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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s central bank holds key rates unchanged, reserves climb

CENTRAL BANK

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s central bank held key interest rates unchanged on Friday after a monthly monetary policy meeting with inflation moderating in April and May, and the economy expected to recover in the second half. “Growth in the first quarter was weighed down by the impact of unfavourable weather conditions, particularly on agriculture related activities,” the monetary policy statement said. ... Read More »

Sri Lanka in talks to import rice from three countries

srilanka rice

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has opened immediate talks with three countries on 22 June to procure a rice tranche to stabilize its domestic markets. “We are looking for par-boiled (Nadu) and Samba categories now” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 22 June in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen, joined by Secretary of Ministry of Industry and Commerce Chinthana Lokuhetti ... Read More »

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 7.1% in May 2017

INFLATION

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s inflation according to the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) was down to 7.1 percent in May 2017 from 8.4 percent in April, the Census and Statistics Department said. The NCPI for all items for the month of May 2017 was 121.8, an increase of 0.8 index points or a percentage of 0.7 was noted in May 2017 ... Read More »

World Bank’s IFC to sell Sri Lanka rupee bonds

worldbank

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s government has approved a proposal to establish an offshore Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) Bond Programme by the International Finance Corporation, a statement said. The program is beneficial to Sri Lanka, and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management has recommended its implementation, the most recently approved cabinet decisions statement said. The proposal made by Finance Minister Managala Samaraweera ... Read More »

Sri Lanka to abolish import tax on tea for re-export

import tax

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has decided to abolish a 1 percent tax charged on tea imported for re-export, Cabinet Spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. Sri Lanka will continue to issue licenses for tea imports for re-exports. Each license will be charged a 1000 rupee fee. Sri Lanka has controls on tea imports due to heavy lobbying by several Mercantilist tea firms ... Read More »

Sri Lankan shares edge up, led by banks

banks

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan shares rose on Tuesday as investors picked up banking and diversified stocks, but foreign investors turned net sellers after two days of buying. The Colombo stock index ended 0.32 percent firmer at 6,705.45, with foreign investors selling a net 120.7 million rupees worth of shares. They have bought 20.7 billion rupees worth equities so far this year. ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank eyes full inflation targeting

inflation

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is planning to adopt a full inflation targeting framework probably by next year, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Delivering the keynote address at the launch of the Oxford Business Group’s 2017 report on Sri Lanka Monday, Coomaraswamy said this step will enhance greater transparency and predictability for businesses. “We have set up a macro level unit ... Read More »

Sri Lanka moves to counter bad rep from expropriation, nationalist tax

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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is moving to combat the bad reputation gained from expropriation of businesses in 2011 and a land tax that discriminated against foreign investors, the head of the island’s investment promotion agency said. “These are wrong steps that were taken,” Upul Jayasuriya, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment told a forum in Colombo where a country report ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank to stop making payments to defaced notes

sl cb

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said it will not make payments to mutilated, altered or defaced currency notes after the end of this year. The Central Bank advises thebpublic to refrain from such practices and also requests the public to exchange such currency notes through banks. If not, holders of these currency notes will have to suffer the loss of ... Read More »

Sri Lanka plans trade, business delegation to Bangladesh

UK - free trade deal - Brexit

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce plans a trade and business delegation visit to Bangladesh next month, on the back of a three-fold rise in trade between the two countries, a statement said. “Bilateral trade between the two countries tripled since 2010 but there is unexplored potential,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen speaking with the ... Read More »

Sri Lanka economy grew 3.8% in first quarter of 2017

economy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s statistics office says economic growth rate for the first quarter of 2017 has been estimated as 3.8 percent. The GDP for the first quarter of 2017 was 2,161,770 million rupees against 2,082,544 million rupees reported for the same period last year. “Severe drought condition prevailed mainly in four provinces: Northern, Eastern, North-Central and North-Western from 2016 had ... Read More »

Sri Lanka seed import monopoly hurting farmers, study reveals

imports-480x330

COLOMBO: Poorly designed regulations in Sri Lanka that allow companies effective monopolies in seed imports are hurting farmers and producers, according to a new study of difficulties faced by Sri Lankan agriculture exporters. “The guidelines issued severely undermine competition in the seed market,” said the study on ‘Sri Lanka’s Domestic Barriers to Trade: Case Studies of Agricultural Exports’ by Verité ... Read More »

Budget deficit in 1Q widens 10%; revenue up 26%

budget dificit

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the first quarter of 2017 widened 10.49 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs.199.67 billion, on the back of high capital expenditure although the primary balance recorded a healthy decline due to an increase in tax collection. The primary balance, which is the difference between revenue and current expenditure, fell 40.4 percent YoY to Rs. 48.22 ... Read More »

SLAF Airman nabbed with 2kgs of gold at BIA

GOLD

COLOMBO: A 32-year-old Sri Lanka Air force (SLAF) Airman attached to the Bandaranaike International (BIA) Airport was arrested with two kilograms of gold jewelry worth more than Rs.10million by the Airport customs officers this morning, Customs media spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa said. He said the customs found 2.65 kilograms of gold jewelry wrapped to his legs and he was arrested while ... Read More »

Seized Tamil book on land-grabs cleared by Sri Lanka customs

sl customs

COLOMBO: An Eelam-Tamil authored book about land-grabs and colonisation of the Tamil homeland was cleared by Sri Lankan customs this morning after being seized last week. Deliveries of the book Thamizhar Bhoomi, or ‘Tamil land’, by Theepachelvan which was published in India was seized by customs in Jaffna. The author reported he had been told by customs officers that the ... Read More »

Considerations for formulating a trade policy for Sri Lanka

TRADE

COLOMBO: Following is a presentation made by Rohan Samarajiva to the People’s Commission for National Policy on International Trade recently.  We must look to the future, not the past. We must be realistic about where we are at present and what our potential is. We must always take into consideration our external environment, especially the actions of the competitively-positioned countries. ... Read More »

Sri Lankan rupee edges higher on inward remittances; stocks down

sl rupee

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan rupee traded marginally higher on Monday as inward remittances outpaced dollar demand from importers, dealers said. Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards trading at 152.80/85 per dollar at 0539 GMT, slightly firmer from Friday’s close of 152.85/90. “There are some inward remittances and not much of (importer) demand,” a currency dealer said, requesting anonymity. The ... Read More »

Billions of Sri Lanka corporate debt issues held up over tax uncertainty

New Zealand meat, wine exports to face uncertainty on U.S border tax

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s listed corporate debt issues are grinding to a halt on uncertainty over taxes proposed in the budget for 2017, which has not been legislated and no certainty is available on the tax treatment of interest income. Maninda Wickramasinghe, Head of Fitch Ratings in Sri Lanka said there is a 30 billion rupee pipeline of corporate debt issues ... Read More »

Sri Lanka bank bad loans trending up; pressure expected on asset quality

loan

COLOMBO: Bad loans at Sri Lankan banks are picking up in 2017 after two years of strong loan growth, with consumer spending hit by taxes, inflation and the recent floods, Fitch Ratings, a rating agency, said. Slower economic growth, interest rates and inflation could hurt asset quality, Jeewanthi Malalgala, a financial institutions analyst at Fitch Ratings Lanka, said. Fitch has ... Read More »

Sri Lankan rupee edges up on late inward remittances

sl rupee

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan rupee recovered from early falls and closed slightly firmer on Wednesday as late inward remittances surpassed mild dollar demand from importers, dealers said. Rupee forwards were active, with spot-next forwards ending at 152.85/95 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 152.88/93. “There was (dollar) selling in the latter part of the day. We also saw a ... Read More »