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Fuel hike

Fuel hike

Female protestors at a JVP protest demonstration against fuel prices in Ambalantota. Pic by Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi

Forex crisis: Local banks walking a tight rope

Local banks are fast depleting their dollar reserves and denying importers’ Letters of Credit (LCs) in a crisis mirroring a devastating time bomb, with the long-run consequences yet to be determined. Bankers, importers and exporters the Business Times reached out to, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shortage of foreign currency has triggered [...]

SL export orders drop in COVID outbreak

Manufacturers are reducing the orders they accept in the face of the current COVID-19 outbreak in the country since they are compelled to work with a limited staff at the factories. “We will have to reduce the number of orders we accept,” Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) General Secretary Dhammika Fernando said adding that [...]

IMF keeps options open for SL to seek support

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  is keeping options open  for Sri Lanka to obtain financial assistance to overcome the foreign reserve depletion issue if the local fiscal and monetary authorities are willing to fulfil necessary requirements, IMF Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki assured. In response to an email request of Business Times for comments on the [...]

EU monitoring mission here in Sept.

The European Union (EU) is planning to send a monitoring mission in September to Sri Lanka in the wake of the resolution against Sri Lanka in the EU Parliament seeking a withdrawal of GSP+ concessions owing to alleged human rights abuses. “We were informed that a delegation will visit Sri Lanka in September subject to [...]

Bank service charges create confusion

Bank charges on services for customers have become unbearable to them with confusion over the actual amount stipulated to impose via the Financial Transaction Levy (FTL) introduced by the previous regime, a large number of customers have complained. They brought to the notice of the Finance Ministry that some banks are charging Rs.15 for every [...]

Special Purpose Vehicle imports including milk bowsers suspended

The Government has cancelled permission given to import a number of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) including tankers and milk bowsers with stainless steel tanks for the transportation of milk, a gazette notification issued by the Finance Ministry on June 11 revealed. The permission given to import SPVs under the measures to ease import restrictions for [...]

Circulars and verbal directives

Circulars and verbal directives

At this year’s Independence Day celebrations in February, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a word of advice for the country’s public service. While reiterating that the public service is a ‘powerful’ tool, he said he had observed weaknesses at every level of the decision-making process. “Even on very simple institutional matters, I have observed that officials [...]

Grease for rusty machines

Grease for rusty machines

A few weeks ago, 5.5 million people of Finland were rocked by shocking news. It was about a corruption allegation against Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin. She had become the head of the state just one and half years ago. As at present, 35-year old Ms. Marin also holds the record of being the youngest [...]

Sri Lanka tourism industry in pandemic muddle

The tourism industry is currently fighting hard to ensure that travellers to Sri Lanka are subjected to checks for COVID-19 and holiday in a travel bubble concept that will ensure the country is safe from any importation of the virus. This is after recent comments by an opposition legislator that the government is not taking [...]

Sri Lanka’s COSMI in South Asia-European MSME alliance

Sri Lanka’s COSMI in South Asia-European MSME alliance

A pact between Sri Lanka’s Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) and a European entrepreneur group inked in Vienna, Austria has opened the doors for a European knowledge transfer for the Lankan MSMEs. “Our Cooperation Agreement with Hungary-based European Association for Trade – Crafts – Industries (EIVHGI) aims at supporting the MSMEs in [...]

SL’s potential can grow tremendously due to strategic location

Sri Lanka is expected to be the growth area in South Asia owing to its strategic location, its skilled workforce and ease of doing business in the country when compared to its closest neighbours. The Sri Lankan Government has been looking at relaxing its fiscal policy and reducing taxes to encourage more foreign investment to [...]

Strong 2ndH 2020/21 for JAT; plans to raise public capital

JAT Holdings, a market leader for wood coatings and a diversified conglomerate, ended FY 2020/21 with a strong and solid performance, against the backdrop of challenging market and economic conditions. In addition to JAT Holdings’ overall growth trajectory, guided by its corporate strategy, the company’s primary near-term objectives include an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and [...]

