Sri Lanka invites KSA to set up oil refinery

Updated 24 December 2015
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Sri Lanka invites KSA to set up oil refinery

RIYADH: Sri Lanka has invited Saudi Arabia to set up a petroleum refinery in the southern part of the island, the country’s Central Bank Gov. Arjuna Mahendran said here.
In addition to meeting the needs of Sri Lanka, he said such a refinery could tap markets in neighboring countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Mahendran, an economist and a top banker, who was leading a high-powered delegation to the Kingdom, comprising chairmen and CEOs of commercial and state banks in Colombo, ended his Saudi visit on Wednesday.
Mahendran held talks with Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Gov. Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak on Tuesday.
He said that the proposed refinery could be set up in Hambantota, some 300 miles away from Colombo. Hambantota hosts a full-fledged sea port, which could export crude and refined oil to other countries.
He said that international players such as SABIC and Saudi Aramco could easily come into this project.
Mahendran also said that Saudi construction companies could participate in infrastructure developments in the island.
“We need more schools, hospitals, houses and elders’ homes,” he said .
To help expatriates working in the Kingdom, Mahendran said he was negotiating with the SAMA governor to enable Sri Lankans’ remittances from Saudi Arabia to reach their banks at home in 60 seconds. “SAMA has responded positively to consider opening the payment gateway to enable this services in a year or two,” he added.
Speaking about Sri Lanka, he said : “A new chapter has opened under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, who maintains inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony in the country.
Two rival parties have joined together in running the government and to work for rapid development.
The unity government gives political stability and builds confidence among foreign investors, he said,
The Board of Investments has introduced a package of incentives to viable ventures, he added.
He pointed out that around 550,000 Sri Lankans working in Saudi Arabia remit some SR10 billion annually.
According to Saudi officials, Sri Lankan was ranked as the third country in terms of outward remittances to home countries.
“Although, we have a tiny population here compared to other countries, law-abiding Sri Lankans send their monies through official channels,” Mahendran said.
This is appreciated by the host as well as their country of origin, he added.
Explaining the purpose of his visit, he said the government is interested in projecting its potential and explore new areas of cooperation with the Kingdom.
“We are exporting tea for some $800 million to the Kingdom. This could be improved and there are several other areas where the two countries could benefit from viable projects,” he added.
Representatives from leading banks such as Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Commercial Bank, HNB, NDB, Amanah, Seylan Bank, Sampath Bank and Deutsche Bank AG accompanied the governor.


Morgan Stanley beats estimates on higher trading revenue

Updated 54 min 53 sec ago
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Morgan Stanley beats estimates on higher trading revenue

  • Banks are benefiting from increased market volatility due in part to escalating trade tensions
  • Morgan Stanley said net income rose to $2.4 billion in the quarter from $1.8 billion a year ago

NEW YORK: Morgan Stanley reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, driven by gains in its fixed income and equities trading businesses, rounding up a strong earnings season for US banks.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. have all reported second-quarter earnings which beat expectations, with only Wells Fargo & Co. missing estimates.
Banks are benefiting from increased market volatility due in part to escalating trade tensions causing investors to buy and sell assets to protect their portfolios and take advantage of opportunities. Morgan Stanley highlighted its equity financing business and a stronger performance in commodities and credit products.
Morgan Stanley said net income rose to $2.4 billion in the quarter from $1.8 billion a year ago. Earnings per share rose to $1.30 from $0.87 the year before, beating the average analyst expectation of $1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.
Shares in Morgan Stanley were up 2.9 percent in premarket trading.
Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said the bank had seen strength across all its businesses and geographies.
“The second quarter performance reflected active markets and healthy client engagement,” he said in a statement.
Net revenue from the bank’s sales and trading business rose 18 percent to $3.8 billion, with fixed income and equity trading businesses recording gains of 12 percent and 15 percent.
Rival Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday its trading revenue rose 17 percent, with bond trading showing a 45 percent jump and equity revenue remaining flat in its second quarter.
Morgan Stanley’s net revenue rose 12 percent to $10.6 billion, with institutional securities accounting for 54 percent of the gains. Institutional securities business comprises the bank’s investment banking and trading units.
The bank said net revenue at its wealth management business rose to $4.3 billion from $4.2 billion a year ago. – Reuters