Mobitel buys eChannelling
State-owned Mobitel last week signed an agreement with Senior Marketing System Asia to purchase all the ordinary shares of eChannelling PLC owned by SMS Asia. The agreement will be followed by a voluntary offer made at CSE to all shareholders.

Control on asbestos
The cabinet last week decided to control the use and import of asbestos from 1st January 2018 by adopting more beneficial substitutes and to prepare an operational programme to prohibit asbestos-related productions by 01-01-2024 with the view to improve the health of its citizens.

ADB to aid CSE
The cabinet last week accepted a proposal made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to conduct loan negotiations with the Asian Development Bank towards obtaining a loan of US$ 250 million for the development of an efficient, fixed and transparent Capital Market with a strong legal and regulatory framework.

Trade deficit
The deficit in the trade account expanded by 6% to US$ 779 mn in June 2016 compared to the corresponding month of the previous year due to the steeper reduction in exports in comparison to the decline in imports. The cumulative trade deficit during the first half of 2016 has increased by 2.2% to US$ 4,213 million compared to the same period in 2015.

Tourism earnings
Earnings from tourism recorded a moderate growth of 2.2 per cent in June 2016. Cumulative earnings from tourism increased to US dollars 1,598.2 million during the first six months of 2016 compared to US dollars 1,375.7 million recorded during the same period in 2015, the Central Bank said.

Receipts from workers’ remittances moderated with a growth of 2.4 per cent in June 2016 compared to the corresponding month in 2015. This resulted in a cumulative growth of 5.3 per cent in the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2015.

CCC Seminar
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the National Police Commission and the Sri Lanka Police will hold a seminar with the participation of the corporate sector representatives to discuss ‘Law Enforcement Matters’ in the country. The seminar will be held on the 14th September, 2016 at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at 2.00 pm.

Financial Flows
The financial account was bolstered by the receipt of the first tranche of the IMF-EFF of US dollars 168 million received in June 2016. Total foreign loan net inflows to the Government during the first six months in 2016 amounted to US dollars 353.9 million compared to US dollars 147.2 million in the first six months of 2015. Foreign investments in government securities also witnessed a resurgence with a net inflow of US dollars 71.1 million in June 2016.