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HEADLINES - 17th October 2018


Only 8-pct of Sri Lanka’s 2018 budget promises progressing on track: Verité – LBO

Sri Lanka’s private think tank Verité Research has found out that only 8 percent of promises announced in the 2018 budget are progressing on track through the end of the first six months of this year. The research firm has also found out that progress on 33 percent of proposals is either broken, neglected or undisclosed.


President orders study to reduce imports – DailyFT

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed the Finance Ministry to study current imports and submit a report on which goods could be temporarily restricted as the Government attempts to reduce the decline of the rupee. 


Pharma industry withdraws 11 drugs from market: Importing not commercially viable – LBO

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) in a statement to media said that despite persistent appeals, the Government has failed to address the issue of a fair and proper pricing mechanism for pharmaceutical products in light of the sharply depreciating Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar.


‘SL exports to China doubles for first time in a decade’- DoC – Daily News

Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce (DoC) has reported the country’s largest ever global trade linkage for Sri Lankan exports sector so far on October 16 in Colombo. The DoC also said that for the first time in a decade, Sri Lankan exports to this huge market has doubled.


Sri Lanka Export Development Board holds 16th Exporters’ Forum – DailyFT

The 16th Exporters Forum chaired by International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe was held yesterday at the Export Development Board auditorium. At this session exporters were able to find solutions to trade-related issues with public sector institutions. A number of representatives from government agencies and the private sector participated in the forum where 14 exporter issues were discussed. The Exporters’ Forum is held once every two months. Senasinghe said that exporters should be encouraged, adding that a national export strategy was presently in place. Furthermore, the national program for the creation of 2,000 new exporters by 2020 was also in progress. He added that the Presidential Export Awards ceremony was held recently to encourage and recognise exporters. 


Diplomats from 23 countries attend SL Foreign Policy & Economic Diplomacy Dialogue – DailyFT

The Sri Lanka Foreign Policy and Economic Diplomacy Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commenced on 15 October with the participation of mid-career diplomats from 23 countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Australasia. 


Sri Lanka broadband penetration to grow at 50% - Daily News

Sri Lanka’s broadband penetration will soar from 17% to 50% in the coming 3-5 years, according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). These details were spelled out at the Asia-Pacific WTTx (fixed wireless access) summit at Shangrila-La Hotel Colombo yesterday with the theme ‘Bring Affordable and Fast Fixed Wireless Broadband to Every Household’.


Water bills to increase? – Ceylon Today

The Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), K.A. Ansar said a Cabinet Subcommittee has been appointed to introduce a tariff for the units of water used by consumers, as water bills have not been amended since 2012.


17-pct of Sri Lankans stunted: World Bank Human Capital Index – EconomyNext

Seventeen out of 100 children in Sri Lanka are stunted, and at risk of cognitive and physical limitations, according to a new World Bank index that shows the productivity of the next generation of workers.


Ageing population makes Sri Lanka’s welfare programs unaffordable: World Bank – EconomyNext

n ageing population could soon make Sri Lanka’s generous social programs unaffordable, a new World Bank report said. Sri Lanka is the only ageing society in South Asia, the World Bank said in its South Asia ‘Economic Focus’ report.


Investors gloomiest on world growth in decade, cut US equity holdings: BAML poll – DailyFT

LONDON (Reuters): Global investors have the most pessimistic outlook on the world economy since the 2008 financial crisis, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey, which also showed a sharp fall in US equity allocations. The poll showed that a net 38% of respondents expected the global economy to slow, the worst outlook on global growth since November 2008. A net 35% of participants identified trade war as the biggest risk.


Dollar rises on firmer US yields; yuan struggles – DailyFT

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar edged higher on Tuesday as firmer U.S. Treasury yields encouraged investors to buy the greenback after a recent drop with investors growing more bullish about its short-term outlook, especially against emerging market currencies.


Gold steady as softer dollar offsets improving risk appetite – DailyFT

BENGALURU (Reuters): Gold held firm near 2-1/2-month highs on Tuesday as dollar weakness offset improved risk appetite among investors, reflected in recovering global stock markets.


$ 1 b from China Development Bank in Sri Lanka today – DailyFT

The much-needed $ 1 billion concessionary and long-term loan from the China Development Bank (CDB) is scheduled to be remitted by today, Daily FT learns. 


Stocks edge up from near 5-year low; rupee ends weaker – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee ended 0.2% weaker on Tuesday as banks and importers bought the dollar while stocks ended a five-session losing streak, pulling away from previous session’s near five-year closing low.


Bond yields increase marginally ahead of weekly bill auction – DailyFT

The secondary bond market yields were seen increasing marginally yesterday with the liquid maturities of 01.03.21, 15.10.21 and 15.07.23 hitting intraday highs of 11.36%, 11.43% and 11.75% respectively against its previous day’s closing levels of 11.28/35, 11.30/45 and 11.65/70.


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