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Basil’s production- oriented budget targets taxes

Basil’s production- oriented budget  targets taxes

Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa presented his maiden budget on Friday focusing on a production-oriented economy with spending cuts for government officials in telephone bills, travelling allowances, promoting investment in neglected sectors and compensating those affected by the pandemic. But analysts were not swayed saying the budget was tilted towards raising taxes which have impacted the [...]

Pieces of glass, a dead cockroach in substandard drug imports

In a shocking exposure, the Auditor General’s Department has revealed that the Health Ministry and its related departments have imported substandard drugs in 2020 some of which contained pieces of glass and also had a dead cockroach. Many of the quality-failed drugs had been withdrawn from being used or the use had been suspended due [...]

BOI investors dismayed by CB conversion rules

Foreign investors are up in arms against the dollar-rupee conversion rules announced by the Central Bank (CB) recently. According to Free Trade Zone Association General Secretary Dhammika Fernando, BOI investors are concerned about their unpaid declared dividends. “Corporates want clarity on how the process operates and in this respect they have asked for a special [...]

Qingdao in bid to save face

Chinese fertiliser company Qingdao Seawin Biotech company has proposed that the Ceylon Fertilizer Company (CFC) sign a joint statement with them to be published in all local media that the ship should return to China not due to quality issues but since the import permit has not been issued. It is learnt that following the [...]

Smallholder subsidy scrapped, fertiliser in dollar crisis

Fertiliser importers are struggling to find dollars from banks as Sri Lanka’s dollar crisis looms large and the state plans to scrap tea subsidies to smallholders. The order for fertiliser for the tea industry has run into problems as banks refuse dollars and if orders could not be placed by Friday there will be further [...]

Temporary closure of Sapugaskanda refinery

The Sapugaskanda oil refinery will close down tomorrow (Monday) due to a depletion of the existing stock of crude oil, a senior official of the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd told the Business Times. “The next crude oil shipment is expected to arrive at Colombo Port by the third week of December and until such [...]

Supporting migrant workers

Supporting migrant workers

Thankfully, the government is not touching the remittances of migrant workers and not forcing them to convert these remittances to rupees, in accordance with recent guidelines for exporters and service providers to convert their foreign earnings within one month of receiving the proceeds. Or so, the Central Bank promises. Even though most of the foreign [...]

Business as unusual

Business as unusual

China often moves away from “business-as-usual” norms by doing things differently and doing different things deliberately. Its “National New-type Urbanisation Plan 2014-2020” was one of such businesses completed last year. It planned for facilitating initially 100 million rural migrants to become urban residents! In other words, it was a development plan to expand cities by [...]

CSE seeks stockbroker consultation to address illiquidity in market

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is to consult stockbrokers on the new calculation standard for its main benchmark index, to increase liquidity in the stock market, CSC officials said. They noted that the CSE’s introduction of free float-adjusted criteria to the All-Share Price Index will eliminate the distorting effect of illiquid stocks which has been [...]

NTB’s sound performance amidst volatile conditions

Nations Trust Bank (NTB) has ended the third quarter 2021 with a strong performance, continuing the trend demonstrated in the first half of the year. The loan book recorded 18 percent growth during the nine months ended 30th September 2021 against the private sector credit growth of 10.6 percent during the same period of the [...]

SLTB undertakes public- private vehicle repairs to increase income

The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has been directed to embark on additional revenue generation ventures such as vehicle repairs and modifications for the public and private sector institutions making maximum use of available resources as an immediate solution to its poor financial situation. The state-owned bus company is running at a severe loss and [...]

Sri Lankan travel agents seek better recognition

Sri Lankan travel agents  seek better recognition

Travel agents in Sri Lanka want more recognition for their services to the tourism industry and ensure they are not sidelined just like the current situation when it comes to paying commissions. International Travel Agents Association (IATA) President Janath Sri Vidanage addressing the 33rd AGM said that in Sri Lanka the situation regarding commissions for [...]

The case for Chinese foreign aid

The case for Chinese foreign aid

CHICAGO – Since 2000, China has spent US$843 billion on bilateral aid. That is around $39.5 billion per year, similar to the amount provided by the US, the world’s largest donor of foreign aid. Although the two countries’ definitions of foreign aid differ, no one disputes the fact that China – which in the past [...]

Strong first half 2021/22 performance from Hemas

Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) has delivered a strong first half (April to September 2021) amidst a challenging operating environment with half of the second quarter being under an island-wide lockdown. The cumulative group revenue stood at Rs.36.2 billion, an increase of 19.8 percent over last year. During the quarter under review, an unprecedented level of [...]

