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Economic Capsule April 2010


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April 2010 - Sri Lanka Economic Capsule
by the Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka

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Economic Capsule April 2010

  1. 1. April 2010 ECONOMIC CAPSULE Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC Research & Development Unit 
  2. 2. <ul><li>Economic Performance – 2009 04 </li></ul><ul><li>Budget Further Delayed... 05 </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Lanka - March Tourist Arrivals  53.7% 06-07 </li></ul><ul><li>BOI Targets USD 5 bn for Next Six Years 08 </li></ul><ul><li>External Sector Performance – January 2010 09 </li></ul><ul><li>Inflation - March, 2010 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Aid Support 11 </li></ul><ul><li>Credit to the Private Sector ▲ 12 </li></ul><ul><li>Greece Debt Crisis 13-15 </li></ul><ul><li>Licensed Banks Taking Steps to Open Branches in the Northern and Eastern Provinces 17 </li></ul><ul><li>Branch Openings 18 </li></ul>Economic & Business News Slide Financial Sector News Snippets 19 Analysis & Forecast 20-23 ECONOMIC CAPSULE – April 2010 C O N T E N T S
  3. 3. Back to Contents Economic & Financial Sector News
  4. 4. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Economic Performance - 2009 <ul><li>The economic output of Sri Lanka as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) </li></ul><ul><li>The economic activities which registered relatively significant growths in 2009 are as follows; </li></ul>3.5% 6.0% 2008 2009 Hotels and restaurants – 13.3% Post and Telecommunication – 11.7% <ul><li>Sector contribution to GDP 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>59.4% Agri, Forestry & Fishing Services 12% Industry 28.6% <ul><li>Sector Growth </li></ul><ul><li>The slowdown in domestic economic activity resulted in a marginal increase in the unemployment rate (excluding the Northern Province), to 5.8 % in 2009 from 5.4 % in 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Source: Department of Census & Statistics   Rubber - 7.9% Vegetables - 7.3% Fishing - 6.9% Other Mining - 18.1% Sector Growth (%) 2009 2008 Agriculture 3.2 7.5 Industry 4.2 5.9 Services 3.3 5.6
  5. 5. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Budget Further Delayed... <ul><li>According to government sources the 2010 budget had been further delayed and a 'vote on account' for May - June 2010 period and thereafter a 'mini-budget' for the July - December 2010 period would be presented instead. </li></ul><ul><li>Meanwhile a central bank official has stated that the mini budget will not have the usual wage hikes, cigarette taxes or revenue raising measures but would be more like an expanded vote on account. </li></ul><ul><li>The government in 2009 sought parliament's permission for a 'vote on account covering government expenditure for the first four months of 2010, based on 2009 projected budget, because of presidential and parliamentary polls called ahead of schedule </li></ul>
  6. 6. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Sri Lanka - March Tourist Arrivals  53.7%     Sri Lanka's March 2010 tourist arrivals  53.7 % to 52,352 from a year earlier . Cont… Arrivals by Top 5 Regions Region % Increase Western Europe 21,797 ▲ 48.6 South Asia 12,801 ▲ 51.7 East Asia 5,438 ▲ 47.5 Eastern Europe 3,421 ▲ 21.8 North America 3,417 ▲ 95.0 Arrivals by Top 5 Countries Country % Increase India 8,607 ▲ 72.1 % UK 8,559 ▲ 30.1 % Germany 5,305 ▲ 96.5 % Maldives 3,160 ▲ 26.3 % France 2,872 ▲ 63.1 %
