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HEADLINES - 12th October 2018


Ranil to kick off Sri Lanka Retail Forum on 17 Oct. – DailyFT

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), with a vision of ‘Driving Retail Excellence’ will hold the nation’s premier retail sector knowledge event – Sri Lanka Retail Forum (SLRF) 2018 ‘Towards a Dynamic and Evolving Retail Sector’. The Forum is set to take place next week at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, with the inauguration and networking with industry leaders taking place on Wednesday, 17 October, followed by a full-day forum on Thursday, 18 October. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will attend the inauguration as the Chief Guest, and Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera will be the Chief Guest on Day 2 of the Retail Forum.


Sri Lanka for rule based maritime order in Indian Ocean – Daily News

Sri Lanka has called for the establishment of a rule based maritime order in the Indian Ocean before ‘geopolitical power interplays in the region to convert the Indian Ocean into a centre of tension’. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe delivering the keynote address at the ‘Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future’ Conference held at Temple Trees yesterday said the security and stability of the Indian Ocean could not be left to chance and that states needed to take advantage of the “benign strategic atmosphere that exists to create a maritime order in the Indian Ocean that can withstand the challenges that may emerge in the future”. This could create a more ‘manageable future’, he added.


Developing economies of G-24 call for global action to contain risks – LBO

Concern over rising risks to emerging market economies were center stage this week as global Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors gathered this week in Bali, Indonesia. Bali hosted both the biannual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Twenty-Four (G-24) developing countries and the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group officials. “Global growth continues broadly but risks are rising for developing economies with higher oil prices, rising interest rates, high debt levels and the threat of trade war as top concerns,” said Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister and Chairman of the G-24.


Sri Lanka tightens loophole in trade controls – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka's central bank has tightened a loophole in newly slapped import restrictions to stop items like baby cologne, deodorants, footwear, rubber tires and air conditioners being imported without letters of credit on which restrictions were originally placed. The trade controls were slapped after the rupee came under pressure from operating a so-called 'flexible exchange rate'.


Sri Lanka bolsters tax audits of multinationals, transfer pricing – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka’s revenue authority has asked for aid from an international tax audit and compliance initiative that aims to prevent tax dodging and transfer pricing abuses by multinationals and improve collections. The Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) initiative has already helped the Inland Revenue Department to reduce cross-border tax avoidance and collect taxes due from multinational enterprises in the island, a report said.


Sri Lanka widens bank dollar trading positions – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka has widened dollar trading positions of some banks, market participants said, which were recently slashed amid a run on the rupee triggered by a spike in unsterilized excess liquidity. Cuts in the so-called NOPs (net open positions) have led to heightened volatility of the rupee in the past, according analysts who have closely studied policy errors of the central bank.


Global stock markets plunging, Sri Lanka’s CSE takes no notice – LBO

Global markets are plunging with many indices around the world falling sharply. The carnage was triggered by a spike in U.S. 10 year treasury yields up to 3.25%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down over 3% on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq was down over 4%.  Futures are dropping indicating that the selloff will continue when the market opens on Thursday. Asian stocks are following suit with the major Chinese and Japanese indices also down 3-4%.  The Chinese A shares index is down over 20% on the year as China so far has emerged as the clear loser in the trade war with the United States. Despite the recent carnage, U.S. stock indices are still positive on the year.


Five-year bond yield spikes to over a 17-month high – DailyFT

The secondary market yield on the five-year maturity of 15.07.23 was seen spiking to over a 17-month high of 11.90%, a level last seen during late April to early May 2017, following the outcome of its auction conducted yesterday. 


Rupee edges up; stocks down for third session – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee ended slightly higher yesterday, easing from a record low hit in the previous session, as exporters dollar sales surpassed importer demand for the greenback in dull trade, while stocks ended weaker for a third straight session to hit a one-week low. 


Tourism infrastructure development drive in North – Daily News

As part of its comprehensive plans to develop tourism in the Northern Province, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) opened the newly constructed Comfort Centres at Talaimannar for the use of local and foreign tourists visiting the beach.


Regional trading and logistics hub: Lanka could complement Dubai, Singapore – LKI – Daily News

Sri Lanka with its strategic location has the ability of developing into a regional trading and logistics hub to complement Dubai and Singapore, a study on the Indian Ocean Economy done by Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) revealed. “Whether this is achieved depends partly on how well Sri Lanka integrates with the vibrant Indian Ocean economy,” the study states.


Longer wait for digital ID – DailyFT

The lacunae in laws governing digital verticals and databases in Sri Lanka will result in a further delay in issuing of digital identity cards. Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Harin Fernando told Parliament on Wednesday issuance of digital identity cards to replace the conventional National Identity Cards was a key point mentioned in Budget 2016. 


Three-wheeler charges up by Rs 3.50 – Ceylon Today
Three-wheeler charges will be increased by Rs 3.50 from 15 October said the President of the National Joint Three-Wheel Drivers Association, A.D. Alwis yesterday (11). According to Alwis, while charges for the first kilometre (km) will remain at Rs 60, charges from the second km will be revised from Rs 42 to Rs 45 and waiting time will be revised from Rs 2.50 to Rs 3 per minute.


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