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Deserted streets in Pettah on Friday morning after a 3-day restriction on travel island-wide owing to the COVID-19 pandemic came into effect. Pic by M.A. Pushpa Kumara.

Urgent import of LPG cylinders amidst possible artificial shortage

The Government, through state-distributor Litro Gas PLC, is importing urgent stocks of empty LPG cylinders ahead of a possible artificial shortage while at the same time reducing taxes to ward off a price hike. Litro Gas PLC will be purchasing 22,000, 105,056 and 1,260 LPG cylinders under the categories of 2.3 kg, 12.5 kg and [...]

Storm brews on SL’s tea plantations

Sri Lanka’s tea industry is ravaged by the storms of present day policies and a health crisis that has hit the plantations and likely to impact the production of Ceylon Tea. Planters Association Spokesman Dr. Roshan Rajadurai told the Business Times that the issue of a lack of chemicals or fungicide is going to be [...]

Colombo bourse DvP roll out next month

The Delivery versus Payment (DvP) on the Colombo bourse will be launched next month — which was talked about for over two decades and will essentially wipe out the settlement risk in a share trade, officials said. When this system kicks in, a buyer’s cash payment for shares must be made before or at the [...]

Foreign currency transaction monitoring system launched

Sri Lanka will be implementing a comprehensive cross border and foreign currency transactions monitoring system through licenced banks to assist migrant workers on the continuation of their remittances from overseas. The aim of the government is to pay more attention and provide more assistance to migrant workers when they enter a very different job market [...]

Factory workers isolate at BOI zones

COVID-19 positive factory workers are being provided with intermediate care locations within the BOI zones to isolate. “We are trying to set up an intermediate place within the zone for those contracting the COVID-19 virus and the first of these is at the Katunayaka FTZ,” BOI Manufacturers Association General Secretary Dhammika Fernando told the Business [...]

Importers face non tariff and invisible barriers

Sri Lankan importers are facing non–tariff and invincible barriers placed by the government on bringing down several essential and semi essential items into the country by indirectly restricting banking facilities and introducing a licence scheme. Verbal directives have been issued to local commercial banks by high state authorities to reject the bank drafts sent by [...]

Working together

Working together

It was the unmistakable shrill tune of the choon-paan karaya in his modified tuk-tuk on Thursday morning that alerted the neighbourhood that their much-looked-forward-to ‘mobile breakfast’ had arrived. “Oya kohomada ave? Rata wahala ne thiyenne (How did you come? The country is closed noh?)” asked Kussi Amma Sera, as she went through the offerings, looking [...]

Everyone likes the fruit, but…

Everyone likes the fruit, but…

This week I came across an interesting, but controversial, write-up by Joseph Stiglitz and another author, Lori Wallach titled “Will Corporate Greed Prolong the Pandemic?” The first author, Joseph Stiglitz is a familiar name; a former chief economist of the World Bank (1997-2000), a Nobel laureate in economics and also a Professor at Columbia University. [...]

ComBank makes strong start in 2021

The Commercial Bank Group has generated strong growth in fund-based operations in the first quarter of 2021, with the continuing trend of interest expenses reducing at a significantly higher rate than interest income combined with judicious management of core banking operations. Comprising Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, its subsidiaries and the associate, the group reported [...]

Japan’s SBI Group invests $2 million in Watawala Dairy Farm in Sri Lanka

Japan’s SBI Group invests $2 million in Watawala Dairy Farm in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s leading agribusiness company Watawala Plantations PLC (WATA) has announced that SBI Ven Holdings (Pte) Ltd, the overseas private equity firm of Tokyo-based SBI Holdings Inc, has invested US$2 million in Watawala Dairy Farm through Watawala Dairy Ltd (WDL). The investment will further propel WATA’s dairy operations in the country and contribute to the [...]

Sampath Bank – regaining momentum amidst continuing headwinds

While the pandemic is undoubtedly one of the most formidable challenges Sri Lanka has encountered in recent years, it is believed that the collective response of the local banking sector has helped the country as a whole, to handle the unexpected economic downturn in 2020, Sampath Bank said this week in a media release releasing [...]

Amãna Bank PBT up by 20% in Q1

Amãna Bank continued to showcase strong resilience amidst economic challenges in Q1 2021, achieving a 20 per cent YoY growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT), the bank said in a media release. This growth was achieved in comparison to a robust pre-COVID performance made in Q1 2020. Accordingly, PBT in Q1 2021 reached Rs.217.1 million [...]

Pyramid scheme scourge operates under various platforms

Pyramid schemes operated illegally in Sri Lanka are prohibited under the Banking Act of Sri Lanka and it’s an offence to facilitate, market or promote any kind of involvement in it – but still these schemes exist. “From time to time we receive information of such schemes and we look into it whether such schemes [...]

Improved rubber prices should see increase in production

Improved rubber prices should see increase in production

Natural rubber production in Sri Lanka has been declining at an alarming rate from 135,000 Mt produced five years ago to 82,600 Mt in 2019. It is pathetic to note that Sri Lanka with over 140 years of proud history as the pioneer rubber grower in the world outside South America, was in the forefront [...]

Sampath Bank partners SDB Bank in offering cash management solutions

Sampath Bank PLC recently entered into a strategic partnership with SDB Bank in which customers of SDB can gain access to Sampath Bank’s branch network and cash/cheque deposit kiosks, enabling greater convenience and accessibility to new services, thereby driving greater financial inclusion. “This partnership goes on to showcase how the convergence of a licenced specialised [...]

NDB sees post-tax profitability up by 34%

National Development Bank PLC (NDB) achieved sustained results for the first quarter ended 31 March 2021, amidst challenging conditions as the pandemic continued to bite the country’s economy. In a media release, commenting on this performance, NDB Director/ Group CEO -. Dimantha Seneviratne noted that the period was marked by two fundamental changes, one – [...]

NTB continues resilient performance

Nations Trust Bank, despite the challenging business environment, continued its planned “K shaped” recovery strategy by increasing the loan portfolio by Rs. 20 billion recording an increase of 10 per cent during the quarter ending March 31, 2021. Despite tough economic conditions due to the pandemic, the group recorded a pre-tax growth of 39 per [...]

Stability and sustainability underpin HNB Q1 results

HNB recorded a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs.4.7 billion during the first quarter of 2021 while Profit Before income Tax (PBT) amounted to Rs.5.5 billion. At Group level, PBT and PAT were at Rs.5.9 billion and Rs. 4.8 billion, respectively, the bank said in a media announcement. Commenting on the results, Managing Director/CEO of [...]

Pandemic-battered SME’s small entrepreneurs struggle to stay alive

Sri Lanka’s Micro Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) are now facing additional pressure with the sudden disruption to their businesses during the rapid third wave of the COVID-19 contagion making them cashless to meet their bank loan repayment obligations. The debt moratorium granted to COVID-19 affected businesses and individuals (except tourism sector) ended on [...]

75 CA Sri Lanka schols to highest achievers of the 2020 GCE AL exam

75 CA Sri Lanka schols to highest achievers of the 2020 GCE AL exam

Top achievers at the 2020 GCE Advanced Level exam will receive full scholarships from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), enabling them to kick-start a successful professional journey as globally recognised Chartered Accountants. A total of 75 scholarships will be awarded to the highest achievers under six schemes. Accordingly, 50 [...]

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