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Extreme heat

Extreme heat

With rising temperatures these days and the need to drink as much liquid as possible, the Department of Meteorology has installed a board outside its Colombo office with a daily update on temperatures and humidity levels. Pic by M.A.Pushpa Kumara.

No Chinese tourists, no promos

Sri Lanka travel agencies and tour operators are facing a crisis as the numbers from China have dwindled to nearly zero. Industry sources said currently there are no Chinese travellers visiting Sri Lanka clearly impacting on the tourism industry. The Chinese government has also issued a clampdown on travel agencies there to drop all travel [...]

Consolidated Fund to help additional state spending

The Government is set to withdraw a sum of Rs.367 billion from the Consolidated Fund under the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to settle outstanding bills of the previous government and to ease the economic burden of the people during the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year. This situation has arisen following the government’s recent [...]

Strong protests over attempt to remove state bank GMs

Bank unions are vehemently protesting against an alleged attempt by the government to remove the General Managers of two state-owned banks, the Bank of Ceylon and the People’s Bank without following the proper procedure. K. B. Senarath Bandara, General Manager and CEO of the Bank of Ceylon and G.B.P. Rasitha Gunawardana, CEO/General Manager at the [...]

Some SL travel firms withdraw from ITB

Some SL travel firms withdraw from ITB

While German authorities were in talks with ITB Berlin organisers to possibly cancel or postpone the largest travel event on March 4-8, some Sri Lankan travel companies have opted out of participating this year over concerns of the coronavirus epidemic that global health experts warn could reach pandemic levels. Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour [...]

E- Motoring project overhauls 92 year-old Motor Traffic Department

The decades-old Motor Traffic Department (MTD) head office at Narahenpita will get a new look with a modern facade design, a fully computerised and renovated interior office to offer an efficient and expeditious service in an eye-catching environment under the e- motoring project. The primary objective of this initiative is to provide an error-free service, [...]

Rising temperatures

Rising temperatures

Temperatures are rising … and I’m not just referring to that of Kussi Amma Sera and her buddies. For the record, the trio was seated under the margosa tree drinking water after a to-and-fro argument with the mobile vegetable vendor over rising prices of vegetables and other food. “Mey davas hari rasneine (It’s very hot [...]

Of trade and budget deficits

Of trade and budget deficits

Sri Lanka’s persistent trade deficit – the gap between export income and import expenditure – has finally declined, according to official data. It was nearly US$8 billion last year 2019, compared to US$10 billion deficit in 2018. But I am not sure, if this is good news to be happy rather than worry.   Sri Lanka [...]

Matthews Emerging Asia Fund reduces Sampath, LOLC stakes

Matthews Emerging Asia Fund has sold nearly 1.5 million shares in Sampath Bank and slightly reduced its holding in LOLC in 3Q20, data show. BBH-Matthews Emerging Asia Fund which was the seventh largest shareholder at Sampath with 14,011,415 shares in September last year was down to 12,474,412 shares (3.27 per cent) as at last December. [...]

Ceylinco Healthcare opens SL’s first private-owned dedicated Elderly Care Centre

Ceylinco Healthcare opens SL’s first private-owned dedicated Elderly Care Centre

The first multidisciplinary medical care centre for the elderly in Sri Lanka’s private sector was formally declared open recently by Ceylinco Healthcare Services Limited (CHSL) with the involvement of some of the country’s leading specialists in Geriatric Medicine. Located on the first floor of the Ceylinco Healthcare Centre at No 60, Park Street, Colombo 2, [...]

Arpico Insurance PLC growing strong in 2020

Arpico Insurance PLC , a fully owned subsidiary of Richard Pieris & Company PLC with an ambitious plan to be a leading insurance provider in the country, has kick-started this year with six branch openings and achieved highest recorded sales. In the two months alone, the company established its presence in Batticaloa, Kalmunai, Ampara, Hanwella, [...]

Seylan Bank closes year crossing Rs.500bn in total assets

Seylan Bank, in the backdrop of a challenging external environment, recorded a profit after tax of Rs.3.68 billion for the year ending December 2019, which is 15.4 per cent higher than last year. The successful and oversubscribed Rights Issue made during the last quarter for Rs.4.30 billion which followed a similarly successful debenture issue earlier [...]

