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CBSL to continue with low interest rates and liquidity injections

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The Central Bank  will continue with low interest rates and  liquidity injections, made through debt monetizations, Governor, Central Bank Prof  W.D. Lakshman said.

“The Board arrived at this decision after carefully considering the macroeconomic conditions and expected developments on the domestic and global fronts,  the Governor told the Monetary Board monthly review meeting held at the Central Bank yesterday.

Lakshman said that the Board noted the recent slowdown in credit disbursements to the private sector and inadequate lending to productive sectors of the economy and stressed the need for the financial system to actively lend to productive sectors in order to support the ongoing recovery of domestic production-based economic activity. 

“Further, the Board observed the recent uptick in certain market interest rates and re emphasises its commitment to continue the low-interest rate structure until the economy shows signs of sustained revival, in the context of the low inflation environment, the Governor said.

‘The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka at its meeting held on March 3 decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank at their current levels of 4.50 percent and 5.50 percent, respectively, he explained.

“The Bank expects the Sri Lankan economy to make a notable recovery in 2021, supported by policy stimulus and improving business sentiments, Lakshman said.

The Governor added – “Given the low inflation environment, the Central Bank is in the process of actively supporting the government’s economic agenda focused on developing a production-based economy. Positive sentiments fuelled by the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country and the impact of growth promoting policies are expected to support the economic revival over the short to medium term.

‘According to the review, monetary policy easing measures implemented since early 2020 have resulted in historically low interest rates.

‘While many market interest rates have declined to their historic lows, certain market interest rates, such as yields on government securities, have shown unwarranted volatility recently, which is not in line with monetary policy expectations.

‘The Central Bank reiterates that the high level of excess liquidity in the money market and the reduction in policy interest rates thus far are intended to result in a stable low interest rate environment, while providing a positive real return to savers.

‘We  expect the inflation to remain subdued during the remainder of the year supported by the envisaged improvements in domestic supply conditions, which would also contribute towards maintaining inflation in the targeted range of 4-6 per cent over the medium term.

‘The Central Bank will continue to monitor domestic and global macroeconomic and financial market developments and take further proactive measures to help the economy to reach a sustainable high growth trajectory, while maintaining inflation in the targeted 4-6 per cent range under the flexible inflation targeting framework.’

 

 



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Dialog Enterprise with Fortinet strengthens the security of its Managed SD-WAN Service for Sri Lankan Enterprises

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Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, announced the strengthening of its Flexnet managed SD-WAN service leveraging the Secure SD-WAN solution from Fortinet, a global leader in cybersecurity with broad and integrated solutions.

Dialog Enterprise pioneered the Sri Lanka’s first Managed SD-WAN service with the release of its Flexnet offering since September 2019. Two years after, most modern organisations are embracing digital acceleration, driving demand for greater agility in networks in order to stay competitive and deliver superior customer experiences. With the scale and variety of cyber threats continuing to grow, Dialog Enterprise enhances its Flexnet service with the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN. Fortinet Secure SD-WAN accelerates network and security convergence, aims at simplifying WAN architecture, and securing work-from-anywhere new normality with embedded ZTNA (zero-trust network access) Access Proxy for explicit per-user application access controls. It delivers integrated security and safer access to internal and external data and applications wherever they are residing, on-premises, or in the cloud.

By integrating Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution to its Flexnet managed SD-WAN service, Dialog Enterprise will enable its customers the ability to cost-effectively eliminate security gaps in their network while gaining the benefits of advanced routing and self-healing WAN capabilities to ensure superior quality of experience for their users, and an increased business uptime. Additionally, an improved connectivity and user experience can be achieved through an integrated security by prioritizing network traffic and reduced latency. As well as the benefit of an integrated security by prioritizing network traffic is achieved by offering, unified thread management, SSL inspection and proactive security threat prevention.

“With the recent shift to remote working, cloud adaptation and SaaS usage accelerating SD-WAN adoption with organizations, many of our customers in the government, finance, retail, services and manufacturing industries will benefit from Dialog Enterprise’s Managed SD-WAN based on the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution. It provides us with an integrated, one-stop management and orchestration console to ensure that connections, configurations, advanced routing features and protections are easily configurable. Being the only Fortinet Managed Security Service Provider in Sri Lanka, we have already been able to provide Secure SDWAN solutions with Fortinet in over 1000 locations across the island.” said Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer – Dialog Enterprise at Dialog Axiata PLC.

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SLT-MOBITEL completes first phase of Amazon Alexa integrations for Home Broadband customers offering exciting digital lifestyles

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The first phase of fully integrating Amazon Alexa for SLT-MOBITEL Home Broadband customers was successfully concluded recently. Now customers can seek help from Amazon’s virtual smart assistant Alexa and obtain a range of information on SLT-MOBITEL services such as Voice, Broadband, PEO TV services etc. ensuring subscribers experience exciting new intelligent built digital lifestyles.

Pictured Dilshan Boteju, Chief Executive Officer of The Connection Workshop, handing over the report on the concluded project to Prabhath Dahanayake, Chief Marketing Officer SLT. Also present were Lathika Weerasinghe, Administrative Coordinator, Anup Silva, Lead Developer Alexa program of The Connection Workshop, Ayoma Wickramaarachchi, Deputy General Manager, Product Development & Management of SLT, Ruwan Rekogama, Engineer-Product Development & Management of SLT.

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Loops wins big at SLIM DIGIS

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Award-winning creative-led integrated marketing agency, Loops Integrated, received 6 recognitions, including a Gold, at the SLIM DIGIS Awards, held on the 25th of January 2022. Loops Integrated received the only Gold DIGI in the Banking and Finance category for Softlogic Invest’s “This Could Be You” campaign, a Silver DIGI in the Performance Marketing category for British Council’s IELTS programme, and another Silver DIGI in the Best Use of Branded Content category for Sri Lankan Airlines. In addition to these three prestigious awards, Loops Integrated also received 3 finalist awards for the Banking & Finance, Performance Marketing and Best Use of Branded Content categories.

Discussing the awards, CEO at Loops, Wasaam Ismail said, “We work with our clients as partners, therefore it’s important to say a big thank you to them for having faith in us and letting us take their campaigns to town. Putting together creative-led campaigns amidst working from home during periodic lockdowns is nothing short of a herculean undertaking, which would not have been possible without our stellar team. Therefore, I must also acknowledge and appreciate our exceptionally talented, committed, dedicated and mind-blowingly fun team here at Loops, without whom none of this would be possible. A big thank you also to SLIM for ensuring that digital marketers in Sri Lanka have a national platform upon which to be recognized.”

The SLIM DIGIS awards is organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and recognizes and celebrates Sri Lanka’s best digital marketing work, innovation and talent. SLIM is the national body for marketing in Sri Lanka and the SLIM DIGIS is among Sri Lanka’s most prestigious awards programmes that recognize innovation and budding talent in the digital marketing space.

Loops is an award-winning Creative Led Integrated Marketing Agency with operations in Sri Lanka, Qatar, Malaysia & Australia. The agency has worked with over 250 brands in 15 countries and has over 50 awards for its efforts in creative and digital excellence, awarded by both international and local bodies. Visit www.loops.lk to learn more.

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