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Finance Ministry, CB unveil plans to revive economy

Finance Ministry, CB unveil plans to revive economy

State fiscal and monetary authorities have announced a series of measures,   following the criticism of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the Treasury and the Central Bank, to expedite economic recovery and resurrect SMEs in the COVID -19 crisis. Responding to the President’s direction, the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank will be taking fiscal, monetary, and [...]

3 more months of reduced wages

The Labour Ministry on Friday reached agreement to extend the consensus between employers and workers to ensure that private sector staff continues to be paid half the basic or Rs.14, 500 for the next three months. This extension of the agreement, initially reached in May, between the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, the trade unions and [...]

Tea-for-oil deal with Iran to be sealed

Sri Lanka will be going ahead with the tea-for-oil deal with Iran and is currently preparing to sign the agreements required between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) in this regard. The CPC is due to sign the agreement with the SLTB to ensure that payments for oil from [...]

Lanka Tiles to commission newly installed mosaic tile plant

Tile manufacturer and exporter Lanka Tiles PLC will commission its newly installed mosaic tile production facility on Tuesday. A 100 per cent export oriented venture, the production facility was set up as a tri-partite joint venture between Lanka Tiles PLC, Foshan Shiwan Yulong Ceramic Co Ltd (China) and Benjamin Melloy of the US. It will [...]

SEC seeks changes in KYC for digitisation

In an attempt to seamlessly discharge the stock market digitisation process, Sri Lanka’s capital market regulator has sought Central Bank (CB) approval to changes proposed to KYC (Know Your Customer) rules when opening share trading accounts online. The digitisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) calls for electronic account opening and as it is the [...]

Bankers to meet Prez tomorrow

Heads of commercial banks will be meeting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tomorrow to assess the progress on credit given to the COVID-19 affected businesses. This meeting was scheduled after Mr. Rajapaksa criticised the Monetary Board on Tuesday after summoning Central Bank (CB) Governor W.D. Lakshman and senior officials to his office over issues pertaining to delays [...]

Presidential rebuke

Presidential rebuke

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in a bad mood when he confronted senior Central Bank officials led by the Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman on Tuesday. Removing his face mask, he pitched into the officials of the country’s main banking regulator blaming them for not jump-starting the COVID-19 economic revival. “Our Central Bank has not done anything [...]

Sri Lanka has become a poorer nation!

Sri Lanka has become a poorer nation!

Last year 2019, Sri Lanka became a poorer nation than what it was in the previous year. From the average annual income of each Sri Lankan, US$227 got wiped out. This is because the per capita income was $3,741 in 2019, compared to $3,968 in 2018. Interestingly, Sri Lanka’s per capita income level in 2019 [...]

HNB launches Rs. 5 bn SME scheme to support post-COVID recovery

HNB PLC, in an effort to finance a grassroots revival of the Sri Lankan economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Friday announced the launch of a Rs. 5 billion relief fund which will be used to provide working capital support to the bank’s substantial portfolio of Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customers. [...]

Priyantha Wijesekera, new CEO at Softlogic Finance

Priyantha Wijesekera, new CEO at Softlogic Finance

Softlogic Finance PLC has appointed Priyantha Wijesekera as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr Wijesekera previously held the position of Executive Vice President – Leasing at Nations Trust Bank PLC (NTB). The company said in a media release that with over 20 years of exposure to the banking and financial services industry, Mr. Wijesekera brings [...]

COVID-19 lessons from Vietnam’s success

Lockdowns with vigorous testing methods helped Vietnam to stay afloat. One of the effective measures that Vietnam adopted in stopping the spread of COVID-19 virus early in the country was to lock down the country and stop all flights arriving in the country from early March this year. Vietnam has just 323 cases of COVID-19 [...]

Central Bank printing new money

Central Bank printing new money

Money is printed to keep the economy running and it is a necessary step to revive it, if properly managed. Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardena, in denying media reports that the Central Bank (CB) has recently printed new money, challenged anyone to bring a banknote with the signatures of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the finance minister [...]

