Financial Services News

Sri Lanka expects to grow 5.8-pct in 2016; inflation 4.0-pct: central bank

Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product will expand 5.8 percent in 2016, up from 4.8 percent in 2016, and the central bank is expecting to generate 4.0 percent average inflation.

In the 2015 annual report it forecasted a growth rate of 7.0 percent based. At the time Sri Lanka was calculating GDP on a different method and the 2014 growth was 7.4 percent. (read more)

Private sector credit growth

cr grow

(DFT) The Central Bank yesterday clarified that the graph which ran with the article titled ‘Private Sector Credit grows threefold in 2015’ in Monday’s Daily FT did not accurately mirror the numbers in the story. However, the details in the story are accurate. Therefore, a fresh graphic sent by the Central Bank is published here for reader clarity. The Daily FT apologises for any inconvenience caused. (read more)

SC gives go ahead for Microfinance Bill

(DFT) The Supreme Court has given the nod to proceed enacting the Microfinance Bill, which is compliant with the Constitution. Speaker of the parliament informing the Supreme Court decision to Parliament held that clauses 9.1, 9.3, 11b are not included in the spectrum of the Provincial Councils. (read more)

 Sri Lanka planning “appropriate arrangement” with IMF: PM

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka is seeking an “appropriate arrangement” with the International Monetary Fund as the country battles with a budget deficit and an uncertain global environment, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Switzerland.(read more)

Reuters-DFT: An unidentified investor has promised to park $1 billion in dollar deposits in Sri Lanka to help the island nation defend its currency, the Finance Minister told Reuters, in an unusual move that highlights the country’s precarious finances. (read more)

New investment and exports framework out soon



(DFT) The Government plans to roll out a new investment and export framework by January with fresh policies to be implemented by the Board of Investment (BOI) and Export Development Board (EDB), a top minister said yesterday. Both State-run institutions are slated to become implementing arms of a revamped and more wide ranging policy and strategy body consisting of proven performers from both private and public sectors, stressed Development Strategy and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama (read more)

Sri Lanka passes budget with two thirds majority

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka’s parliament has passed a budget for 2016 with 160 out of the 225-members or more than two thirds of the house voting for.

There were 51 votes against, mostly from the so-called joint opposition of members close to ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while 13 members were absent. (read more)

Colombo Stock Exchange revamps S&P Sri Lanka 20 Index

st ex

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced changes in its S&P Sri Lanka 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, in an annual review by S&P Dow Jones Indices. (read more)

Sri Lanka banks to benefit from curbs on pawning and consumer finance: Moody’s


ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s budget proposal to limit gold-backed credit (pawning) to five percent of will reduce the risk for the island’s banks, Moody’s a credit rating agency said.

“The quality of these loans is directly linked to volatile gold prices, which makes them risky for banks,” Moody’s said. (read more)

Rupee recovers from record low on bank, exporter dollar sale

(FT/ Reuters) The rupee ended slightly firmer on Wednesday, after hitting a record low in the previous session, due to bank and exporter dollar sales. Dealers, however, expect the currency to hover around current levels ahead of the 20 November Budget. (read more)

Sri Lanka will not rule out rate hike if high credit growth continues: CB Governor

CB Gov

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will not rule out a rate hike if high credit growth continues, but measures already taken including a fall in the rupee is expected to keep the economy in balance, Central bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. (read more)

Stock market dips to 11-week low on retrospective tax concern

DailyFT: Shares ended near 11-week lows on Monday led by diversified and banking shares on concerns of a retrospective tax on corporates, brokers said. (read more)

Central Bank directs banks to reduce loan ratio on motor vehicles


Sept 15, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has issued a directive to commercial banks, speciaized banks and financial institutions to reduce the loan to value (LTV) ratio to 70 percent in respect of loans granted for purchases or utilization of motor vehicles (read more)

Curbing Macro Economic Risks

rupee money

(economynext)  The rupee has fallen from 4.76 to 138 to the US dollar since a money printing Central Bank was created, ending a currency board that kept it fixed until 1951. A former chief of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has called for better macro-economic management and central bank reforms as the country goes through the third balance of payments crisis in less than a decade (read more)

