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HEADLINES - 6th September 2018


Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2018 – Ceylon Today

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is inviting applications from Sri Lanka’s corporate firms to compete in the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Award 2018’ (BCCS 2018), an annual event conducted for the 15th consecutive year. 12th October 2018 will be the application closing date, and the panel of evaluators of the BCCS Awards will then undertake the first round of evaluations.


Business confidence dips to a 12-month low – DailyFT

The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined by six basis points to register 95 in August, according to the latest edition of leading business magazine LMD. This is its lowest level for the last 12 months. In addition, the index is below its 12 month and all-time averages of 110 and 129 respectively, the magazine notes.Nielsen’s Managing Director Sharang Pant notes in LMD that despite the growth in exports in in the first four months of 2018, and tourist arrivals and earnings in the first six months of the year, “businesses are yet to witness an uptick in demand – and consumer wallets remain under pressure from the impact of tax revisions and inflation that is rising again”.


Sri Lanka banking outlook negative, NPLs rise, but capital stable: Moody's – EconomyNext

Non-performing loans in Sri Lanka's banks rose to 3.0 percent of assets in March 2018 from 2.7 percent a year earlier, though the economy is expected to grow 4.1 percent in 2018 from 3.7 percent last year, Moody's Investors Service, a rating agency said. "Credit growth was very high over the last two years, with the credit multiplier (credit growth/GDP growth) peaking at more than 2.5 times," Tengfu Li, a Moody's Analyst said in a statement.


Govt.’s budgetary operations pose positive signs to down deficit to 3.5% by 2020 – Daily Mirror

Suffering from little to no sustainable fiscal outcomes and the budget pumping excess demand through unsustainable budget deficits, Sri Lanka finally seems to be heading on a positive note to overcome these issues, according to Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy.


Cabinet approves US$ 1.4M for Indian and Chinese agents – Ceylon Today

The Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Affairs on Tuesday (04) received Cabinet approval to appoint two agents to promote tourism in India and China at a budget of nearly US$ 1.4 million. Further, the Cabinet approved a proposal by the same ministry to carry out a global Tourism Development Project, in accordance with the recommendations of respective committees.


ADB lends US$ 100M for tea industry upgrade – Ceylon Today

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated a US$ 100 million loan to Sri Lanka to modernize the island’s tea industry under its 2019 lending programme. The money will be to provide long-term funding for capital expenditures to modernize the tea sector, according to the lender’s country business plan. From next year, Sri Lanka will no longer be eligible for ADB soft loans, given rising incomes.


USAID invests US$ 19 mn for youth empowerment – Daily News

“We are very keen to promote skill development and ICT sector where we feel education in these segments could help to create new businesses from youth. USAID has recently invested over US$ 19 million for the ‘You Lead’ program targeting the youth empowerment.” - Mission Director USAID Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Reed Aeschliman told a forum in Colombo.


Industry wants right operational model for NSW – Daily News

Sri Lanka’s shipping and logistics industry professionals stressed the need to explore the sustainability and operational model of National Single Window (NSW) platform immediately. “There is a cost when it comes to maintaining the NSW and it is imperative to determine whether operator could be a specialized government agency, Government Corporation or Public –Private Partnership,” said Anoma Ranasinghe, General Manager at McLarens Group.


New Lankan envoy to Russia emphasises continuous development of bilateral ties – DailyFT

The newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka assumed duties at the Mission on 3 September.


Lankan envoy visits Saudi’s Eastern Province – Daily News

Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Azmi Thassim recently visited the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is one of the main industrial centres in the Kingdom.


Microsoft ScaleUp to take local start-ups global – Daily Mirror

Microsoft plans to take the local start-ups to the next level supporting them to expand globally with the launch of the Microsoft ScaleUp programme in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was also one of the first countries in the SAARC and Middle Eastern regions to become part of the Microsoft ScaleUp programme.


Tenaga Park Smart and JLanka collaborate to ease EV charging – DailyFT

Tenaga Car Parks Ltd., South Asia’s largest parking management company, having over 100 parking meters in Colombo, collaborated with JLanka E-Mobility Ltd. to make urban life easier for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. Through this partnership, JLanka E-Mobility will deploy EV charging points in designated Tenaga parking locations. 


Powitt Solar Lanka brings ultra-modern photovoltaic technology to Sri Lanka with INE Solar Panels – DailyFT

The Sri Lankan solar industry will gain localised access to one of the world’s most technologically advanced and globally demanded solar panels, with leading photovoltaic product manufacturer Infinity New Energy’s (INE) entrance to Sri Lanka. 


Rupee hits record low for 12th straight session – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee hit a record low for a 12th straight session on Wednesday, tracking weakness in emerging markets stocks and currencies, while rising demand for the greenback from importers also weighed. The rupee touched 162.25 per dollar as currencies and stocks in emerging markets were pressured on news that South Africa had slipped into recession and concerns about inflation in Turkey and the Philippines.


Shares slip from over 3-wk high on foreign selling – Daily Mirror

(Colombo) Reuters: Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker yesterday, snapping a five-session winning streak, on foreign selling. However, the day’s turnover was Rs.365.5 million, much lower than this year’s daily average of Rs.804.1 million. The Colombo stock index ended 0.13 percent weaker at 6,120.29, slipping from its highest close since August 13.


Weekly T bill weighted averages decrease further – DailyFT

The weekly Treasury bill weighted averages on the 91 day and 364 day maturities were seen continuing its declining trend to record drops of 03 and 02 basis points respectively to 8.00% and 8.97%. The total offered amount was fully subscribed at the auction as the bid to offer ratio stood at 2.80:1.


Jo’s Janabalaya turns carnival – Daily News

Full of sound and fury, the Joint Opposition-Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Janabalaya demonstration reached Colombo Fort yesterday, but the protest took on a carnival like atmosphere with no major political speeches or centralized coordination to drive its key messages home.


Abuse of public assets and state funds: I am for death penalty – President – Daily News

Death Penalty should be included as a punishment for offenses relating to abuse of public assets and state funds, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. “If such a law be brought in during my tenure, I am ready to impose it on one or two of such persons who have misused and abused public assets and state funds,” President Sirisena pointed out.


Govt. seeks AG advice on seizing Perpetual Treasuries frozen assets – DailyFT

The Prime Minister had sought the advice of the Attorney General on whether the Government could swiftly take over the Rs. 11 billion frozen in the bank accounts of the Perpetual Treasuries Group through some form legal avenue, Parliament was told yesterday.


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