Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, twice Central Bank Governor and former State Minister for Finance, issued the following media statement last week on exchange rate flexibility.
“The decision to allow the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) to be “flexible” from March 7, 2022 onwards is sometimes described by certain persons as being a “unilateral” decision of then Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Therefore, this statement is to provide the factual position so as to set the record straight.”The decision to allow flexibility in the exchange rate was taken by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka based on a Monetary Board Paper dated March 7, 2022 submitted by all three Deputy Governors (Mr Mahinda Siriwardene, Mr Dammika Nanayakkara & Mrs Yvette Fernando), Director – Economic Research Department and Director – International Operations Department.
“The Board Paper stressed the need for changing the exchange rate policy immediately in order that the exchange rate acts as a “shock absorber” in the face of adverse developments in the global front on Sri Lanka’s already fragile Balance of Payments, including the increase of the crude oil price to nearly USD 140 per barrel and the worsening Russia-Ukraine war.
“Based on that Board Paper and the discussion at the meeting, the Monetary Board decided to ‘allow the market to have a greater flexibility in the exchange rate with immediate effect and communicate that the Central Bank is of the view that forex transactions would take place at levels which are not more than Rs. 230 per US dollar.’
“From the above it will be clear that, while the Monetary Board had expressed its ‘view’ as to the level at which forex transactions would take place as a market guidance, a clear decision had been taken to allow for the flexibility of the LKR in the forex market. On the same day, a statement was issued to the media in line with the above decision.
“Further, within about a week of floating the LKR, the President made a formal announcement that the government had initiated discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a programme.
“Subsequently, Governor Cabraal resigned on April 4, 2022, on which day, the LKR was trading at Rs. 289.73/299.99 per USD in accordance with the new ‘flexible’ exchange rate policy as announced by the Monetary Board. After Governor Cabraal’s exit, the Monetary Board chaired by the new Governor Dr. Weerasinghe continued with the ‘flexible’ exchange rate policy, whist the Government and CBSL also took a series of far reaching decisions which included the decisions to: sharply increase policy interest rates by 700 bps from April 8, 2022 onwards, and to discontinue repayments of forex loans and interest from April 12, 2022 onwards.
“In the meantime, the LKR continued to depreciate to a range of Rs. 364.23/377.50 against the USD by May 12, 2022, at which point, the Monetary Board had apparently once again decided to ‘fix’ the exchange rate at a new range between Rs.355.00/Rs.365.00 per USD. Such move to ‘fix’ the exchange rate seems quite similar to the policy adopted by the Monetary Board chaired by Governor Professor W D Lakshman which ‘fixed’ the LKR exchange rate at a range of Rs.199.00/203.00 per USD from September 6, 2021 onwards.
“It must of course be understood that there will always be conflicting opinions among stakeholders as to the value, timing and methodology to be followed in ‘fixing’, or ‘floating’ or ‘pegging’ a country’s currency. It is also quite possible that after decisions are taken to ‘float,’ ‘fix’ or ‘peg’ the currency, others could, claim that the decision was right or wrong or implemented differently.
“However, it must be appreciated that the decision-making authority has to take its decision based on the prevailing circumstances, expert advice, practical ground conditions, judgment of future expectations and outcomes, etc. when viewed holistically. That is obviously why the Monetary Law Act provides the authority to the Monetary Board to change financial and monetary sector policies (including the exchange rate policy, interest rates, statutory reserve ratios, etc) when it deems appropriate to do so, from time to time.
“It must also be appreciated that the implementation of policy measures is carried out by the professional and technical staff, of the Central Bank and they would naturally ensure that the policy measures being implemented are based on legal and binding decisions of the Monetary Board, which is the decision making authority, and not based on ‘unilateral’ decisions of a single person.”
CSE recovers following CBSL chief’s observations on local economy
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka’s shares moved up within the first hour of trading yesterday though the market proved to be highly volatile. However, it later showed some marginal recovery following Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe’s positive comments on the local economy. He hinted that the economy would become stable and register steady growth by next year.
Weerasinghe said inflation will reach a maximum level of 65 per cent by September and will likely indicate a downward trend afterwards. “The reason being that the Central Bank managed the sagging economy quite well and now we could provide the basic needs of the people with our current export revenue and inward remittances, he said at the CBSL’s monthly policy review meeting yesterday.
Amid these developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index rose by 3.22 points (0.04 per cent) to end at 8910.57 and S and P SL20 gained 22.36 points (0.76 per cent) to end the day at 2969.36. Turnover stood at Rs 2.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 500,000 shares to the tune of Rs 63.75 million; its shares traded at Rs 120.50.
In the retail market, seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 578 million (three million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 313 million (1.5 million shares traded), Lankem Development Rs 208 million (ten million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 84.6 million (ten million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 83 million (114,000 shares traded), Agstar Rs 82.7 million (6.8 million shares traded) and Renuka Agri Foods Rs 72.6 million (9.8 million shares traded). During the day 115 million share volumes changed hands in 29000 transactions. Yesterday the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 357.33 and the selling rate as Rs 368.70.
An interview with Yiran An, senior product manager, vivo Imaging Centre
World Photography Day
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Q. World Photography Day is observed every year on 19th of August. How does vivo view this momentous occasion?
World Photography Day is the time when people of all age groups all over the world are united in the spirit of photography. It is a day when a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or anyone who clicks pictures with a smartphone or camera celebrates World Photography Day by clicking the elusive to microscopic subjects in the most beautiful frames. vivo as a leading technology brand believes that it is not an arbitrary date, rather it holds a special historical significance which gave birth to the invention of the Daguerreotype, the first commercially successful photographic imaging technology.
