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Wednesday December 6th, 2023

Sri Lanka’s BOI says rail deal rejected on weak information and tax-holiday demands

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Board of Investments said it has rejected an investment proposal for a high-speed railway project because the investor had asked for tax holidays and large swathes of land but failed to provide financial and technical credentials and past project reports.

Ceylon High Speed Railway Corporation had proposed to invest 500 million US dollars in the railway project, and requested 4,000 acres of land and sought approvals for a private bank and a university," the BOI said.

The investor had also proposed to fill-up 600 acres of marshland at Muthurajawela, a protected reserve.

"Their failure to provide details such as proof of their past experiences in building such projects, their financial credentials and technical know-how made it impossible for BOI to approve a project that required handing over thousands of acres of state lands with no proof that it could be finalized," the BOI said in a statement.

"This information is what is normally requested from investors who apply to start projects," it said.

The investor was required to provide these documents to the BOI to obtain the clearance of the Single Window Investment Approval Committee (SWIAC) which was set up by the state to approve large investments.

"They also wanted to build super luxury hotels with liquor licenses in each of their industrial zones to be set up," the BOI said.

"The company in question also requested tax holidays which could not be accommodated under the present laws," it said.

There had been media reports alleging corruption in not approving the deal. (COLOMBO, 26 September 2018)



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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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