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New airline flies to Colombo

New airline flies to Colombo

Swiss leisure airline Edelweiss began flights to Colombo from Zurich on Friday providing more travel options for tourists from Western Europe. Seen here is the aircraft on arrival. Pic by T.P.G. Kapila  

SLPA raising external funds for ECT deviating from original plan

The long- delayed Colombo Port East Container Terminal (ECT) development project taken over by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is now seeking a US $325 loan facility, deviating from its original plan of using its own funds for procurement and construction work. A detailed plan of developing the Eastern Jetty with SLPA funds without [...]

Winter traffic to hit 400,000 arrivals

Sri Lanka’s tourism industry is currently targeting a surge in winter traffic expecting to hit about 400,000 from October to end of April next year. Tourism that has now opened up will see tourists from countries like Russia, India, the UK, Germany, and France and also from Poland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, industry officials said. In [...]

Central Bank stops money printing, expects Chinese credit swap

A letter sent by leading businessmen a few weeks ago to the Minister of Finance, Basil Rajapaksa calling to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial aid in the wake of multiple international rating downgrades and rising fears on potential nonpayment on the country’s external debt, hasn’t seen a response. At least 20 [...]

LPG bulk imports to prevent cooking fuel shortage

Sri Lanka’s two Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) providers – state-owned Litro Gas Lanka Ltd and Laugfs Gas PLC – are waiting for a government solution of settling the present issues of US dollar shortage and the inability in opening LCs in banks, officials of the companies said. This was the main issue faced by Laugfs [...]

Oman’s $3.6 b loan to CPC hangs on the balance

Sri Lanka’s decision to reject the request of allocating an offshore block in the Mannar Basin for oil exploration instead of the interest payments for a US$ 3.6 billion credit line by the Omani government has put this loan facility in the balance, reliable official sources said. The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal recently [...]

Was Sri Lanka sent an old stock of organic fertiliser?

The Qingdao Seawin Biotech Fertilizer company is believed to have given Sri Lanka samples from a previously manufactured consignment of organic fertiliser, sources at Sri Lanka’s state fertiliser company said. Sources at the Ceylon Fertilizer Company (CFC) said that with the opening of the Letter of Credit (LC) on September 17 the Qingdao company according [...]

Independence of committees

Independence of committees

During the Yahapalanaya governance, at a meeting of an NGO, a question was raised as to whether it was proper for trustees of that organisation (who were critical of the previous government) to serve on committees of the new regime and whether they would be independent in their thoughts and actions. These trustees shot back [...]

“In debt we trust”

“In debt we trust”

This week at a television discussion, the interviewer asked me an interesting question: “What is your view on selling Sri Lanka’s valuable ‘resources’ to foreigners – particularly, stakes of public enterprises and pieces of the country’s valuable land?” I knew that the question had some relevance to the current discussions on selling such assets to [...]

Sri Lanka fails to achieve ‘Black Gold’ export targets

Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd established as a fully state-owned company 29 years ago has still not been able to generate sufficient foreign exchange to the country from what-should-be lucrative mining, processing and sales of mineral sand known as ‘black gold’. The aim of converting the company with the processing plant set up near the Pulmoddai [...]

CFL says Retirement Age Bill, a bold step

The Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) has welcomed the Minimum Retirement Age of Workers (60 years) Bill gazetted on October 10 saying it is a bold move to update the labour law of the country in the interests of its working people, especially those in non-permanent employment who constitute the overwhelming majority in the labour [...]

New CB Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department

With workers remittances being a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings, the Central Bank has set up a new Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department to help the smooth flow of these remittances. “Workers’ remittances have covered around 80 per cent of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades, and strengthening remittances inflows [...]

Low free-float shares excite stock market

From rogue traders, mafia members to oblivious punters, the Colombo stock market has seen it all. It has seen unprecedented highs during the past months with certain quarters claiming super valuations while others are going gaga over reaching certain benchmarks. At this strange time when nobody wants to acknowledge negativity and do something about it, [...]

Private sector management hasn’t enhanced performance of state-owned rubber estates

Private sector management hasn’t enhanced performance of state-owned rubber estates

Management of rubber estates in the country changed hands from foreign companies to state-owned corporations and then to the current private sector. Generally, change in management in any business envisages performance enhancements. But has this objective been realised in the case of the state-owned rubber estates in Sri Lanka? This article attempts to evaluate the [...]

Altair – biggest FDI in real estate business so far

Altair Colombo, an iconic luxury condominium tower and (so far) the tallest residential and commercial building in Sri Lanka with a slanting building design, was ceremoniously opened by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony held in Colombo last week. Director/shareholder of South City Projects Kolkata Ltd (Indocean -the developer), Sushil Mohta speaking at a [...]

Significant turnaround in leisure for JKH

John Keells Holdings (JKH) has recorded a significant improvement to Rs.6.41 billion during the second quarter 2021/22 under review, which is a 93 per cent increase against the comparative period (2020/21 Q2: Rs.3.32 billion) – with a tremendous recovery in the once-struggling leisure sector. In a media release on its latest results, the group said [...]

New chairman and board of directors at UB Finance

UB Finance, a subsidiary of Union Bank of Colombo PLC, has announced the appointment of Atul Malik as the new Chairman, succeeding Alexis Lovell MBE who stepped down from his position as Chairman of UB Finance, having served a term of nine years. The company also announced the appointments of Michael J O’Hanlon and Moahan [...]

Pan Asia Bank 9-mth post tax profit rises to Rs. 2 b

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC has reported what it calls, “an impressive performance” for the nine months period ended 30th September 2021 with a Pre-Tax Profit of Rs. 2,718 million and a Post-Tax Profit of Rs. 2,008 million, with growth rates of 46 percent and 61 percent (over the previous year periods) respectively, while demonstrating [...]

Transfer of Technology: The way forward

Transfer of Technology: The way forward

Having read Dr. C.S. Weeraratna (CSW)’s article on import substitution which appeared on October 17 in the Business Times, – in relation to Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne’s related article – I agree with Dr. CWS that the concept of import substitution is a strategically important option for any country pursuing industrialisation. To make import substitution a [...]

Growing SL’s tech sector amidst COVID-19

Growing SL’s  tech sector amidst COVID-19

Sri Lanka has seen a massive rise in awareness in technology. The nation has a very promising potential to build itself as a destination for technology-based services and products. In fact, this industry holds the fifth highest foreign revenue for Sri Lanka as of now. Following the end of the civil war in 2009, the [...]

US company helps SL firms to access North American market

US-based analytics company Wisewel – founded by Sri Lankans -, is helping  Sri Lankan companies to successfully expand into  the North American market. “We are helping Sri Lankan companies get into the international market, specifically the US and Canada,” according to Dananjaya Ranasuriya, the company’s Executive Vice President. Wisewel is a company that is systematic [...]

Private sector TUs agitate for Rs.10,000 wage hike

Trade unions from the private sector demanding a wage increase by Rs.10,000 are now stepping up their campaign as they have not yet received any response from the authorities in this regard. Free Trade Zone and General Services Union President Anton Marcus told the Business Times that while the government agreed to their request that [...]

GPV Electronics building state-of-the-art new production facility

GPV Electronics, a renowned international electronics manufacturer operating in Sri Lanka since 1986, recently launched building construction of a new electronics factory. When finished in Q1 2023, the factory will comprise a total of 11,300 m2 state-of-the-art production facility nearly doubling the current production area. In charge of cutting the first sod was Chandana Dissanayake, [...]

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