Exports
Sri Lankan President Sirisena’s India visit would help boost trade, relations
Apart from regular trade and industry, one area that businessmen from both nations can actively take part covers the gem and jewellery trade.  Sri Lanka is known for its gems while India is already an established leader in manufacture and export of gold jewellery
 
In his first overseas visit, after becoming President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have reaffirmed their mutual trust and respect and by extending support for each other.  In this short visit, and in their presence, both the nations witnessed the signing of three agreements: one on agricultural cooperation, memorandum of understanding on Nalanda University and on cultural cooperation.
 
And the icing of the cake has come in the form of Indo-Sri Lankan Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement, the first nuclear partnership for Sri Lanka with any country, and has brought both the countries closer together, as never before!  This Nuclear agreement, at the moment, covers the cooperation in transfer of exchange of knowledge, expertise, training in peaceful uses of nuclear energy including use of radio-isotopes, nuclear safety, radiation safety, security, disposal of radioactive waste, nuclear and radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection.
 
This has strengthened the mutual trust and respect for each other, and both leaders have agreed to expand the defence and strategic cooperation to include Maldives, so as to bring about a "trilateral format" effect.  Prime Minister Modi is planning a reciprocal visit, sometimes in March, which is likely to include Maldives, but the dates have not yet been announced.
 
Apart from close trade relations that have increased in the recent years, India has also begun its involvement in the reconstruction activities envisaged in northern Sri Lanka.  The project, involving the construction of some 50,000 houses for Tamils, who got displaced during the unfortunate civil war that lasted over 30 years, and this will naturally include all other related infrastructural activities in the region.
 
President Sirisena, accompanied by his wife, will also plan to stop over at Tirupathi to visit the Balaji temple before returning back to Colombo.  He is also scheduled to visit China to meet President Xi Jinping, but the dates have not been announced.
 
There are couple of issues that would need the attention of both the leaders. The first major issue relates to the 100,000 odd Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who are presently in India, and mostly in Tamil Nadu.  They have to be repatriated back to Sri Lanka to start their lives afresh and actively get involved in the reconstruction activity in the north.  The second covers the frequent conflict of interests, by fishermen, on both sides.  Fortunately, both the leaders have felt that this problem needs to be solved by a constructive and humanitarian approach by mutual consent of the fishermen themselves, as it involves their day to day livelihood.
 
Apart from regular trade and industry, one area that businessmen from both nations can actively take part covers the Gem and Jewellery trade.  Sri Lanka is known for its gems; India is already an established leader in manufacture and export of gold jewellery.
 
A workable combination of both would bring wonders to the hard working people involved in this trade.  Another area that may be interest to both is the ship building and repair industry where the opportunities are large.
 
Both nations offer good opportunities for tourism industry involving historical sites, religious centres for pilgrimage and proximity to each other. 
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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Rosland Capital and the risks of investing in precious metals
 

 
Precious metals seller paints a grim financial picture. But investing in gold or silver may not brighten the day
 
In case you missed it amid dystopian images of rising debt clocks and an explosion that apparently signifies “political upheaval,” let us point you to two important fine-print disclaimers in this commercial for precious metals seller Rosland Capital.
 
Investments in precious metals and rare coins are speculative and involve substantial risks. Past performance is no indication or guarantee of future performance or returns.
 
And:
 
Market prices are volatile and unpredictable and may rise and fall over time. …
 
Rosland Capital claims in the commercial — which we plucked from their website — that an investment in gold and silver can provide a level of financial stability that protects you from the so-called “chaos.” But while it’s possible that a precious metals investment can help diversify your portfolio and hedge against inflation, it doesn’t come without its inherent risks.
 
Remember that commercials like these boil down to sales pitches. Do your research and consult an investing professional who can provide objective advice before making any big investment. And mind the fine print.
 
Click here for more of our coverage on investing in precious metals. 
 

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SEBI slaps Rs3 crore fine on 56 entities in Well Pack Papers case

SEBI found that 55 entities had indulged in synchronised trading on numerous occasions thus creating artificial volume in the scrip of Well Pack Papers

 

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs3.03 crore on 56 entities, including stock brokerage Arcadia Shares & Stock Brokers, for fraudulent trading in shares of Well Pack Papers & Containers Ltd (WWPCL).
 
The case relates to probe conducted by (SEBI) into alleged irregularities in the trading in WPPCL shares during 28 November 2008 to 12 March 2010 and 15 March 2010 to 30 June 2010.
 
SEBI found that 55 entities by trading amongst themselves “had indulged in synchronised trading on numerous occasions, resulting in no change of beneficial ownership thereby, creating artificial volume in the scrip of WPPCL which gave a false and misleading appearance of trading in the said scrip”.
 
In a ruling today, it also said that “Arcadia by executing fictitious trades, in the nature of self and synchronised trades, on behalf of its clients has violated provisions...of Broker Regulations”.
 
Accordingly, SEBI has slapped a penalty of Rs3.03 crore on the 56 entities including Arcadia. It has imposed a penalty of Rs2 lakh on the stock broker and fines in the ranges of Rs2-6 lakh on the others.
 
SEBI observed that the entities connected to each other by one way or the other, had dealt in the scrip of WPPCL through multiple brokers in a fraudulent and manipulative manner, without real change in ownership of shares, by indulging in number of synchronised trades. They had heavily traded amongst themselves thereby, creating artificial volumes and price rise in the scrip.
 
“People who indulge in manipulative, fraudulent and deceptive transactions should be suitably penalised for the said acts of omissions and commission,” it added.
 

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