World Bank advocates more reliable Sri Lanka small business accounting


(Economynext) – A new review of Sri Lanka’s accounting standards has called for further reforms to improve financial reporting, particularly small businesses whose accounts were seen as unreliable, limiting access to finance and eroding tax revenues (read more)


Sri Lanka’s forex reserves drop to US$6,887mn in July 2015

Forex Aug 2015

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka’s forex reserves dropped 638 million dollars to 6,887.2 million US dollars in July 2015 from a month earlier, official data showed amid record low interest rates and high credit financed State spending. (read more)

Foreign investors sell down more Sri Lanka bonds

CB data - Aug 10 2015

ECONOMYNEXT – Foreign investors sold down 17 billion rupees of bonds (125 million dollars) in the week to August 05, 2015, official data showed, extending a trend seen since a rate cut in April and pressure on the country’s currency peg due to growing domestic credit. (read more)

Rupee ends higher as State bank cuts dollar peg


(DFT) Reuters: The rupee ended firmer on Tuesday as a State-run bank cut the currency’s peg against the US dollar by 10 cents to allow the exchange rate to appreciate to 133.70, dealers said.
There was however downward pressure on the rupee, which has been steady for the last five sessions, due to demand for the greenback from importers, dealers said. (read more)

Sri Lanka calls offers for US$75mn floating rate notes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has called offers for floating rate dollar denominated with tenures as short as 13 months, the state debt office said. (read more)

Daily FT partners UNDP Sri Lanka to empower young voices


UNDP in Sri Lanka Country Director Joern Soerensen (left) and Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim exchanging the partnership agreement

(DFT) United Nations Development Program [UNDP] in Sri Lanka Country Director Joern Soerensen and Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim signed a partnership agreement last week to enable space for young Sri Lankans to express their views and opinions on development issues related to youth. (read more)

Sri Lanka’s first quarter nets 6.4% economic growth

GDP growth

(DFT) Sri Lanka’s economy grew at an annual 6.4% in the first quarter of this year, the same pace it recorded in the last three months of 2014 and hovering at its slowest since the first quarter of 2013, the statistics office said on yesterday. (Read more)

Deloitte ranked as the No. 1 global consulting organization

- for the 5th consecutive year


New York, NY, 11 June 2015 – For the fifth consecutive year, Gartner has ranked Deloitte member firms (Deloitte) as the number one global consulting organization based on 2014 market share revenue in their report Market Share Analysis: Consulting Services Worldwide, 2014. Gartner defines Consulting as Business and IT Consulting and includes revenue from Deloitte Consulting practices and advisory businesses globally. (read more)

From the Press:

»  Daily Financial Times

»  DM – Business

»  The Island – Business

“Technology, quality, and hyper collaboration” – Top priorities of Global CEO

RP Deloitte 

New Global CEO frames Deloitte’s priorities to create impact that matters for clients, people, and society

New York, NY 2 June 2015Punit Renjen took the helm as the new chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and defined the global organization’s priorities, led by driving a shared sense of purpose across a network operating in more than 150 countries with more than 220,000 people (read more)

How has international banking changed since the financial crisis?


(WEF) Cross-border bank lending – that is, direct lending to non-affiliated entities abroad – has fallen relatively to local lending through subsidiaries or branches of foreign banks – for example, a loan of a subsidiary of a foreign bank to a firm or a household in the same country (Figure 1). Cross-border claims were about one-third larger than local claims in 2007. In 2013, both were roughly equal .(read more)

Mayor of City of London lists priorities to make Sri Lanka a Financial Centre

london mayor

(DFT) Speaking at a CEO’s Forum organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), Yarrow spoke on key factors such as innovation, legal structure, skills, product development, English, geography, ethics, infrastructure and hard work, which Sri Lanka should focus on in order to become a major financial hub (read more)

Sri Lanka FDI up in 2014 with state airline loan


COLOMBO (EconomyNext) - Sri Lanka’s foreign direct investment rose 17 percent from a year earlier to 1,685 million US dollars in 2014 helped by 175 million US dollars borrowed by a loss-making state-run firm, official data show (read more)

Sri Lanka’s credit analysis: Private loan growth


COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s credit to the state from commercial banks as well as printed money from the Central Bank which results in later forex reserve losses, had risen sharply in January 2015, official data shows. (read more)