Battling cobwebs, efficiency in boilers and chimney designs at MechX

Battling cobwebs, efficiency in boilers and chimney designs at MechX

The eight-legged weavers flaunt their rich array of (eyesore) architectures usually in high up and hard to reach places, stopping anyone from actually removing them. While cleaners – both domestic and industrial – are repulsed by the “guy lines” surrounded webs on high up surfaces, more often than not they lose the battle against spiders. [...]

ADB appoints new Country Director for Sri Lanka

ADB appoints new Country Director for Sri Lanka

The new Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director in Sri Lanka, Chen Chen, assumed office in Colombo on Monday. “I am honoured to assume the role of Country Director at ADB’s Sri Lanka Resident Mission. I have had the opportunity of managing ADB’s transport sector portfolio in Sri Lanka in the past, and have gathered [...]

Like most banks, challenging year’19 at HNB

HNB PLC weathered external headwinds in 2019 to post Rs.15 billion in group post-tax profit (PAT) and Rs.14 billion in bank PAT and remains the best capitalised bank in the sector. In his review, HNB Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody said: “The year that preceded us has been extremely challenging with global trade friction contributing to a [...]

Ceylinco General Insurance reveals premium income of Rs.19.8bn in 2019

Sri Lanka’s insurance giant, Ceylinco General Insurance Ltd, has posted a strong financial performance in 2019. Giving details, Patrick Alwis, Managing Director /CEO of the company, said: “The company recorded a premium income of Rs.19.8 billion, which indicates an increase of over Rs. 600 million year-on-year. This performance is even more significant against the backdrop [...]

ComBank Group revenue passes milestone Rs.150 bn in ‘difficult’ 2019

The Commercial Bank Group ended 2019 with the performance milestone of gross income surpassing Rs.150 billion for the first time, but substantially higher impairment charges and the impact of a full year of Debt Repayment Levy (DRL) in a year the bank describes as “difficult for the Bank and the country,” saw declines in profit [...]

Strong 2019 performance from Union Bank, just as it marks 25 years

Union Bank has demonstrated a healthy performance amidst the challenging macro-economic environment in 2019, recording a significant increase of 50 per cent in profit after all tax, going into its 25th year in 2020. Amidst sector shocks that prevailed throughout, the bank strived for revenue optimisation through portfolio re-alignment and prudent cost management. During the [...]

GoAir to launch in March from Colombo

India’s budget carrier GoAir has scheduled operations to commence direct flights next month eyeing potential pilgrim traffic of about 80 per cent load factor on average between Colombo and Bengaluru and Delhi. Flights will be operational from the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo and airports in Delhi and Bengaluru that offer direct connectivity to [...]

Investigation on flour manufacturers, pricing by CAA

The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is conducting an investigation on wheat flour manufacturers and price increases in wheat flour. This came after State Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Welfare Anura Priyadarshana Yapa ordered an investigation when the manufacturers refused to sell wheat flour at a certain price instead of increasing it over the past [...]

SLSI certifies that Anchor meets national standards for milk powder

The Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has reconfirmed that Anchor Full Cream Milk Powder meets all Sri Lankan standards of quality and safety for full cream milk powder, following an extensive surveillance audit conducted in New Zealand in order to inspect the breadth of the manufacturing process. Key findings by the SLSI team concluded that [...]

Thrie Malee Jewellers receives ISO 9001:2015

Thrie Malee Jewellers receives ISO 9001:2015

Thrie Malee Jewellers, with its continual commitment to excellence in jewellery manufacturing and customer service, has become Sri Lanka’s first jeweller to be certified the coveted ISO 9001:2015 standards for Manufacturing and Selling of Gold Jewellery. “Thrie Malee Jewellers was chosen for its high standards in the category of jewellery manufacturing and customer service by [...]

Ceylinco Life gives ‘Pranama’ schols to 154 more future leaders of Sri Lanka

Ceylinco Life gives ‘Pranama’ schols to 154 more future leaders of Sri Lanka

A milestone with the potential to influence the futures of 154 bright young Sri Lankans was reached when Ceylinco Life presented the 19th edition of the company’s ‘Pranama’ scholarships at the BMICH recently, rewarding academic and extracurricular excellence with disbursements totalling Rs.11.5 million. Senior academics as well as past and present recipients of these scholarships [...]

