Financial Services

ComBank opens 265th branch in Teldeniya, Kandy

Views - 30 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

The Commercial Bank has opened its latest branch in Sri Lanka at Teldeniya, taking the largest network of branches owned by a private bank in Sri Lanka to 265 in total. This branch will further strengthen the Bank’s presence in Kandy and offer resi

Pan Asia Bank continues educating SMEs

Views - 31 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

Pan Asia Bank, a name synonymous with SME banking, partnered with the Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka to educate a selected set of Southern Region customers on the “Legal Environment of Business” with special emphasis on Industrial Law. The one da

National Savings Bank begins the New Year on a high note

Views - 26 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

National Savings Bank commenced the first working day of the New Year 2019 with a ceremonial event held at the Head Office premises of NSB in Colpetty last morning. The proceedings of the event began with the chanting of pirith and anushasana by the

Restrictions by Central Bank on microfinance loans: Can the socioeconomic issue be cured?

Views - 220 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

On 3 December, the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has issued a new direction curtailing the maximum rate of interest on microfinance loans of Licensed Finance Companies. This is a welcome move as far as the borrowers of the microfina

Overcoming the challenges of forecasting

Views - 54 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

At this time of the year, experts in the financial industry are busy trying to predict what will happen in the coming 12 months. Having a sense of how things will evolve is key to the decision-making of active investors. The challenge is that people

Who is accountable for country’s economic stability?

Views - 50 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

By P. Samarasiri The monetary policy press release on 28 December informed of policy rates unchanged at 8% and 9% at levels decided on 13 November. No public briefing on new policy decision was held although announced. Information reveals highly-subs

Dollar drifts in year-end trade as clouds gather

Views - 24 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): The dollar was broadly steady in thin year-end trading on Monday with the Australian dollar leading gainers as tensions over a trade dispute between the United States and China faded on expectations of progress in trade talks. The A

Global stocks pin hopes on Sino-US talk, as year ends deep in the red

Views - 14 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian stocks rose on Monday as hints of progress on the Sino-US trade standoff provided a rare glimmer of optimism in what has been a rough year-end for equities globally. Survey data out of China, however, proved unhelpfully mixed

Indian shares end nearly flat; post third consecutive annual gain

Views - 14 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

REUTERS: Indian shares ended nearly flat on the last trading day of 2018 amid positive global cues and a stronger rupee (INR), but posted their third consecutive annual gain. The benchmark BSE index closed down 0.02% at 36,068.33, but rose 5.9% for

Asian shares post sharpest losses in seven years in 2018

Views - 24 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

Reuters: Asian stock markets ended 2018 with negative returns in dollar terms, weighed down by trade tensions and slowing profit growth. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 16% this year in its sharpest drop since 2011.

More than just green bonds: The next leap

Views - 29 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

By Henrik Raber, Global Head, Credit Markets, Standard Chartered Bank As we get into the final lap of bond issuances for the year, it is helpful to take stock of where the green bond markets are and what we could look forward to in 2019 and beyond. A

Bond yields remain steady despite inflation easing

Views - 61 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

By Wealth Trust Securities The secondary market bond yields closed the day broadly unchanged yesterday, despite the point to point inflation for the month of December reducing once again to 2.8% against the previous month’s level of 3.3% and the an

People’s Leasing and Finance moves up in ‘Business Today – Top 30’ listings

Views - 51 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:58

People’s Leasing & Finance PLC is the largest and leading nonbank finance sector institution in Sri Lanka affiliated to the People’s Bank. PLC marked a milestone as a top corporate by receiving recognition for the third occasion by the ‘Busines

A year of volatility draws to an end

Views - 186 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:58

The year 2018 was significant for its volatility as interest rates and the exchange rate faced turbulent periods due to external and internal developments. The secondary bond market remained active during the week ending 28 December 2018 as yields i

Women entrepreneurs dominate BOC ‘Thurunu Diriya’

Views - 22 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:57

BOC ‘Thurunu Diriya’ loan scheme has disbursed 191 loans for women entrepreneurs, while disbursing 121 loans for male entrepreneurs as at 21 November. This was revealed by a report on ‘Gender-wise breakdown of loans disbursed’ which was prep

ComBank provides Fairway Holdings Internet Payment Gateway facilities

Views - 134 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:55

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been chosen as the Internet Payment Gateway (IPG) service provider to the Fairway Holdings in a move to enable and facilitate online transactions for the fast-growing conglomerate. Already, Fairway Colombo, Fairway S