  7. 7. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Sri Lanka - March Tourist Arrivals  53.7% (cont…)   Tourism Highlights 2010 ... <ul><li>Hosting of the 11 th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony in Colombo from 3—5 June, 2010 . </li></ul><ul><li>A twenty / 20 cricket match between Bollywood stars and Sri Lankan film and cricketing stars is also being planned during this three day mega event. The weekend events in Colombo will also include a business forum, fashion show and movie workshop. </li></ul><ul><li>The projects for 'Visit Sri Lanka 2011' are to be launched in 2010 which includes a big PR campaign to encourage and entice tourists to visit Sri Lanka in the year 2011. </li></ul><ul><li>The upbeat in the tourism sector was also reflected in the stock exchange with hotel sector shares rising on the anticipation of a post-war tourism expansion. </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Lanka's newly appointed Economic Development Minister, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, has also been named as the Tourism Minister. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit BOI Targets USD 5 bn for Next Six Years <ul><li>According to BOI sources BOI is targeting USD 5 bn worth of foreign direct investments during the next six years, generating employment to around 80,000 people. </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign direct investment for the first three months of 2010 exceeded USD 250 mn due to renewed investor confidence. Investments in 2010 are expected to surpass 2009 investments of USD 602 mn. </li></ul><ul><li>The BOI set up its first branch in Jaffna recently to encourage investors in the North and revive enterprises and create a vibrant business environment in the region. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>According to the Board of Investment it had recently approved and signed agreements for eight new investments worth USD 20 mn that will create 500 job opportunities Company Project Type Amount (USD mn) Nilwala Vidulibala Mini-hydro power plant - Morawaka 3.28 Bogo Power Mini hydro-power plant - Norwood 5.50 Aitken Spence Hotels Refurbish and upgrade Neptune Hotel - Beruwala 4.0 Stafford Hotel Refurbish and upgrade Club Dolphin -Waikkal. 4.40 Thampa Tourist Hotel and Inn. 25-room hotel - Vavuniya 0.50 Jugas Agro Dairies Dairy Business - Chenkalady-Batticaloa. 1.50 B F P Enterprises Process banana fibre into value-added products for export - Hambantota 0.50 Hambantota Trading Company An export trading house - Koggala Export Processing Zone. 0.50 Total 20.18
  9. 9. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit External Sector Performance – January 2010 USD Mn Imports, Exports & Trade Balance 2005-2009 Category     January 2009 US$ mn January 2010 US$ mn Change (%) Exports 491.1 472.0 -3.9 Agricultural 101.0 142.5 41.1 Industrial 385.1 319.9 -16.9 Mineral 5.1 9.6 88.3 Imports 682.6 1,160.9 70.1 Consumer Goods 154.0 233.5 51.6 Intermediate Goods 333.8 625.1 87.3 Investment Goods 183.3 219.0 19.5 Balance of Trade -191.5 -688.9 -259.8 Workers’ Remittances 258.0 289.8 12.3
  10. 10. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Inflation - April, 2010 <ul><li>Inflation, as measured by the point-to-point change in the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) (2002=100),  to 5.8% in April, 2010 from 6.3 % in March 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>The annual average inflation, recorded a slight  to 3.4 % in April, 2010 from 3.2 % in the previous month. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  11. 11. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Aid Support ADB/Japan ADB Amount <ul><li>USD 50 Mn </li></ul><ul><li>USD 150 Mn </li></ul>Purpose <ul><li>Public finance management reforms aimed at paving the way for increased investment in underdeveloped areas, including those severely affected by conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency loan for reconstruction of urgently-needed infrastructure, restore essential services and revive livelihood opportunities for people in war-affected regions. </li></ul>Interest <ul><li>5-year grace period and interest determined in accordance with its LIBOR-based lending facility. </li></ul><ul><li>32-year term, including a grace period of 8 years and an annual interest rate based on ADB's LIBOR based lending facility. </li></ul><ul><li>GOSL will provide in-kind counterpart funding of USD 10 Mn, for a total project cost of USD 60 Mn. </li></ul><ul><li>GOSL will provide USD 18.24 mn for the project. