Business and Economics
Dramatic fall in credit card spending

Sri Lanka had noted a decline in credit card usage in May 2020 compared to April 2020 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This was stated in the latest report issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on credit cards issued by Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs).

Accordingly, the number of active credit cards in the country has declined to nearly 1,821,108 in May 2020 from 1,822,046 in April 2020. Moreover, the country had 1,829,927 active credit cards in December 2019 and this fell by 8,819 in the first five months up to end- May 2020.

Further, the total outstanding balance of all active credit cards fell by a steeper Rs. 2,672 million in May alone to Rs. 116,498 million. Moreover, the total outstanding balance of all active credit cards in December 2019 was Rs.121,489 million and this fell by Rs.4,991 million in the first five months up to end- May 2020.
Barista opens Dine-In Café at Southern Highway service stopover

With a rapid expansion plan underway Barista recently opened its 8th outlet at the southern highway service point in Welipenna. The outlet is an elegant, modern and cozy one where you can sit, relax, charge your phone and sip a perfectly brewed cup of Cappuccino while enjoying an array of freshly baked cakes, croissants, muffins and sandwiches. The Barista outlet is the only outlet in the Southern Highway Service area in which you can dine-in when you are heading for those long weekends towards the South. It is also a welcome addition for local and international tourists to have a familiar place to dine at. Adhering with regulations set forth by the health authorities the outlet practices social distancing while sanitization methods are available for all customers who enter. Staff also go through stringent sanitization processes before handling and preparing food and serving customers.

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The Restart of SLIM Brand Excellence invites brands to share their stories of perseverance

The 19th SLIM Brand Excellence Awards, the only awards ceremony that recognizes brands for their performance, will be held in November this year, under the theme ‘Survive the Odds’. This year’s awards are a clarion call for brands and brand custodians to come forward and present their stories of progress and resilience in times of adversity.

Sri Lanka has experienced one of the toughest financial years in its recent history with one catastrophe following another. The COVID-19 pandemic badly impacted on the economy that was just beginning to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of the terrorist attacks in early 2019. Brands have undergone the tests of strength, perseverance, and sustainability as never before, while experiencing hardships of the negative aspects that adversely impacted several global markets simultaneously. Taking the current situation into consideration, SLIM has themed this year’s Brand Excellence Awards to recognize brands that have thrived during times of adversity, which is the true test of a brand promise. It will be the ideal platform to bring forward brands of all categories that have upheld their values despite the unfavourable times, and ensured that consumer confidence was preserved.

SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020 will be presented under a total of 13 categories; inclusive of 6 Main Awards and 7 Special Awards. The main award categories are the Product Brand of the Year, Service Brand of the Year, Innovative Brand of the Year, International Brand of the Year, Local Brand of the Year and Export Brand of the Year.

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