N-able expands business footprint beyond shores

N-able expands business footprint beyond shores

N-able (Pvt) Ltd, a leading technology solutions provider, has embraced new frontiers by expanding its footprint beyond Sri Lanka to extend its design consultancy and engineering services to customers across prime international markets. N-able plans to share its experience with prospective customers, with the aspiration of delivering business outcomes, and enable customers to do better [...]

Hela Clothing records $ 2.2 m PAT for Q2

Cotton prices and freight costs are increasing very quickly amongst other unprecedented challenges in the apparel industry, but it is doing better than ever. The price rise in these products can be attributed to the growing demand for apparel as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic due to rapid vaccinations, especially in the developed and [...]

Senior citizens’ high interest rate regime continues

High interest rates for senior citizens who have invested their life’s savings in fixed deposits in banks and financial institutions will not be reduced even though bank rates had fallen to a low level, Finance Ministry sources said. The Central Bank has not issued any guidelines changing interest rates of fixed or a fixed deposits [...]

Daraz delivers record-breaking 11.11 sales

Daraz, South Asia’s leading e-commerce marketplace, has delivered a record-breaking 11.11 (November 11) sales, with over 14 million e-commerce shoppers visiting the platform across its five key markets – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar – participating in the largest global shopping day. Almost US$10 million worth of products were sold in the first [...]

Organic farming experiment next on tea estates

Sri Lanka’s tea plantations will in January be the subject of the next experiment with plans drawn up to try out biochar use on the plantations in the government’s organic policy drive, among other proposals being worked. Tea plants require a combination of the different nutrients to be given at once and as per the [...]

HNB arranger/lead banker to finance LNG based Combined Cycle Power Plant

HNB arranger/lead banker to finance LNG  based Combined Cycle Power Plant

Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) has partnered with Lakdhanavi Ltd (a member of LTL Holdings Group) to serve as the Arranger / Lead Banker to a syndicated loan facility together with several other commercial banks for the development of the 350 Mega Watt (MW) first ever Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based Combined Cycle power plant [...]

e-commerce platform Wishque now accepts crypto payments

e-commerce platform WishQue has began accepting payments in cryptocurrency since November 5. This comes amidst warnings by the Central Bank to be cautious in such investments. In a statement on Tuesday, WishQue said it now accepts payments in six cryptocurrency coins, including BTC, ETH, DOGE, BCH, LTC and USDC. WishQue Managing Director Chinthaka Jayasekara said, [...]

CB strengthens foreign remittances mobilisation

The Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department (FRFD) was set up by the Central Bank (CB) earlier this month to monitor and centralise inward remittances, but the question remains whether this objective will be realised soon enough. The regulator in a statement said that CB established this department to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances inflows to the [...]

SLT says poised for robust end of year 2021 results

SLT-MOBITEL has achieved a 49.2 percent year-on-year growth of Profit After Tax (PAT) in Q3 2021, posting Rs. 3.2 billion in PAT. The commitment to cost consolidation across verticals combined with the group-wide undertaking to minimise waste, convert waste to cash and manage OPEX costs, resulted in savings over the year and is reflected in [...]

Sampath Bank maintains sustainable growth policy

Sampath Bank produced strong results for the nine months ended 30th September 2021, despite the challenges caused by prolonged impact of the COVID -19 pandemic. The bank reported a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 8.98 billion and profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 12.32 billion for the period under review, a significant growth of [...]

ComBank raises the bar for payments authentication in Sri Lanka with Visa

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has become the first bank in Sri Lanka to deploy EMV 3DS fraud prevention technology in collaboration with Visa for authenticating payments made by Credit, Debit and Pre-paid cards issued by the bank. EMV 3D Secure is a global protocol specification released by EMVCo, that enables consumer authentication without adding [...]

Air France launches direct flights between Colombo and Paris

Air France recently expanded its long – haul network with the launch of three weekly direct flights between Paris and Colombo from November 5. Customers will be able to travel to Paris and connect to the Air France global network with close to 200 destinations via the convenient hub of Paris, Charles de Gaulle. Colombo [...]

LankaPropertyWeb releases guide on buying and selling property in Sri Lanka

To educate the buyers and sellers of property and alleviate the trouble they have to go through, LankaPropertyWeb has published a comprehensive Property Buying Guide, covering areas such as finding a property, understanding the documents to check, how to remedy any issues with the documents and more. The information has been gathered alongside insights provided [...]

Prime Lands records huge revenue and profit in 1stH FY2021/22

Continuing its rapid growth trajectory amidst challenging economic conditions, Prime Lands Residencies PLC (PLR), a subsidiary of the Prime Group, posted a revenue of Rs. 2.4 billion for the second quarter of FY 2021/22, up by 86 percent from the first quarter of the year. Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the period under review was [...]

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