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Dollar crisis

Dollar crisis

Owing to a shortage of US dollars in the market, the kerb (unofficial) market has picked up with those urgently seeking dollars forced to buy at a higher rate. Seen here is a customer coming out of a money exchange dealer-shop in Colombo.  Pic by Akila Jayawardana

Central Bank losing the battle on the ground

Economic realities are decided on the street and not in the confines of policymakers’ rooms. This was amply displayed when local banks with fast depleting dollar reserves decided to ‘ignore’ the agreement with the Central Bank (CB) and publish freshly increased US dollar exchange rates on their websites. “This shows the reality of the economy [...]

Essential commodity importers to undergo a quota system

The government is to introduce a quota system for importers and for the issue of direct user licences for essential commodity import for the disbursement of foreign exchange subject to the overall direction of the Controller of Imports and Exports. This remedy for the present dollar scarcity is now under consideration as there was bunching [...]

Freight rates rising sharply

Exporters are incurring higher costs with skyrocketing freight rates and the crisis is worsening as space on ships is reaching a critical stage. Space on ships is getting critical and rates have gone up from Far East ports and when compared to Sri Lanka local exporters quote relatively lower rates, so ships give space for [...]

Forgotten factory workers toil on normal work conditions

Apparel factory workers are facing a crisis as trade unions claim more are isolated at hostels amid overcrowding of some quarantine centres, insufficient testing and all staff reporting to work adhering to an April guideline not in line with the current circumstances. Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA) Secretary General Dhammika Fernando said that they [...]

12 more firms queuing up to go public

At least 12 private companies and family-owned businesses including Abans PLC, Lanka Credit and Business Finance Ltd (LCB Finance), Co-Operative Insurance and Hela Clothing will go public on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this year. All the promotion by the CSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to encourage companies to list has yielded [...]

Bullock-cart solutions

Bullock-cart solutions

The news that bread and pastry prices will increase from next Monday hit the Kussi Amma Sera-household like a thunderbolt on Thursday morning. Venting her fury, Kussi Amma Sera confronted Aldoris, the choon-paankaraya who unfortunately happened to be coming down the lane at that time with his breakfast offerings. “Ah…..ah, den oyath ganan wedi karai. [...]

Economy and “educated youth”

Economy and  “educated youth”

Last week I wanted to contact one of my friends – a professional with a doctorate degree in Environmental Science from a US university. I was interested in collecting some information from the work that she had been carrying out after returning to the country. There was no answer from her phone. As I had [...]

Many Sri Lankans likely to holiday abroad in Nov-Dec

Many Sri Lankans likely to  holiday abroad in Nov-Dec

Many Sri Lankans are likely to make use of their fully-vaccinated status to travel overseas on holiday, meeting friends and family members during the end of the year, a top travel industry official said. “With Switzerland allowing fully-vaccinated inbound travellers without any restrictions to enter the country, we are fielding many inquiries from Sri Lankans [...]

New Ministry of Development Coordination gets wide powers

The newly-created Ministry of Development Coordination and Supervision has been given wide powers in formulating policies and implementing development projects under the National Budget, State Investments and National Development Programme. It has also been entrusted with the task of formulating policies, programmes and projects of relevant Departments, State Corporations and Statutory Institutions and their implementation, [...]

UK Study Group fund to help SL students

Leading international education provider Study Group, as part of its comprehensive and holistic employability offering, is to introduce a new Quarantine Support Fund from September to help students study and work in the UK. To help Sri Lankan students access UK Higher Education pathway programmes in the 2021/2022 academic year, Study Group will make £1,000 [...]

Dankotuwa Porcelain collaborates with AOD for novel design opportunities

Dankotuwa Porcelain collaborates with AOD for novel design opportunities

Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC (DPL), renowned for its luxurious and elegant porcelain tableware, has entered into a strategic collaboration with the Academy of Design (AOD) to create a series of novel and spectacular design opportunities, opening the industry to new realms of creativity. ‘The Designer’, a design competition initiated by DPL in collaboration with AOD expects [...]

99x secures $20 m investment from Scandinavian investor

99x secures $20 m investment from Scandinavian investor

Sri Lankan IT firm, 99x has received an investment of US$20 million towards its next phase of planned growth investment, as part of its capital restructuring programme. The funds were through an investment from Herkules Deal-by-Deal, a Scandinavian private equity company. The investment entails setting up a holding company in Europe, funds for future acquisitions, [...]

