Australian govt dumps PM Gillard for former leader Rudd

Published : 12:30 am  June 27, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  396 views  |  
alt text

Reuters: Australia’s ruling Labor Party elected former leader Kevin Rudd as prime minister and dumped Julia Gillard on Wednesday, in a dramatic move to try and head off a catastrophic defeat at elections due within three months. The return of Rudd could now see Australia go to an election in August rather than the set date of September 14, to cash in on his greater popularity with voters and an expected honeymoon period with the electorate. Rudd, a former diplomat who speaks Mandarin, won a Labor Party ballot with 57 votes to Gillard’s 45. Gillard promised to quit politics if she lost the ballot. The leadership change followed a series of opinion polls showing Gillard’s minority government... 

China’s central bank calms markets, but tighter policy looms

Published : 12:28 am  June 27, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  330 views  |  
alt text

Reuters: China’s financial markets were calmed on Wednesday after days of turmoil by the central bank’s pledge to prevent any lasting credit crunch, but stocks kept slipping as investors braced for tougher conditions in the world’s second-largest economy. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said late on Tuesday it had helped some banks and was ready to act again as the lender of last resort for those caught in a short-term squeeze. However, it was also sticking to its stance of tightening market conditions as it seeks to rein in sharp growth in informal lending. The central bank wants to curtail funds flowing into China’s vast “shadow” financial system that fuels property and stock... 

US Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act in win for gays

Published : 12:26 am  June 27, 2013  |  Category: International  |  Leave a Comment  |  318 views  |  
alt text

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters):  The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a central portion of a federal law that restricted the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in a major victory for the gay rights movement. The ruling, on a 5-4 vote, means that legally married gay men and women are entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples. The court was due to decide within minutes a second case concerning a California law that bans same-sex marriage in the state. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. “The federal statute... 

HNB raises $ 49 m long-term debt from overseas

Published : 12:40 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,862 views  |  
alt text

Hatton National Bank PLC recently signed an agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) to raise a long term loan of US$ 49 million. Speaking at the occasion, Acting CEO of HNB Jonathan Alles stated: “This is the second loan granted to HNB by CDB since 2012 and it demonstrates the confidence international banks have placed in us based on our strength and stability.” Alles added: “The funds raised will form a part of HNB’s long term funding plan and so far in this year, the bank has raised over Rs. 10 billion through a combination of tier II capital and long term senior debt to support the balance sheet growth of the bank.” China Development Bank is one of the State-owned banks of the... 

CA Sri Lanka exams go global

Published : 12:38 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,445 views  |  

In yet another groundbreaking initiative, the Strategic Level Examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will go global this week, turning a new chapter in the institute’s illustrious 53-year long history. Slated to be held in June and July respectively, the strategic level exams will be held in Qatar for the benefit of CA Sri Lanka students who are living and working there.  The CA Sri Lanka overseas examinations will be conducted in the strictest of standards with CA Sri Lanka examinations supervisors expected to supervise the exam sessions in Qatar to ensure the same level of standards are adhered to as practiced in Sri Lanka. The examinations in... 

Sri Lanka unlikely to get new US waiver for Iran crude

Published : 12:38 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  962 views  |  

n Quota to import Iran crude is over, US has told Sri Lanka: Minister Yapa n Hasn’t imported Iran crude since June 2012 n Oil Minister denies Opposition allegations country evaded sanctions Reuters: The United States is unlikely to grant another waiver to Sri Lanka to allow it to import Iranian crude, Oil Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told Reuters on Monday. “They (US officials) met me twice and told in plain language that we can’t buy any Iranian oil, because our quota is over,” Yapa said. Sri Lanka, which had been heavily dependent on Iran crude, was twice granted waivers since US sanctions came into effect in early 2012. Sri Lanka received its first waiver in June last year after... 

Rupee recovers; stocks down

Published : 12:37 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: Front Page  |  Leave a Comment  |  685 views  |  

Reuters: The rupee recovered from a near seven-month low on Tuesday, after a State-controlled bank intervened to stabilise the currency, dealers said, but depreciation pressure remained due to dollar demand from foreign investors who were selling long tenure bonds before exiting. The lowest trade was at 129.00 per dollar, but one of the two State-run banks, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold dollars to selected banks to ease depreciation pressure, dealers said. The currency closed at 128.70/80, edging up from Monday’s close of 128.90/129.00. “Foreign investors are basically booking their profits in treasury bonds and locking in short term T-bills,” a currency... 

Cabraal urges banks to make cyber security number one priority

Published : 12:32 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: TOP STORY  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,454 views  |  

By Cassandra Mascarenhas Making Sri Lanka’s banking industry rethink their strategies entirely, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal emphasised on the need for the financial sector to put cyber security ahead of convenience to customers. He made these remarks while addressing the EC-Council Cyber Security Summit held yesterday, organised jointly by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies under the aegis of the US-based EC-Council. As the head of the regulatory body of financial institutions in the country, Cabraal stated: “Look at security first before convenience. Banks must look at stability before profit in the same way that those in the ICT sector ensure that security is managed and... 

UNHRC resolution: GL says countries can’t say no to US

Published : 12:26 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  466 views  |  

External Affairs Minister tells Aussie television that Lanka is happy to conduct independent investigation into war time abuses Says HR is being used selectively as a political tool Warns that LTTE employs Goebbelsian methods to Says Govt. hopes to showcase post-war development, attract investment during CHOGM discredit Sri Lanka The success of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March depends largely on the mover of the resolution with UN member states finding it difficult to say no to powerful countries such as the US, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said yesterday. In an interview with Australia’s Newsline during his official visit to the country this... 

CID hounding Ranil over book on Buddhism

Published : 12:25 am  June 26, 2013  |  Category: News  |  Leave a Comment  |  566 views  |  

The Criminal Investigation Department’s chief preoccupation is hounding United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over a book he wrote about politics and the Dhamma, Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said yesterday. “A book written about Buddhism has become the biggest problem for the CID today,” Attanayake charged. He said the book was not written about toppling governments but about how to apply Lord Buddha’s teachings to modern day governance. The CID has been investigating for months now about why the Friedrich Nuemann Foundation had funded Wickremesinghe’s book, Attanayake said. He said that the CID was going after the foundation in a big way because they funded...