Showing posts with label ECONOMIC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ECONOMIC. Show all posts

04 August 2021

Indo-Pacific Business Forum - October 28-29, 2021.

In October 2021, the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of India will welcome senior government officials, industry executives and other participants to the fourth Indo-Pacific Business Forum. This premier public-private event will be hosted virtually on October 28-29, 2021.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency is sponsoring the Forum and co-organizing with the Department of State and more than 10 other U.S. government agencies, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. India Business Council, U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.

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02 August 2021

CCPI based Inflation increased to 5.7 per cent in July 2021.

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-onyear (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100)1 , increased to 5.7 per cent in July 2021 from 5.2 per cent in June 2021. This was driven by monthly increases of prices of items in the Non-food category. Subsequently, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 11.0 per cent in July 2021 from 11.3 per cent in June 2021, while Non-food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 3.2 per cent in July 2021 from 2.5 per cent in June 2021.

The CCPI, measured on an annual average basis, increased marginally to 4.2 per cent in July 2021 from 4.1 per cent in June 2021.

Monthly change of CCPI recorded at 0.50 per cent in July 2021 due to price increases observed in items of the Non-food category. Moreover, monthly changes of Food and Non-food categories recorded at -0.05 per cent and 0.55 per cent, respectively. Accordingly, within the Food category, prices of coconut, fresh fish and coconut oil decreased. Meanwhile, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded an increase during the month due to price increases observed in the Transport (Petrol) and Restaurant and Hotels subcategories.

The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, increased to 3.7 per cent in July 2021 from 3.2 per cent in June 2021. Moreover, annual average core inflation increased marginally to 3.1 per cent in July 2021 from 3.0 per cent in June 2021. 



31 July 2021

Elon Musk reportedly demanded to become Apple CEO as Part of potential Tesla acquisition.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. 

The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.

According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of Apple purchasing Tesla, Musk told Cook that a purchase of Telsa by Apple could only go forward if he became CEO of the combined company.

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23 July 2021

Facebook spent $23.4 million on Mark Zuckerberg's personal security.

The cost to protect high-profile tech execs is spiralling even as lockdowns have grounded travel to a halt. A new analysis of the security expenses racked up by Silicon Valley giants shows they collectively spent $46 million to safeguard their top brass last year. Of that figure, $23.4 million alone was spent on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's personal security, up from $20.4 million in 2019, according to the report by Protocol. 

The company attributed the increase to new COVID-19 protocols and additional protection during the election. Included in the figure was a pre-tax allowance of $10 million and an additional $13.4 million for the Facebook founder's personal security. As a result, Zuckerberg far eclipsed others on the list including the world's richest person, Jeff Bezos, who paid $1.6 million in personal security costs. Signalling just how cautious Facebook is, the company's COO Sheryl Sandberg was in second place with security worth $7.6 million in 2020.

The results reflect the growing stature of the tech elite, who have grown more recognizable alongside the ballooning market caps of their companies, which provide globally popular services. Fame has inevitably brought with it unwarranted attention. 

Facebook, which has been accused of everything from polarizing public discourse to enabling the spread of vaccine misinformation, has a right to be defensive. The company has previously noted in SEC filings that Zuckerberg is "synonymous" with the "negative sentiment" around it. In April, Facebook noted that its yearly assessments “identified specific threats to Mr. Zuckerberg." Other tech leaders have also borne the brunt of their notoriety. In 2020, it was revealed that Bezos' phone had been hacked via WhatsApp two years prior, potentially by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The security expenses list includes 11 individuals in total. In third place is Google's Sundar Pichai ($5.4 million in protection costs), followed by Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer ($2.06 million), Oracle's Larry Ellison ($1.71 million), Snap's Evan Spiegel ($1.67 million), Bezos, Salesforce boss Marc Benioff ($1.31 million), Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi ($849,000), Lyft CEO Logan Green ($599,000) and Apple's Tim Cook ($470,000).



20 July 2021

Zoom is buying cloud contact center provider Five9.

Zoom announced on Sunday 18 July 2021 that it’s buying Five9, a provider of cloud contact center software, in an all-stock transaction valuing the company at $14.7 billion.

The deal marks Zoom’s first billion-dollar acquisition and comes as the company prepares for a post-pandemic world with employees returning to the office. It’s the second-biggest U.S. tech deal this year, behind Microsoft’s planned $16 billion purchase of Nuance Communications, according to FactSet.

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19 July 2021

Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE)'s All Share Price Index crosses 8,000 mark.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) crossed the 8,000 mark today (July 19) as it went by 55.60 points.

ASPI closed at 8,022.55, according to the CSE.

Further, the value of turnover for today is at Rs 6.22 billion.

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World leaders pledge to redouble Covid-19 fight at special APEC meeting.

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, including US President Joe Biden, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and China's Xi Jinping, pledged on Friday 16 July 2021 to work to expand sharing and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines to fight the global pandemic.

