Bank of Ceylon (BOC), Sri Lanka Insurance, Mihin Lanka and Nawaloka Hospital opened up their respective offices coinciding with Rajapaksa’s visit to Seychelles in June 2014.
Sources told The Sunday Leader that operations of Sri Lanka Insurance curtailed reportedly within a period of two months. According to employees of the insurance company, the Seychelles office was intended to be ‘temporary’ as the decision to close the operation was taken at the very inception. Nawaloka Hospital Seychelles is scheduled to cease its operations by the end of this month after reportedly recording a loss of Rs 5.2 million, hospital employees said.
It is also speculated that Mihin Lanka is likely to cease its operations to Seychelles.
Meanwhile Bank of Ceylon (BOC), Seychelles Branch was reporting tremendous loses and its staff was limited to three employees. However the Bank was upbeat on turning around.
“I started working in this from on the 22 January 2015. Before that this branch was incurring a loss of SCR (Seychellois Rupees) 440,000 which is approximately 4,976,400 in Sri Lankan Rupees. When I took over the branch in 2015 I did some changes. Now the customer base has gone up to eight hundred and fifty out of which two hundred and fifty are Sri Lankans domiciled in Seychelles. Meantime, profits have increased. This went on record as the first overseas branch to report profits within one and half years,” BoC Seychelles Country Manager R.A. Kularathne told The Sunday Leader.
BoC had reported a profit of Rs 32 million in 2015, The Sunday Leader learns.
However, the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the Republic of Seychelles Tikiri Herath Gunathilaka said that despite some of Rajapaksa’s pet projects closing down, many other Sri Lankan companies were interested in commencing operations in Seychelles.
“In fact discussions regarding setting up a branch of Lanka Hospitals is ongoing.”
He further stated that it is easy to start companies but the lack of proper strategy to continue those companies is the main reason for such failures. Nevertheless, he stressed that the speculation on closing down of the BOC branch was false and there was great potential for Sri Lankan investments related to health, higher education, fisheries and other businesses in Seychelles.
He further pointed out that negotiations are currently underway between two countries in relation to the establishment of a Buddhist temple to forge stronger cultural ties. (Colombo Gazette)