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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka, China hold bilateral consultation in Beijing; policies to be reviewed

ECONOMYNEXT – Annual bilateral political consultation meeting between top officials of Sri Lanka and China will be held in Beijing next week with the review of some bilateral policies , Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said.

“Secretary, Foreign Affairs, Aruni Wijewardana will lead Sri Lanka’s delegation to the 13th round of Diplomatic Consultations with the People’s Republic of China to be held on 17 June 2024 in Beijing,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

She will co-chair the Consultations with Sun Weidong, the vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, .

“The discussions are expected to review progress in the areas of bilateral engagement including on political, economic, trade, investment and defence.”

“Sri Lanka’s delegation to the Consultations will include the Ambassador- Designate in Beijing Majintha Jayesinghe, and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Acting Director General for East Asia Division Poshitha Perera and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in China.

“It is an annual event. Basically some review on the bilateral policies will take place,” Foreign Minister Ali Sabry told EconomyNext.

This year’s consultation meeting comes after a milk hiccup in diplomatic relations between the both countries after Sri Lanka banned Chinese research vessels calling the island nation for research purposes for one year.

The ban came after strong protest by India, which had cited security threats from such research ships, Sri Lanka government officials have said.

Sri Lanka is a key partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), known in China as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) and sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road, a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in more than 150 countries and international organizations.

The BRI is composed of six urban development land corridors linked by road, rail, energy, and digital infrastructure and the Maritime Silk Road linked by the development of ports.

Diplomatic analysts say China has been on a lower profile in Sri Lanka for the last two years unlike in the past.

However, the world’s second largest economy has been able to win Sinopec refinery in the island nation’s Southern port district of Hambantota and Sinopec fuel service stations island wide within the last two months. (Colombo/June 14/2024)

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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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