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People wait in line to get their eyes checked at Sri Lanka’s healthcare exhibition which is being held at the BMICH from March 3 to 5. Pic by Priyanka Samaraweera.

Economy gains momentum; traders return to the market

A strengthening currency, falling interest rates and sustainable corporate earnings have helped Sri Lanka’s economy to turn a positive corner, analysts say. The consistent information on the soon-to-be-secured International Monetary Fund bailout package, has added to the general confidence in the economy, they say. While there is a sharp drop in earnings in corporates due [...]

Private creditors ready for ISB restructure negotiations

Two groups of private creditors are now ready to hold international sovereign bond (ISB) debt restructuring negotiations with Sri Lankan authorities, as the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank have almost completed their debt treatment discussions with bilateral creditors. Although the total government external debt amounts to US$ 36.73 billion as at end of 2022, [...]

Iran buying slows down at tea auction

Iran has stopped purchasing tea from Sri Lanka as a result of its own economic crisis that has led to the Iranian authorities bringing to a halt the issuing of licences for the import of varied goods including tea. Colombo Tea Traders Association Chairman Jayantha Karunaratne pointed out that Iran has stopped issuing licences and [...]

Relief allowance stops for factory workers

While workers in some of the factories in the Board of Investment (BOI) zones are said to be provided increments, a recent economic relief allowance has been withdrawn, unions allege. FTZ Union leader Anton Marcus told the Business Times that most factories have stopped paying the economic relief allowance since the start of this year. [...]

Irregularities at insurance scheme for migrant workers

Sri Lanka’s newest insurance scheme for migrant workers to countries in West Asia through an agreement between the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and the Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance Company has been stained with irregularities and financial misappropriation, a Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) recent report exposed. It has been observed that there [...]

Pensions for government servants

Pensions for government servants

The above may not be the best headline for a column on pensions for government workers. It is generally believed and understood that new workers to the state sector receive pensions. This is not the case since up to January 2016, pensions were paid to state workers and thereafter they were stopped and a contributory [...]

Future “US” in the former “Licence Raj”

Future “US” in the former “Licence Raj”

Two weeks ago, Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency in India gave a short 15-minute keynote speech at the Treasury Leadership Forum 2023, held in Mumbai. The speech was about how India is changing fast creating a new “United States of America” in India just [...]

Hatch discovering bright lights in start-up system

Hatch discovering bright lights in start-up system

The Hatch X Draper Start-up House Co-living space in Orion City Colombo, the first such space on the island, was opened recently during Silicon Valley billionaire investor Tim Draper’s visit to Sri Lanka to further support the start-up ecosystem infrastructure Hatch has built through its co-working space and accelerator/incubator programmes. Apart from this, Hatch has [...]

ComBank Group sees topline growth in 2022, increases provisioning

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon Group has ended 2022 with a strong operational performance, having navigated the year with a series of forward-looking strategies that included making the highest-ever impairment provision in a year in the history of the institution. In a period of unprecedented macroeconomic variables, the group comprising Sri Lanka’s biggest private sector [...]

Seminar in Japan on “Sri Lanka’s Reformist Journey to Greater Economic Development”

Seminar in Japan on “Sri Lanka’s Reformist Journey to Greater Economic Development”

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) organised a seminar on “Sri Lanka’s reformist journey to greater economic development” on February 24 at the HCCI with the objective of educating Japanese enterprises on the current status of the economy, future plans, and prospects for business collaboration [...]

What’s wrong with ChatGPT?

What’s wrong with ChatGPT?

CAMBRIDGE – Microsoft is reportedly delighted with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a natural-language artificial-intelligence program capable of generating text that reads as if a human wrote it. Taking advantage of easy access to finance over the past decade, companies and venture-capital funds invested billions in an AI arms race, resulting in a technology that can now be [...]

Sri Lanka’s inflation increase eased in Feb. 2023

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2021=100), decreased to 50.6 per cent in February 2023 from 51.7 per cent in January 2023. The decline in the headline inflation is broadly in line with the disinflation path envisaged by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) [...]

Norfund to support Hela Apparel’s East African operations

Norfund, the Norwegian government’s investment fund, with a mission to support sustainably driven business operations in developing countries, recently signed a US$14 million financing agreement with Hela Apparel Holdings PLC to bolster the development of its manufacturing operations in East Africa. NDB Investment Bank Ltd acted as the Financial Advisor for the transaction. The official [...]

Related state-owned gem industry institutes to merge under SOE reforms

The Sri Lanka government is to expeditiously explore the export potential of gems and jewelry by consolidating the Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute and National Gem and Jewellery Authority which are not performing up to expectations at present, Finance Ministry sources confirmed. The aim is to provide services with better quality and efficiency [...]

India says pilgrim traffic, tourism a boon for economic revival in Sri Lanka

India has urged Sri Lanka to invest in attracting the pilgrim traffic from India in a bid to generate a higher number of arrivals to the country as tourism will bring about economic revival and improve livelihoods of the people as well. Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay said in Colombo on Wednesday that Sri Lanka [...]

Amana Bank demonstrates stability with best ever PBT of Rs.1.2 bn

Backed by its resilient model which advocates prudent risk management and governance fundamentals, Amana Bank PLC continued to navigate through turbulent times, effectively, leading to its best ever performance. The bank recorded a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 1.21 billion for the year 2022. In the backdrop of Sri Lanka facing unprecedented economic challenges, [...]

Seylan Bank 2022 sees 10% rise in pre-tax profit

Seylan Bank reported a Profit before Tax (PBT) of Rs.6.6 billion, a 10 per cent growth, for the year ended 31st December 2022 while recording a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs.4.7 billion. The results were further buoyed by an impressive 72 per cent rise in Net Interest Income (NII) for the year under review, [...]

Strong revenue growth from Union Bank in FY2022

Union Bank said this week it continued to be resilient throughout 2022 leveraging on its strong capital position and remained agile, posting an increased overall income leading to an improved core-banking performance during the year. The bank’s gross income for the year increased by 73 per cent to Rs. 18,966 million as a result of [...]

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