NDB strives to help exporters and entrepreneurs with new product

NDB has introduced “NDB Jayagamu Sri Lanka” for exporters and investors to encourage and support emerging exporters, prospective entrepreneurs and inventors of Sri Lanka, through which both financial and non-financial services will be offered to encourage and facilitate entrepreneurs, exporters and innovators. To boost the economy and raise the standards of all Sri Lankan in [...]

SK: Doyen of the corporate world passes away

SK: Doyen of the  corporate world passes away

S.K. Wickramasinghe, popularly known as SK and one of Sri Lanka’s most accomplished and respected figures in the Sri Lankan business community, passed away last week. Mr. Wickramasinghe had nearly 50 years of experience in the corporate field and had chaired some of Sri Lanka’s largest institutions, involved in almost every sector of the country’s [...]

CB to revisit integrated CCP

The Central Bank (CB) is looking at reviving an earlier proposal to integrate the country’s stock exchange with its Central Counter Party (CCP) system. This was discussed when Viraj Dayaratne, Chairman SEC Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) paid a courtesy call on CB Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman recently. Mr. Dayaratne told the Business Times that [...]

Crescat Boulevard to be revamped

Asian Hotels and Properties PLC (AHPP) is going ahead with a major investment in refurbishing the Crescat Boulevard, one of the oldest malls, situated at the Cinnamon Grand hotel premises, starting in December 2020. “The face of Colombo has seen such radical changes since Crescat Boulevard was first opened,” said Nayana Mawilmada, Sector Head of [...]

HNWIs, local institutions collecting blue chips

The Colombo share market has seen many high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and local institutional investors actively back in the game. With foreigners fleeing the market, these HNWIs have been collecting mini blue chips with some entering the first 10 shareholders of those companies. Some of the big names which have been very active in [...]

Over 70 % centres of People’s Bank kept open during lockdown

The People’s Bank was among the first banks in the country to act on the Central Bank’s (CB) COVID-19 relief package offering over 400,000 of its retail customers’ financial relief during the crisis period. It was also in the process of disbursing nearly 4,100 applications for working capital loans to small business owners, amounting to [...]

More firms expected to go public with new listing rules

Amendments to public listing rules have allowed for more companies to seek public funding. Migrating from the earlier rigid framework, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will publish the new listing rules soon, an official said. The new rules have enabled firms that didn’t comply with the earlier threshold criteria of the CSE to reapply for [...]

CB’s new credit schemes amidst criticism from President

The Central Bank on Tuesday announced new credit schemes under Section 83 of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of 1949, amidst strong criticism from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the banking regulator had failed to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was taken by the Monetary Board to support the government’s efforts [...]

Vegetable imports cause foreign exchange loss amidst COVID-19

Subsequent to soaring prices owing to short supply during a drought and then floods, Sri Lanka has imported a considerable quantity of vegetables, potatoes and big onions during the first quarter this year spending millions of dollars more than the last year, Central Bank data showed. Bad weather conditions hindered all agricultural activity where farmers [...]

More transparency needed when implementing budget proposals

Three out of the six budget documents published in Sri Lanka have fallen into the lowest category of comprehensiveness that include viz the citizens’ budget, the in-year reports, and the audit reports. The mid-year fiscal report of the Ministry of Finance did not even qualify for the Verite Research survey as it did not include [...]

Pan Asia Bank partners Swiss-based Symbiotics in green bond issue of $7.75 m

Pan Asia Bank has received a Green Bond worth US$7.75 million (approximately Rs. 1.5 billion) launched by Swiss-based Symbiotics, the leading market access platform for impact investing. This is the first green bond issuance by Symbiotics and Pan Asia Bank with the intention of deploying the funds for green financing for its clientele, the local [...]

London Stock Exchange Group backs initial COVID-19 donation with additional funding

London Stock Exchange Group backs initial COVID-19 donation with additional funding

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) this week announced that it has donated an additional Rs. 3 million to a project to convert the Kattankudy Base Hospital into a COVID-19 isolation and treatment hospital. The project is being facilitated by UNICEF. The Kattankudy Base Hospital was selected on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health [...]

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