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Friday July 12th, 2024

Dissident Sri Lanka ruling party group to back main opposition SJB: MP

ECONOMYNEXT — The Freedom Peoples Congress (FPC) led by MP Dullas Alahapperuma, a breakaway faction of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), will join an alliance led by the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), MP Charitha Herath said.

Herath told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday July 10 that the FPC’s discussions with the SJB have been successful and the group intends to join the “mainstream” opposition as part of a broader alliance.

“A very decisive presidential election is likely to be held this November. Our talks with the main opposition SJB have been very successful. So we believe we will be able to join the opposition mainstream over the next few weeks to bring about a broad political change,” said Herath.

The SJB will be fielding its own presidential candidate, the MP said, and will be backed by a “strong” team and manifesto.

“We have been discussing this for a long time. The country is on the verge of an election. Our talks with the SJB have been successful. We expect to face the presidential election inside a broad political force.

“We believe the opposition’s main programme can be carried forward inside a new political culture and political programme.

“In this presidential election, we will put one person forward as the candidate as well as a strong team and programme before the country and win,” said Herath.

Asked if he can confirm that the Alahapperuma group will definitely join the SJB-led alliance, the MP said: “Yes, it is guaranteed.”

A faction of the FPC led by SLPP dissident G L Peiris had already joined the SJB in December last year. Reportedly this was due to dissatisfaction over delays in talks with the main opposition party. This faction includes MPs Dilan Perera and Nalaka Godahewa.

The Alahapperuma group comprises MPs Herath, Gunapala Ratnasekera, Tilak Rajapaksa, Lalith Ellawala and Udeni Kirindiagoda. (Colombo/Jul10/2024)

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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.

Ranasinghe is the 49th Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

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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