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Three new companies allowed to sell fuel for lower prices

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The government has decided to allow the three foreign companies entering the retail fuel market in Sri Lanka to sell fuel below the approved price of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

A senior official of the Power and Energy Ministry said the contracts with the three companies will be signed by the end of this month and the companies will launch operations within a month after the contracts are signed.

Accordingly, China’s Sinopec, Australia’s United Petroleum and Shell Company together with RM Parks Inc of the US have been approved to enter the retail fuel market in Sri Lanka.

Once the three companies are allowed to sell fuel at less than the fixed price, the senior official said the demand for CPC fuel will decrease.

At present, the government spends an average of US$ 450 million per month on fuel imports and the ministry hopes that each of the three companies will bring US$ 120 million worth of fuel to Sri Lanka per month, reducing the government’s expenditure on fuel.

The terms of the agreements with new companies include that they must refrain from using local banks to find US Dollars needed to import fuel and that the profits earned can only be taken out of the country after one year.

The Power and Energy Ministry has estimated that the three companies will import US$ 2.2 billion worth of fuel per year.

The agreement will be signed for 20 years and the companies must pay US$ 2 million annually as renewal fees.

Even after 20 years, the companies can continue to operate based on the agreements made through negotiations. 

Sources said the companies will pay an amount as storage fees and the government will receive a certain percentage from a liter as revenue.

Under the agreements, the companies have also been given the opportunity to sell high-end products used in luxury vehicles.  

(Lankadeepa)

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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