Sri Lanka heading for Sozialpolitik not a social market economy : Bellwether

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka new administration seems to be travelling on an increasingly risky path, stirring a deadly witches’ brew of deficit spending, subsidies, wage hikes for state workers and assaults on large and small businesses perhaps not seen since the 1970s and reminiscent of Sozialpolitik in Germany. (read more)

Insight: Transformation


Sri Lanka to sell 2 and 6 year bonds to raise Rs20bn

sl bonds

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka will auction 2 and 6 year bonds on April 07 to raise 20 billion rupees on April 07, the state debt office said. The debt office is offering 12.5 billion rupees of 2 year bonds maturing on 15.05.2017 with a coupon of 8.75 percent. There had been no auction of 2-year bonds for almost two years, dealers said. Also on offer are 7.5 billion rupees of 6 year bonds maturing on 01.08.2021 paying a coupon of 11.00 percent (read more)


Sri Lanka Central Bank in US$400mn currency swap deal with RBI


COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has signed a 400 million US dollar Currency Swap Agreement with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under which it can draw funds in dollars or euros in multiple tranches. (read more)

CB issues fresh instructions on senior citizens’ special interest scheme

(DFT) The Central Bank, with the approval of the Ministry of Finance, on Friday issued new operating instructions on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka to all banks on the special interest scheme for senior citizens (read more)

Baurs the oldest Swiss investment in SL shows much appreciation in the Island nation


(DFT) The Ambassador of Switzerland Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn and Senta Walker-Nederkoorn visited Baurs’ factories and facilities. Baurs was established in 1897 by Alfred Baur and the company celebrates its 150th birth anniversary this year. (read more)

Regulator should not get involved in appointing directors to banks


(DFT) By Dinesh Weerakkody – Today globally the banking industry is constantly being buffeted by waves of financial, regulatory, technological and operational challenges. The increased regulatory burden and related costs impact every financial institution in both the approach to doing business and the expense of doing business. (read more)

Sri Lanka keeps rates unchanged amid rocketing credit, currency pressure

CBSL arial

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said it would keep policy interest rates unchanged as private credit hit new highs, consumer prices rose and the rupee came under pressure, and the state cut taxes and raised public sector salaries (read more)

HSBC Asia Pacific Head of International Retail Banking and Wealth Management in town


(DFT) Anurag Mathur, Head of International Retail Banking and Wealth Management (RBWM) for HSBC Asia Pacific, arrived in the country on a four-day visit today. (read more)

Moody’s flashes red light on SL interim budget 2015


Though Sri Lanka’s new interim budget proposes to reduce the budget deficit to 4.4 per cent, there are possibilities of increasing inflation and economic imbalance due to the increase in the current spending, warns the international rating agency Moody’s Investors’ Service. (read more)

Colombo Stock Market rebound gathers momentum


(DFT) The recent rebound in the stock market following the Interim Budget blues is gathering momentum with value gaining by Rs. 61 billion during the past two days and year-to-date net foreign inflow improving to Rs. 1.4 billion with over a Rs. 500 million (read more)

Minister of Finance clarifies controversial taxes in moving amendment to Appropriation Act

(DFT) an amendment to the Appropriation Act, No. 41 of 2014 as well as explaining some of the Budget’s controversial taxes (read more)

“Biz-hostile” Budget wipes off Rs. 168 b in stock market value

(DFT) It is over 4% down year-to-date whilst the All Share Index is down by a similar percentage and the S&P SL 20 Index is lower by 6%. (read more)

Hot Stock Picks Make Super Gains

(Echelon) The stock market had a great run over the last year with my portfolio providing a return of 56.41%. Foreign inflows into the CSE continue to be strong and are invested in a wider-than-usual selection of stocks. Declining interest rates has pushed retail investors out of their fixed deposit comfort zones and into higher prospective returns in the CSE. Earnings growth is more encouraging relative to last year and interest rates remaining low will help the stock market along. Softer commodity and energy prices have also brought down costs for many of the listed companies.

