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New anti-corruption Commission likely to widen President-UNP rift

Views - 1025 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appointed a new anti-corruption Commission covering the period 15 January 2015 to 31 December 2018, a move that is likely to widen the existing rift between him and the UNP-led Government. The appointment of


Govt. signs ADB loans worth $ 455m

Views - 287 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

The Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday signed three loan agreements totaling $455 million for projects in higher education and transport as well as a technical assistance loan in the urban sector.


Kavan assumes duties as new SLPA Chairman

Views - 606 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

Kavan Ratnayaka has been appointed the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). He assumed duties as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) yesterday, with blessings of the


State vehicles not exempted from carbon tax

Views - 160 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

The carbon tax, which came into effect from January this year, is applicable to all vehicles including those in the public sector, and the registered owners of every motor vehicle specified in the Act will have to pay this levy, the Finance Ministry


Rupee, stocks rise after IMF statement

Views - 625 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

REUTERS: Sri Lanka’s rupee and shares closed firmer on Thursday, a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it would resume discussions with the island nation for further disbursal of part of a $1.5 billion loan. After a meeting with


Planters’ Association to go to Wages Board if talks fail to reach agreement

Views - 285 Friday, 18 January 2019 00:00

By Charumini de Silva The Regional Plantation Companies are gearing to approach the Wages Board if the deadlock in wage negotiation with trade unions continues, industry spokesman Roshan Rajadurai told the Daily FT.


IMF team to arrive in mid-Feb

Views - 341 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:42

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will send a team to Colombo in mid-February to resume discussions on the $ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program after it was derailed during the 52-day political turmoil last year. IMF Managing Dir


Writ of Quo Warranto against Mahinda: CA defers argument for 21 February

Views - 411 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:41

The Court of Appeal yesterday deferred for 21 February the Writ of Quo Warranto Petition against Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others. The Bench comprised Justices Deepali Wijesundera (Acting President/CA) and Arjuna Obeysekera. The Court issued an Interi


Ailing rupee and price controls may lead to a shortage of milk powder

Views - 430 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:38

A cup of tea is every Sri Lankan’s morning mantra. This might not be the case much longer as Sri Lanka may face a shortage of milk powder as several leading milk powder importers are reported to have taken a collective decision to suspend imports.


JKH’s Rs. 11 b share buyback offer ends

Views - 665 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:36

The Rs. 11 billion worth share buyback offer of John Keells Holdings (JKH) had ended with the move triggering acceptance of only 46% of the offer. JKH said that its offer to repurchase 69.37 million shares or 5% of shares in issue received acceptance


CB buys Rs. 90 b in T-bills

Views - 386 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:35

The Central Bank yesterday said it had bought Rs. 90 billion in Treasury Bills in January and would reverse part of the transition next month and eventually offload the rest once the Government’s borrowing program is back on track. The Central Ba


Rupee edges lower; stocks slip

Views - 238 Thursday, 17 January 2019 01:34

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s rupee closed slightly weaker on Wednesday in thin trade due to light dollar demand from banks and importers, while worries over political uncertainty and fiscal slippage weighed on investor sentiment. The International Monetar


SLASSCOM publishes IT/BPM Industry Annual Compensation and Benefits Study for 2018

Views - 181 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:46

The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) released the Compensation and Benefits Study for the IT and BPM industry for the eighth successive year. The study was conducted during September through December with the partic


Value thesis more pronounced in Lankan equities; yet polarised risks make 2019 challenging

Views - 273 Thursday, 17 January 2019 00:05

Asia Securities Research expects the Sri Lankan stock market to offer pockets of opportunities for investors, in the year ahead, despite expectations that 2019 will in general be a challenging year for equities. The leading stock brokerage firm is re


REITS finally coming!

