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Panic buying

Crowds shopping at the Peliyagoda Manning Market on Friday morning ahead of the weekend island-wide lockdown. Pic by Akila Jayawardana

PM, Chinese ambassador discuss COVID-19 funding

A recent meeting between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong was held to discuss urgent financial support for COVID-19, its funding and the country’s mobilisation of foreign financing. Prime Minister Rajapaksa, who is also Minister of Finance, had briefed China’s top diplomat in Sri Lanka on the financial situation of the [...]

MAS shutdown over COVID spike en masse

The apparel industry which continues its operations despite the current lockdown faced its next biggest spike in cases this week with the MAS Thulhiriya factory shutting down as it reported 400 employees testing positive for COVID-19. Labour Commissioner Prabhath Chandrakeethi told the Business Times on Friday that according to the Labour officer sent to carry [...]

12 weak finance Cos. to be consolidated

The Central Bank’s (CB) plan to revive at least 12 weak finance companies will see daylight by mid-next year. This plan will involve consolidation and have some mergers and acquisitions, CB officials told the Business Times. According to their size, and the trouble they are in, the finance companies will be consolidated, they said. “We [...]

Hotels in crisis, care centres see surge in patients

Sri Lanka’s hotels are facing its worst crisis as they once again seek government support to pay the employee wages and in the midst of some others looking at closing down as they run empty. Right now there are no bookings and since the country’s airport is closed, hotels are empty and some are contemplating [...]

Public transport services suffer losses in mobility restriction

With COVID-19 hitting hard in the third wave, bus and train services in the country have suffered billions of rupees in losses as commuters shunned mass transport during mobility restriction period in the pandemic. Public transportation recorded a restrained performance in the first quarter this year as buses and trains have not been able to [...]

State revenue in shambles with mounting losses

Sri Lanka’s already fragile and shaky economic recovery is set to  get a massive hit in the first half of this year as the fiscal  performance during the past few months has gone anti clockwise, several high ranking state officials warned. The third wave of COVID-19 has struck the country at an alarming rate leaving [...]

Lockdown blues

Lockdown blues

After twice trying to get something accomplished, it would be expected that the third time would be lucky: Unfortunately, it was not to be. The Chamber of Commerce (CCC), acting on behalf of dozens of its member firms and the business community, failed in a third attempt this week to secure vaccines for private sector [...]

Stop blaming the victims of the microfinance crisis!

Stop blaming the victims of the microfinance crisis!

The exponential growth of the microfinance industry in Sri Lanka does not correspond with its contribution to reducing poverty. Instead, it has escalated indebtedness among women, pushed them below subsistence and made victims of both personal and structural violence. The Satyagraha which commenced on March 8 by the Collective of Women Affected by Microfinance in [...]

CB Governor predicts lesser economic impact from latest COVID-19 wave

CB Governor predicts lesser economic impact from latest COVID-19 wave

Dispelling expert views of a severe impact on the economy in the third wave of COVID-19, Central Bank Governor W.D. Lakshman says that the economic impact of the current rising contagion is less than the two previous waves. Addressing the online monetary policy review media conference on Thursday, he noted that restriction of mobility in [...]

Dipped Products achieves highest turnover of Rs. 46.39 billion despite pandemic

Dipped Products PLC (DPL), a global leader in protective handwear and a subsidiary of Hayleys PLC, has delivered phenomenal growth in an extraordinarily challenging year to achieve the company’s highest turnover and profit-before-tax in the financial year ending 31st March 2021. The DPL Group’s turnover increased by 52 percent to Rs.46.39 billion while profit before [...]

Senior corporate officials die from COVID

At least three senior corporate executives and the head of a state corporation have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two weeks. Pradeep Gunawardene, chairman of Laksala and Lanka Salu Sala Ltd passed away on Monday at the Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) Hospital, Werahera while being treated for a COVID-19 infection Three senior [...]

Singer Group shows strong growth in 2020/21

The Singer Group, part of the Hayleys Group, has announced a post-tax-profit of Rs.2.61 billion for FY 2020/21 from Rs.427.27 million achieved in the previous year. The group also reported a profit-before-tax of Rs. 3.82 billion, a six-fold increase, compared to 2020/21, the company said in a media release. Singer Group’s revenue increased by 23 [...]

Panasian Power PLC sees 63% hike in net profit

Panasian Power PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s leading green energy solutions providers, has posted a consolidated net profit of Rs. 248 million for the financial year ending March 2021, a growth of 63 percent compared to the earlier financial year. The group saw a revenue increase of 62 per cent in the final quarter of [...]

Piramal Glass announces 2021 results

Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC has reported a turnover of Rs. 8,532 million and Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs.1,096 million in its annual results as at end March 2021 against Rs. 7,531 million and Rs. 389 million in the previous year, a y-o-y growth of 13 percent in revenue and 181 percent in PAT. Domestic [...]

Helitours transformation into a state-owned company runs into a storm

Helitours (Pvt) Ltd, a domestic airline technically independent of the state, and managed by the Sri Lanka Air Force, is to be transformed to a state-owned company to improve its operations and minimise losses, official sources said. In May 2019 the government decided to formalise its status as a state owned company or military-run airline [...]