Epica Awards Sri Lanka debuts on March 5-6

For the first time in Epica Awards’ 33 years history, Epica Awards Sri Lanka will take place on March 5-6 in Colombo. Epica Awards is the only global award show judged solely by journalists. With over 200 journalists on the judging panel and over 4,000 entries submitted, it is one of the largest creative festivals [...]

Uber insists it won’t set up local office to accept rider complaints

Despite the soaring number of complaints Uber has been receiving on a daily basis, it won’t be setting up a local office to resolve rider complaints. Uber expects all complaints to be made only via the in-app complaint system or call a customer service representative in case of an emergency to explain the situation through [...]

CB to discontinue compilation and publication of SLIBOR

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) has decided to discontinue the compilation and publication of SLIBOR with effect from July 1, 2020, the CB said in a media release on Tuesday. This decision was taken in consideration of the lack of usage of SLIBOR in benchmarking loan products in the [...]

Case filed against Kandy Hotel Company PLC for “breach of duty of care”

A case has been filed against the Kandy Hotels Company PLC by Mr. M.D.H. Wahid, proprietor of the Tourist Shopping Centre, a boutique shop operating within Hotel Swiss Kandy claiming damages from the company for its failure to provide sufficient security for the property of the plaintiff consequent to which a robbery of gems and [...]

LAN, Ford Foundation to jointly help start-ups grow

The Lankan Angel Network (LAN) this week announced that it has signed a landmark grant agreement with the Ford Foundation to catalyse the growth of Sri Lanka’s start-up ecosystem. The US$300,000 grant is the first of its kind for the Ford Foundation in Sri Lanka and will be utilised to reach entrepreneurs across multiple sectors [...]

Veteran green tea expert to run Australian green tea company

Veteran green tea expert to run Australian green  tea company

Veteran Green tea expert Dr. Tiran Peiris has been offered a high profile position as a Director/Shareholder/CEO of Australian Green Tea (Pvt) Ltd (AGTPL) in New South Wales in Australia. Dr. Peiris said that AGTPL has been the catalyst for building a new tea growing, processing and export industry in Australia. The Australia Tea Growers [...]

LAUGFS Lubricants launches 2nd phase of ‘Wishwasaye Balawegaya’ campaign

LAUGFS Lubricants launches 2nd phase of ‘Wishwasaye Balawegaya’ campaign

LAUGFS Lubricants, the pioneer Sri Lankan lubricant brand in the country, has once again created history in the local lubricant industry with its unique town-storming campaign ‘Wishwasaye Balawegaya’. LAUGFS Lubricants launched this innovative campaign with their 40-foot prime mover truck which will be travelling around the nation throughout the month, symbolising the strength and trust [...]

Sri Lanka starts commercial production of wonder material ‘graphene’

Sri Lanka has begun commercial production in a big way of wonder material, graphene which is extracted from the locally mined and the world’s best high pure graphite using latest technology. The country is exporting graphite without any value addition at a price of US$3 per kg whereas the value added graphene fetches a price [...]

Blessed in creating opportunities in tourism

Blessed in creating opportunities in tourism

Living a life of prayer and worship, so central to his very being, veteran hotelier Hiran Cooray exudes positivity and simplicity that is present even in his warm smile. As we walk into his office – a very simple space on Navam Mawatha – his room is adorned with statues of Jesus and Mary and [...]

Resilience from Nations Trust Bank amidst challenges

Nations Trust Bank Group has demonstrated strong resilience amidst external challenges, to record a profit of Rs.3.71 billion, marginally up from 2018. Subdued economic conditions which prevailed in the country affected many key economic sectors impacting the financial performance of businesses leading to low credit growth and higher non-performing loans. The Easter Sunday terrorist attacks [...]

Improved business sentiment rekindles interest in local luxury property market

A mood of optimism and expectation pervades life in Sri Lanka this year as positive moves by the new government to streamline the nation’s tax structure, professionalise state-owned institutions, streamline ease-of-doing business standings and other business-friendly measures serve to provide economic stimulus. With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting a growth of 3.7 per cent [...]

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