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HSBC offers an overseas scholarship for international ambitions



In a bid to open up a world of opportunity for Lankan students with overseas ambitions for their studies, HSBC Sri Lanka announced a new scholarship program for USD 10,000 when they enroll to a university, anywhere in the world. Through the scholarship program one eligible student will be able to fulfil his/her dream overseas during the upcoming semester.

HSBC is the first bank in Sri Lanka to introduce a scholarship program to help local students jump start their higher education and realise their borderless ambitions for a brighter future. This is part of the HSBC’s International Student Proposition that was launched in 2019 to facilitate the education journey of local students after research revealed that over 24,000 Sri Lankan students (Source: UNESCO 2020 data) study overseas in key education corridors such as Australia, UK, Canada, US, Malaysia and India, where HSBC has a strong footprint.

The scholarship program is open to any student between the ages 17 – 25 years who wishes to pursue an overseas education. Prospective candidates will need to download an application form from and submit an essay based on a *pre-determined criteria. Applications will be evaluated by HSBC together with senior academics from local and international education institutions in the country, whereby the winner will receive a USD 10,000 scholarship to complete his/her overseas studies for the upcoming semester at a preferred university from 64 countries where HSBC is present.

The winner will also be required to open a student file under HSBC Premier or HSBC Advance in order to facilitate the payments and other overseas banking services such as opening an overseas account and arranging a debit card from the destination country prior to departure of the student.

According to HSBC, parents and students go through four stages throughout the overseas education journey such as dreaming, planning, moving and settling and customers are reliant on their financial partner to provide them with hassle free banking services.

Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking commented “An overseas education can be quite overwhelming for both parents and students. We also understand the pressures that parents go through in sending their children overseas and having to take care of the financial needs. That’s why we want to make the journey seamless through our international student proposition that is designed to support them with their cross-border banking needs and provide parents/students with peace of mind.”

He added, “Through our international connectivity in 64 markets, we are better positioned to help them move funds across geographies faster and cheaper, provide access to global insights and expertise on currencies, exchange rates and cross-border banking regulations. Our goal is to facilitate an enriching overseas education journey for students. We are very excited to be able to afford one eligible student the opportunity to follow his/her dreams and connect to limitless opportunities, amid the current pandemic and financial challenges.”

With HSBC’s international student proposition, getting students ready for overseas education has never been easier. HSBC supports by providing all the essential banking services such as opening student files, facilitating payments, opening an overseas account and arranging for off-shore debit, mobile and internet banking prior to departure of the student.

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Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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