What was the best performing stock and what drove its performance? (read more)

Amendment to Budget 2015 today


The government will enact an ‘Urgent Bill’ in the form of an amendment to the 2015 Appropriation Act, to give legal effect to its budgetary proposals (DM)

US rates Sri Lanka high on fiscal transparency over American funding

Sri Lanka was among a group of countries which met the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency when using foreign assistance received from the United States last year. The Department of State presented the findings from the 2014 financial year fiscal transparency review process in its Fiscal Transparency Report. (read more)

Dr. R.S.S. Samaratunga appointed as the Secretary to the Finance Ministry


Dr. R.S.S. Samaratunga who was earlier the Secretary to the Petroleum Ministry took over duties as the Secretary to the Finance Ministry, replacing Dr. P. B. Jayasundera. (read more)

Colombo bourse salutes new President


The Colombo share market was upbeat on Friday soaring to some Rs. 3.2 billion in turnover – recording one of the strongest openings in the recent past. (read more)

CB sets maximum deposit rates for senior citizens’ deposits in finance companies

The Central Bank yesterday announced that it has set maximum deposit interest rates payable by Licensed Finance Companies for a person who is over 55 years of age. (read more)

Fitch Maintains MCSL Financial Services’ Rating on Watch Positive


(LBO) – Fitch Ratings Lanka has maintained MCSL Financial Services Limited’s (MFSL) National Long-Term Rating of ‘BBB (lka)’ on Rating Watch Positive (RWP) as Fitch expects the merger of MFSL, MBSL Savings Bank Limited and Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka to be concluded within the first quarter of 2015 (read more)

Sri Lanka’s Deposit Insurance and Liquidity Support Scheme to increase the insurance cover

(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Deposit Insurance and Liquidity Support Scheme (SLDILSS) will increase its deposit insurance coverage per-depositor per-institution from 200,000 rupees to 300,000 rupees, with effect from 01st of January 2015. (read more)

Downward trend in cheque usage in Sri Lanka


(Abiz) There is a downward trend in the usage of cheques in Sri Lanka, says the Chief Executive Officer of Lanka Clear which handles the cheque clearance in the country. (read more)

SDB Rs. 1 b Rights Issue oversubscribed

(DFT) The Rights Issue of Sanasa Development Bank PLC was oversubscribed, comfortably drawing applications for over and above the number of shares offered under the rights.

Sri Lanka to launch a US$50mn private equity fund

(LBO) –Sri Lanka launched Emerald Sri Lanka Fund, a private equity fund, targeting a 50 million US dollar fund which will provide financing to small and medium enterprises in Sri Lanka that has strong growth potential (read more)

Big draw for capital market forum in Jaffna


(DFT) There has been a big draw for the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) in collaboration with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) organised Investor Forum in Jaffna. With Over 250 participants attend the event; more planned in the future in tandem with emerging investment opportunities

IBSL reveals insurance industry performance in 1H


(DFT) The insurance industry continued its growth during the first half of year 2014. Gross Written Premium (GWP) grew by 3.07% and total assets increased by 13.0% when compared to the first half of year 2013, the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) revealed (read more)

JKH tops MSCI Frontier Markets Asia Index

(DFT) Sri Lanka’s largest listed company John Keells Holdings (JKH) is ranked at the top out of the 34 stocks captured in the latest compilation of the MSCI Frontier Markets (FM) Asia Index. “This is a significant feat as Sri Lanka itself accounts for the smallest country weight of 13.88% in the index,” according to Frontier Research. The other constituents in the index are large and mid-cap stocks from, Pakistan, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Read more

Sri Lanka SEC is on track: Regulator

(LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that, they are very much near in achieving targets which were set in 2012 to address the limitations of the market and to develop the overall capital market.

Inflation declines in November

(Daily FT) According to central bank, the lowest since November 2009.

Will interest rate rise in Sri Lanka? - Central Bank Governor responds

(Biz AD) The prevailing low interest rates in Sri Lanka would be long term and there are no reasons for them to increase, said the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Stock Market Watch: Review – 

– Lanka Securities Research

(Biz AD) Daily market turnover reached LKR 1.2bn despite daily trading volume declining to a 4 week low.  John Keells Holdings emerged as the top contributor to the turnover with LKR 481mn underpinned by several crossings of 1.1mn shares at LKR 254.00 – 255.00.  Access Engineering and Sanasa Development Bank were among next best contributors to the turnover with LKR 236mn & LKR 41mn respectively.