Bank of Ceylon celebrates 74 years of dedicated service

Published : 1:18 am  August 1, 2013  |  Category: Financial Services  |  Leave a Comment  |  484 views  |  

After World War I, the inadequacy of financial services available in the country became an important national issue. Foreign banks and the Natucottai Chettiyars held a monopoly over the money lending industry, while many Ceylonese businessmen and landowners shut down shops with no funds to carry on. In those dark days, State council member George E. De Silva spearheaded a demand for the establishment of a State aided bank to rescue the nation from its dire predicament. The proposals put forward by the commission were approved unanimously and made way for the establishment of the Bank of Ceylon. Ordinance No. 53 of 1938 would put the establishment on paper and British Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott... 


‘Obamacare’ mandate delay will cost $ 12 b, affect 1 m workers

Published : 12:56 am  August 1, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  927 views  |  
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Reuters: President Barack Obama’s decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday. The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration’s unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate – a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty. The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of “Obamacare’s” insurance-coverage provisions over the next 10 years.... 


Veteran Pakistani politician elected president

Published : 12:55 am  August 1, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,040 views  |  
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Reuters: Mamnoon Hussain, a veteran Pakistani politician and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s trusted ally, was elected president on Tuesday in a vote by legislators for the largely ceremonial post of head of state. Hussain, 73, will be sworn in on September 9 at the presidential palace due to be vacated by incumbent Asif Ali Zardari, who is stepping down at the end of his five-year term. Ousted in a bloodless coup in 1999, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party swept back into power in a May vote that marked the first transition between civilian governments in a country ruled by the military for more than half its history. The new president was elected by an electoral college made... 


US economy finds momentum in Q2, further gains seen

Published : 12:53 am  August 1, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  819 views  |  

Reuters: U.S. economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in the second quarter, laying a firmer foundation for the rest of the year that could bring the Federal Reserve a step closer to cutting back its monetary stimulus. Gross domestic product grew at a 1.7% annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, stepping up from the first-quarter’s downwardly revised 1.1% expansion pace. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the economy growing at a 1.0% pace after a previously reported 1.8% advance in the first three months of the year. A rebound in business spending, export growth and a sharp moderation in the pace of decline in government outlays boosted economic growth in the April-June... 


TISL wants Polls Chief to prevent abuse of all types of State property

Published : 12:49 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,081 views  |  
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Transparency Internat-ional Sri Lanka (TISL) has made an appeal from Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to prevent the use of all types of State property (including civil and military) in a wrongful manner for election purposes. TISL Executive Director S. Ranugge in a letter to Election Commissioner also appealed for the guarantee that all candidates contesting the elections declare their assets and liabilities when they submit their nominations. Following is the full text from the letter: Holding an election within a democratic framework provides an excellent opportunity for the public to elect their representatives. In particular, it is a special occasion for the voters in the north who... 


Colombo, Hambantota ports declared as Free Ports

Published : 12:48 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  2,041 views  |  

In line with the Finance Act No. 12 of 2012, which specifies declaring Free Port bonded areas, the Minister of Finance has issued regulations and Colombo and Hambantota ports have been declared as Free Ports by the this Gazette notification. Further, the Gazette envisages the Katunayake Export Processing Zone, Koggala Export Processing Zone and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport as bonded areas. The enterprises, which will be benefitted from this arrangement, will be engaged in entrepot trade involving imports, minor processing and re-export, and off-shore business where goods can be procured from one country or manufactured in one country and shipped to another country without bringing... 


Krrish deals: No formal complaint yet, anyone can submit – President

Published : 12:48 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: TOP STORY  |  3 Comments  |  3,035 views  |  

President and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that to date, there were no formal complaints regarding alleged deals within deals over the $ 450 million mixed development project Krrish. “Krrish hasn’t made any complaints nor have we got any from others. Those in the know can lodge a complaint or publicly name those involved,” President told a meeting with editors prior to breakfast in response to queries. He also said that Krrish has also issued a statement clarifying matters. When asked whether the Finance Ministry was conducting an investigation, the President only said that the Treasury was separately looking into media reports on the various allegations. The Opposition... 


Maverick Mervyn shuts down Hayleys Group export factory with 600 workers

Published : 12:46 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  16 Comments  |  7,465 views  |  

Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday allegedly took the industrial law into his own hands when he walked into Hayleys Group’s Venigros Ltd. in the Gampaha District and ordered its closure, endangering 600 jobs and key supplies for exports, to the cheers of residents accusing the factory of a major pollution scandal. The factory which is part of Dipped Products Plc of Hayleys Group, was implicated in the alleged contamination of groundwater prompting the Chief Monk in Weliweriya to start a fast onto death yesterday. Tensions were rising with residents surrounding the factory. The residents are demanding that the authorities provide pipebourne water to the area free of charge and... 


Commonwealth seeks young entrepreneurs in Asia

Published : 12:46 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,247 views  |  

 Nominations open for CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Challenge 2013; 15 August deadline Event looks for youth-led businesses that promote social change in Commonwealth-Asia The Commonwealth-Asia Young Entrepr-eneurs Alliance (CAAYE), an initiative to promote and encourage enterprise among young people, is inviting young entrepreneurs across the eight Commonwealth-Asia countries to participate in the inaugural CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Challenge 2013. Recognising that youth form a vital part of the global entrepreneurship equation, the challenge aims to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs in the region to showcase business enterprises that engineer social change. Under the theme ‘Profit... 


Rupee drops

Published : 12:45 am  July 31, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,009 views  |  

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Tuesday to hover near a 10-month low, with dollar demand from importers exerting further downward pressure on the currency though the central bank asked market participants not to accept bids above 131.60 rupees, dealers said. The rupee closed at 131.65/70, slipping from Monday’s close of 131.55/65. It had closed at 131.65/75 on Thursday, its lowest close since Sept. 19. “There was some importer demand. But the central bank is not allowing bids above 131.60,” said a currency dealer. Other traders confirmed that the central bank directed banks not to accept bids above 131.60 as it tried to contain the rupee’s decline. They said the market is,...