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Traffic congestion as Colombo opens up

Traffic congestion as Colombo opens up

Central Bank enters new era, reconstitutes Monetary Board

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) is entering a new era of encouraging growth in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and for this purpose is reconstituting the Monetary Board to tackle different economic issues in line with the present administration’s new policies. The Monetary Board is to be given a new role along with the [...]

ECT to be fitted with JCT cranes

Sri Lankan authorities are carrying out discussions with India and Japan for plans to open the East Container Terminal (ECT) for operations within the next few months. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Gen. Daya Ratnayaka told the Business Times on Tuesday that currently they were in discussion with India and Japan on plans for [...]

Rush to invest in Colombo bourse

The stock market is on fire, fuelled by investors’ giddy hope about cheap valuations and a fair amount of FOMO (fear of missing out) on this party. The sharp sell-off by foreigners in mid May that saw local HNWIs (high networth investors) and retailers scrambling to collect stocks at a decade old cheap prices -  [...]

Samurdhi banks face liquidity crunch over unlocking funds for poor

The Government has been dipping into the savings of Samurdhi beneficiaries to the tune of more than Rs.50 billion to pay the Rs. 5000 dole for two months to four million beneficiaries. As a result of this withdrawal, Samurdhi banks are facing liquidity and capital adequacy challenges including subdued loan growth, liquidity issues and erosion [...]

SEC approves ‘Rules for Digitalisation’ of CSE

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) has approved amendments to the Stockbroker Rules, Central Depository Systems (CDS) Rules and Listing Rules submitted by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), enabling the stock market to transition from a paper-based to an electronic-based environment. Under the amended rules, Statement of Accounts and Bought and Sold [...]

Dhal, canned fish consumption up in crisis-hit March

The government capping the prices of Mysore dhal and canned fish in March to provide relief in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the consumption levels of these commodities rising through the roof in that month, data show. Dhal was capped at Rs. 65, and a 425 gram tin of canned fish was directed [...]

Wanted: Multi-purpose events centre

Wanted: Multi-purpose events centre

For several years, the authorities, essentially based on requests from the tourist and travel industry, have been contemplating building a multi-purpose events and exhibition centre in or around Colombo, ideally within a distance of 10-15 km. Many proposals have been made during previous regimes but these proposals, after initial interest, have not taken off. For [...]

Complexities of gold trade

Complexities of gold trade

Last week a friend of mine had forwarded a picture of a receipt issued by a Sri Lankan jewellery shop in 1975. I was confused initially but fascinated by the information on the receipt. Its description in Sinhala reads as “one-pound coin” and the price as “Rs.15.00”. First, I thought that it was a sovereign [...]

Lanka Sathosa posts highest ever Rs.12.9 bn sales from Jan-April

Lanka Sathosa has turned around in March/April owing to operational efficiency and financial discipline, according to top officials. Each month saw more than Rs.2.5 billion in sales with March regarding the highest amount at Rs.4 billion. It has posted a revenue of Rs.12.9 billion in the first four months of the year. Against the 2019 [...]

Dilmah donates 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits

Dilmah donates 10,000  COVID-19 testing kits

Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company plc and associated Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation on Wednesday initiated the second phase of its COVID-19 response with the presentation of 10,000 testing kits, virus collection swabs and RNA Mini kits at a cost of Rs. 44 million to Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Pavithra Wanniarachichi. The donation [...]

Once-abandoned Valachchenai paper mill resumes operations

In the quest for an industrial renaissance despite the protracted coronavirus lockdown, the government has reopened the once- abandoned Valachchenai paper mill which was considered an asset to the country more than six decades ago. The National Paper Corporation (NPC) has resurrected the defunct paper mill with Indian technical assistance and a test run of [...]

Colombo port comes under scanner

The Colombo port a sensitive hub of economic activity, has had its workers subject to a COVID-19 test on Tuesday following requests by trade unions and random tests carried out in the city. About 250 port workers have been subject to a random test for COVID-19 by health authorities together with the health unit at [...]

Standard Chartered supports MAS Intimates’ combat against COVID-19

Standard Chartered supports MAS Intimates’ combat against COVID-19

Standard Chartered on Wednesday announced that MAS Intimates (Pvt) Ltd, a division of MAS Holdings, became the first company in South Asia to complete a drawdown under the bank’s US$1 billion COVID-19 financing commitment. The bank extended a $11 million loan to Sri Lanka-based MAS Intimates to facilitate the purchase of raw materials for the [...]

SL to get $ 200 million investment from Chinese firm

Shandong Haohua Tire Co. Ltd in Shandong Province, China has plans valued at US$ 200 million to set up a radial car and truck/bus tire plant in Sri Lanka, an overseas insurance publication said. “Shandong Haohua, which goes to market under the Aplus, Compasal, Lanvigator and Royal Black brand names, is budgeting $200 million to [...]

ComBank to lend another Rs. 10 bn to support COVID-19 affected SME exporters

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced the commitment of approximately Rs. 10 billion to a bank-funded COVID-19 Support Loan Scheme to assist affected SME enterprises. This assistance would be in addition to the working capital loans scheme implemented under a credit line provided by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB), the bank said [...]

LB Finance’s 2019/20 FY records pre-tax profit of Rs. 9.9 bn in challenging environment

LB Finance (LBF) recorded a strong performance for the financial year ending March 31, 2020 with the company posting an operating profit before tax on financial services of Rs. 9.9 billion for the review period, the company said in a media release. Income for the year increased by 7 per cent year-on-year to Rs. 31.2 [...]

Sri Lanka coconut by-product exporters upbeat on quick rebound

Sri Lanka’s export-oriented coconut by-products industry hit by COVID-19 for around two months will be back on track within the next few months, industry leaders said. The manufacturers of the main products such as tender coconut water, coconut oil and desiccated coconut powder are suffering losses with the factories closed during the curfew period which [...]

Ceylinco Healthcare partners with Kings Hospital Colombo

Ceylinco Healthcare partners with Kings Hospital Colombo

Ceylinco Healthcare Services Ltd and Kings Hospital Colombo have announced a collaboration to provide comprehensive medical care at concessionary rates to benefit patients of both institutions. With the new partnership, Ceylinco Healthcare will provide state-of-the-art cancer-related treatments to patients of Kings Hospital and the latter will provide comprehensive medical care including top end diagnostics, surgery [...]

People’s Bank slashes interest rates to uplift entrepreneurs

People’s Bank has taken steps to immediately reduce the interest rates of loans for COVID-19- affected industries. These include agriculture, animal husbandry, related industries, other crops and fisheries fields as well as manufacturing, tourist hotels, exports, development and microfinance and cooperative divisions, according to a media release issued by the bank. Accordingly, in terms of [...]

Out of sight, out of mind? COVID-19 and Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad

In the hysteria that surrounded the discovery of COVID-19 patients in Sri Lanka, the backlash against Sri Lankan migrant workers became highly visible both in the mainstream and social media platforms. This has gathered disturbing momentum in the past few weeks with the discovery of infections among a significant number of returnee migrant workers from [...]

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