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Friday July 12th, 2024

Boosting Sri Lanka female employment can counter ageing population, migration

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s female employment lags Asian peers and clearing barriers to their work could be an important economic driver in the context of an ageing population and migration, Deputy Treasury Secretary R M P Rathnayake said.

Sri Lanka’s female labor force participation was estimated at 29.4 percent, according to the latest survey, compared to men’s participation which is at 67.4 percent.

However, many women also go abroad to countries with better monetary regimes and send back remittances.

“If you compare the participation of the labor force with other regional countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, they are very ahead of Sri Lanka,” Rathnayake said.

“In Indonesia it’s 53% and Malaysia 52%, Vietnam 68%. So, it’s very high. And Singapore 62%.”

Making it easier for females to work could also boost economic growth.

Rathnayake was speaking at a forum organized by the Asian Development Bank. The ADB had already started to encourage credit to women under a Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi) which was initiated by several development lenders and governments.

Also linked to the project is the setting up of a National Credit Guarantee Institution.

The ADB is boosting SMEs through a 100 million dollar SME refinance loans by a number of commercial banks in Sri Lanka which will help women, and a credit guarantee fund.

“But as we all know, ownership of formal small and medium-sized enterprises is not the only.”

Sri Lanka also has other constraints for women to work, including social and familial traditional responsibilities that see women taking on a bigger part of unpaid care work in families. (Colombo/June16/2024)

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Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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