Views - 968 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:10

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is planning to introduce Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) as a new product to the market this year, a top official confirmed. “We are hoping that we will be able to facilitate REITs as a new product before the


People’s Merchant draws motor industry specialist Sterling as strategic investor

Views - 721 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:09

The People’s Merchant Finance PLC (PMB) has succeeded in striking a deal with motor industry specialist Sterling to come in as a strategic investor infusing much needed capital. Facilitation of entry of Sterling Capital Investments Ltd., (SCI) is v


Sri Lanka says has $300 m loan offer from Bank of China, may increase to $1 b

Views - 454 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:07

Sri Lanka is considering an offer from Bank of China for a loan of $300 million, which could be raised to $1 billion, to help it meet repayments in coming months, junior finance minister Eran Wickramaratne told Reuters on Tuesday. He also confirmed


Sri Lanka seeks to increase swap amount to $1 b from India Central Bank

Views - 301 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:06

NEW DELHI, REUTERS: Sri Lanka has begun talks with India’s Central Bank to increase its swap amount to $ 1 billion, the acting Finance Minister said yesterday, as it struggles with the rising cost of its debt. State Minister for Finance Eran Wickr


SL and Philippines to sign 6 MoUs

Views - 573 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:05

Sri Lanka and the Philippines will sign six Memorandum of Understandings this week, during the historic visit of President Maithripala Sirisena to Manila. The MoUs include focus on broader areas of agriculture, fishery and dairy and animal husbandry,


IATA renews SriLankan Airlines’ IOSA registry

Views - 383 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:04

The International Air Travel Association (IATA) has renewed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry of SriLankan Airlines for a further two year period up to 4 December 2020. IOSA is the global airline industry’s benchmark for an airline


Colombo voted the ‘must-photograph’ travel destination of 2019

Views - 1136 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:03

Colombo in Sri Lanka has been named the ‘must-photograph’ travel destination of 2019, in a study, according to a report in the UK’s Sun newspaper. Research of more than 1.3 million social media posts found the Asian city is the location travel


CSE to conduct two roadshows in 1H

Views - 223 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:01

Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Ray Abeywardena confirmed that plans are underway to conduct two roadshows during the first half of this year, adding that the roadshows conducted in 2018 had positive outcomes. “We are planning two roadshows in cons


Ethical Extracts goes global via strategic partnership between MANE and Akbar Brothers

Views - 654 Wednesday, 16 January 2019 00:00

MANE, one of the top flavour and fragrance houses in the world, recently announced its strategic partnership with Akbar Brothers, one of the largest traders of tea, to provide high-end tea and coffee extracts for the global market. The partnership wi


Deputy Minister of Ports assumes duties

Views - 154 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:04

The newly appointed Deputy Minister of Ports and Shipping, Mohamed Abdullah Mohamed Maharoof, yesterday assumed duties and pledged to improve Sri Lanka’s ports to global standard. The event was held with the participation of Minister of Ports and S


Animal Welfare Bill gets renewed momentum

Views - 288 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:03

By Madushka Balasuriya Following the recent uproar over the immolation of a dog in Negombo on New Year’s Eve, animal welfare activists over the weekend called on the public for support as they looked to push the Government into enacting a new Anim


Stable outlook for Asia Pacific sovereigns in 2019, says Moody’s

Views - 101 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:02

Moody’s Investors Service has said that its outlook for sovereign creditworthiness in Asia Pacific (APAC) in 2019 is stable overall, reflecting its expectations for the fundamental credit conditions that will drive sovereign credit over the next 12


IMF meetings postponed

Views - 298 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:02

Meetings scheduled between top officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Sri Lankan Government delegation led by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday were postponed after a snowstorm hit Washington. “All meetings, i


Samsung to launch India-first smartphones to counter Chinese rivals

Views - 149 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:01

MUMBAI (Reuters): Samsung plans to launch a budget smartphone series in India ahead of a global release, aiming to regain ground ceded to Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi in the world’s second-biggest mobile phone market. The South Korean company’s


SL to repay $1 b foreign debt from reserves: CB Chief

Views - 379 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:01

Reuters: Sri Lanka will repay a $1 billion five-year sovereign bond due on Monday entirely from its reserves, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said, after three of its state-run banks failed to raise funds from foreign sources. The Go


Rupee ends weaker in dull trade; Bourse gains

Views - 170 Tuesday, 15 January 2019 01:00

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s rupee closed weaker on Monday in thin trade due to dollar demand from banks and importers, while political uncertainty also dented investor sentiment. Sri Lankan shares recovered from a more than six-week closing low hit on Fr


Today's Columnists

Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


Teaching the younger generation to observe professional ethics is the need of the hour

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

When Sri Lanka got independence in 1948, it was one of the most promising nations both in Asia and in the Commonwealth countries. It had luckily emerged unscathed after the Second World War unlike our neighbours. Sri Lanka furthermore did not have to


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