We, as one of the innovators of smartphone photography, are working to provide a “human-centered” creator spirit to our users asking them to create and exceed beyond what is seen around. vivo wants to ensure that the leading minds should not limit their creativity. Thus, we work rigorously to create humanized professional images using smartphone camera technology to meet the needs of diverse users, allowing them to take stunning photos, while building up an ecosystem to change the mobile photography outlook.
Q. Smartphone cameras are built within severe space limitations. How does the sleek brand of vivo deal with this challenge?
Talking about the structure and imaging principle of our smartphones, we have gone through leaps and bounds to reach the advanced levels of imaging. Sensor is the main components of the camera; it ensures the image quality and camera performance. More than 80% of our workforce is invested in research and development, we are known to conduct rigorous studies to understand consumer aspirations. Following this exhaustive analysis of the changing trends in photography, vivo conceptualised the compatible sensors to provide best-suited smartphones under V, Y and X Series. Our strategic partnership with leading lens sensor manufacturers helps us to design sensors that are more compatible with vivo’s imaging features and deliver quality input for smartphone photography from the underlying technology.
Q. The focal length has to be right for a quality image. How has vivo improved this technology over the years?
Easy, fast, accurate focus in camera technology has marked a radical step in setting the standard for future smartphone cameras with tremendous focal length. we have progressed over years and now vivo’s smartphones are known to improve autofocus performance by packing each pixel with photodiodes that intelligently register frame and pattern changes in all directions for Autofocus to appear instantaneous. By combining with other hardware and software technologies, it can achieve a larger anti-shaking angle and provide cleared images even for farther objects.
We have also found Autofocus as a solution for blurry images by equipping the device with Eye Autofocus. This feature intelligently captures the most intrinsic frame details and maintains the camera focus for seamlessly capturing moments, even in motion. Bringing this hi-tech advancement to their smartphones has been nothing short of a milestone in vivo’s camera evolution. Additionally, our hardware advantages and Motion Deblur algorithm improves the clarity and success rate of motion portrait capture, and constantly expands the applicable scenarios of motion capture.
Q. We hear a lot about pixels of a smartphone camera. What does it mean?
Yes! Pixels are the building blocks of digital photography which captures the light to make up your image. Higher pixel-count cameras promise better resolution images. We at vivo have developed high-resolution sensors to combine pixels for better light capture. These larger sensors are vastly improving the quality of day and especially low-light photography. The X80 model for instance offers outstanding night scene effects in conjunction with the 50MP Ultra-Sensing Sensor Camera, known for its pro-grade skills, better colors, professional grade output even in low light environments. It is equipped with IMX866 RGBW sensor that delivers images in greater detail and improves the camera performance in dark and low-light scenarios.
Q. How does vivo technology enable the aperture in its smartphone cameras?
In the current times, variable aperture can be one of the unique selling points in any new smartphone known for photography. Although many have seen vivo’s advancement in imaging technology, but Night Sports Mode feature is a new addition that combines Motion Deblur and night algorithms to enhance clarity and the production success rate of snapshots with larger aperture to ensure noise free and stunning images at night. We as a consumer centric brand constantly look around for ways to create smartphone cameras that compete with DSLR cameras. Having said that, X Series has already enabled smartphone photographers to switch between a low aperture for portraits and macro shots with a blurry background and a higher aperture for more depth and detailed images in the smartphone itself. Together with ZEISS’ optical expertise and imaging effects we have develop vivo’s new unique mobile photography features and offer users and professional ZEISS photography enthusiasts with styled, differentiated photography experiences.
To be Continued
DFCC Bank partners with SLASSCOM
DFCC Bank, one of the premier commercial banks in Sri Lanka, has announced that it has formally entered into a partnership with SLASSCOM, the apex body representing the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka, a sector that is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country. Given that the industry has been adversely impacted as a result of the present energy crisis, through this partnership, DFCC Bank and SLASSCOM will work together to provide accessible and affordable financing for sustainable power generation for the sector, through special financing schemes, concessionary rates, and other exclusive benefits. With over 420 member companies, encompassing an employee base of 115,000+ people, SLASSCOM’s membership accounts for approximately 90% of Sri Lanka’s IT/BPM industry’s export revenue.
The partnership between the two giants was officially entered into with the signing of an MOU recently, and the occasion was held at the DFCC Bank Head Office where senior officials from both organizations were present. Thimal Perera – Director/CEO, DFCC Bank PLC, and Ashique Ali–Vice Chair, SLASSCOM signed on behalf of both entities.
New Zealand Tour of West Indies
CB Governor: Lanka now in a position to pay for essentials
CID arrests Mervyn 15 years after he forcibly entered Rupavahini
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
U.S. Congress to probe assets fleecing by US citizens of Sri Lankan origin
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
News5 days ago
Wide ranging rackets benefiting CEB engineers
News3 days ago
Thanks to QR code expenditure on fuel drops from USD 500 million to USD 230 million a month
News4 days ago
Delisting of Tamil Diaspora groups irks some; explanation sought
News2 days ago
SJB alleges Prez under SLPP pressure to give up power to dissolve Parliament
Sports5 days ago
Mathews regrets Mankading of Buttler
News2 days ago
Wimal blames Gota’s naivety, Basil’s arrogance for current situation
News1 day ago
State sector reforms: Herath endorses Ranil’s agenda
News3 days ago
Jugglery alleged in Constitution making process: SJB, Gevindu make strong case against jumbo Cabinet