Shiran Fernando

At Frontier, Shiran leads Macro Economic presentations, while also playing a key role in building strong business relationships. He is a member of the Economic Policy Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and also a member of the Investment Climate Sub-Committee of the National Agenda Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Shiran is an alumni of the University of London International Programmes with a BSc. In Economics and Finance, a CIMA passed Finalist and a 2017 Level III Candidate in the CFA Program. His interests revolve around global and local markets, investments, sports and learning more about entrepreneurship

All Media Appearances

Shifting the goalposts

Our Lead Economist, Shiran Fernando, was recently featured in LMD magazine's 'Most Respected' edition for 2017, giving his perspectives on corporate culture.

Shiran Fernando on why the US Federal Reserve hiked rates

A round up of the key events during 2017 and its impact to the Sri Lankan and the global economy.

Sri Lanka struggles to build foreign reserves

An analysis of the current setbacks faced by Sri Lanka in building up foreign reserves and solutions to tackle it

Drought will block Sri Lanka from 2017 growth pace officials see: economists

Overview of the expected growth rate of the Sri Lankan economy.

Foreign investors withdraw over Rs.100bn from Government Securities Market: Media reports

The Ceylon Today newspaper reported on Sunday, February 19 that foreign investors have withdrawn over 100 billion rupees from the Government Securities Market over the past eighteen weeks.

CB's independence likely to be tested this year: economists

Shiran Fernando noted that removing Dr. Coomaraswamy from his post would have negative repercussions and could even reverse the gains made last year.

CPDC holds Budget Discussion

Fernando commented on the good, the bad and the weird aspects of Budget 2016.

Private sector upbeat on Budget proposals

Private sector stakeholders and independent analysts yesterday hailed the 2017 Budget proposals describing them as, “progressive, sensible, and reinforcing continuity,” as well as providing greater clarity on the Government’s policies.

China invites India to join Sri Lanka offshore city project

In what could signal a new phase in Sino-Indian economic relations, China has invited India to help in developing Sri Lanka, including taking part in the multibillion dollar Colombo International Financial City funded by Beijing.

Sri Lanka's VAT fiasco adds pressure, makes budget crucial

Sri Lanka's finance ministers strike at midnight, while the country sleeps. The public wakes up to the shocking news in the Gazette, the government journal that prints official decrees, of price increases in selected goods following overnight tax increases.

2Q records 2.6% growth on floods and policy inconsistency

Sri Lanka’s 2Q grew by only 2.6% compared with 5.5% in 1Q due to floods and inconsistent policy making, official data showed, with agriculture, industries and construction dragging down growth.Frontier Research's Shiran Fernando gave his insight.

Economist bets on another round of policy rate hike

Still higher private sector credit growth and the rising inflation will put pressure on the Monetary Board to increase the policy rates and it is only a matter of time the new Central Bank Governor settles in before the next policy tightening takes place, an economist said.

President Sirisena's second visit to Beijing to boost China-Sri Lanka ties

While this may be good news for both countries, observers in Sri Lanka view President Maithripala Sirisena’s pro-China tilt as an act of desperation after his administration had failed to bring in substantial foreign investments. The government’s U-turn on Colombo Port City Project by giving it green light in March this year has angered greens who view it as a sellout to China.

Biz 1st Review 360 - TV1 27th May 2016

Shiran Fernando gives views on Prime Ministers development plans.

Worries over VAT hike

Despite Government efforts to selectively impose a VAT hike from next week its impact on private healthcare and education would be contradictory to the country’s goals of creating a knowledge economy, analysts warned yesterday.

Sri Lanka shares end at over 1-week high

Sri Lankan shares gained on Wednesday to end at their highest in more than a week as investors bought beaten-down stocks, but concerns over a higher budget deficit and economic growth dampened investor sentiment, brokers said.

Sustainability After Weliweriya

Last week, The Sunday Leader spoke to politicians, civil society and lawyers for their input on the Weliweriya incident. This week, the focus turns to the business world, as residents in Rathupaswala pointed an accusatory finger at a factory in the area which they said was contaminating the groundwater, making it acidic.

Sri Lanka * market update * Asian markets mixed, Brent 39.47; CTHR traded

Sri Lanka * market update *

2016 proposals more realistic than �revolutionary� budget

According to Shiran Fernando Sri Lanka’s latest budget proved to be more realistic than the “revolutionary” budget that government ministers have been promising in recent days

Sri Lanka chief sees 2015 GDP growth at 6.0-6.5 pct

Sri Lanka’s economy should grow between 6.0-6.5 percent this year given strong credit growth after key policy rates have been held at record lows since April, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Tuesday.

Shiran Fernando on the Sri Lankan economy

Interview on Business Today Program on Channel Eye

Interview: Sri Lanka BOP pressured by consumer spending, external woes

Post-war stimulus packages by Sri Lanka’s government have pushed up consumption demand which is now having an adverse impact on the trade deficit and balance of payments. This is one reason for the negative BOP position so far this year, Shiran Fernando at Frontier Research said.