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Credit to the Private Sector ▲ <ul><li>Loans from Sri Lanka's commercial banks to the private sector  by Rs. 16.5 bn in February in the biggest monthly gain seen since a credit contraction ended in September, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial bank credit to the private sector  to Rs. 1,212.3 bn in February, 2010 from Rs. 1,195.8 bn a month earlier. </li></ul><ul><li>Credit to private sector from domestic banking units (rupee loans)  to Rs. 1,064 bn in February, 2010 from Rs. 1,048.7 bn a month earlier. </li></ul><ul><li>Loans from foreign currency banking units  slightly to the equivalent of Rs. 148.3 bn in February, 2010 from Rs. 147.1 bn a month earlier. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Greece Debt Crisis <ul><li>In early 2010 fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed concerning some countries in the Euro Area, specifically: Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal. This led to a crisis of confidence as well as the widening of bond yield spreads and risk insurance on credit default swaps between these countries and other Eurozone members, most importantly Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Concern about rising government deficits and debt levels across the globe together with a wave of downgrading of European Government debt has created alarm on financial markets. The debt crisis has been mostly centred on recent events in Greece, where there is concern about the rising cost of financing government debt. On May 2, the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a €110 billion bailout package for Greece, that also involves sharp Greek austerity measures. </li></ul>The Bailout Package <ul><li>The eurozone will contribute roughly two-thirds of the total financial assistance and the 186-member IMF one-third. </li></ul><ul><li>The IMF Executive Board is expected to review the package, agreed at mission level, under its fast-track procedures. It is expected to go to the Board for approval within the week. </li></ul><ul><li>IMF support will be provided under a three-year €30 billion (about $40 billion) Stand-By Arrangement (SBA)—the IMF’s standard lending instrument. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, euro area members have pledged a total of €80 billion (about $105 billion) in bilateral loans to support Greece’s effort to get its economy back on track. Implementation of the program will be monitored by the IMF through quarterly reviews. </li></ul>Greece reached agreement with the IMF, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank (ECB) on a focused program to stabilize its economy, become more competitive, and restore market confidence with the support of a €110 billion (about $145 billion) financing package. Cont…
  14. 14. Back to Contents Greece Debt Crisis (Cont…)   Timeline of Greek Crisis Research & Development Unit Below is a brief summary of some of the main events in the Greek Sovereign debt crisis. Cont… Back to Contents <ul><li>October 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>A new Greek government is formed after the election, led by PASOK, which received 43.92 % of the popular vote, and 160 of 300 parliament seats. </li></ul><ul><li>November 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>New budget draft reveals a deficit of 12.7% of GDP, more than twice the previously announced figure. </li></ul><ul><li>Final budget draft aims to cut deficit to 8.7% of GDP in 2010. Draft also projects total debt rising to 121% of GDP in 2010 from 113.4% in 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>December 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Fitch Ratings cuts Greece's rating to BBB+ from A-, with a negative outlook. </li></ul><ul><li>Greek PM Papandreou outlines first round of policies to cut deficit and regain investor trust. </li></ul><ul><li>S&P cuts Greece's rating to BBB+ from A-. </li></ul><ul><li>Moody's cuts Greece's rating to A2 from A1. </li></ul><ul><li>January 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Greece unveils the Stability and Growth Program which aims to cut deficit from 12.7% in 2009 to 2.8% in 2012. </li></ul><ul><li>5-year bond issue is five-times oversubscribed but yields and spreads rise. </li></ul><ul><li>February 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Government extends public sector wage freeze to those earning less than EUR 2,000 a month. </li></ul><ul><li>EU Commission backs Greece's Stability and Growth Program and urges it to cut its overall wage bill. </li></ul><ul><li>One-day general strike against the austerity measures halts public services and transport system. </li></ul><ul><li>EU mission in Athens with IMF experts delivers grim assessment of country's finances. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Research & Development Unit Cont… Timeline of Greek Crisis (Cont…)   Back to Contents <ul><li>March 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>New public sector wage cuts and tax increases is passed and estimated to generate savings of EUR 4.8 bn. Measures include increasing VAT by 2% to 21%, cutting public sector salary bonuses by 30%, increases on fuel, tobacco and alcohol consumption taxes and freezing state-funded pensions in 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Public and private sector workers strike. </li></ul><ul><li>EMU finance ministers agree on mechanism to help Greece but reveal no details. </li></ul><ul><li>Papandreou warns Greece will not be able to cut deficit if borrowing costs remain as high as they are and may have to go to the IMF. </li></ul><ul><li>European Commission President José Manuel Barroso urges EU member states to agree a standby aid package for Greece. Barroso says the EMU countries should be on stand by to make bilateral loans. </li></ul><ul><li>ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet says his bank will extend softer rules on collateral (accepting BBB- instead of the standard A-) for longer (up to 2011) in order to avoid a situation where one ratings agency (Moody's) basically decides if an EMU country's bonds are eligible for use as ECB collateral. </li></ul><ul><li>€ 5bn in 10-year Greek bonds sold - orders for three times that amount are received. </li></ul><ul><li>April 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>EMU leaders agree bailout plan for Greece. Terms are announced for EUR 30 bn of bilateral loans (roughly 5% for a 3-year loan). EMU countries will participate in the amount based on their ECB country keys. Rates for variable rate loans will be 3m-Euribor plus 300 bp + 100 bp for over 3-year loans plus a one-off 50 bp charge for operating expenses. For fixed rate loans rates will be swap rate for the loan's maturity, plus the 300 bp (as in variable) plus the 100 bp for loans over 3 years plus the 50 bp charge. </li></ul><ul><li>ECB voices its support for the rescue plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Olli Rehn says there is no possibility of a Greek default and no doubt that Germany will participate in the bail out plan. In the mean time there had been serious objections from parts of German society to the country's participation in the Greek bail-out </li></ul>
  16. 16. Research & Development Unit Timeline of Greek Crisis (Cont…)   <ul><li>Sale of more than 1.5 billion euros Greek Treasury bills met with &quot;stronger-than-expected&quot; demand, albeit at a high interest rate. </li></ul><ul><li>Greece officially asks for the disbursement of money from the aid package effectively activating it. </li></ul><ul><li>Standard and Poor's downgrades Greece's debt ratings below investment grade to junk bond status. </li></ul><ul><li>S&P downgrades Portugese debt two notches and issues negative outlook, warning that further downgrades to junk status are likely. Stock indices around the world drop two to six percent on the news. </li></ul><ul><li>S&P downgrades Spanish bonds from AAA to AA- </li></ul><ul><li>May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Protests against the proposed austerity measures in Athens. </li></ul><ul><li>The Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a €110 bn bailout package for Greece, that also involves sharp Greek austerity measures. </li></ul>Back to Contents Source: IMF, Wikipedia
  17. 17. Back to Contents Financial Sector News
