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Private sector interest rates should come down further: CBSL Governor

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Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said he would like to see private sector interest rates come down further and at a faster pace.

He said that the domestic debt restructuring is the most important focus for the debt-laden country in the near-term.

Speaking at a LSEG FX Community Event yesterday (7), the Governor said that monetary policy transmission to the real economy in Sri Lanka is still incomplete.

According to Reuters, he said that he would like to see private sector interest rates come down further. “We would firstly like to see yields drop in line with policy rates and, from there, decline further. We are waiting to see this reaction from markets,” he said.

In the last two months Sri Lanka has slashed policy rates by 450 basis points, signalling a focus on growth after the crisis-hit economy contracted by 7.8% last year.

Sri Lanka is on track to post a stronger performance this year than the 3% contraction projected by the IMF, Dr. Weerasinghe said.

“Sri Lanka has managed to do better than expected before and we are hopeful that Sri Lanka will once again perform better than the projections,” he said.

Over the past five months Sri Lanka’s economy has stabilised with inflation dwindling to 6.3% in July, from a high of 69% last September, and on track to hit the central bank’s target band of 4%-6%.

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No justification for coconut oil price hike – Coconut Development Authority

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The Coconut Development Authority has stated that there is no valid reason for a price increase of coconut oil in the local market.

CDA chairman – Prof. Roshan Perera has emphasized that there has been no tax hike on imported coconut oil.
Given the sufficient supply of coconut oil for domestic consumption, Prof. Perera asserted that any price increase is unjustifiable.

Additionally, a new regulatory program is being planned to control and stabilize coconut oil prices in the market, he added.

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Coconut oil price upped

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The price of a litre of coconut oil has been increased by more than Rs. 100, the National Consumer Front (NCF) has said.

NCF Chairman Asela Sampath said that the price of a litre of coconut oil has been increased by between Rs. 180 and Rs. 200. 

Accordingly, the current retail price of a coconut oil litre is Rs. 550.

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Registration compulsory for all money changers 

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The Central Bank has issued a notice making it compulsory for all money exchange institutions to be registered with the Central Bank and regulated by it. 

The CB order is in effect from 3 June 2024. 

The Central Bank states that all money changers who are currently not registered will now receive the opportunity to provide such services in a systematic and regulated manner. 

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