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Gas shortage continues

Gas shortage continues

A gas shortage after Laugfs Gas stopped imports owing to a dispute with the government over a price hike, continued this week. Picture by Eshan Fernando shows a shop sign with ‘No gas” in Colombo.

Govt. to procure organic inputs for Maha season

The government has selected a bidder from China for the import of organic-based fertiliser inputs initially for paddy cultivation alone with tests expected to commence ahead of the Maha season. The selection of bidders has already been finalised and the cabinet memorandum will be submitted tomorrow (Monday) on the intention of the award to the [...]

US firm to develop oil refinery at Trincomalee Harbour site

A US company has expressed interest in developing a Trincomalee Harbour site and its precincts by setting up a mega oil refinery at an investment of US$ 3 billion, an Energy Ministry’s special memorandum has revealed. The company, whose name is not revealed in the cabinet memorandum, has submitted an unsolicited proposal to develop the [...]

Exporters lobby for currency depreciation

Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange crisis has taken a new turn with exporters lobbying the government to depreciate the rupee in a bid to become competitive in their respective exports markets amid international settlements becoming a virtual nightmare for banks. “We have requested the government to depreciate the rupee to stand at Rs. 230 for a [...]

Factories fear the worst as care centres fill up

Sri Lankan factories are currently faced with a surge in infections from COVID-19 as the care centres located within the premises of the zones are filling up. The number of infections last month had more than doubled compared to April, Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association Secretary General Dhammika Fernando told the Business Times on Tuesday. [...]

M&A: It’s a buyers’ market

The dynamic of opportunistic buyers and eager sellers is creating an attractive space for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Sri Lanka. It is a buyers’ market, an investment banker said pointing out that witnessing the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, sellers are willing to quickly cut costs and sell their companies/ownership. “Now hotels have more [...]

Return to sanity

Return to sanity

First there was euphoria from the agriculture sector. Newspaper headlines screamed that the ban on chemical fertiliser has been reversed amidst the issuance of a gazette on chemical fertiliser, which was lapped up by the industry. Finally, it was whispered in industry circles that the government had realised its folly and corrected the issue by [...]

Brick that fell on the head

Brick that fell on the head

Last week I was invited to moderate a webinar panel discussion, organised by the Veemansa Initiative – a newly established think tank in Colombo. It was on the “Kothalawala National Defence University Bill” or the KNDU Bill. In the initial stages after being launched, Veemansa held a series of webinars on hot issues in the [...]

Second segment of CSE’s Multi Currency Board soon

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has got approval from the Central Bank to permit local companies intending to go public on the Multi Currency Board to open foreign currency accounts for transactions. A circular issued on July 30 by the Department of Foreign Exchange of the Central Bank has authorised companies incorporated here and publicly [...]

Amãna Bank completes 10 years of banking in Sri Lanka

Amãna Bank, Sri Lanka’s one and only licensed commercial bank to fully operate on non-interest based banking principles, has successfully completed 10 years of banking operations. Having commenced its journey on 1 August 2011, Amana Bank has witnessed strong progress, which was primarily fuelled by the growing support and confidence of it valued customers, which [...]

Nuwara Eliya Cable Car project hits financial hurdle

The million dollar cable car project proposed under the government’s ambitious Nuwara Eliya tourism zone development initiative after receiving the cabinet approval, has got stuck in financial and environmental issues, according to official assessment reports and relevant documents. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the project in 2019 during the previous regime and it was re-introduced [...]

Sri Lankan coconuts help Yorkshire Dales combat peatland crisis

Sri Lankan coconuts help Yorkshire Dales combat peatland crisis

Yorkshire, Aug 4 ( – When climate change threatened to destroy one of Britain’s beauty spots few people would have thought that coconuts from Sri Lanka would be its salvation. But 9,000 kilometres away, in sun-drenched surroundings, an army of women are helping to save the planet through the use of coconuts. Using coir, the [...]

GRI producing performance-driven sustainable speciality tyres

GRI producing performance-driven sustainable speciality tyres

GRI, focusing on agriculture, construction and material handling industries; produces high-performance speciality tyres that have exceeded customer expectations. A Sri Lankan company with offices in nine countries and sales in over 50 countries around the world, GRI has established a sound global footprint, it said in a media release. GRI has focused its innovation on [...]

EFL marks its 40th anniversary

The Environmental Foundation (Guarantee) Ltd (EFL), an NGO involved in environmental issues, celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, August 3. In a media statement, EFL said it has engaged in public interest litigation and conservation efforts since 1981 and has been a pioneer in addressing environmental issues through legal and scientific means to seek ‘justice [...]

Union Bank appoints new Deputy Chairman, new director

The Board of Directors of Union Bank on Tuesday announced the appointment of Trevine Fernandopulle as the new Deputy Chairman with effect from August 30. The Board also announced the retirement of the current Deputy Chairman Sabry Ghouse from his services on the Board from August 29, upon completion of his nine-year service period as [...]

