Earnings from tourism are estimated to have recorded a year-on-year growth of 13.6 per cent to US dollars 762.3 million during the first three months of 2015, compared to the cumulative earning of US dollars 671.0 million during the corresponding period of 2014.

Workers’ remittances increased by 6.3 per cent, year-on-year, to US dollars 644.3 million in March 2015 from US dollars 605.9 million recorded in March 2014. The cumulative inflow from workers’ remittances increased marginally by 1.0 per cent to US dollars 1,679.4 million during the first quarter of 2015 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2014.

New license
Ceylinco Insurance last week said that the company obtained the license of Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) which permitted Ceylinco Life Insurance Limited and Ceylinco General Insurance Limited to carry on Long Term insurance business and General insurance business respectively from 01st June 2015. The above companies are fully owned subsidiaries of Ceylinco Insurance.

Chemanex announced that the main shareholder of Chemcel (Pvt) Ltd, Archer Daniels Midland Europe BV will cease its operations based upon several considerations. Chemanex currently owns 23.2% of Chemcel (Pvt) Ltd and it is reflected in the company’s books at an investment value of Rs. 272mn. Furthermore upon liquidation Chemanex would be able to realize its investment value.

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves as at end March 2015 are estimated to be US dollars 6.8 billion, equivalent to 4.2 months of imports while total foreign assets amounted to US dollars 8.6 billion, equivalent to 5.3 months of imports, the Central Bank said. The gross official reserves increased to US dollars 7.5 billion by end April 2015, which included proceeds of US dollars 400 million from the currency swap arrangement between Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Reserve Bank of India. With the proceeds of the international sovereign bond, SLDBs and the expected proceeds of the balance portion of US dollars 1.1 billion from the currency swap agreement between Sri Lanka and India together with other regular investment inflows, gross official reserves are expected to increase further during the next few months.