Siemens and Ceylex Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. have won contracts from Sri Lanka’s state power utility, Ceylon Electricity Board to set up four grid substations to connect small hydropower plants to the main grid.
Siemens has won the contract for Rs. 297.2 million while Ceylex Engineering, earlier known as LTL Projects, has won the contract for Rs. 122.9 million.
The proposal by Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to award the contracts was approved by the Cabinet of ministers this week, Gayantha Karunathilaka, Minister of Land and Parliamentary Reforms said at a press briefing held recently.
The contracts are for construction of four grid substations in Nawalapitiya, Ragala, Wewalwatta and Maliboda.
Shippers have alleged that claims made by Minister of Ports and Shipping, Mahinda Samarasinghe that the country's Shipping and Logistics industry brings in a revenue of USD 800 Million are completely false.
Speaking to 'ISIS' news, several spokespersons on behalf of shipping and logistics companies in Sri Lanka also refuted claims by the Minister that the country is home to 500 local shipping companies and 1200 staff employed by them.
Meanwhile, the shippers have also claimed that only a few local companies who have created an oligarchy in the industry are worried regarding policies allowing for Foreign shipping companies to operate in Sri Lanka. "Others are not concerned about it," they said.
The shippers also questioned if an oligarch is of any use to the development of the industry and who is benefitting from such a setup. They also expressed their concerns as to why no action is being taken against these companies which are even violating the constitution and if there are any connections between these companies and certain politicians belonging to the previous as well as the current government. According to the shipping companies, it is important for the Minister and the people to discover the truth regarding these issues.
They expressed these views when questioned regarding the 2018 budget proposals made regarding the Shipping industry. According to industry experts, the business oligarchy in the shipping industry should be done away with while encouraging market competition to develop the shipping industry.
While opposers of the policy have hinted at a breakdown of the industry due to the new policies however the shippers have also questioned as to how the entry of new companies through the reduced restrictions, increased employment opportunities and operations could lead to such a breakdown.
Seven staffers of the People's bank have been temporarily suspended for violations of Employee circulars.
According to sources the reasons for the suspensions include threatening the employees of a bank branch and acting in a disorderly manner at the Ampara branch.
On November 21, a group of Peoples Bank employees representing the Ceylon Bank Employees Union had visited the Peoples Bank Ampara Barancn. They had gone on to threaten the branch manager while acting n a disruptive manner. The decision was taken following an investigation into the incident.
Oman Air proudly announces its 8th Anniversary of successful operations in Sri Lanka.
The national airline of Oman has grown by leaps and bounds in Sri Lanka, playing a major role in supporting Sri Lanka’s commercial, industrial and tourism sectors by providing flights to all key destinations in the world.
The Colombo-Muscat route has become an important part of its global network while becoming indispensable for business and leisure travelers as well as Sri Lankan expatriate workers based in Oman. Oman Air’s direct flights are extremely convenient and help connect passengers to Oman, Middle East and Europe. More significantly, this route also connects travelers to Sri Lanka and contributes hugely towards the growth of the local tourism industry.
Commenting on the joyous occasion of the airline’s 8th year of operations in Sri Lanka, Gihan Karunaratne, Country Manager – Sri Lanka & Maldives said, “We feel immense pride in celebrating our 8th year of a mutually rewarding partnership with Sri Lanka. Over this period, Oman Air has carved out a significant share in Sri Lanka’s aviation industry and we would like to thank our loyal customer base in the country for their continued patronage. Oman Air enjoys a strong brand presence in the local market, as we work closely with all local stakeholders to deliver a superior experience. Oman Air has recently refreshed its fleet with Boeing 737- Neo & Dreamliners to enhance its luxury product offering. We are committed to growing in Sri Lanka and are grateful for the support given to us by the government, travel and aviation sectors.”
Oman Air commenced its Sri Lankan operations in 2009 with 4 flights a week and now operates 14 flights per week with an average passenger load factor of 82 per cent. Oman Air has received some impressive awards including the World Travel Awards with World’s Leading Business Class Airline – Middle East and Best Economy Class Airline – Middle East. And one of the most impressive award was the 'Best airline in Europe, Middle East & Africa' awarded at The Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality & Lifestyle Awards which held in Spain.
