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HEADLINES - 3rd October 2018

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Govt. expenditure for 2019 Rs.4,376Bn : Budget deficit 4.1-pct – LBO

As per the Appropriation Bill, which was presented to the Cabinet recently by Finance and Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, next year’s annual state expenditure will be 4,376 billion rupees. The budget deficit will be 644 billion rupees, 4.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product, the Finance Ministry said issuing a statement. The Government revenue is expected to be increased to 15.1 percent of the GDP in 2019. 2,057 billion rupees has been allocated for debt servicing in 2019. The Government expects to borrow 1,944 billion rupees from local and foreign sources for its debt servicing including the financing of the budget deficit in 2019.

 

CB Chief confident despite currency crunch – DailyFT

With a raft of measures taken and additional inflows in the offing, the Central Bank yesterday reiterated its reassurance on the rupee and the economy whilst claiming that the excessive public and political furore over the currency’s dip was unwarranted.

 

Over US$ 3B foreign inflows lined up – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka plans to raise over US$ 3 billion through at least one billion U.S. Dollar International Sovereign Bond (ISB) issue, 250 million dollar Panda (Yuan) bond issue, 250 million dollar Samurai (Yen) bond issue and a 1.5 billion dollar loan from China Development Bank within coming months, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said yesterday. Addressing a routine post monetary policy review press conference, Governor said that a billion dollar loan from China Development Bank is expected to come within a week and the government also expects to sell a U.S. Dollar Sovereign bond before the end of the year.

 

EPF looks for bargains in Sri Lankan stocks with trade union approval – EconomyNext

The Employees' Provident Fund, Sri Lanka's largest retirement fund with 2 trillion rupees in assets under management, is looking for bargain sales in shares listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange as government securities become scarce over the coming years, the Central Bank governor said. "In the future the government domestic funding requirement will get lower. The domestic repayment is peaking at 980 billion rupees this year, 600 billion rupees next year. After that it's 500 or 400 billion rupees," Indrajit Coomaraswamy told reporters at the October Monetary Policy briefing. "Then the opportunity for the EPF to invest in government securities becomes less and the fund is becoming bigger. Then we need to find other opportunities," he said.

 

Rs 8.4B loss in 2015-2016 – Ceylon Today

South Asia’s largest private sector workers’ pension fund – Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) of Sri Lanka has incurred a loss totaling to Rs 8.4 billion during 2015 and 2016 on its investments in shares. The Auditor General in his review on the recently released 2016 EPF Annual Report pointed out that the fund had incurred losses amounting to Rs 4.1 billion in 2015 and Rs 4.3 billion in 2016 from its investment in shares. According to him, no contribution has been received from EPF’s investment of Rs 79.87 billion in 2015 and Rs 83.57 billion in 2016. The losses incurred from share investments have strongly affected the fund's reserves, he said. The Auditor General’s report highlighted that the EPF had received dividend income of Rs 2.1 billion in 2016 and Rs 2.36 billion in 2015 from quoted shares, while it was Rs 2 billion in 2016 and Rs 1 billion in 2015 for unquoted shares.

 

Sri Lanka import controls seen hurting finance, retail firms – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka's new import restrictions to defend a weakening currency are expected to dent profits at listed companies in motor vehicle imports, electronic retail and leasing which are already challenged by depressed consumer demand and high leverage, market analysts said.

 

Rupee ends marginally down; CSE slumps to near 6-year closing low – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee closed marginally weaker yesterday, near a record low touched last week, hurt by dollar demand from importers and foreign banks amid outflows from government securities. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank surprised financial markets on Tuesday by leaving its key policy rates unchanged, despite heavy pressure on the rupee currency and foreign outflows from government securities. 

 

Bond yields dip following monetary policy outcome – DailyFT

The secondary market bond yields were seen decreasing yesterday, reversing its upwards trend witnessed since 20 September 2018, following the highly speculated monetary policy announcement where the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was seen holding policy rates steady at 7.25% and 8.50% for a fourth consecutive announcement.

 

Peliyagoda Interchange closed from tomorrow for 16 days – The Island

The Peliyagoda Interchange on the Colombo- Katunayake Expressway (E03) will be closed temporarily from tomorrow, Oct 4 to 20 due to the construction of the New Kelani Bridge, police headquarters said. Releasing a statement, the Department said that motorists traveling to Katunayake will not be allowed to enter the Expressway via the Peliyagoda Interchange.

 

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