The leaders, struggling to tame outbreaks exacerbated by the Delta variant, said they would encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies "on mutually agreed terms" as the region prepared for future health shocks.

The APEC leaders met virtually to discuss collective actions to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impacts.

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18 July 2021

Pakistan, Russia sign terms of accord for gas pipeline.

Pakistan and Russia signed Head of Terms Agreement for the construction of Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project (PSGPP).

The agreement was signed here after three days talks here between Pakistan and Russia. From Pakistan side Secretary Petroleum Division Dr Arshad Mahmood inked the agreement while from the Russian side Deputy Director Department of Energy Alexander Layroop signed the documents.

The Karachi-to-Lahore pipeline, expected to cost some $2.5 billion, and will have an annual capacity of up to 12.4 billion cubic metres of gas. On the occasion, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar said that that the project was facing delay since 2015 but now it is on track and will be completed by 2023. He said that the local companies will lay the pipeline while the material will be imported from Russia. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority will determine the tariff for the Pipeline, he added. The pipeline will improve the supply of gas from North to South, he maintained.



Italy bans large cruise ships from Venice.

Large cruise ships will be banned from entering the Venice lagoon as of August 1, the Italian government announced Tuesday 13 July 2021.

It follows years of warnings they risk causing irreparable damage to Venice's ecosystem.

"The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system," Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said in a statement.

The move affects vessels longer than 180 meters (530 feet) or higher than 35 meters.

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Xiaomi becomes the world's No. 2 smartphone maker.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp overtook Apple Inc in the second quarter to become the world's No. 2 smartphone maker, market research firm Canalys said in a report.

Xiaomi took the second spot for the first time with 17% share of worldwide smartphone shipments, up 3% from the previous quarter, according to the research firm.

Global smartphone shipments grew 12% in the second quarter, led by Samsung Electronics with a 19% share, and Apple at third place with a 14% share.

The average selling price of Xiaomi phones is about 40% to 75% cheaper compared with Samsung and Apple respectively, Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton said, adding that a major priority for Xiaomi this year is to grow sales of its high-end devices.

The company's shipments jumped more than 300% in Latin America, 150% Africa and 50% in Western Europe, the report said.



Singapore unveils one of the world’s biggest floating solar panel farms.

Singapore has unveiled one of the world’s biggest floating solar panel farms. The project is part of efforts by the country to meet a goal of quadrupling its solar energy production by 2025 to help tackle climate change. Located on a reservoir in western Singapore, the 60 megawatt-peak solar photovoltaic farm has been built by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Industries. Spanning an area equivalent to 45 football fields and producing enough electricity to power the island’s five water treatment plants.

The electricity generated from the 122,000 solar panels on the 45-hectare site will make Singapore one of the few countries in the world to have a water treatment system fully powered by sustainable energy. The solar farm could help to reduce carbon emissions by about 32 kilotonnes annually, comparable to taking 7,000 cars off the roads.

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16 July 2021

Tesla Signed a $436M Deal with Samsung.

Tesla has made a $436 million deal with Samsung to supply camera modules. The "largest US EV maker" is reported to have struck a deal with Samsung to complete a new car that does not have side mirrors and has eight driving cameras, prompting speculation that this is for Cybertruck.

On July 13, early in the morning, The Korea Economy Daily reported that Samsung signed a $436 million deal to supply top US electric vehicle maker with camera modules for a new model. Although "Tesla" and "Cybertruck" names were not featured in the post, all information provided hinted that the deal was signed with the Californian manufacturer for its new pickup truck.

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15 July 2021

India stops payment service provider from issuing cards.

India's central bank has barred Mastercard indefinitely from issuing new debit or credit cards to domestic customers.

The Reserve Bank of India has accused the company of violating data storage laws.

The bank said Mastercard had not complied with rules requiring foreign card networks to store data on Indian payments exclusively in India.

There has been no response from the global payments service provider.

Mastercard will be prohibited from issuing debit, credit or prepaid cards to customers in India from 22 July.

The Reserve Bank's decision will not have any impact on Mastercard's existing customers. 

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Korean palm oil giant stripped of sustainability status.

A Korean palm oil giant has been rejected from the world's leading green certification body in the wake of a BBC investigation.

The BBC had earlier found evidence that the Korindo group had been buying up swathes of Asia's largest remaining rainforests in the remote Indonesian province of Papua.

A visual analysis suggested that fires had then been deliberately set to these forests, a clear violation of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The regulator's tree logo - found on paper products throughout the UK and Europe - is meant to tell consumers the product is sourced from ethical and sustainable companies.

At the time of the BBC's investigation late last year, the FSC said they would not expel Korindo but were working with the Korean company to address social and environmental problems.

But now the green body says the relationship has "become untenable" and Korindo's trademark licenses with FSC will be terminated from October.



