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Saturday April 20th, 2024

Eligible voters under quarantine can vote after 5 pm on polling day – Elections Commission

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lankan citizens who are eligible to vote in the Parliamentary General Elections and are quarantined due to COVID 19 will be allowed to cast their ballots after 5 pm on August 05, officials said.

Elections Commissioner-General Saman Sri Ratnayake was quoted in a press statement saying that the details of how this would be carried out will be announced later.

The decision was taken at a discussion held yesterday, July 28, on the current situation of the pandemic and the conduct of the upcoming election at the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID 19.

“All the decisions on this will be informed in the future,” Rathnayake said in a statement issued by the Presidential task force.

He also stated all the precautions are being taken to hold the parliamentary election under the supervision of the health Authorities.

A total of five new COVID-19 patients were reported on the island as of 6 a.m. this morning, the government said.

Of the five patients, one is a staffer at the Senapura Rehabilitation Centre (East Kandakadu) and four from among the returnees from Dubai who are being quarantined at Diyatalawa quarantine centre.

With the new patients, the total number reported from the Kandakadu cluster has increased to 598 with 482 being detainees, while 66 staff members, five invited staff members, one close contact of the patient-reported from Welikada prison and 44 other close contacts of the cluster also being identified.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country have thus increased to 2,810, and with 175 new recoveries as at 6 a.m. today the total recoveries have increased to 2,296.

One-hundred-and-seventy-five recoveries were reported which include 158 detainees and relatives from Kandakadu rehabilitation centre while 17 were returnees from abroad.

The NOCPOC said that 32 people arrived this morning on special flights from Doha and London, and all of whom were directed to the quarantine centres controlled by the tri-forces.

A total of 3,102 people are currently under quarantine in 40 quarantine centres, islandwide.

NOCPOC said 154,191 PCR tests had been done so far in the country.


Reported by Chanka Jayasinghe

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Sri Lanka discussing giving extra land, water for Chinese oil refinery

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions with China’s Sinopec to give extra land and assure water supplies after the company decided to expand the capacity of a planned oil refinery in Hambantota, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“There are concerns on how the water supply is going to be provided for the refinery,” Minister Wijesekera told reporters Friday.

The refinery will need more land and also revise conditions in a Board of Investment agreement, he said.

Read more
Sinopec to double capacity of new refinery in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota

Recommendations and decisions from Sri Lanka’s side had already been sent and Sinopec is expected to revert back in May.

“We are hoping to sign the agreement once everyone has agreed,” Wijesekara said.

The principle agreements are expected to be signed by June, he said.

The refinery could sell up to 10 percent of its output in the domestic market.

“There is no commitment by the government to purchase anything,” Minister Wijesekera said. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 302.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 302.00/50 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Friday, down from 301.50/302.00 a day earlier, dealers said.

There was increased demand for dollars after the central bank bought 715 million dollars from forex markets. In the previous two months it was buying on average about 200 million US dollars, leaving market participants and bank in a ‘oversold’ position.

There were some official dollars sales Friday dealers said.

READ Sri Lanka rupee quoted wide to US dollar as peg inconsistencies flare up

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 11.30/40 percent down from 11.35/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.95/12.05 percent up from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed stable at 12.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.30/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 12.40/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, banks trade down

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

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.38 percent, or 44.80 points, at 11,753; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.53 percent, or 18.46 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was at 1.4 billion. The diversified financials (Rs366mn) and banks (Rs266mn) sectors continued to see selling pressure.

“This was possibly due to uncertainty around the bond discussions,” market participants said.

With the exception of Sampath Bank Plc (up at 77.50) all other banks traded down in the day. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc was down at 104.50, Hatton National Bank Plc was down at 188.50, and DFCC Bank Plc was down at 77.00.

LOLC Finance Plc saw the most trades and closed up at 6.40. Another LOLC company, Browns Investments Plc, also saw high traded volumes and closed up at 5.60.

Softlogic Capital Plc was up at 7.00, and Softlogic Holdings Plc was up at 11.20. A trading suspension imposed on SHL.N0000 was lifted effective today as the company submitted the annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023.

However, shares of the Company will remain in the Watch List “due to Qualified Audit Opinion and Emphasis of matter on going concern in the Independent Auditor’s Report in the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.”

Dialog Axiata Plc, which announced its merger with Bharti Airtel Thursday, saw its share price close up at 11.90.

“There was some traction on index heavyweights,” market participants pointed out.

Top contributors to the APSI included Aitken Spence Plc (up at 134.50), Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (up at 1,245.25, and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc (up at 1,048.50).

There was a net foreign inflow of 5 million. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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