Maithri victory props biz confidence to all-time high

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 01:48 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LMD-Nielsen index rises to 191 points but compiler cautions a reversal likely in Feb following biz-unfriendly interim Budget The February edition of business magazine LMD reports that the LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) skyrocketed to an all-time high, in the immediate aftermath of the 8 January presidential election. “The political climate and presidential pledges hold sway over business sentiment,” it explains. LMD also reports that “the BCI pole-vaulted to an all-time high of 194 in January, soaring by 52 points from the prior month. This latest jump in the index is second only to what was recorded when the 26-year war ended (it rose by 72 points, to 161, at the time), back in June 2009.” “The previous high of 178 was recorded when the then government and the LTTE struck a power-sharing deal for the north and east of the island,” it adds.                           Nielsen Managing Director Shaheen Cader says in LMD that the results of the latest BCI survey “shows that the business community’s expectations from the new government are massive, in terms of [the] ease of doing business, reduction of taxes and setting a more level playing field.” A spokesman for LMD adds: “The vote of confidence by businesspeople is all the more remarkable, considering that the index was virtually stagnant in the last two months.” But he cautions, by quoting from the magazine: “It could well be that as April draws closer, there will be a degree of uncertainty, and thus volatility, as the prospect of general elections comes into focus,” adding that “a reversal is on the cards, given the impact of the recent Interim Budget on business and investment prospects.” The magazine will be released to leading bookstores and supermarkets shortly, says a spokesperson for its publisher Media Services (for the full BCI report, go to