13 July 2021

Issue of Commemorative Coins to Mark the 65th Anniversary of Sri Lanka – China Diplomatic Relations.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has issued gold and silver commemorative coins of Rupees 1,000, each with same depiction, to mark 65th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the People's Republic of China and the 100th Anniversary of Communist Party of China. 

The coins have been issued at the request of the Government of Sri Lanka as an accolade for long-standing friendship and mutual trust between the two countries.

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11 July 2021

Colombo Stock Market launches second phase of digitalisation

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) along with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) continue to drive digital advancement in Sri Lanka’s capital market with the launch of the second phase of the digitalization of the Stock Market on 07th July 2021 under the patronage of His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka at the Presidential Secretariat.



06 July 2021

Jeff Bezos steps down from Amazon.

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, stepped down as Amazon CEO on last Monday (July 5, 2021). Bezos chose July 5 as it was exactly 27 years ago on that date in 1994 when he founded Amazon. 

However, the 57-year old, won't be going far from Amazon and will be the executive chair. The American business magnate will also focus on new products and initiatives. 

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person for the fourth year running with a net worth over 20,180 crores USD, now plans to focus on his other ventures that include his rocket ship company, Blue Origin, and his newspaper, The Washington Post.

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03 July 2021

Korean Air wins Air Transport World's Airline of the Year Award.

Korean Air has been announced the winner of one of the most prestigious honors in the aviation industry: Air Transport World’s (ATW) 2021 Airline of the Year.

Launched in 1974, ATW’s annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards are compared to the Academy Awards of the airline industry. This year’s awards ceremony will be held in Boston, U.S., on October 5, 2021.

Korean Air is one of few airlines, if not the only one, in the world recording operating profits for four consecutive quarters from the second quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. The airline made the strategic decision to focus on the cargo business and maximize cargo operations through measures such as converting passenger jets into freighters.

Meanwhile, Korean Air took the bold step to acquire Asiana Airlines, the biggest deal in the global aviation industry during the pandemic.

Korean Air plans to continue to strengthen its position in the global aviation industry, and aims to become one of the world’s top 10 airlines after successfully acquiring and integrating Asiana Airlines.

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02 July 2021

CCPI based Inflation increased to 5.2 per cent in June 2021.

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100), increased to 5.2 per cent in June 2021 from 4.5 per cent in May 2021. This was driven by monthly increases of prices of items in both Food and Non-food categories. Accordingly, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 11.3 per cent in June 2021 from 9.9 per cent in May 2021, while Non-food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 2.5 per cent in June 2021 from 2.2 per cent in May 2021.

The CCPI, measured on an annual average basis, increased to 4.1 per cent in June 2021 from 3.9 per cent in May 2021.

Monthly change of CCPI recorded at 1.47 per cent in June 2021 due to price increases observed in items of both Food and Non-food categories. Moreover, monthly changes of Food and Non-food categories recorded at 1.25 per cent and 0.21 per cent, respectively. Accordingly, within the Food category, prices of rice, vegetables and fresh fish increased whereas, price of fresh fruits recorded a decrease. Meanwhile, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded an increase during the month due to price increases observed in the Health (Purchase of pharmacy products, Fees to ayurvedic doctors) and Transport (Petrol, Diesel) sub-categories.

The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, remained unchanged at 3.2 per cent in June 2021. Moreover, annual average core inflation also remained unchanged at 3.0 per cent in June 2021 for the fifth consecutive month.



New Chairman for Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce elected Mr. Vish Govindasamy as its Chairman during the Chamber’s 182nd Annual General Meeting on Tuesday (29). Mr. Govindasamy succeeds Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya who completed his 2-Year Term as Chairman at the culmination of the Annual General Meeting.

Mr. Vish Govindasamy serves in the capacity of Managing Director of Sunshine Holdings PLC, a diversified conglomerate listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lanka. Prior to this, he was the CEO of Watawala Plantations, where he was instrumental in turning the company around and leading it to become the highest capitalised regional plantation company in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Mr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, Senior Partner and Head of Tax at Ernst & Young and Mr. Krishan Balendra, Chairman of John Keells Holdings PLC were appointed as Vice Chairperson and Deputy Vice Chairperson respectively.

Further to the office bearers above, Ms. Shiromal Cooray, Chairperson & Managing Director, Jetwing Travels and Chairperson, Jetwing Hotels, Mr. Asoka Pieris, Managing Director of Cargills Food Company Ltd and Director of Cargills (Ceylon) PLC and Mr. Manjula de Silva, Secretary General and CEO of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce were re-elected to the Board of the Ceylon Chamber. 

Mr. Sarath Ganegoda -  Group Executive Director, Hayleys PLC, Mr. Amal Cabraal – Chairman, Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC and Chairman, Ceylon Beverage Holdings PLC and Mr. Bingumal Thewerathanthri – CEO, Standard Chartered Bank PLC were elected as three new members to the Board.