‘Enterprise Sri Lanka - BOC Thurunu Diriya’ disburses loans worth over Rs. 180 m

Views - 23 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:54

‘Enterprise Sri Lanka - BOC Thurunu Diriya’ loan scheme has disbursed loans worth Rs.183,800,500.00 among 427 young entrepreneurs island-wide up to date. This was revealed by the weekly progress report of implementing the ‘Thurunu Diriya’ lo

King dollar’s reign faces challenges in 2019

Views - 98 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:49

London/New York (Reuters): After an unexpected rally that carried the dollar to 18-month peaks and saw it end 2018 as investors’ top trade, the currency faces challenges in the coming year. They include an expensive valuation, a flagging equity boo

Twenty years of the euro: Key dates

Views - 26 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:47

PARIS (AFP): The euro was launched on 1 January 1999, at first only for accounting and financial transactions, and then three years later as notes and coins. Here is a recap of defining moments for the currency, which was envisaged in the European U

US dollar share of global currency reserves hits near 5-year low: IMF

Views - 29 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:46

(Reuters): The US dollar’s share of currency reserves reported to the International Monetary Fund fell in the third quarter to a near five-year low, while the euro’s share of reserves grew to its largest in almost four years, data released on Fri

Safe-havens yen and the Swiss franc rise on global growth concerns

Views - 17 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:45

SINGAPORE (Reuters): The yen and the Swiss franc rose on Friday, as investors sought shelter in safe-haven assets due to renewed US-China trade tensions and weaker-than-expected data in those two economies that revived global growth fears. Reuters re

SE Asia Stocks-End dismal year on tepid note

Views - 12 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:44

REUTERS: Most Southeast Asian stock markets were lacklustre on Friday, but saw off a year that was plagued by trade tension-driven equity sell-downs with significant annual losses. Thailand and Vietnam markets were the only ones that saw major intra

Sumitomo Mitsui weighs acquiring Asia banks to use some of $12 b surplus capital

Views - 49 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) wants to acquire Asian commercial banks, utilising some of the up to $12 billion in surplus capital that Japan’s third-largest lender expects to build up over the next five years, its chief ex

Morgan Stanley unit to pay $10 million fine for anti-money laundering violations

Views - 43 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

(Reuters): Wall Street’s industry funded watchdog fined the US brokerage unit of Morgan Stanley $10 million on Wednesday for compliance failures in the firm’s anti-money laundering program, the regulator said. The Financial Industry Regulatory Au

Asian markets climb after bumper US session

Views - 31 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

HONG KONG (AFP): Japanese shares surged nearly four% on Thursday, with investors heartened by Wall Street’s best performance in nine years after the White House said Fed Chair Jay Powell would not be fired. Asian markets followed Tokyo’s lead wi

Global banks chase Asia techs transaction business, as trade war rumbles

Views - 45 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

HONG KONG (Reuters): Global lenders including Citigroup and HSBC are stepping up efforts to sell day-to-day banking services to Asia’s fast-growing new technology firms, amid growing competition for more traditional transaction banking. The workada

Bond yields continue to increase in thin trade ahead of monetary policy

Views - 83 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

The secondary market bond yields were seen increasing further yesterday on the back of continued selling interest ahead of today’s monetary policy announcement, due at 7.30 am. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) was seen increasing its Standing D

‘Bring Compliance into Focus’ symposium a success

Views - 58 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

Compliance is a field that focuses on prospectively ensuring adherence to laws and regulations, institution’s internal policies and process by identification, prevention, monitoring and detection, resolution, and advisory. Compliance officers with

LOLC showcases digital excellence in financial sector once again

Views - 64 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

At the recently concluded SLT Zero One Awards, LOLC took home two top accolades showcasing once again its unparalleled prowess in the digital world. LOLC’s flagship finance entity and Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI),

ComBank’s 264th branch opens at Enderamulla, Wattala

Views - 30 Friday, 28 December 2018 00:00

Commercial Bank’s 264th branch in Sri Lanka was formally declared open at Enderamulla, Wattala on 24 December, offering residents access to the full gamut of services of the country’s benchmark private bank. Commercial Bank Deputy Chairman Preeth

Today's Columnists

Lasantha, journalists and diplomats

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

We find scarce little to celebrate in a sullied land, marking our days remembering the tragedies that tell our blood-soaked history. In the troubled decades preceding, many, from the highest in the land to average citizens, have met with violent ends

Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r

SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou

Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta

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