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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Confusion over Rs 7,500 fee at quarantine centres

ECONOMYNEXT – A report that new arrivals to the country including Sri Lankan nationals that are quarantined in Batticaloa and Kandakadu would be charged a fee for meals was refuted by Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva.

No fees will be charged at the quarantine centres from passengers arriving from countries affected by the novel coronavirus, he said in a statement.

The swift denial came in the wake of a document that went viral on social media this morning purportedly informing those to be quarantined at the Batticaloa Campus and the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre that they would be charged Rs 7,500 for the provision of meals for the duration of their stay (14 days).

The report was first shared by journalist Chatura Alwis on his official Facebook page at 8.30am today.

Denying the report, Army chief Silva said “President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the tri-services which are facilitating the quarantine process in the East with Health Ministry and Ministry of Defence officials would not levy any fee on passengers to be sent directly to quarantine centres.”

Alwis, who is employed by Ada Derana news, defended his story earlier this afternoon.

A video of Sri Lankan passengers, seemingly angered by the news, is also going viral on Facebook.



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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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Sri Lanka services exports down 5.9-pct in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s services exports were estimated to have fallen 5.9 percent to 1,876.3 million US dollars, the island’s Export Development Board said.

Services exports estimated is made up of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services, transport and logistics.

There are more than 500 ICT companies, the EDB said.

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports were up 4.6 percent to US dollars 13.1 billion dollars in 2022 from 2021.

Sri Lanka’s goods exports are slowing amid lower growth in Western markets. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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