinum [...]

Ray of hope falls on Sri Lanka for US$480 m MCC grant

A ray of hope has fallen on Sri Lanka following the positive sentiment expressed by a top US official that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) directors may determine next month to extend the US$ 480 million grant term if Cabinet approval is further delayed. “The MCC Board will talk about Sri Lanka and try to [...]

Global and local corporates support CIMA Business Leaders’ summit

The 42nd CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit will be held at the Shangri La, Colombo on September 4-5 under the theme “ART of leading the shift: Adaptability, Resilience and Transformation”. In this centenary year of CIMA, local and foreign speakers as well as panellists from diverse fields and industries will come together to deliberate on “The [...]

Palm oil industry growth affected due to inaction by local authorities

Although the palm oil industry is worth Rs.26 billion which is its contribution to the Sri Lankan economy, this is not a known fact. There has been opposition from vested interests and from external elements to the cultivation of the palm plants in Sri Lanka following the launching of the palm oil industry. People’s protests [...]

CB’s policy rate cut affects LB’s deposit mobilisation

The coming quarter is posing immeasurable challenges to LB Finance PLC, especially after the policy rate cut by the banking regulator recently. The 50 basis points (bps) cut in policy rates during May by the Central Bank (CB) and previously the imposition of deposit ceiling rates in April has so far seen Average Weighted Prime [...]

SLT and Virtusa to jointly raise customer experience to the next level

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has entered into a landmark agreement with Virtusa Pvt Ltd, heralding a radical transformation in customer experience for SLT’s customers in the coming weeks and months. The signing of this memorandum of understanding (MoU) marks yet another critical milestone in realising SLT’s digital transformation. Through this MoU, the SLT seeks to [...]

People’s Bank pledges Rs. 1000 for each newborn

People’s Bank, which celebrated its 58th anniversary on July 1, launched a new campaign focusing on children born within the period of July to September presenting a gift voucher worth Rs.1000 to every newborn, as part of the celebrations. This initiative was first launched successfully in 1998, and has been an annual event ever since. [...]

Affluence Suite from Fortunaglobal makes waves in Digital Banking Engagement Platforms

Fortunaglobal, a pioneer in fintech solutions for the banking and financial sector, provides solid Digital Banking Solutions through its Affluence Digital Banking Suite, catering to the needs of the digital economy and enabling banks to deliver next generation services. This product is differentiated to support retail, business and corporate banking. It has been dedicated to [...]

New poverty measurements after change in country income status

The Ministry of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution – through the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) – is working with UNICEF along with the Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) and the Oxford Policy and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) to develop an appropriate method of measuring multidimensional child poverty. This was revealed at the first [...]

KIA Motors poised for growth with Rs. 800 m Malabe complex

KIA Motors poised for growth with Rs. 800 m Malabe complex

Korea’s top car market, KIA is to strengthen its presence in Sri Lanka with a distributor dealership model following the recent corporate structure change which saw Managing Director Mahen Thambiah securing 100 per cent ownership with a total investment of Rs 1.02 billion. The transition has been achieved with no reduction in employee numbers or [...]

Travel Bridge launches TBO Air in Sri Lanka for easy travel plan solutions

Travel Bridge, a subsidiary of Expolanka Holdings through its General Sales Agent (GSA) in Sri Lanka, recently introduced TBO Air, a business-to-business travel portal, specifically designed to allow travel agents to look for the most inexpensive air fares across the globe with local payment options. The TBO Air portal is currently available in English but [...]

Pathfinder Foundation urges rational look at MCC Compact

The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has urged the President to summon an early meeting with the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and other relevant political stakeholders and take a final decision on how Sri Lanka should proceed with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, after taking into consideration all the implications, benefits and costs. In [...]

Australian Tour Operators Chairman meets Tourism Minister

Australian Tour Operators Chairman meets Tourism Minister

In order to revive the tourism industry, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, has invited the heads of Tour Operator Associations worldwide to visit Sri Lanka after the 21/4 incident. As a result of this invitation, Dennis Bunnik, Chairman of the Council of Australian Tour Operators, (CATO) recently met Minister [...]

NSB records higher performance in 1H2019

National Savings Bank demonstrated robust performance in the first half of 2019 amidst subdued macroeconomic and market conditions, with Profit Before Tax (PBT) growing by 15.5 percent to Rs. 4.3 billion when compared with the corresponding period of 2018. Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 15.2 per cent to Rs.2.3 billion in the same period [...]

Laksala shops violate AR & FRs

The Laksala handicraft boutique chain owned by the Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board is offering up to 25 per cent commission for brokers who direct local and foreign consumers violating state financial regulations, an audit inspection revealed. The loss incurred by Laksala last year was Rs. 85.7 million and it was around 12 per cent of [...]

Different does real estate right by growing its SL talent

Different Technologies, an Australian start-up backed by Australia’s venture capital firm, AirTree Venture and Silicon Valley’s Foundation Capital, is making a firm commitment to Sri Lanka by doubling its investments over the next few years and aggressively hiring local talent. Ruwin Perera, Co-Founder/CEO recently told media that the company, which is a full service property [...]

Ogilvy Media’s Sprite ad in groundbreaking campaign with real-time weather updates

Ogilvy Media’s Sprite ad in groundbreaking campaign with real-time weather updates

Ogilvy Media, a leading strategic and media buying agency in Sri Lanka, has created a real time weather check system with tailored messaging, aimed to excite the public to beat the heat with Sprite, a brand of Coca-Cola Sri Lanka. In line with the brand’s global summer campaign this year, which aims to inspire consumers [...]

Create Lab hosts SL’s first junior hackathon

Create Lab Lanka, the premier coding and robotics school in Sri Lanka helping children to embrace a deciphering mindset and to persevere when faced with problems, successfully completed the finals of the Create-a-thon, the first ever junior hackathon in Sri Lanka. The final round was held recently at the Create Lab Centre in Colombo 4, [...]

Recycled soap to benefit less privileged communities across the country

While Sri Lanka’s sanitation coverage is relatively high at 92 per cent, the remaining eight per cent of the community are less privileged in receiving proper sanitation facilities. One of the largest waste components in hotels are used bars of soap. Hilton Colombo Residences has thus taken the initiative to recycle used soap and give [...]

Fashion industry’s shift towards a circular economy

The Hirdaramani Group together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative recently hosted a transformative workshop at the Hilton Colombo Residences. It was specifically designed for academics and students in the fashion industry to raise awareness, build knowledge, and stimulate dialogue within the context of a circular economy – one that designs out [...]

CB to cancel Sinhaputra Finance licence

Beleaguered finance company, Sinhaputhra Finance PLC was issued notice of cancellation of its licence by the industry regulator, the Central Bank with the company objecting to the move. In an announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Friday, the CB said that owing to the critical financial condition, and due to non compliance to [...]

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