F J & G de Saram, a legacy of 180 years

F J & G de Saram, a legacy of 180 years

Fredrick John de Saram, a young man of 19 in the early nineteenth century would not have dreamt of the 180-year-old legacy he started by creating the first law firm in the country. The historical 13th May 1841 is when his practice traces its roots marking this year the celebratory 180 years. What is unique [...]

Sampath Bank digitalises KYC process with Department for Registration of Persons

Sampath Bank digitalises  KYC process with Department  for Registration of Persons

Sampath Bank PLC has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) to facilitate customer identification and verification through the DRP interface. This will enable Sampath Bank to onboard customers digitally, without them having to physically visit the bank, by verifying and confirming their identity via the DRP [...]

Asia Asset Finance gains stable outlook

Asia Asset Finance PLC (AAFP) has gained a stable outlook with resilience overcoming growth headwinds in the COVID-19 environment, credit rating agency ICRA Lanka Ltd has affirmed. It has revised the outlook of Asia Asset Finance to BBB+[Stable]. From BBB+(Negative) considering growth performance with capital, operational, financial, and managerial support from parent company Muthoot Finance [...]

Hayleys Group largest value-added-exporter among SL’s listed entities

Hayleys Group largest value-added-exporter among SL’s listed entities

With foreign currency earnings exceeding US$600 million, the Hayleys Group has emerged as the largest value-added-exporter among public listed entities. In the latest annual financial results for the year ending March 31, 2021, Hayleys has delivered its highest revenue and profit in its 143- year history. Revenue increased to Rs.241.28 billion whilst Net Profit stood [...]

Haycarb’s turnover at Rs. 25.4 bn, profit before tax Rs. 4.49 bn for 2020/21

Sri Lankan multinational Haycarb PLC reported revenue of Rs.25.4 billion, profit before tax of Rs. 4.49 billion and profit after tax of Rs. 3.56 billion for the financial year 2020/21, the company announced this week Chairman of Haycarb PLC and its parent company Hayleys PLC, Mohan Pandithage said that the company overcame the impact of [...]

Fertiliser for tea: Improve soil organic matter

Fertiliser for tea: Improve  soil organic matter

Vegetatively Propagated Tea are clonal hybrids which requires high and correct nitrogen ratios to reach its potential yield of over 3000 kg per hectare made tea per annum. I have fields that are achieving over 4000 kg per hectare on several small estates under my management. The norm of nitrogen is 10 kg nitrogen for [...]

Economists are humans; they can get it wrong

‘Modern Monetary Theory’ (MMT) has become a popular topic on Sri Lanka’s business pages with many columns devoted to this macro-economic theory. Prof. Sirimevan Colombage, Sumanasiri Liyanage, Dr. W.A. Wijewardena and Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne have all articulated balanced and sober viewpoints on the strengths, weaknesses and context, both political and historical, surrounding MMT, monetary policy [...]

Port City welcomes investments from across the world

Hours after the Colombo Port City Special Economic Commission Bill was passed in Parliament on Thursday, the project company welcomed investments from across the world saying the Port City is now in business. In a statement, CHEC Port City Colombo, the project company’s Managing Director Jiang Houliang said that Sri Lanka’s brand-new reclaimed land, slated [...]

Export sector grows in January-April 2021, EDB says

Export sector grows in January-April 2021, EDB says

Sri Lanka’s export performance continued its upward momentum in the first four months of 2021 with exports in April this year growing by 183 percent to US$ 798.9 million in comparison to the previous year. In April last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdown, exports contracted by a record 64.63 per cent, the [...]

Fertiliser: Strengthening the hands of the president

Fertiliser: Strengthening the hands of the president

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa determinately announced last month that he intends to make Sri Lanka the first country in the world to completely stop the use of chemical fertilisers. From the tone of his address and the repeated announcements that he made subsequently, it is obvious that he meant what he said and it is unlikely [...]

Hemas Pharmaceutical says will help government in vaccines

Hemas Pharmaceutical (Pvt) Ltd, sole local representative for AstraZeneca and Pfizer in Sri Lanka, has welcomed a request by the Ministry of Health to the private sector to assist and facilitate vaccine purchase from any source, despite a global shortage of supply. “As the official agent for AstraZeneca/Pfizer in Sri Lanka, we will refer all [...]

NTB to receive $40 m loan from Netherlands

Nations Trust Bank announced recently the finalisation of a loan facility of US$40 million from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. Supporting the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector affected most by the pandemic. The funds are to be used towards the revival and growth of the bank’s SME portfolio, in order to ensure lives [...]

Lanka Credit and Business Finance Ltd, fastest growing NBFI

Lanka Credit and Business Finance Ltd was the recipient of the award “Fastest Growing Non- Banking Financial Firm in Sri Lanka 2021” at the Global Economics Awards 2021. In a media release, K.G. Leelananda CEO/ Executive Director said that the guidance, proper directions and active participation, being the driving force of the Board of Directors, [...]

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