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I came to serve the people and not any politician – CBSL Governor

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

“My intention is to maintain the Central Bank as a highly independent institution that could take decisions without any political interference and to also get the support of multi-lateral agencies in Sri Lanka’s efforts to overcome its economic difficulties. I came to serve the people and not any politician, newly appointed Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said at his first media briefing held at the Central Bank Head Office in Colombo after assuming duties last Friday.

The CBSL Governor said a virtual meeting had been requested for April 11 with the IMF. The Letter of Intent to the IMF is to be presented later, he said.

Dr. Weerasinghe said that he can’t reverse what has happened but will use all his experience, including his exposure to multi-lateral partners, such as IMF and World Bank, to serve the people.

Weerasinghe added: “I want to run the Central Bank independently without any external influence and I have been given the authority to do so by the President. I have been asked by him to expedite measures to get the country out of the current crisis.

‘Overcoming the crisis was not something that could be done overnight and would take some time, but political and social stability is essential to overcome the present crisis.

‘I would be taking a number of correct decisions without any political interference. I also pledge to work with transparency and truthfulness. I would not be hiding anything from the public and I hope to work independently.

‘The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has decided to increase policy interest rates by 7% to offset the imbalance in the country’s financial system. This is the first time in Sri Lanka that the interest rate has been raised so high.

‘The new rate hike will give a strong signal to investors and markets that we are coming out of this as soon as possible.

“We want to give a firm signal. We are serious in what we are doing and we are independent in what we are doing. We took the necessary and sufficient actions today immediately to address the situation. With this measure I expect to see some stability in the market and a positive reaction from it from Monday when it opens.

‘We met with the bankers soon after assuming duties and gave them a clear message that we will be very transparent in dealing with them. We will be open, transparent and truthful and we need their full support. I want to be very clear that this message is not one of blind positivity.

“Things are challenging and we need to take decisive action. Things will get worse before they get better, but we need to apply the brakes to this vehicle before it crashes.

‘It won’t turn around immediately. The situation could get worse and take weeks or months. But the turnaround will happen at some point. I am very confident that we can turn it around but the necessary conditions for it are not only the economic policies but also the two key components; political stability and social stability.

‘What we expect is a stable government, evolved democratically and constitutionally, and the social unrest at present should come down sooner so that people can get into normal activity so that their actions will be much more effective.’



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Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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