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Sri Lanka prosperity dips in 2019

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s prosperity index which tracks parameters going beyond output including employment, wages and infrastructure had seen a fall in 2019, the central bank which compiles the gauge said.

The index had fallen to 0.802 in 2019 from 0.811 in 2018 mainly due to a fall in the economy and business climate index, while wellbeing of the people, which tracks education and health showed gains.

“Spillover effects of the Easter Sunday attack on tourism and related industries resulting in an increase in unemployment, and relatively high inflation due to adverse weather conditions towards the latter part of 2019 were the key reasons for the decline in Economy and Business Climate sub-index,” the Central Bank said.

“Reduced usage of public transportation due to concerns on security, aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack, mainly resulted in the decline in Socio- Economic Infrastructure sub-index.”

Western province had the highest value. North Central province recorded the highest increase in provincial prosperity index followed by Eastern and Western provinces.

The Index for 2020 is not out yet.

The full statement is reproduced below.

National Prosperity

Sri Lanka Prosperity Index1 (SLPI), recorded 0.802 in 2019 compared to 0.811 in 2018, with marginal declines of ‘Economy and Business Climate’ and ‘Socio- Economic Infrastructure’ sub-indices. Meanwhile, the ‘Well-being of the People’ sub-index has improved during the year.

Spillover effects of the Easter Sunday attack on tourism and related industries resulting in an increase in unemployment, and relatively high inflation due to adverse weather conditions towards the latter part of 2019 were the key reasons for the decline in Economy and Business Climate sub-index.

Reduced usage of public transportation due to concerns on security, aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack, mainly resulted in the decline in Socio- Economic Infrastructure sub-index.

Western province led with the highest value of provincial prosperity index, while Southern and Central provinces were ranked at second and third positions, respectively. In comparison to the previous year, North Central province recorded the highest increase in provincial prosperity index followed by Eastern and Western provinces.

Economy and Business Climate Sub-Index

Eastern, North Central, Northern and Uva provinces have recorded improvements in the sub-index with increases in informal sector wages and increased formal sector employment. The deterioration of the sub-index in other provinces was mainly caused by decreases in employment and high inflation levels.

Well-being of the People Sub-Index

The sub-index improved in all provinces except for Southern, predominantly due to improvements in the aspects of health, education and wealth of people where vehicle ownership and access to supermarkets increased. Meanwhile, the slight deterioration of the sub-index in Southern province was mainly due to reduced levels in the aspects of environment, entertainment and education.

Socio-Economic Infrastructure Sub-Index

Southern and Western provinces recorded increases in the sub-index with improvements to the road network, availability of electricity and enhanced crime-free environment. The decline of the sub-index of other provinces, with the highest decline recording from Uva, was mainly due to reduced levels of transportation and availability of safe drinking water.

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HNB promotes cashless transactions; joins CBSL’s ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ campaign

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Chief Guest for the event Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal, CBSL Deputy Governor and National Payments Council chairperson Yvette Fernando, and CBSL Payments and Settlements Director D. Kumaratunge with HNB Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo as he completes a transaction via HNB SOLO at a merchant stall

HNB PLC, partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to promote the Colombo-leg of ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign at Diyatha Uyana, to raise awareness and encourage the public towards cashless payments.

Having already linked LANKA QR to its digital payment app HNB SOLO, the bank was among other financial institutions and telecommunication partners in joining efforts to make cashless QR-code based payments the standard for mobile phones and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy Sri Lanka.

“We are entering a new era of financial technology, where almost all of our daily transactions will require no physical banknotes, but just a smartphone and internet connection with our bank account integrated to a digital payment app.

The Central Bank’s national directive for banks and financial institutions to adopt and integrate LANKA QR into their existing digital payment solutions has prompted an aggressive onboarding of merchants to the new payment solution across the country. With our extensive customer base, SOLO is no doubt a significant contributor to this innovative initiative,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

The Colombo-leg of the ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign raised awareness regarding SOLO’s many facilities, including zero human interaction, efficiency, and eliminated risks that influenced many vendors to come on board.

 

(HNB)

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Sri Lanka Insurance posts a staggering revenue of Rs. 55.2 billion during 2020

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Amidst the turbulent and challenging year Sri Lanka Insurance has closed year 2020 on a positive note recording phenomenal revenue growth with exceptional service innovations.

Sri Lanka Insurance the premier insurer to the nation recorded stellar performance in 2020 to record Rs. 55.2 billion revenue for the year, a marked improvement on the Rs.48.6 billion in the year 2019, a press release said.

It adds – In the year of 2020 Sri Lanka Insurance reported 30 % growth in life insurance premium increasing to Rs.19.2 billion whilst general insurance reported 7% growth in premium grew to Rs. 20.1 billion. The company achieved a combined Gross Written Premium (GWP) growth rate of 17 % during the year. General insurance contributed 51% towards the total GWP whilst Life Insurance contributed 49 %.

‘In continuing with its tradition of leadership, Sri Lanka Insurance in 2020 surpassed its own record to declare a sum of Rs.8.2 billion as bonus to policyholders. The cumulative life insurance bonus paid out during the past 10 years tops a massive Rs.54 billion making the SLIC bonus payout unmatchable.

‘As the national insurer we have witnessed yet another challenging year and the consequences brought out by pandemic outbreak urged us to conduct our business operations in a more empathetic manner. SLIC has always taken the lead to protect the nation and during this difficult time Sri Lanka Insurance launched many initiatives to sustain country’s health defenses while ensuring our customers receive uninterrupted insurance service.

‘As the pioneering insurance company in Sri Lanka we are in the forefront to inculcate the importance of insurance to the masses as a national responsibility on our shoulders. We will further strengthen internal capabilities to serve the nation through innovative and affordable insurance solutions which cater to all Sri Lankans under the ‘Insurance for All” concept. Even though the times are defining we will continue protecting our nation turning obstacles into opportunities.’ noted .Jagath Wellawatta, chairman of SLIC.

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Bank of Ceylon empowering nation with Lanka Q

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The Bank of Ceylon in its mission to assist the government initiative to empower Sri Lanka through digital technology is joining the customer awareness campaign of Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s Lanka QR digital platform.

Bank of Ceylon had its most recent major awareness programs in Borella and Maharagama along with the other branches in Colombo District in line with the Central Bank’s main program held in “Diyatha Uyana” with the participation of all Lanka QR certified banks on the same day.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has organized a series of awareness and promotion campaigns for popularizing Lanka QR with the participation of all Lanka QR certified financial institutions throughout the country with the aim of speeding up the customer adaptation process towards digital banking.

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