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HEADLINES - 9th October 2018


Experts from Asian region come together at Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2018 to discuss future of industry – DailyFT

Asia’s retail landscape is changing, with stronger economic growth in the region, investment from big consumers in the world and increased connectivity in the region. Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2018 will bring together experts from the Asian region to talk about retail spending, changing consumer preferences, and structural industry shifts that are presently taking place in the region. This discussion will take place during the fourth and final session – ‘Where is Retail in the Region Heading?’ – of the Retail Forum which is organised by Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association, the apex body for organised retailing in the country.


Scrapping trade barriers could double Sri Lankan exports to South Asia: World Bank – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka has the potential to more than double its exports to South Asia to $2.8 billion from $1.2 billion by overcoming trade barriers, a new World Bank report has said. “Increased intraregional trade will provide a greater variety of goods and services at cheaper prices for Sri Lankan consumers, better access to inputs for producers and exporters, increased investment, export diversification and growth,” a statement said.  


Fresh initiative to ‘Break into India’ – Daily News

The government plans to increase business, trade and investment with India with a new initiative that draws on the experience of companies who have succeeded in the tough, hard-to-enter Indian market. As a first step the government has set up a committee called ‘Break into India Strategy Committee’ comprising leaders of top Sri Lankan enterprises who have succeeded in the Indian market, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama said.


PM opens trading at London Stock Exchange – Daily News

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on an official visit to the UK opened trading at the London Stock Exchange yesterday. The Premier had been invited as the Chief Guest at the customary market opening ceremony which takes place at 8 a.m. each day at the LSE Headquarters.


FM to speak on country’s fiscal position today – Daily News

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera will speak on the country’s fiscal position in Parliament today. Parliament is to take up an extensive debate today on the country’s economic performance so far this year. A full day’s Adjournment Debate has been facilitated on the  ‘Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2018’ of the Finance and Mass Media Ministry and it will be moved by the UPFA. The report was presented to Parliament on July 17.


Govt to integrate SMEs into formal sector – Mangala – Daily News

Sri Lanka plans to integrate Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the formal sector and also to establish hard and soft infrastructure frameworks to facilitate their growth, Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera said. “Measures are being taken to improve access to credit, access to markets, and encourage integration of value chains connecting SMEs and large firms,” he said.


Unemployment up to 4.6% in Q2 – Ceylon Today

The number of unemployed persons in Sri Lanka reached 381,834 during the second-quarter of 2018, recording an unemployment rate of 4.6 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent recorded during the first-quarter of this year and the same quarter of last year.


Workers’ remittances down 1.6% in July – DailyFT

The Central Bank yesterday said workers’ remittances recorded a moderate decline of 1.6% year-on-year to $ 619 million in July. Releasing the External Sector Performance for June, the Central Bank noted that consequently, on a cumulative basis, up to July, workers’ remittances grew by 0.5% year-on-year to $ 4,243 million.


July trade deficit widens to $ 681 m – DailyFT

Despite exports topping $ 1 billion in July, Sri Lanka’s external sector delivered a mixed performance with the trade deficit climbing to $ 681 million year-on-year amidst increased imports of vehicles, fuel and transport equipment, the Central Bank said yesterday.


Rupee hits record-low of 170.60 per dollar – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee slumped to yet another all-time low on Monday, as a broadly stronger dollar and selling in Government securities left the local currency vulnerable for further losses, market sources said. The currency hit 170.60 per dollar, the fourth straight session of record lows, going below the previous nadir of 170.40 hit on Friday. It closed at 170.25/30 per dollar on Friday.


CSE starts week on a positive note – DailyFT

The Colombo stock market started the week on a positive note with both All Share and S&P SL 20 indices gaining. The ASPI gained 0.41% firmer at 5,908.06, its highest close since 20 September and further moving away from its lowest close since 13 December 2013 hit on Tuesday. It fell 3.6% last month and is down 7.2% so far this year.


Bond yields increase on back of sluggish sentiment – DailyFT

The secondary bond market opened the week on a sluggish note as yields were seen increasing and widening yesterday as activity moderated considerably. Limited trades were seen on the seven year maturity on 15.10.25 and the 10-year maturity of 01.09.28 as its yields increased to trade at highs of 11.24% to 11.26% and 11.36% respectively against its previous day’s closing of 11.10/30 and 11.25/40.


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