S&P Global Ratings has revised its credit rating outlook for DFCC Bank from negative to stable while affirming 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term issuer credit ratings on the bank. In its assessment of DFCC's business position, the Bank is projected to maintain its satisfactory market position and business stability over the next 12-18 months.
The stable rating reflects the rating agency’s confidence in the financial institution’s ability to navigate operating conditions in Sri Lanka and maintain its financial profile in the coming months. At the same time, it has affirmed its 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term issuer credit ratings on DFCC Bank while affirming its senior unsecured debt ratings on the bank.
Further, the rating agency noted that an improvement in the bank's risk position balances a decline in the bank's risk-adjusted capital under its new updated methodology. It anticipates bank's loan growth to be 14%-18% while profitability is likely to remain stable, with healthy net interest margins and fee income balancing credit costs.
DFCC's credit costs are expected to increase somewhat in the next 12-18 months due to sluggishness in an economy in the past 18 months and elevated interest rates. However, S&P expects losses to remain well within its normalized loss expectations. The bank's loan growth has been lower than the industry average and the proportion of granular retail assets has increased in the past few years.
Commenting on the latest rating, Lakshman Silva – CEO, DFCC Bank, said,
“We are pleased that S&P has recognised that DFCC Bank’s fundamentals keep improving the deposit base increasing, loan to deposit ratio moving in the right direction and NP ratio within industry average.
The upward revision of the rating outlook fully justifies the decision of the Board taken last year to sacrifice short-term profitability in exchange for long-term stability.”
DIMO has once again affirmed their ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship by receiving presidential recognition at the National Green Awards organized by Central Environment Authority.
In inaugural ‘Best Sri Lankan Brands’ 2017 awards ceremony was held on December 11 under the auspices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe at the Hilton Colombo.
The event was also attended by Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development, Sagala Ratnayake, Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage, State Minister for International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe, Parliamentarian Mayantha Dissanayake and Prime Ministers Deputy Chief of Staff Rosy Senanayake and other prominent dignitaries.
The Golden Crown Hotel, a super luxury, deluxe property located on 2 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in Kandy and designed by renowned architect Dr. Upendra Rajapakse, was ceremonially declared open by HE The President on 25th November.
AirAsia, one of the largest low-cost airlines in the region is set to commence operations in Colombo. According to reports, the airline’s proposal was presented to the cabinet through a cabinet paper (MNPEA/2017/149) jointly by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs. Reliable sources say the proposal has now been granted cabinet approval.
The airline has also agreed to partner with a local company while carrying on the business as a joint investment sources said adding that the business will operate under a low-cost business model. Accordingly, the airline operations in Sri Lanka will include new single air crafts with a large number of seats and provide a no-frills service to its passengers.
While the airline has submitted a five-year proposal for operations in Sri Lanka the airline is set to operate in 27 new air routes not covered by other airlines currently operative in the country.
According to the proposal, initially, flights will commence from the key strategic hubs of Colombo, Jaffna and Hambantota to India (301 flight weeks or 56 percent of seat capacity) thereafter will operate flights to other South Asian countries (105 flight weeks or 19 percent of seat capacity). Flights also will commence to China and ASEAN countries (84 flight weeks or 16 percent of seat capacity) moving forward, and finally will also operate flights to Middle Eastern as well as African countries (49 flight weeks or 9 percent of seat capacity).
Revealing information on the proposal a government source said the arrival of AirAsia will help the government's Tourism Strategic Plan for 2020 through developing the airline industry in Sri Lanka.
Air Asia currently operates in 26 countries while serving passengers in 220 routes and 110 destinations. The company has a fleet of 220 flights and is considered to be one of the best low-cost airlines in the world. In fact, the company has won the Skytrax award 9 times. This award is given annually to the best low-cost airline in the world.
Expanding its reach across the country, DFCC Bank recently opened its second fully-fledged branch in Matara. The new branch will be known as DFCC Bank’s ‘Matara City Branch’.
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