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HEADLINES - 10th October 2018


Appropriation Bill presented in P’ment – DailyFT

The Appropriation Bill to provide for the services of the 2019 financial year was presented yesterday in Parliament. Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera moved the motion seeking House approval to raise and spend Rs. 4.376 trillion in 2019 to meet capital as well as recurrent expenses of the Government, setting the borrowing limit at Rs.1.944 trillion. Compared to the 2018 Appropriation Bill, it is an increase of Rs. 394 billion.


Fuel prices to increase with pricing formula – Daily Mirror

In accordance with the pricing formula activated by the Ministry of Finance, there is the possibility of the price of fuel being increased from today said the general secretary of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Trade Union D.J. Rajakaruna. He said that in view of the appreciation of the Dollar and the price of crude oil in the world market rising an increase in the price of Fuel in the local market could be expected. During the past three months in which the pricing formula was in operation the price of Petrol and Diesel increased.


Fuel Price Formula beyond my comprehension – Mangala – Ceylon Today

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday (9), told Parliament that there was a possibility of the Sri Lankan rupee depreciating further against the US Dollar. Samaraweera, participating in the Adjournment debate on the current economic state of the country, further said the previous regime used USD 4.1 billion to defend the Rupee in 2012 when there was a currency crisis.


We do not expect govt. to implement a price formula for electricity soon: Fitch – LBO

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said that they do not expect the government to raise electricity tariffs or implement a cost-reflective pricing formula as the government faces elections in the next 24 months amid rising costs. Fitch Ratings revealed their expectation while affirming Ceylon Electricity Board’s National Long-Term Rating at ‘AAA(lka)’ with a stable outlook.


No sign of collapse in SL economy: CBSL Governor – Ceylon Today

Highlighting that there was no sign of a collapse in Sri Lanka’s economy, given its improved economic growth in the last quarter, stabilizing inflation and increasing reserves, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy challenged naysayers to back their statements with relevant data.


TISL flags Rs. 40 m in Govt. pilfering – DailyFT

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has flagged over Rs. 40 million in misappropriated public funds in a filing at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) in Colombo yesterday. The move is the latest by the organisation, under its Programme for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) and Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), to utilise the Right to Information (RTI) Act in holding state officials accountable for their actions.


Economically active population 8.3 mn in 2Q 2018 – Daily News

By the second quarter of 2018, Sri Lanka’s estimated economically active population was about 8.3 million in the second quarter 2018. Of which 65.9 percent were males and 34.1 percent females, the quarterly Report of Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics released recently stated.


High protection betrays uncompetitiveness of Sri Lankan industry – EconomyNext

Prohibitive import tariffs that protect domestic industry from competition are an indication of the inefficiency of local companies, Subhashini Abeysinghe, Research Director at think-tank Verité Research said. Higher import taxes signal higher domestic prices compared to import prices, and implies that a country is uncompetitive internationally, she told a World Bank forum where its new report on regional trade in South Asia was launched.


IMF cuts global growth forecast to 3.7-pct for 2018, 2019 – LBO

International Monetary Fund has reduced its outlook for global GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019, according to the quarterly World Economic Outlook Report issued on Monday. Rising trade tensions and debt levels in economies has prompted the International Monetary Fund to cut its forecast from the April 2018 WEO projection. Global financial conditions are expected to tighten as monetary policy normalizes; the trade measures implemented since April will weigh on activity in 2019 and beyond. The IMF said US fiscal policy will subtract momentum starting in 2020; and China will slow, reflecting weaker credit growth and rising trade barriers. In advanced economies, marked slowdowns in working-age population growth and lackluster productivity advances will hold back gains in medium-term potential output. Across emerging market and developing economies, medium-term prospects are mixed. Projections remain favorable for emerging Asia and emerging Europe, excluding Turkey, but are tepid for Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa.


Bond market at a standstill ahead of weekly bill auction – DailyFT

The activity in the secondary bond market was at a virtual standstill yesterday as yields increased on the back of widening two way quotes. Limited trades were seen on the 10-year maturity of 01.09.28 as its yield was seen increasing to an intraday high of 11.50% against its day’s low of 11.35% while the 15.03.25 and 01.06.26 maturities changed hands at 11.12% and 11.20% respectively. On the short end of the curve, the 01.03.21 and 15.12.20 maturities were seen changing hands at levels of 10.82% to 10.85% and 10.70% respectively.


Sri Lanka to begin Panda, Samurai bonds sale process this month – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka will start the process of seeking legal approvals to sell Renminbi and Yen denominated bonds for liability management this month, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. The finance minister has to submit the note and get approval from the cabinet of ministers, which may happen next week. "Since we're doing it under the Liability Management Act, we have to get parliament approval," Coomaraswamy said.


Rupee hits fresh low for 5th straight session; stocks down – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee hit a record low for a fifth straight session yesterday on strong dollar demand from importers and foreign banks amid outflows from Government securities, while stocks snapped a four-day winning streak and ended marginally weaker. 


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