Sri Lanka must regularise all food delivery apps

Sri Lanka must regularise all food delivery apps

While food delivery has become a growing trend since the beginning of the pandemic last year, regularisation of the food delivery standards and an equal level playing field has not yet been created in Sri Lanka. A system needs to be regularised among all players in the food delivery industry to follow the same principle. [...]

Absence of data protection laws barrier for investment in the country

Data protection legislation is now moving from a bill to a gazette, to be issued shortly, following the approval given by the cabinet of ministers. This was consequent to the approval given by the Attorney General to go ahead with the bill, said Jayantha Fernando, General Counsel ICTA (Information and Communication Technology Agency) Sri Lanka. [...]

David Peiris enters Russian market

D P Global Ventures (DPGV), the agricultural wing of the David Pieris Group of Companies, recently concluded its first export consignment to the Russian market. The first shipment comprised a range of dehydrated fruits such as Mango, Banana and Pineapple. DPGV manages and operates its own plantations as well as manufactures and markets quality organic, [...]

Global technologies company, HCL, to take up 80% of floor space at Cinnamon Life

Global technologies company, HCL, to take up 80% of floor space at Cinnamon Life

Colombo’s newest state-of-the-art office tower, ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life has been chosen as the hub for leading global technology company, HCL Technologies’ growth drive in Sri Lanka. Cinnamon Life is the first A-grade office tower in Colombo to attract a leading multinational company to occupy a majority of available office spaces within its premises, [...]

JB Vantage MMF celebrates 10 years of growth and stability

The JB Vantage Money Market Fund (MMF) celebrates its 10th year having been launched on August 4, 2011. The Fund started with Assets Under Management (AUM) of Rs. 730 million (December 2011) and has grown to a value of over Rs. 22.22 billion (as at 30th June 2021), MMF said in a media release. The [...]

Sri Lanka goes for green energy amidst increase in power demand

Sri Lanka’s electricity demand has increased by 23 percent in the first four months of this year during the relaxations of lockdowns and mobility restrictions by the government aimed at continuing economic activities during the COVID -19 pandemic, a Finance Ministry report highlighted. The countrywide electricity demand has gained momentum due to more power usage [...]

UN Small business award goes to Northern project by MA’S Kitchen

UN Small business award goes to Northern project by MA’S Kitchen

North Lanka Family foods (Pvt) Ltd, a community investment in Palai in northern Sri Lanka by MA’S Tropical Food Processing (Pvt) Ltd, has received the UN Food Systems Summit Best Small Business award. The worldwide award is given to small businesses that have positively impacted the global food systems and showcase innovative ways to sustainably [...]

Ceylinco Life presents 162 more ‘Pranama’ scholarships at virtual ceremony

Ceylinco Life recently celebrated the 20th edition of its ‘Pranama’ Scholarships programme with its first ever virtual ceremony to felicitate and reward 162 students who excelled in academic and extracurricular activities with Rs. 11.8 million in scholarships. The certificates, medals, and gifts that usually accompany the scholarships were to be physically presented to scholarship recipients [...]

MillenniumIT ESP repositions itself as a Enterprise Solutions Provider

MillenniumIT ESP – Sri Lankan’s leading IT solutions provider – completed 25 years earlier this year. In line with this milestone and suiting the company’s purpose statement of ‘reimagining and reinventing’, MillenniumIT ESP has repackaged its core technology expertise to reposition itself as a complete Enterprise Solutions Provider, the company said in a media release. [...]

SLT Group consolidates cost, manages waste in positive 1H 2021 results

SLT-MOBITEL this week announced its financial results for the first half of 2021, posting a 29.9 percent year-on-year growth of Group Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 6 billion. “Cost consolidation across verticals and a group-wide undertaking to minimise waste, convert waste to cash, and manage OPEX cost resulted in the healthy bottom-line. SLT-MOBITEL ensured [...]

Fitch Ratings affirms NDB’s National Long-Term Credit Rating at A+

Fitch Ratings has affirmed NDB’s national long-term rating at A+, with the Outlook as Stable, in its annual rating action on National Development Bank PLC for 2021. This comes on the backdrop of a successfully concluded Rights Issue and a Private Placement by the bank which raised Rs. 9.5 billion in Tier I equity capital [...]

Seylan Bank launches modern Data Centre in Colombo

Seylan Bank last week unveiled its modern data centre located at Seylan Towers, No. 90, Galle Road, Colombo 03. The consolidated data centre was designed by TIA-942 Certified Data Centre Design Consultant and Auditor, Tharindu Meepegama and built by V S Information Systems in collaboration with leading IT infrastructure providers such as Panduit, Vertiv, and [...]

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