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HEADLINES - 2nd November 2018


Parliament remains in limbo – DailyFT

In the absence of an official announcement by President Maithripala Sirisena regarding reconvening of Parliament, confusion reigned with different dates being quoted by different politicians depending on their political affiliations. 


Sweeping tax concessions – DailyFT

The Government yesterday announced sweeping tax concessions and slashed prices on fuel, saying it was confident of meeting the budget deficit target of 4.9% for 2018 by sharply reducing expenditure by limiting the number of ministries. The Finance Ministry announced wide-ranging changes in taxes spanning multiple sectors aimed at “encouraging production and simplifying the tax system.” The new measures are targeted at giving relief to consumers and encouraging inward remittances and savings, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. 


Sri Lanka budget targets could be met despite tax cuts: Finance Ministry – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka's finance ministry said budget targets could be met in 2018 despite tax cuts, announced Thursday, by trimming capital expenditure, after Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed Finance Minister.


Sri Lanka looking at trade, payments 'measures' to stabilize rupee: Finance Ministry – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka says it is looking at 'external trade' and 'payment transactions," measures to stabilize the exchange rate, the finance ministry said as the rupee continued to slide amid sterilized intervention. "The measures to further consolidation of external trade and payment transactions are also being examined to provide much needed stability to the exchange rate," the finance ministry said. It is not clear whether 'further consolidation' refers to additional trade, exchange, or remmittance controls. Sri Lanka has already placed import controls on cars and some other products.


Tourism sector safe despite political tension THASL – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka’s current political tension will have no major impact on the county’s tourism sector as long as there is no violence in the country, The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) President, Sanath Ukwatte said. “We hope politicians can discuss and find a solution to this issue as soon as possible,” Ukwatte pointed out.


Fresh Cabinet appointments – DailyFT

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appointed another group of new ministers and state ministers to the Government. The new ministers and state ministers took oath before the President at the Presidential Secretariat


Vote on Account on November – Daily Mirror

The Government would present a Vote on Account as its second item when Parliament meets, seeking approval to financial allocations to run the country for an interim period, it is learnt.


SL jumps 11 positions in  Ease of Doing Business – Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka has managed to jump 11 positions in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ for 2019 to rank 100, up from 111 in 2018. According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka had managed to increase its score to 61.22 in the 2019 edition, from a score of 59.42 in the 2018 edition.


Unemployment rises to 4.5% - Ceylon Today

The country’s unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points (9.76%) to 4.5 per cent in the first quarter (1Q) of the year compared to a lower figure of 4.1 per cent for the totality of last year, the State owned Statistics Department said.


Rupee rebounds from record low; stocks hit near 2-month high – DailyFT

Reuters: The rupee traded at a record low yesterday but closed firmer due to Central Bank dollar sales. Stocks hit a nearly two-month closing high, but foreign investors continue to exit even after newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s attempts to resolve the political crisis.


Stock Market rises sharply by 2.7%; crosses 6,000 bar – Daily News

Euphoric by the early announcement of reconvene the Parliament on November 5, ahead of the prorogued November 16, the Stock Market rose sharply by 2.70% and crossed the 6,000 bar yesterday.


Bond yields continue to decline – DailyFT

The secondary bond market remained active yesterday as yields continued to decrease on the back of buying interest amidst continued foreign selling. Yields on the liquid maturities of 15.09.19, 01.05.20, three 2021’s (i.e. 01.03.21, 15.10.21 and 15.12.21) and three 2023’s (i.e. 15.03.23, 15.05.23 and 15.07.23) dipped to intraday lows of 10.50%, 10.75%, 10.90%, 10.95% each, 11.25%, 11.30% and 11.28%, respectively, against its previous day’s closing levels of 10.65/75, 10.90/00, 11.00/15, 11.10/30, 11.15/30, 11.30/38, 11.35/45 and 11.30/40. However, profit taking at these levels curtailed the downward movement any further for the day. 


October saw biggest exit from emerging stocks since taper tantrum: IIF – DailyFT

Reuters: Investors pulled the most money out of emerging market stocks last month since the ‘taper tantrum’ panic of 2013 when the US Federal Reserve first hinted at reducing its post crisis stimulus program, financial flows data has showed.


Asia starts new month up on strong Wall Street after brutal Oct. – DailyFT

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks rose on Thursday as bruised investor sentiment got some relief from another robust Wall Street session, while the pound rallied on a report Britain has secured a deal that would give its financial services firms continued access to European markets after Brexit.


Mahesh new CEO at Singer; Asoka ends stint – DailyFT

Longstanding Mahesh Wijewardene has been appointed as the CEO/Executive Director of Singer Sri Lanka Plc with effect from 1 November. He succeeds Asoka Pieris who has relinquished is duties from 31 October.


LMD releases 2018 ‘A-List of Sri Lankan Businesspeople’ – DailyFT

Pioneering business magazine LMD has released its ‘A-List of Sri Lankan Businesspeople’ – the launch edition of what it says will be an annual list of leading corporate personalities, which pays tribute to the front-runners in 2018. Full story: https://lmd.lk/sri-lankan-businesspeople/


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