IMF tells Govt. to wind down forex swaps

By Uditha Jayasinghe 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has requested the Government to reduce reliance on currency swaps with commercial banks and grow reserves through direct foreign exchange purchases, which would also extend to maintaining a flexible exchange rate and inflation targeting to build insulation amidst growing external vulnerabilities.  

IMF staff team head Jaewoo Lee, talking to reporters after the approval of the second tranche of the $ 1.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), warned that Sri Lanka should avoid opening up a fresh front of vulnerability given its high debt and other macroeconomic challenges. 

Rate hike looms in 2017: IMF
  • SL performance under EFF broadly satisfactory, praises Govt. on revenue collection
  • Warns growing global vulnerabilities calls for readiness to tighten policy
  • Trims 2016 growth forecast to 4.5% and 2017 to 4.8%
  • Says proposed Inland Revenue Act crucial, structural reform pace slow   

By Uditha Jayasinghe

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday termed Sri Lanka’s performance under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) “broadly satisfactory” and praised the Government for exceeding targets in revenue collection but warned increasing external vulnerabilities could affect growth targets and warrant fresh tightening of rates in 2017.  

London Stock Exchange welcomes SL financial community

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake chat with one of the employees of the new centre of LSEG. Donald Brydon, LSEG Chairman and CEO Xavier Rolet are also present -Pic by Upul Abayasekera

  • Upbeat of “enormous potential” and offers expertise on Govt. projects LSE Group opens 
  • state-of-the-art technology facility at TRACE City in Maradana employing 400
Govt, ADB sign $ 250 m boost for capital markets

The Government on Friday entered into a loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank to obtain a loan of $ 250 m from the Ordinary Capital Resources Fund of the Asian Development Bank to implement the Capital Market Development Program in Sri Lanka.

SL wins ‘Best Destination off the Beaten Track’ at Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Reader’s Choice Awards in Dubai

Sri Lanka Tourism bagged the 'Best Destination off the Beaten Track' award at the Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Reader's Choice Awards, held on 14 November at the Creek Ballroom of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.

Dubai Consul General Charitha Yattogoda accepted the award on behalf of Sri Lanka Tourism. Sri Lanka made an outstanding appearance as it outperformed New Zealand and Vietnam to acquire the title of 'Best Destination off the Beaten Track', which is awarded based on the votes of the readers of Conde Nast Traveler Middle East Magazine, which covers a wide cross section of the tourism sector including favourite travel experiences, from destinations and hotels to airlines and tour operators.

IMF satisfied with Sri Lanka; releases $ 162 m more
  • Fiscal performance has been encouraging
  • Macroeconomic and financial conditions have begun to stabilise
  • 2017 Budget proposal to strengthen Govt. finances through revenue mobilisation
  • New Inland Revenue Act should result in a more efficient, transparent and broad-based tax system
  • International reserves remain below comfortable levels
  • Complementary structural reforms in tax administration, public financial management and governance and oversight of state-owned enterprises are critical for durable fiscal consolidation

A satisfied International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday approved the release of $ 162 m more to Sri Lanka under its $ 1.45 b three year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.

The approval follows the IMF Executive Board completing the first review of Sri Lanka's program. The latest release brings the total disbursements under the EFF arrangement to $ 325.1 million. The first tranche was released in June this year.

The Government's reform program, supported by the IMF, aims to reduce the fiscal deficit, rebuild foreign exchange reserves and introduce a simpler, more equitable tax system to restore macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth.

UK Minister for UN and Commonwealth Baroness Anelay to visit Sri Lanka

The UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Baroness Anelay will visit Colombo and Jaffna from 6 to 9 November, on her first official visit to Sri Lanka.

During her visit, the Minister will reiterate the UK’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka in strengthening democracy and human rights (including tackling gender based and sexual violence), delivering reconciliation and combating corruption, the British High Commission in Colombo said in a release.

World Bank IFC to support women in biz

Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen meets Head of IFC’s Gender Secretariat Henriette Kolb

Plans to partner with 15 firms to increase jobs for women, four-year plan to help private sector bridge gender gap (strap) 

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has extended support in the form of a four year effort to directly partner with 15 local companies to involve more women in corporate decision making, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said in a statement yesterday.