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CSE shut

CSE shut

Empty floor of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) which was closed this week due to the uncertain political situation. (Inset) CSE Chairman Dumith Fernando speaking to reporters. Pix by Indika Handuwela

Govt. continues money printing amidst unrest

The government has stepped up money printing at a time of civil unrest demanding essential commodities, fuel and cooking gas at a reasonable price amidst economic crisis triggered by dollar scarcity, massive external debt and balance of payment issues, with the Central Bank (CB) printing a sum of Rs. 20.28 billion on April 18 and [...]

Exporters warn of closures as SL banks lose credibility

Sri Lanka is fast losing its credibility as foreign banks show reluctance to recognise Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by local banks since last week as many exporters are finding it hard to purchase raw materials. This will have a trickle effect as delays in meeting export orders will result in smaller firms becoming the [...]

Bank lending grinds to a halt

The spike in Sri Lankan interest rates and the possibility of further increases in the short term have literally stopped customer borrowings from banks. Interest rates for treasury bills (t-bills) rose sharply this week from single digit levels in January this year. For example 3-month t-bills rose to 23.21 per cent, 6-month bills at 24.77 [...]

IMF bailout prospects become bleak

Sri Lanka’s prospects of receiving an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package to avert the economic crisis have become bleak with the intensifying of people’s protests against mishandling the economy and an unprecedented fuel price hike. IMF and Sri Lanka have not reached understanding, on how to fulfil the key requirements for what could be [...]

Companies, banks start paperless communications with customers

The scarcity of paper owing to the forex crunch is becoming very real. Cancelling school exams, delays in printing school textbooks, authors struggling to publish their books, and banks and companies resorting to e-statements and email communications with customers and clients are the latest. The DFCC Bank recently in a notice said that ‘due to [...]

IMF help: Not so easy

IMF help: Not so easy

Choon-paan karaya Aldoris came down the lane, merrily one would say, as he signalled his appearance in his red tuk-tuk with music blaring through fitted-in speakers. “Kohomada (How are you)?” he greeted the trio, who like him, had returned from their villages after the Avurudu holiday week. “Hondai, hondai (Fine, fine),” said Kussi Amma Sera, [...]

Battered with fuel prices

Battered with fuel prices

Following speculation that a fuel bowser would be arriving the next day to the fuel station, lorries, buses, vans and other vehicles lined up along the road to spend the night in the diesel queue. In some of the places, even the tourist buses with foreign tourists on board were seen parked in the queue [...]

Traders at breaking point on margin calls, lobby for moratorium

A group of investors, seeking to ‘protect the (stock) market and stabilise it’, is targeting investors in an email campaign ‘requesting’ authorities to stop margin providers from forced-selling shares. They are requesting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank (CB) to issue a directive to banks to refrain from forced selling their [...]

Political promises, decisions and plantation economy

Political promises, decisions and plantation economy

“We will give all unproductive land in the state plantations to the workers for them to become owners and manage” was a recent promise of a politician. Is this aimed at improving the livelihood of workers or performance of state plantations or another political gimmick? Sometime back the plantation industry in the country was referred [...]

Moody’s downgrades Sri Lanka’s rating to Ca

Moody’s Investors Service on Monday downgraded the Government of Sri Lanka’s long-term foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings to Ca from Caa2. Ca, which denotes near bankruptcy is just one above C (the lowest rating which implies the country is bankrupt). The decision to downgrade the ratings is driven by the authorities’ announcement [...]

Agriculture blunder needs reckoning

The Department of Agriculture (DOA) says there is hardly any time to import fertiliser for the next Yala season. As a result the government needs to turn to the private sector to purchase some of the already imported stocks of fertiliser available in the country. Experts on the other hand insist someone needs to be [...]

SDB bank reports strong growth in 2021

SDB bank has achieved strong financial results during 2021, amidst an unprecedentedly challenging economic environment. Total profits for the year ended 31st December 2021 stood at Rs. 909 million, recording a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 9 per cent, while profit for the 4th quarter of the year was recorded at Rs. 159 million. Net interest [...]

Valuable funds squandered in SL’s 100,000 tasks initiative

As the government grapples with massive budget deficits and perilously high debt, its recent programmes to improve the living standards of the people have become a burden to the Treasury due to a misuse of funds. The ambitious island-wide development drive of 100,000 tasks initiative launched by former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa this year to [...]

Could the Central Bank New Governor alone grasp the nettle?

Could the Central Bank New Governor alone grasp the nettle?

It is a matter for solace that the government has prudently taken a wise decision to appoint an experienced and competent Governor with a sound track record for the Central Bank (CB) – Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe who relinquished duties from the CB as a senior deputy governor after an extensive service of over three decades. [...]

Radisson deepens footprint in Sri Lanka

Radisson deepens footprint in Sri Lanka

Radisson Hotel Group has signed a landmark agreement for three hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka with La Vie Hotels & Resorts, which will result in the launch of an upper-upscale Radisson Blu resort near Galle, and two upscale Radisson hotels in Colombo and Kandy, according to travel magazine TTG Asia. The three new properties [...]

SL biz community urges repeal of 20th amendment

Amidst growing protests and a shortage of fuel, the Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industry has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to immediately initiate legislative action to repeal the 20th amendment to the Constitution. “The Joint Chambers urge Your Excellency, as President, to immediately initiate legislative action to repeal the 20th amendment to the constitution which [...]

Fuel price hike without formula or stabilisation fund sparks mayhem

Losses at the fuel stabilisation fund set up on March 30, 2020 by the Treasury to alleviate government finances when prices rise or fall in the world oil market, has raised many questions, official sources said. This fund was established with an initial capital of Rs. 50 billion by issuing Treasury bills to the Central [...]

Doings at the Central Bank

It is a well- known fact that with the exit of Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy the Central Bank (CB) was turned into an accessory of the ruling party. Under the subsequent Governors, the CB gave up playing the expected roles of setting the needed monetary and regulatory policies, determining the right level of interest rates, maintaining [...]

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