A chance to see Italian automobiles in all their glory

Published : 12:00 am  August 8, 2013  |  Category: Motor  |  Leave a Comment  |  792 views  |  

Italian cars stir up emotions like no other type of cars… not merely in Sri Lanka, but around the world. Most people would stop and look at a car like a Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini when they see one on the road, and that includes even people who don’t know anything about cars! It could be said that Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis are ‘exotic’ cars and that’s why people stop and look at them. But then, what about cars like Alfa Romeos, Lancias and Fiats? A 1960’s Lancia Fulvia or even the humblest of Fiats – the Fiat 500 – turn heads like no other car on the road. Indeed, they were technologically exotic and advanced compared to their other global contemporaries. This... 


Ranil takes on Govt. on Weliweriya

Published : 12:26 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  4 Comments  |  1,698 views  |  
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Opposition Leader wants urgent independent probe By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the Government reveals why the military was deployed to quell a public demonstration instead of police riot teams, and blamed the incumbent regime for grossly mismanaging the issue and allowing it to spiral into a full-fledged war.  Making a special statement in Parliament yesterday, He charged that the routine protocols that should be adopted in controlling crowds of demonstrators had been abandoned in favour of a military solution. “There are a number of methods to disperse a public demonstration or a protest. Deployment of riot control... 


SLT pre-tax profit rings 37% growth to Rs. 3.25 b in 1H

Published : 12:24 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  1 Comment  |  987 views  |  
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Sri Lanka Telecom Group during the first half of 2013 has recorded a Net Profit Before Tax (NPBT) of Rs. 3.25 b, with 37% growth compared to the same period of the previous year and Rs. 2.33 b Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) with 79%. In respect of last year a Rs. 1.91 b exchange loss was observed and reduction of this has led to the significant growth of the period under consideration. The remarkable performance of mobile, data, enterprise and wholesales sectors have contributed to the increase of group revenue of Rs. 29.17 b by 5%. Group operating cost of Rs. 20.42 b has escalated by 11% during the first half of 2013 compared to Rs. 18.44 b of the same period of last year due to operational expansions... 


Fonterra under fire over milk scare; more product recalls

Published : 12:23 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,664 views  |  

(Reuters): Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, came under fire from the New Zealand Government, farmers and financial regulators for its handling of a food contamination scare that has triggered product recalls and spooked parents from China to Saudi Arabia. The Government sent officials to Fonterra premises to ensure a clearer message and to regain international confidence after New Zealand’s biggest company was criticised for dragging its feet in saying it sold whey protein products that contained a bacteria that could cause botulism – a potentially fatal food poisoning. “We will be conducting an internal review and this will be subject to external scrutiny as well,” Gary... 


Govt. slaps special levy on essentials to curb imports, protect farmers

Published : 12:22 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,582 views  |  

A special commodity levy on over 30 essential food items was passed yesterday at Parliament, focused on the protection of local farmers and producers amidst stringent objections by the Opposition. According to the newly imposed special commodity levy the price of potatoes will increase by Rs. 25 per kg and will remain for a period of four months starting with immediate effect. Among the most common food items on which the levy was imposed was Maldive fish with Rs. 275 per kg, sprats Rs. 10 per kg, dried fish Rs. 75 per kg, red onions and Bombay Onions by Rs. 15 per kg, garlic by Rs. 40 per kg, red lentils Rs. 18 per kg, yellow lentils Rs. 22 per kg, oranges Rs. 60 per kg, grapes Rs. 130 per kg,... 


Fitch forecasts 7% growth; insists challenges remain

Published : 12:18 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  1 Comment  |  849 views  |  

Fitch Rating officials yesterday remained cautiously optimistic on Sri Lanka, noting that recent success is overshadowed by growing challenges and risks. Fitch said it forecasts Sri Lanka’s economy to grow 7% in 2013. The country’s economic growth slowed to 6.4% in 2012, after two years of consistent growth at 8% in 2010 and 2011, following the end of the ethnic conflict in 2009. “To fuel their growth, larger export-driven corporates are likely to seek external funding, along with commercial banks, as they cater to credit demand from exporters that generally lack the scale to tap global bond markets,” Fitch said. Head of Asia Pacific Sovereigns Andrew Colquhoun noted that Sri Lanka remains... 


Rupee weaker on importer dollar demand

Published : 12:18 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  1 Comment  |  624 views  |  

Reuters: The rupee ended weaker on Tuesday as light importer dollar demand offset exporter dollar sales and a vigilant Central Bank, eager to hold the greenback below Rs. 132.00, also forced dealers to shift to forward trades. Some dealers said they moved to one-day forwards instead of spot trade after the Central Bank’s earlier direction to banks not to accept bids above 131.60 rupees per dollar. The one-day forward ended weaker at 131.73/75 per dollar from Monday’s close of 131.62/65. “There was importer dollar demand but more than that, since Friday is a holiday, the holding cost is high,” said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity. Central Bank officials were not available for... 


Bourse up led by JKH, Nestle

Published : 12:17 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  1 Comment  |  787 views  |  

Reuters: Shares edged up on Tuesday as investors bought select stocks such as market heavy weight John Keells Holdings and Nestle Lanka in light trading. Analysts said investors were cautious and waited for direction despite the Central Bank’s policy easing as concerns over a weakening rupee and high lending rates dented sentiment. The main share index closed 0.12% or 7.27 points firmer at 6,121.45. Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 0.49% to Rs. 269.20. Nestle Lanka, which produces and markets food and dairy products, rose 5.08% to 2,049.00 after Sri Lanka ordered an immediate suspension of New Zealand milk powder imports and recalled products from the market. Turnover was Rs. 531.8 million... 


Cabraal raps rating agencies

Published : 12:15 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: TOP STORY  |  1 Comment  |  1,209 views  |  

Labels some as having ‘myopic’ views; alleges they are doing disservice to investors Stresses that Sri Lanka has a credible plan to improve economy and fiscal management By Shabiya Ali Ahlam Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal yesterday rapped credit rating agencies for being “myopic” and claimed their stand was unwarranted jeopardising Sri Lanka’s chances to woo more investors. Not minding the platform on which he was speaking, Cabraal, during his keynote at the Fitch Ratings Sri Lanka Sovereign and Banking Roundtable, didn’t mince his words. In an apparent reaction to Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the country’s outlook last month along with other agencies, the Central... 


Amnesty, AHRC, CPA call for independent probes

Published : 12:05 am  August 7, 2013  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  562 views  |  

As the small town in the Gampaha District continues to reel from last Thursday’s violence, Amnesty International, the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Centre for Policy Alternatives have called for impartial investigations into the clashes in Weliweriya that left three people dead and wounded dozens. “The Sri Lankan authorities must not allow the Army to investigate itself over allegations of excessive use of force by its members after three protesters demonstrating over access to drinking water were killed over the weekend,” Amnesty International said in a statement. “The Sri Lankan Army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place and having them investigate...