  18. 18. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Licensed Banks Taking Steps to Open Branches in the Northern and Eastern Provinces <ul><li>Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, </li></ul><ul><li>Hatton National Bank PLC, </li></ul><ul><li>National Savings Bank </li></ul><ul><li>People’s Bank, </li></ul><ul><li>Sampath Bank PLC and </li></ul><ul><li>Seylan Bank PLC </li></ul><ul><li>Are keen to open branches in; </li></ul><ul><li>Over the next few months. Necessary approvals for this purpose have been granted by the Central Bank. </li></ul><ul><li>Licensed banks currently operating in the Northern and Eastern provinces have also committed to grant new credit facilities amounting to Rs. 56 billion in 2010 and Rs. 70 billion in 2011. </li></ul>According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, several licensed banks are showing a keen interest to facilitate economic activities in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Accordingly; North  Mankulam, Mannar, Paranthan, Tunukkai, Atchchuvely, Kilinochchi, Mallavi & Manipay East  Akkaraipattu, Kaluwanchikudy & Valachchenai
  19. 19. Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Branch Openings   173 @ Kalmunnai 174 @ Manipay 175 @ Majestic City (Holiday Banking Centre) 133 @ Kundasale 134 @ Kollupitiya 135 @ Gangodawila 39 Batticaloa (365 day Banking Centre) 136 @ Peliyagoda 137 @ Hanwella Commercial Bank Sampath Bank Pan Asia Bank 37 @ Jaffna Nations Trust Bank
  20. 20. Economic Performance - 2009 SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPE SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS - SNIPPETS <ul><li>HSBC offers remote loan approval </li></ul><ul><li>HSBC Sri Lanka has started a remote loan approval process for its customers which can deliver cash to an account within twenty four hours without visiting its branches. </li></ul><ul><li>A customer has to download a form from and fax the completed document back to the bank. </li></ul><ul><li>LOLC into insurance </li></ul><ul><li>According to sources, Lanka ORIX Leasing In a communication to the Colombo Stock Exchange has stated that it is getting into the insurance business, and a subsidiary named LOLC Insurance has been incorporated. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Share Price Movement of CBC, HNB, Sampath & Seylan   <ul><li>CSE and six stock brokers enter Jaffna </li></ul><ul><li>Six Sri Lankan stock brokers have opened offices in Jaffna with the setting up of Colombo Stock Exchanges (CSE) 5th branch there. </li></ul><ul><li>The stock brokers is to offer clients access to online trading, real-time market information, research reports and investment advice. The six stock brokers are Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, Asha Phillip Securities, Lanka Securities, Capital TRUST Securities, SKM Lanka Holdings and SMB Securities. </li></ul>End of war Back to Contents <ul><li>CBC increases the limits on ATM and Shopping Debit cards </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Bank has increased its standard cash withdrawal and point-of-sale limits on its ATM and Shopping Debit Cards, effective 1 st April 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Accordingly, all such cardholders will be entitled to withdraw up to Rs 40,000 from ATMs and make purchases of up to Rs 100,000 per day, using their Commercial Bank cards. However, higher limits can be made available at the request of the cardholder. </li></ul>Sampath Bank 1Q Profits  (Group) 31.03.10 % PBT 852.53 13.8 PAT 604.52 52.2 Deposits 132,758.78 5.4 Gross L&A 103,343.13 3.7
  21. 21. Back to Contents Analysis & Forecast
  22. 22. <ul><li>Bank write-downs </li></ul><ul><li>In October 2009 the IMF put the scale of write-downs on loans or securities that banks worldwide would have to make between 2007 & 2010 at $ 2.8 trillion. </li></ul><ul><li>It has now revised this estimate down to $2.3 trillion. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: The Economist - Apr 24-30 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution to world GDP growth </li></ul><ul><li>The global recession sent the economies of rich countries into a tailspin, but merely caused the emerging economies to slow down a bit. Developing countries are now recovering faster in what the IMF calls a “multi-speed recovery”. </li></ul><ul><li>This has affected the sources of global growth. Measured on a purchasing power bases, virtually all of world GDP growth in 2009 came from developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010 advanced economies outside America will be a drag on global growth. </li></ul><ul><li>The IMF reckons that even in 