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Sale of Subsidiaries, Sub-Subsidiaries and Investment Properties of ETI Finance Ltd

It has come to the notice of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) that some misinformation is circulating pertaining to ETI Finance Ltd (ETIF) disposing its subsidiaries, sub-subsidiaries and investment properties, and the involvement of CBSL therein.

With regard to the said transaction, CBSL wishes to clarify the following:

Ensuring the Safety of Payment Card Transactions

Payment cards provide customers the convenience of withdrawing cash through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) network and transacting through merchants worldwide. However, there is a possibility that ATM and card reading machines can be abused by criminals in order to steal customer funds from their accounts. To mitigate such incidents, international payment card security standards and best practices have been adopted in Sri Lanka’s ATM and payment card network, such as issuance of cards with increased security which have an electronic chip (EMV) and provide for SMS alerts for all electronic transactions.

Few incidents of fund withdrawals using fraudulent payment cards were reported in the recent past. Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Lanka Clear (Pvt) Limited and licensed banks have initiated several measures, in addition to measures that are already in place, to mitigate such situations and enhance the security of customer funds while ensuring the safety of the banking system.

External Sector Performance - November 2018

The deficit in the trade account narrowed significantly in November 2018 (year-on-year) following the noteworthy decline in the import expenditure. 

Exports grew by 4.1 per cent while imports contracted by 9.1 per cent in November 2018 (year-on-year).

Earnings from tourism rebounded strongly with the start of the tourism season registering a growth of 18.2 per cent in November (year-on-year). Tourism sector is expected to continue its robust performance through 2019. 

Foreign Investment Threshold in Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds

The Monetary Board of Central Bank of Sri Lanka has decided to reduce the threshold of foreign investments in Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds from 10 per cent to 5 per cent out of the total outstanding stock of Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds with effect from 18.01.2019.