Business and economics news
Belt and Road Initiative will attract more FDI into Sri Lanka: experts

Xinhua - Sri Lanka's participation in China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will boost the country's economy and help it attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), participants of the "Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2017" have said.

Speaking at the gathering here on Wednesday, Jim McCabe, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka said the Belt and Road Initiative would strengthen the country's competitiveness and improve its growth and development.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

"The OBOR (Belt and Road) will help Sri Lanka get the FDIs it needs. The OBOR has many positives for the island country," McCabe said.

Finance income boosts JKH 1Q as key business hit by poor consumer demand

The interim results released by John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) for the June quarter proved that even the country’s largest conglomerate in terms of market value is not immune to the headwinds in the economy.

JKH group, which has interests in consumer foods, leisure, transport and financial services, reported earnings of Rs.2.04 or Rs.2.8 billion for the April – June quarter (1Q18), an increase of 19 percent year-on-year (YoY)

However, the group’s operating results were down 11 percent to Rs.2.1 billion as its key consumer businesses underperformed due to subdued consumer demand.
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Sri Lankan shares end steady, hover near 6-wk closing low

Reuters - Sri Lankan shares ended steady in thin trade on Thursday as gains in financials were offset by losses in industrial shares, with foreign investors continuing to be net buyers.

The Colombo stock index ended almost unchanged at 6,669.05. On Tuesday, the index recorded its lowest close since June 13.

Shares of diversified conglomerate Hemas Holdings Plc fell 1.0 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc rose 0.13 percent.

Turnover stood at a one-week high of 780.9 million rupees, but less than this year's daily average of around 898 million rupees.

"The foreign buying is still there and we see local retail and institutional investors are settling for price," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 203.5 million rupees ($1.32 million) on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 25.4 billion rupees.

Stockbrokers said market sentiment has improved after the government approved a key port deal.

Sri Lanka's cabinet cleared a revised agreement for leasing its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation.

Colombo's overall macro-footing will improve upon the conclusion of the port deal, said Shailesh Kumar, Eurasia's senior analyst for Asia in a report.

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