2015, almost three-quarters of global growth will come from China and other developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>During the 1990s the contribution of the emerging economies averaged 40%, rising to 58% for the years between 2000 and 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>Research & Development Unit ANALYSIS & FORECAST   World Economic Outlook 2010 Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook 2010 Asian-5 1 - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam   Back to Contents Cont…   2008 2009 2010 2011 World Output 3.0 -0.6 4.2 4.3 Advanced Economies 5.0 -3.2 2.3 2.4 United States 0.4 -2.4 3.1 2.6 Euro Area 0.6 -4.1 10.0 15.0 Japan -1.2 -5.2 1.9 2.0 United Kingdom 5.0 -4.9 1.3 2.5 Developing Asia 7.9 6.6 8.7 8.7 China 9.6 8.7 10.0 9.9 India 7.3 5.7 8.8 8.4 Asian-5 1 4.7 1.7 5.4 5.6
  23. 23. ANALYSIS & FORECAST - Medium Term Macroeconomic Framework   Back to Contents Cont… Research & Development Unit Indicators Projections Real Sector Units 2008(b) 2009 (c) 2010 2011 2012 2013 GDP at Market Prices Rs. bn 4.411 4,825 5,445 6,202 7,064 8.009 Real GDP Growth % 6.0 3.5 6.5 7.5 8.0 8.0 Inflation-GDP Deflator % 16.3 5.7 6.0 6.0 5.5 5.0 Total Investment %of GDP 27.6 24.5 27.8 29.5 32.0 33.0 Domestic Savings %of GDP 13.9 18.0 18.6 20.4 23.0 24.2 National Savings %of GDP 17.8 23.9 24.2 26.3 29.2 30.4 External Sector Trade Gap US$ mn -5,981 -3,122 -4,874 -5,588 -6,307 -7,042 Exports US$ mn 8,111 7,085 8,094 9,067 10,197 11,528 Imports US$ mn 14,091 10,207 12,968 14,655 16,504 18,571 Services (net) US$ mn 401 391 517 695 837 996 Current Account Balance US$ mn -3886 -214 -1,642 -1,638 -1,642 -1,766 Current Account Balance % of GDP -9.5 -0.5 -3.5 -3.1 -2.7 -2.6 Overall Balance (d) US$ mn -1,385 2,725 700 967 902 970 External Official Reserves (Months of Imports) (d/e/f) Months 1.4 6.0 5.3 5.5 5.5 5.0 Debt Service Ratio (g) % 15.1 19.0 14.5 15.3 19.8 18.5
  24. 24. ANALYSIS & FORECAST - Medium Term Macroeconomic Framework   (a) Based on the information available by mid March 2010. (b) Revised (c) Provisional (d) Values for 2008 were revised due to a change in the classifi cation of external assets. (e) Excluding receipts of Asian Clearing Union. (f ) External offi cial reserves from 2010 onwards include the expected proceeds from the IMF Stand-by Arrangement facility 2009. (g) Total debt service payments as a percentage of earnings from export of goods and services. (h) Year-on-year growth in end year values. Source: CBSL Annual Report - 2009 Back to Contents Research & Development Unit Indicators Projections Fiscal Sector Units 2008(b) 2009 (c) 2010 2011 2012 2013 Revenue & Grants % of GDP 15.6 15.1 15.4 16.6 17.5 17.6 Expenditure & Net Lending % of GDP 22.6 24.9 23.0 23.1 22.5 22.4 Current Account Balance % of GDP -2.0 -3.6 -1.9 0.4 1.0 1.2 Overall Budget Deficit % of GDP -7.0 -9.8 -7.5 -6.5 -5.0 -4.8 Domestic Financing % of GDP 7.1 5.0 5.1 3.5 3.4 3.5 Financial Sector (h) Reserve Money Growth % 1.5 13.1 13.5 14.0 13.9 13.4 Broad Money Growth (M2b) % 8.5 18.6 13.5 14.1 14.0 13.5 Narrow Money Growth (M1) % 4.0 21.4 7.5 8.1 8.0 8.0 Growth in Credit to Private Sector % 7.0 -5.7 13.2 15.1 17.3 17.2 Growth in Credit to Public Sector % 48.8 13.1 7.4 5.1 0.6 -1.5
  25. 25. The information contained in this presentation has been drawn from sources that we believe to be reliable. However, while we have taken reasonable care to maintain accuracy/completeness of the information, it should be noted that Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and/or its employees should not be held responsible, for providing the information or for losses or damages, financial or otherwise, suffered in consequence of using such information for whatever purpose. The views expressed in Economic Capsule are not necessarily those of the Management of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC “ The emergence of the *BRICs as aid donors is as important for poor countries as was the fall of the Berlin Wall for Eastern Europe”.   Deborah Brautigam * In economics, BRIC (typically rendered as &quot;the BRICs&quot; or &quot;the BRIC countries&quot;) is a grouping acronym that refers to the related economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Back to Contents