De facto rationing of dollars arising out of forex crisis

De facto rationing of dollars  arising out of forex crisis

While Sri Lanka is grappling with the ongoing foreign exchange crisis, ‘rationing’ is taking place amongst letters of credit as those who have the firepower get the benefit while others are deprived of dollars. This in turn is sucking up the amount of dollar liquidity from the market necessary to finance trade finance (imports). Meanwhile [...]

Central Bank acknowledges deviation in formal and informal exchange rates

Central Bank acknowledges deviation in formal and informal exchange rates

Sri Lanka maintains the exchange rate around Rs. 200 to the US$ without any changes, Central Bank (CB) Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman said on Thursday acknowledging however that there were deviations between the formal and informal rates. He noted that this rate hike may exert some impact on the monetary policy although the CB has [...]

New SLID chairman says public institutions are important

New SLID chairman says public institutions are important

Sri Lanka’s new chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) has emphasised the importance, value and relevance of the country’s public institutions. “We need to build and strengthen them and enable their journey with sustained good governance despite the challenges. We are prepared to offer our services and work with the Government in [...]

Softlogic to manufacture its own electronic goods

Conglomerate Softlogic Holdings is planning to join other Sri Lankan manufacturers of white (electronic) goods, in producing its own electronic appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and televisions. Making the announcement in its quarterly results for the period ending June 2021, the company said the decision was made after analysing the competitive advantage in the import [...]

Hemas’ continues focus on consumer and healthcare, delivers strong 1Q performance

Hemas Holdings PLC (HHL) delivered yet another strong quarter amidst challenging operating environment conditions with key businesses gaining momentum in all areas, the company announced. The group’s continued focus on growing the Consumer and Healthcare businesses along with operational excellence, contributed to the resilient performance. However, the resurgence of COVID-19 positive cases, and inter provincial [...]

Sri Lanka’s outstanding debt rises this year

Sri Lanka’s total outstanding foreign debt as of April 2021 stood at US$ 35.1 billion while the total debt service payments from January 1 to April 30, 2021 amounted to $981 million. The debt payments this year are made of up $520.6 million as principal repayments and the balance $460.4 million as interest payment. $1 [...]

Chamber of Commerce urges its inclusion in presidential taskforces

Chamber of Commerce urges its inclusion in presidential taskforces

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has presented a set of proposals to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, when CCC officials met him recently to discuss policy matters, and had urged that the chamber also be represented on the various taskforces that the President chairs. This would enable the chamber to inform him of important issues of [...]

EU traveller wants sustainable destinations to holiday

EU traveller wants sustainable destinations to holiday

The European traveller today demands more sustainable hotspots to travel to but countries like Sri Lanka that are called to improve its standards in this respect is right now fighting hard to sustain a faltering industry amidst a pandemic that has taken its toll on tourism revenues. German Ambassador in Sri Lanka Holger Seubert insisted [...]

Start-up/ SMEs training need of the hour to beat corona blues

Sri Lanka’s start-up landscape is buoyant despite growing pains being inevitable (though expected) but sometimes, they can still come as a surprise which is why it is important to be prepared. To solve this gap in the start-up space, Think Solutions, a Singapore incorporated company, is now expanding into Sri Lanka to offer core skills [...]

Dilmah Group donates High Dependency Care Unit to Nawalapitiya General Hospital

Dilmah Group donates High Dependency Care Unit to Nawalapitiya General Hospital

The Merrill J. Fernando High Dependency Care Facility was inaugurated on Monday at the Nawalapitiya District General Hospital. The facility is funded by Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company Plc and its associate Kahawatte Plantations Plc with the facilitation of the MJF Charitable Foundation. Named after the Ceylon Teamaker who devoted his life to tea, the facility [...]

HNB delivers sustainable business performance

Hatton National Bank (HNB PLC) has reported a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 10.9 billion and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 9.1 billion for the first half of 2021, the bank said in a media release, noting that this was an improvement from the first half of 2020. Group profits also improved [...]

Anil Tittawella takes over as chairman at Janashakthi Insurance

Anil Tittawella takes over as chairman at Janashakthi Insurance

Insurer Janashakthi Insurance PLC has announced the appointment of Anil Tittawella as the company’s Chairman with effect from August 11, succeeding Prakash Schaffter who steps down from his role as the Executive Chairman. Mr. Schaffter will continue to function as the Executive Deputy Chairman of Janashakthi Insurance PLC, the company said this week in a [...]

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