Sri Lanka holds rates at record lows, inflation seen easing

Sri Lanka’s central bank kept key policy rates steady at record lows on Friday, ahead of parliamentary elections in August and as inflation is expected to ease in the next few months.

Dim Sum Sri Lankan Style

- Sri Lanka may become an early issuer of Chinese yuan-denominated sovereign bonds to the international financial market


Our chief economist gives his view on the Sri Lankan banking sector in this LMD interview

Sri lanka eyes apparel export boost from EU GSP+

Sri Lanka managed to win back GSP+ after 7 years and is expected to generate additional US$ 500 Mn in sales annually. This article is discusses the potential implications of this development


A discussion on the role of sentiment on the economic direction

Cultivating the capital market

Insights provided by Frontier Research on the Capital Market Conference 2017 organised to promote a dialogue on on ‘State of the economy’, ‘Impact of the Budget on Capital Markets’ and ‘Equity markets’.


Shiran Fernando reviews trends in Sri Lanka’s external reserves

CIM Sri Lanka heralds 2017 with Talking Point series

Shiran Fernando discussed the ‘Macro Insights for 2017’ with a detailed outlook on interest rates and currency trends while identifying key factors to watch out for during the new year.

Economists say govt. policy reforms ad-hoc, unsystematic

The government’s current reform agenda is both ad-hoc and unlikely to be completed, according to a panel of economists who said this could exacerbate the current low growth climate, adding to the woes of a volatile coalition administration.

Central Bank flags FDI and export slumps

While the government is harping on adopting neutral foreign and liberalized trade policies to push exports and investments, positive policy pronouncements do not appear to bear tangible results by trickling into the official data, Shiran Fernando further discusses this statement.

PM spells out Sri Lanka's third generation of economic reforms

Sri Lanka plans to overcome the current economic challenge by uplifting the country from a lower –middle-income country to a higher –middle income country in the first instance and thereafter to a high –income country within the next 3 to 4 years.

Shiran Fernando at the Business Club meeting

The Sunday Times Business Club two specialists on the subject of taxes, Suresh Perera and Shiran Fernando to diagnose the tax phobia and prescribe some remedies at its members meeting held at the Kingsbury hotel in Colombo

Sri Lanka's Sept core inflation picks up slightly, despite tightening

Sri Lanka’s core inflation picked up slightly in September, data from the Department of Census and Statistics showed on Friday, despite a rate hike by the central bank two months ago.

Stats. Dept. revises down Aug inflation after calculation error

Sri Lanka has revised down its inflation figure for August after finding a calculation error, the country’s statistics office said on Friday.

Sri Lankan bond proves fleet of foot

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka took advantage of strong credit market momentum to execute a $1.5 billion bond deal on Monday, which should help re-build foreign exchange reserves depleted by heavy debt re-payments.

Biz 1st Review 360 TV1 17th June 2016

Biz first review

Demystifying Debt

Revisiting ties with China, a bailout deal from the IMF, and increases in VAT have been making headlines recently. What does this all mean from an economic standpoint, and is Sri Lanka following the right tactics?

China, India tussle for influence as Sri Lanka seeks investment

Situated almost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there is no escaping Sri Lanka’s centrality.

Sri Lankan shares close lower for 3rd day on firms' ratings downgrade

Sri Lankan shares fell for a third straight session on Wednesday as a downgrade by Fitch Ratings of some companies that hold dollar bonds hit investor sentiment, traders said, days after the ratings agency downgraded the country’s sovereign rating.


Sri Lanka’s central bank kept its key policy interest rates unchanged on Monday, saying the effects of previous adjustments are still trickling down into the economy while private sector credit growth will decelerate slowly.

Government's maiden effort imposes burdens on the people

The maiden budget of the new government has burdened the people by imposing indirect taxes, three panelist discusses this issue

Sri Lankan sun shines on high yield bond market

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka returned to the international bond markets on Tuesday for the second time this year.

Analysis: Sri Lanka foreign reserve dilemma hinges on Central Bank objectives

Acting quicker than it did in early 2012, the decision by Sri Lanka’s Central Bank to give up defending the rupee in September of this year bodes well for a quicker recovery of foreign exchange reserves.

Sri Lanka's slowing remittance growth a cause for concern - Analysts

Not available

Sri Lanka holds rates steady even as credit growth slows

Sri Lanka’s central bank on Friday kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows for a seventh straight month, as expected, despite private sector credit growth slowing further.

Heavy borrowing of over $ 1 b by Govt. props rates

The Government borrowed more than $1 billion in four days, mostly through local Government securities, Central Bank data showed on Thursday, with economists blaming poor revenues and higher expenditures for the move.


Our cheif economist Shiran fernando was featured on the LMD interview about corporate prospects.

Sri Lanka's economy in 2013 in positive rebalancing mode:Report

Despite a strong headline Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2013, many Sri Lanka businesses serving domestic consumers experienced very subdued business conditions during the year. The reason as to why strong economic growth failed to translate into better business opportunities can simply be explained using a different approach in calculating the GDP

Sri Lanka's FDI opportunity

Sri Lanka, despite been able to raise commercial debt via sovereign bonds have been unable to attract sufficient FDI flows to the country. This article explores the underlying reasons for this situation and opportunities to overcome this challenge


A discussion on the implications of the changes in the inflation measurement metrics.

