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Interest rates further cut

Interest rates further cut

The Central Bank (CB) this week further cut interest rates in a bid to stimulate Sri Lanka’s economy dented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the picture is CB Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman flanked by senior officials at a media briefing on Thursday.

First time no budget in a fiscal year

For the first time in Sri Lanka’s history, a national budget is not being presented in a financial year. The Government is presenting its third vote on account (VOA) for the fourth quarter of the 2020 year managing the country without a national budget passed in Parliament, official sources said. The Parliamentary election has been [...]

PAP sees share purchases by directors/ shareholders

Panasian Power PLC (PAP), a renewable energy firm, saw strong trading activity on Thursday, fuelling speculation of a takeover of the company. PAP has 625 million shares in issue with no single controlling shareholder and in the past it was a lucrative firm to control. The main shareholder (24 per cent) and Director, D. Jinadasa [...]

More interest on loan repayments after moratorium ends

Commercial banks will be allowed to charge additional interest on differed installments after the moratorium ends on interest and capital payments of loans to businesses affected by COVID-19. This decision was recently taken by the Central Bank (CB) and conveyed to banks through a circular after banks raised concerns on interest cost relating to deposit/borrowing [...]

SDAs attract just $86.9m

Only US$ 86.9 million has been brought into the country so far through the Special Deposit Accounts (SDAs) announced in late April, Central Bank (CB) data showed. At the CB’s Monetary Policy Review on Thursday, officials responding to a question by the Business Times noted that the ‘trend’ in garnering these accounts weren’t ‘that promising’. [...]

Government mulls unemployment benefits for private sector layoffs

Sri Lanka’s relief measures including payment of compensation and proposed social security scheme is set to expand unemployment benefits for thousands of private sector employees who lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 contagion. At least 500,000 private sector employees are faced with the prospect of losing their jobs due to the collapse of Sri [...]

Apparel factories face temporary closure

As Sri Lanka’s apparel industry faces its toughest times ahead for some of the largest firms, Hirdaramani will be closing a few of its factories owing to order cancellations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An official from the company told the Business Times on Thursday that “this is a decision we have taken [...]

Preparing for foreign tourists

Preparing for foreign tourists

As Sri Lanka and other tourist destinations prepare to open their borders for visitors amidst a resumption of normalcy vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic, the global airline industry is keen to ensure less cumbersome quarantine requirements at the borders of entry into countries. In a recent statement, Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents global [...]

Where is the money?

Where is the money?

After reading my article titled “Time for helicopter money” in this column two weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a text message. While complimenting the article, he complained: “I would have really enjoyed, and the readers would have also benefitted if you used that theory to explain the present Sri Lankan crisis as [...]

SEC sends proposal to CB on changes in KYC digitisation

In an attempt to seamlessly discharge the stock market’s digitisation process, Sri Lanka’s capital market regulator has submitted a detailed proposal to the Central Bank (CB) for changes proposed to KYC (Know Your Customer) rules when opening share trading accounts online. “We will respond to this within a month,” a CB official said in response [...]

Start-up Genome and ICTA launch 2020 Global Start-up Ecosystem Report

The 2020 Global Start-up Ecosystem Report (GSER) by Start-up Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network was launched this week at The Ecosystems Couch Conference. The GSER is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on start-ups. Its release comes at a critical time when several start-ups in Sri Lanka are running out of funding and [...]

ComBank ‘Arunella’ brings multiple COVID-19 relief initiatives to customers

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon, as its commitments to providing relief to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow exponentially, has announced the launch of ‘Arunella’ – a Financial Support Scheme that will bring together its multiple initiatives in this sphere, enabling sharper focus and better integration of schemes. The bank said in [...]

Fonterra team gathers in prayer, invokes blessings for everyone’s safety

Fonterra team gathers in prayer, invokes blessings for everyone’s safety

With the country opening up after successfully controlling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, makers of Anchor, hosted a multi-religious blessing ceremony at their head office on Monday July 6. Whilst the manufacturing and distribution operations were functional during the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-operative’s operations returned to full normalcy on Monday. [...]

World Bank downgrading of Sri Lanka status was ‘figurative’:CB Governor

The World Bank’s recent action of downgrading the status of Sri Lanka to lower-middle income group from upper-middle income grade was mainly based on the country’s per capita income and such classifications doesn’t indicate the actual situation of countries, Central Bank (CB) Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman has emphasised. Addressing the CB’s monthly monetary policy review [...]

Important insights into the hotel industry

Important insights into the hotel industry

As the incidence of COVID-19 begins to wane in our country and we gradually but surely stagger back to normalcy it is imperative that the economy is re-energised and foreign exchange begins to flow in. In this respect much will be expected from tourism which was the second highest foreign exchange earner in 2019. Within [...]

Ethanol clearance delay, ban on imports hurt industry

The delay in the clearance of ethanol tankers imported by local manufacturers placing orders and opening LCs before the government’s ban on rectified spirit on January 1, 2020 will hit local liquor manufacturers as well as the personal care industry, paints, coatings, printing inks, fragrance and flavour industries which need ethanol for their production. The [...]

“Smart Shirts workers at home on half pay”

Smart Shirts Lanka Ltd has sent a letter saying there was “erroneous and misleading information” in last week’s Business Times (BT) story titled “Smart Shirts workers at home on half pay”.   The letter states that with reference to the story that “the Smart Shirts Company with about four factories has asked its 2000 workforce to [...]

DIMO Agribusinesses expands footprint in Sri Lanka with third Agri Techno Park

DIMO Agribusinesses expands footprint in Sri Lanka with third Agri Techno Park

DIMO Agribusinesses, the agriculture arm of DIMO, recently officially unveiled its third Agri Techno Park in Lindula establishing its presence in the upcountry region. Located on the Hatton-Nuwara Eliya main road, this 25 acre multi-purpose property is equipped with tea plantation, cultivation tunnels, mushroom and vegetable production/processing facilities, a well-equipped tissue culture laboratory as well [...]

Digital technology is vital for economic growth

All the think tanks in the world including the World Bank and the IMF are talking about adopting digital technology to overcome the adverse effects of the world economy. It was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced people to adopt digital technology to stay afloat in their future endeavours, said the Vice President-Enterprise Business Group –Huawei [...]

Sri Lankan appointed President of Asian HR association

Sri Lankan appointed President of Asian HR association

Dhammika Fernando, incumbent President of CIPM Sri Lanka, has been appointed as the President of the prestigious Asia Pacific Federation of Human Resource Management (APFHRM) and a Board Member of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA) in July. APFHRM comprises Australia, Bangladesh, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua [...]

“Don’t use force”, official committee says on seizure of equipment by finance/leasing firms

An official committee probing irregularities in the finance and leasing business has proposed banning the use of force in the seizure of equipment for non-payment of dues. “The Committee has placed particular emphasis on the illegal and irregular activities in the finance leasing business and has identified two set of activities in the business of [...]

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