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Stock market boost

Stock market boost

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in conversation with Capital Markets Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal at a ceremony on Thursday to launch the digitisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange. At left is Securities and Exchange Commission Director General, Chinthaka Mendis. Pic by Priyantha Wickraamarachchi

SL seeks more budgetary support from China

Loaded with massive debt of billions of rupees, and in order to overcome the financial crisis triggered by COVID-19, Sri Lanka is seeking more budgetary support from China using its strategic ties, highly placed official sources said. “Beijing is now in a better position to help the island, as it has already brought the COVID-19 [...]

Hilton Colombo draws plans for 2 1/2 acre bare land

Hilton Colombo draws plans for 2 1/2 acre bare land

The Colombo Hilton, after 33 years has got the wings to expand its 2 1/2 acre bare waterfront land. “We are drawing up plans to develop the 2 1/2 acre waterfront land which we own in the pool side of the property,” Manesh Fernando, Area General Manager, Hilton Sri Lanka told the Business Times in [...]

Onion prices to surge on India’s export ban

Prices of onions are likely to go up by about 20 per cent in the wake of the Indian ban on exports of the commodity since last Monday. Sri Lanka’s onion prices as a result will go up as importers will have to shift purchases from India to Pakistan, Egypt, China and Holland, Importers and [...]

Travel agents literally “work from home”

Sri Lanka remains firm in its stance in not allowing tourists but its repercussions continue to hurtle the tourism industry to a further abyss. As reserves of travel companies continue to go down they are increasingly looking at further downsizing their organisations. Layoffs depend on reserves of each company, Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka [...]

Budget 2021: Sri Lanka’s most challenging task under uncertainty

The Finance Ministry is now finalising Budget 2021 in Sri Lanka’s most challenging task under uncertainty triggered by the post-lockdown economic outlook and the massive fiscal shock from COVID-19 with the decline in revenue and sky rocketing expenditure. The Appropriation Bill for 2021 is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament in the second week of [...]

E-passport in focus, change in printing contract

Sri Lanka’s E-passport project has come to the limelight once again following the entry of the Government Printing Department to take over the gigantic task of passport printing. Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella has issued a directive to Ministry Secretary Jagath P. Wijeweera to initiate action to commence the provision of facilities to print [...]

Ahoy! Good news

Ahoy! Good news

The three friends had gathered under the margosa tree and were discussing about returnees from West Asia amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Mata hari santhosai mage yaluwo dennek pita ratin Lankawata giya sumane apu nisa. Hariyata duk vindala thiyenawa padi nethuwa. (I am happy that two of my friends from West Asia returned to Sri Lanka [...]

Arrows that missed the target

Arrows that missed the target

In 2011, the US dollar was traded for 75 Japanese yen – the lowest yen-dollar exchange rate ever existed. This means a Japanese exporter received 75 yen for each dollar he earned from abroad. About 40 years ago, the same exporter would have received 350 yen for each dollar! Japanese currency – yen -, was [...]

Low interest rates an enticer for apartment buyers

Low interest rates an enticer  for apartment buyers

Current low interest rates are a big contributing factor in selling an apartment, Shamitha Ganegoda, Managing Director Elish Development Pty Ltd which builds ‘The Flemington’ apartments said. In an interview with the Business Times recently, he said that so far, the pre-sales of their Colombo 4 property has recorded 80 per cent. “Professionals and businessmen [...]

Kishu Gomes, new Group Managing Director of Dreamron Group of Companies

Kishu Gomes, new Group Managing Director of Dreamron Group of Companies

Kishu Gomes, Group CEO of Dreamron Group, was recently appointed its Group Managing Director with more authority and responsibilities. Issuing a media release, Mr. Gomes said as its Group CEO he successfully re-structured the business using his past experience in re-structuring Chevron to become one of the most profitable listed entities in Sri-Lanka. It laid [...]

Research reveals unfavourability in non-concessional foreign debt

Sri Lanka’s non-concessional debts in recent years obtained from foreign lending agencies and donor countries have not been much favourable for the country as it was lacking expected concessions, a research report revealed. Successive governments’ access to concessional funding became restricted with the rise of the country’s per capita income. The funding necessary for infrastructure [...]

MAGA commences construction of 624 housing units at Colombage Mawatha, Narahenpita

MAGA commences construction of 624 housing units at Colombage Mawatha, Narahenpita

An initiative of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) of Sri Lanka, a new 11-storey housing complex situated on Colombage Mawatha, Narahenpita is part of the government’s long-term Urban Regeneration Project. The Urban Regeneration Project focuses on enhancing the status and livelihoods of under-privileged communities in urban areas around Sri Lanka’s capital. As such, the project [...]

Reliable annual reports in unreliable times

The 2020 annual report will need to break the usual mould as the operating environment has changed so drastically and in unprecedented ways following the global outbreak of COVID-19, said Raja Senanayake, the Chief Officer – Smart Academy at an event held at the BMICH for over 100 annual report preparers organised by Smart Media, [...]

Air transport and quarantine in the ‘New Normal’

Air transport and quarantine in the ‘New Normal’

COVID-19 that first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China became a global pandemic by end January 2020. Up to now this has infected 28 million people in 188 countries and territories and caused 910,000 deaths all over the world. This virtually brought the world to a stand still requiring quarantine of 10 per cent [...]

SEC completes six probes, 28 more to go

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has completed six investigations last year, according to the SEC’s 2019 annual report. The regulator is compiling reports on five investigations and deliberating four such reports of probes as at last year. It has 19 more pending investigations, according to the annual report. The SEC completed four investigations out [...]

TUs, employers in deadlock

Trade unions have asked employers to release information regarding issues in factories in order to agree to the revised salary scheme for those at home without work. FTZ Trade Union General Secretary Anton Marcus speaking with the Business Times said that they had asked the employers to provide information that they could then assess if [...]

Plenty of action in CSE when right building blocks are in place

With currency stability, manageable levels in interest rates and a lower tax regime, there will be an improvement in the business climate, State Minister of Money and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. “There will be plenty of action in the market when the building blocks are in place. What we [...]

Telco operator eyes Diyazen robot

Telco operator  eyes Diyazen robot

Diyazen, Sri Lanka’s first humanoid robot, is being eyed by a large telco operator, officials said. “They will be using Diyasen for services such as bill payments, SIM changes and other related services. Diyasen will basically eliminate paper and excess labour for the telco operator,” Chamira Jayasinghe, Founder/CEO Arimac Lanka, developers of Diyasen told the [...]

Sri Lanka lacks expertise in analytics and AI

While technology has always been in the forefront and Sri Lankan tech companies are well-known for software and hardware development, there is a dearth of expertise in analytics and artificial intelligence in the country. The skill that is required to engage with clients and conceptualise the solutions is missing. IBM Sri Lanka, Country General Manager, [...]

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