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Queues at fuel stations

Queues at fuel stations

Fears of a possible fuel shortage due to a dollar crisis has led to panic buying by motorists though authorities say there is enough fuel. This picture taken by Priyanka Samaraweera is the scene at a fuel station on Friday.

Surcharge Tax catches state/private institutions off-guard

Sri Lanka’s public and private income generating institutions including groups of companies, partnerships, banks and individuals with taxable income of over Rs.2 billion will get a bashing from the 25 per cent one-off Surcharge Tax inflicting a cascading effect on the economy, several tax experts said. This tax is aimed at collecting Rs.100 billion for [...]

State tourism institutions headless!

State tourism bodies have been operating for the past one-and-a-half months without proper board appointments. Appointments to the boards of the tourism bodies are yet to happen as the Tourism Ministry Secretary has not seen what his Minister has sent and instead has urgently authorised reappointment of the Chairperson and two other ex-officio members to [...]

Value-added exporters urge RMB, INR swaps

Value-added exporters have met with Sri Lankan authorities to advocate a Chinese Renminbi and an Indian rupee swap for raw material imports. Certain industry stalwarts met with Finance Ministry officials to discuss this two weeks ago, officials said. “They promised to look into the Chinese swap,” an industry official told the Business Times. He said [...]

Fertiliser crisis of 2021: Signs of the times

Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector hit by a fertiliser shortage had varied impacts with some likely to spill over into this year and even in 2023. While paddy will have an immediate impact as harvest is reaped other sectors like tea, coconut and rubber will see the consequences subsequently depending on the application of fertiliser and [...]

DFIs snub banks seeking credit lines

Sri Lankan banks that were aggressively pursuing foreign credit lines to boost their foreign exchange reserves are shunned by these creditors as the forex crunch escalates. Amidst the exchange rate issues, lack of reserves and liquidity in the banking industry, certain commercial banks were in discussion with development finance institutions (DFIs) to secure credit lines [...]

Juggling dollars and borrowings

Juggling dollars and  borrowings

Borrow, borrow and borrow until the cows come home! This was how my jolly-mood economist friend Samiya (short for Samson) described the country’s parlous financial state. Sri Lanka is borrowing dollars, borrowing Chinese and Indian currency loans and also selling its gold reserves. On Thursday morning, as we chatted, he was not in a jolly [...]

Eyeing ‘money talks’

Eyeing ‘money talks’

The world is now eyeing “money talks” in the rich countries to decide their own steps. I am returning to a topic that I discussed in this column many times last year. It was about the forthcoming inflationary pressure in the world, which is now quite visible. I thought of elaborating this issue from a [...]

Finance companies reeling due to non-reimbursement of micro loans

Majority of finance companies’ engaged in micro financing are still eagerly waiting for the reimbursement of massive amounts written off by them as non-consumption loans up to Rs. 100,000 to drought-affected women in selected districts, CEOs of finance companies complained. This action has been taken by the finance companies on the directions of the Finance [...]

Central expressway project phase 3 tainted with irregularities

The elimination of a Chinese company from the long delayed, third phase Central expressway construction contract without opening their bid submitted for the tender has triggered concerns of irregularities in the tender process, several heads of leading construction companies said. While a local consortium named LDIC has won the bid despite the bid being higher [...]

Litigation: Is it smart to spend time and money to be right?

This is the big question that a disputant should ask when proceeding to litigation. Today, there are options to litigation such as Mediation where the focus is not on being right, but on the needs of disputants and on reaching a settlement to satisfy those needs. Mediation is a process that is fast and cost [...]

NCE to celebrate 30th anniversary of export awards on Dec. 2

The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) is planning to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its export awards on December 2, 2022, at Hotel Shangri-La, Colombo. The NCE introduced the “NCE Challenge Trophy” during the 29th event and will continue to award exporters who perform ethical trading practices, and also all the other special awards under [...]

