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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

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

Shifting the goalposts

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

Shiran Fernando on why the US Federal Reserve hiked rates

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

Sri Lanka struggles to build foreign reserves

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

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

The Ceylon Today newspaper reported on Sunday, February 19 that foreign investors have withdrawn over 100 billion rupees from the Government Securities Market over the past eighteen weeks.

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

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

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

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

CPDC holds Budget Discussion

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.

Private sector upbeat on Budget proposals

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.

China invites India to join Sri Lanka offshore city project

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.

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

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.

2Q records 2.6% growth on floods and policy inconsistency

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.

Economist bets on another round of policy rate hike

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.

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

Shiran Fernando gives views on Prime Ministers development plans.

Biz 1st Review 360 - TV1 27th May 2016

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.

Worries over VAT hike

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.

Sri Lanka shares end at over 1-week high

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.

Sustainability After Weliweriya

Sri Lanka * market update *

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

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

2016 proposals more realistic than �revolutionary� budget

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.

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

Interview on Business Today Program on Channel Eye

Shiran Fernando on the Sri Lankan economy

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.

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

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.

Sri Lanka holds rates at record lows, inflation seen easing

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


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


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

Sri lanka eyes apparel export boost from EU GSP+

A discussion on the role of sentiment on the economic direction


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’.

Cultivating the capital market

Shiran Fernando reviews trends in Sri Lanka’s external reserves


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.

CIM Sri Lanka heralds 2017 with Talking Point series

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.

Economists say govt. policy reforms ad-hoc, unsystematic

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.

Central Bank flags FDI and export slumps

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.

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

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

Shiran Fernando at the Business Club meeting

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.

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

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

Stats. Dept. revises down Aug inflation after calculation error

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.

Sri Lankan bond proves fleet of foot

Biz first review

Biz 1st Review 360 TV1 17th June 2016

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?

Demystifying Debt

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

China, India tussle for influence as Sri Lanka seeks investment

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

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 remittances contract in 2015: Frontier Research

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

Government's maiden effort imposes burdens on the people

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

Sri Lankan sun shines on high yield bond market

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.

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

Not available

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

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.

Sri Lanka holds rates steady even as credit growth slows

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.

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

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

Dim Sum Sri Lankan Style

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 economy in 2013 in positive rebalancing mode:Report

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

Sri Lanka's FDI opportunity

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


Outlook for the Sri Lankan economy

Face the Nation TV1 20th March 2017 Part 01

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.

SL must recalibrate expectations for private sector

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 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 on the impact of a Trump Presidency on Developing Economies

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.

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

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.

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

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.

SC clears NBT hike to 4%

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.

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

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 braces for Brexit fallout as the Sterling plunges

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.

Sri Lanka's May consumer prices jump after tax hike

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 cenbank keeps policy rates steady

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 keeps interest rates on hold after recent tightening

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.

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

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.