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Thursday June 20th, 2024

RaviK, Aloysius and five others remanded over alleged Bonds Scam

FILE PHOTO – Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

ECONOMYNEXT – Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others have been remanded by the Special High Court hearing the alleged Central Bank Bonds scam until Monday March 23.

Those remanded include Arjun Aloysius the former head of Perpetual Treasuries which has been accused of the scam as well as several officials in the Central Bank as well as the trader.

This morning when the case was called up, Karunanayake’s lawyers led by Faiz Mustapha asked the three-member Trial-at-Bar to release the accused on previously agreed bail conditions.

However Senior Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundera appearing for the State objected to bail.

Then the three judges, Damith Thotawatte, Mohamed Irshedeen and Manjula Thilakaratne ordered the accused remanded until Monday.

The Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera filed indictments before two Special Courts hearing the cases filed pertaining to the alleged scam earlier today.

The spokeswoman for the AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne announced that the indictments were filed pertaining to the bond auctions conducted on 29 and 31 March 2016.

Perpetual Treasuries was involved in securities scams involving bidding at rigged bond auctions, where larger than announced volumes were sold when Arjuna Mahendran, the father of Perpetual Treasuries chief Aloysius was the governor of the Central Bank.

Deputy Governor Samarasiri was in charge of debt sales in 2015 and 2016 when the scams took place.

Perpetual Treasuries then dumped the bonds taken at low prices (high-interest rates) on the Employees Provident Fund, which was also managed by the Central Bank at high prices (low interest).

The EPF itself had stayed out of key rigged auctions, the auditor general said. (Colombo, March 17, 2021)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.
(Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

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

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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