Eco Spindles helps Sri Lanka’s circular economy for plastic recycling

Eco Spindles helps  Sri Lanka’s circular economy for plastic recycling

Eco Spindles (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s largest plastics recycler, has announced plans to expand its capacity to manufacture yarn using recycled plastics, as well as innovative new additions to its suite of cutting-edge, eco-friendly products used by some of the world’s leading fashion brands. The company owns one of only two plants in the world [...]

11 funds including EPF/ETF exempt from Surcharge Tax

Eleven workers’ social security and welfare funds including the Employees Provident Fund and the Employees Trust Fund have been exempted from the controversial 25 per cent Surcharge Tax. This decision was taken by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa under mounting pressure from government and opposition legislators, trade unions and associations of social service activists, informed sources [...]

Rising sea freight rates expected to normalise by 1H 2022

The biggest challenge the global shipping and logistics sector faced during COVID-19 was the unprecedented spike in sea freight rates which reflected in the cost of imported goods,industry analysts said. Prices of essential and non-essential goods kept increasing drastically since the second half of 2020 and freight rates are now seen coming down, they said. [...]

An Argentinian haircut for the IMF

An Argentinian haircut for the IMF

NEW YORK – Argentina is about to enter another dysfunctional stand-by agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund – its 22nd SBA since it joined the IMF in 1956. While the details have not yet been settled, we already know that it will be dysfunctional, because there will be no up-front restructuring of the country’s [...]

Ex-Goldman banker testifies ‘greed and ambition’ motivated 1MDB bribery

NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) – A former Goldman Sachs partner testified today (Wednesday) that “greed and ambition” drove his involvement in a bribery scheme that looted billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. Tim Leissner, the former chief of Goldman’s Southeast Asia operation, is a star witness in the criminal trial of [...]

Start-up Mintpay raises Rs. 51.5 mln in seed funding

Start-up Mintpay raises Rs. 51.5 mln in seed funding

The Sri Lankan ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ start-up, Mintpay, launched in the latter part of 2020, has been steadily gaining momentum island-wide as more and more consumers have begun integrating the Mintpay platform to their own financial routine when shopping online. It has raised Rs. 51.5 million in seed funding which will be utilised to [...]

Aitken Spence reports highest ever Q3 PBT of Rs. 3 b

Aitken Spence PLC has reported its’ best ever third quarter (Q3) performance with a Profit-Before-Tax (PBT) of Rs. 3 billion in Q3 2021-22, a significant turnaround from the third quarter Q3 of the previous year, the company said in a media release this week. The group’s businesses including the tourism sector is showing positive momentum. [...]

SL’s economy likely to grow by just 2 % in 2022, Fitch says

Sri Lanka’s economic performance is expected to weaken in 2022, forecasting growth to slow to 2 per cent although downside risks to forecasts remain, Fitch Ratings said in a report on Thursday. It said that Sri Lankan banks are likely to face continued asset-quality pressure in 2022 as rising macroeconomic stresses stemming from the sovereign [...]

Asian Adventures welcomes first incentive tour post COVID to SL

Asian Adventures welcomes first incentive tour post COVID to SL

Asian Adventures Travel Management Pvt. Ltd, a DMC operating in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, has welcomed its first large Incentive Tour to Sri Lanka, since the island re-opened its borders to tourists after the COVID-19 lockdowns. The 152 guests from Europe, America and Canada are top management and senior staff of Coral Club together [...]

SL has a deep-seated relationship with buyers, JAAF SG says

The book authored by Ms. Kanchana N. Ruwanpura titled “Garments without Guilt? Global Labour Justice and Ethical Codes in Sri Lankan Apparels” has cast a shadow on the apparel sector per se but is a template for setting things right in the correct perspective. “What motivated me to write this book was that the apparel [...]

SLT Group records Rs. 12.2 b 2021 post-tax profit

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) Group, the National ICT Solutions Provider, has concluded the financial year 2021 on a high note, recording a turnover of Rs. 102.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2021 marking a topline growth of 12.3 per cent year-on-year. The Group’s sustained growth resulted in a Profit After Tax (PAT) [...]

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