CSE drafting guidelines for platform developers

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is drafting guidelines for platform developers, mooting further broad-basing of the CSE. The platforms will be hosted by the CSE on the CSE digital app, officials told the Business Times. This came after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided to facilitate operators of digital platforms to offer its subscriber/member [...]

Sri Lanka strives to manage public debt

Sri Lanka government is to manage its public debt without exceeding the maximum loan restriction in terms of Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, No.3 of 2003 as amended by an Act, No.15 of 2013, Finance Ministry sources said The maximum value of liability as at the end of a particular year shall not exceed 80 percent [...]

New credit evaluation framework for tech companies for bank credit

Obtaining a credit facility for the expansion of a tech company or a start-up is a daunting task due to challenges in obtaining debt facilities, as traditional credit evaluation methods require borrowers to provide tangible collateral in order to be eligible for a business loan. Tech companies are evaluated using existing generic credit evaluation frameworks, [...]

Fertiliser drama: Is there poison in our food?

Fertiliser drama: Is there poison in our food?

As Sri Lankans in general, we believe that much of what we eat is poisonous. This is due to the belief that chemical poisons are added in large quantities during food production and processing. In addition, we hear from many medical professionals in the media that not only the older generation but also the young [...]

Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association urges landlords to cut rental costs

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), the apex body for organised retail in Sri Lanka, engulfed by restrictions on retail business due to the pandemic, is urging landlords, lessors, and business partners to reduce leases and rentals for the association’s membership. In a statement, SLRA President Murali Prakash appealed to landlords and lessors to provide [...]

“Lanka Property web land prices analysis misleading: Institute of Valuation”

Lanka Property web has sent the following response to the article under the above titled which appeared in the Business Times on June 20. “Information obtained for the article published by LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) analysing the increase in land prices in the Western Province (except Colombo city) from 2018 to 2021 is purely based on the [...]

Nestlé Milo’s use of paper straws will eliminate 90 m plastic straws a year in SL

Nestlé’s Milo brand announced this week that it has switched to paper straws for its popular Ready-to-Drink (RTD) variant. This makes it the first RTD beverage in Sri Lanka to offer consumers the more sustainable alternative of paper straws. The landmark move will enable the company to eliminate 90 million plastic straws a year in [...]

CLC posts favourable profits in FY2020/21

Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC (CLC), part of the LOLC group, has recorded its best-ever financial year despite the severe challenges arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic through the year, achieving a growth of 34 percent to Rs. 2.67 billion in 2020/21 in Profit Before Tax, over the previous year. Profit After Tax rose by [...]

Risks for SL banks may rise on end of restriction on ISB investments

The end of the suspension on Sri Lankan banks’ investments in international sovereign bonds (ISBs) issued by the Sri Lanka sovereign (CCC) has the potential to increase banks’ exposure to sovereign and foreign-currency funding and liquidity risks, said Fitch Ratings in a statement this week. Banks’ credit profiles are already significantly exposed to the sovereign, [...]

Appoint responsible agency to deal with maritime accidents: CMM

Sri Lanka’s main Master Mariners have made several recommendations pertaining the MV X-Press Pearl shipping tragedy including establishing a responsible party to deal with maritime emergencies and encouraging the private sector to have suitably trained emergency teams. These were made by the Company of Master Mariners of Sri Lanka (CMM) which has a membership of [...]

Need to formalise a risk management process

Our country has gone through enough debacles for decades due to bureaucratic bungling. Recalling what we have gone through in the past and how we reacted is not intended to be discussed in this article to make this unnecessarily a long topic. Many readers who have different political orientations will intentionally or unintentionally label me [...]

Dialog Enterprise partners Google Workspace

Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, Dialog Axiata PLC, has partnered with Google Cloud to bring Google Workspace, a flexible and innovative solution for people and organisations to achieve more along with their existing offerings and services, to enhance productivity and collaboration for its customers. “In keeping with our [...]

SL exports retains its momentum in May 2021

Sri Lanka’s export sector performance has been able to regain its growth momentum in May 2021 amidst the challenges of the pandemic. “We are happy to see that export levels are reaching fast to the pre-COVID-19 levels despite the continuous multiple challenges faced by our exporters with intermittent travel restrictions and local area isolations. Maximum [...]

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