Face the Nation TV1 20th March 2017 Part 01

Outlook for the Sri Lankan economy

SL must recalibrate expectations for private sector

Sri Lanka needs to recalibrate its expectations and push policy makers to get low lying fruits, for the private sector to take off, ‎Frontier Research Product Head and Economist Shiran Fernando said.


Evaluation of the vulnerability of Sri Lanka to world markets


While the general public and certain industries may feel the pinch from specific budget measures, Budget 2017 is fiscally responsible in relative terms compared to recent years.Shiran Fernando picks the key takeaways for the year ahead

Shiran Fernando on the impact of a Trump Presidency on Developing Economies

Shiran Fernando was recently featured on TV1's Biz 1st Review 360 program on the 11th of November 2016, where he talked about the impact of a Trump Presidency on Developing Economies.

Shiran Fernando discusses the Budget 2017 on TV1's Face the Nation - Excerpts

Shiran Fernando, our Lead Economist, was recently a panelist on TV1's Face the Nation program held on the 17th of October 2016. Here are some excerpts from the show.

India-Pakistan stand-off: Economists say no immediate effect on Lanka

Sri Lanka will not suffer grave economic downfall owing to the tense situation between India and Pakistan, economists predict. However, there may be a trickle down impact on the country if the situation continues and will be a setback to the government’s efforts to revive trade within the region.

SC clears NBT hike to 4%

The Supreme Court has cleared the Nation Building Tax (NBT) amendment, which was moved recently in Parliament, paving the way for it to be increased to 4% if the House gives its approval, the Speaker said yesterday.

UPDATE 2-Sri Lanka central bank unexpectedly raises policy rate by 50 bps

Sri Lanka’s central bank raised its main interest rates by 50 basis points each on Thursday in a surprise move aimed at curbing stubbornly high credit growth that is adding to concern about inflationary pressures.

Sri Lanka braces for Brexit fallout as the Sterling plunges

Sri Lanka’s is bracing for the fallout of of Brexit as Britain voted to leave the European Union, a top export destination and the third country’s third largest source generation market for tourists.

Sri Lanka's May consumer prices jump after tax hike

Sri Lanka’s May consumer prices and core annual inflation rose to multi-month highs, data from the state-run Census and Statistics Department showed on Tuesday after the government increased value-added tax (VAT) to crimp a soaring deficit.

UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka cenbank keeps policy rates steady

Sri Lanka’s central bank on Tuesday kept benchmark rates steady, as expected, as it gauges the effects of recent tightening, amid the final stages of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $1.5-billion loan to tide over a payments crisis.

UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka keeps interest rates on hold after recent tightening

Sri Lanka’s central bank kept interest rates on hold on Tuesday as it gauges the impact of its recent tightening measures and monitors government efforts to secure a $1.5 billion IMF loan to avert a balance of payments crisis.

UPDATE 1-Sri Lanka raises rates unexpectedly to face macroeconomic risks

Sri Lanka’s central bank unexpectedly raised its key policy interest rates by 50 basis points on Friday from a record low, to prevent demand-driven inflationary pressure.

Sri Lanka remittances contract in 2015: Frontier Research

Sri Lanka has experienced a contraction in inward remittances after several years amidst falling oil prices and slower hiring in the Gulf nations, a top research firm said.

Sri Lanka's biz community happy with 2016 budget concessions

Sri Lanka’s 2016 budget presented on Friday drew mixed reviews while two issues stood out – whether the bureaucracy is capable of quickly implementing the decisions, particularly taxes, and not addressing the foreign exchange crisis.

Shiran Fernando on imports, exports and recent global developments

Interview on Business Today Program on Channel Eye (21st October 2015)

Sri Lanka imposes 100 pct margin on letter on credit to discourage vehicle imports

Sri Lanka has imposed a 100 percent margin on letters of credit (LC) for motor vehicles with immediate effect to discourage unnecessary imports our analysts Shiran Fernando gives his thoughts.

Sri Lanka rupee falls 3 pct to record low after floats � dealers

Sri Lanka’s rupee currency fell more than 3 percent to a record low of 139.00 per dollar on Friday after the central bank effectively floated the currency by ceasing to quote its own reference rate.

Sri Lanka cbank switches to public bond auctions after scandal

Sri Lanka’s central bank has formally announced that it will issue all treasury bonds by public auction, and no longer by direct placement, responding days before a parliamentary election to criticism of a controversial offering in February.

Sri Lanka to settle $500 mln bond maturing on Thursday - officials

Sri Lanka will draw on its foreign currency reserves to settle a five-year $500 million sovereign bond maturing on Thursday, central bank officials said, a move analysts say would put pressure on interest rates and the rupee.

Sri Lanka holds rates at record lows as credit picks up, inflation benign

Sri Lanka’s central bank kept key policy rates steady at record lows for a 10th straight month on Tuesday, and said stable inflation and steady credit expansion should help the economy grow by around 8 over this year and next.

Budget 2014 No major surprises

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