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Sunday October 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka firms to sell dollar shares on stock exchange

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will soon allow listed companies to sell foreign currency denominated shares as long as they have revenues in foreign exchange according rules which has been approved by the regulator.

The CSE’s new move, which was approved last week by the regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will allow Sri Lankan companies seeking to fund foreign currency to raise capital in foreign currencies a CSE official said.

“Companies which have earned over 50 percent of their revenue in foreign currencies in the last three years with a minimum revenue of 5 million US dollars are eligible to use this option,” the official said.

Non-residents and resident foreign nationals would be among those allowed to buy the shares.

At the moment companies can sell only rupee denominated shares to foreign investors, who convert the dollars at banks before giving the company.

The move comes as foreign investors are exiting rupee denominated stocks as the exchange rate is severely pressured and sovereign default risk has also been elevated by money printed to keep interest rates down.

The central bank has also said it wants “non-debt inflows”.

Though the central bank has fixed the exchange rate at around 200 rupees per dollar, the US currency is sold at around 250 rupees in the grey market due to pressure created by printed money and a confidence hit.

Sri Lanka is unable to tap international capital market for foreign currency loans as global rating agencies have downgraded its credit rating to ‘CC’ or barely above default. (Colombo/Feb19/2022)

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  1. jehan says:

    its like zimbabwe, sri lanka ruppee will suffer,as it will be not a legal accepted tender

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  1. jehan says:

    its like zimbabwe, sri lanka ruppee will suffer,as it will be not a legal accepted tender

Sri Lanka National Christian Council opposes Online Safety Bill

ECONOMYNEXT – The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) in a statement on the Online Safety Bill, said that the existing legal regime is adequate to deal with instances of harmful speech, making it unjustifiable to enact such “stringent laws”.

The Council called upon the government to withdraw the bill immediately.

The body expressed “deep concern” over the proposed bill, detailing its potential to curtail freedom of speech and how, according to the Council, the piece of legislature is inconsistent with the principles of democracy.

“The bill proposes the establishment of an entity named the Online Safety Commission without provisions to guarantee its independence and impartiality,” the statement said.

Chapter 3 imposes restrictions on online communication of certain statements, many of which are vague and overbroad, leaving room for executive control and the curtailing of legitimate criticism and dissent that are basic features of democracy, the statement said.

“The laws granting wide discretion to the executive and its investigative agencies with expansive reach have been misused in the past.”

The Council said that the bill was not drafted with the process of public consultation and discussion, which might have ensured the bill would be less draconian in nature.

“The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka calls upon the government to withdraw this anti-human rights and anti-democratic bill immediately.” (Colombo/Sep30/2023)

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Sri Lanka to implement new vehicle revenue licence issuing system

ECONOMYNEXT – A new system of issuing vehicle licences called eRL 2.0 is to be implemented in 5 provinces, excluding the Western Province, from 3 October onwards.

The new system is to be implemented beginning in the North West, South, North Central, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces, respectively. The existing vehicle licence issuing system eRL 1.0 will continue to be used in the Western Province.

The issuing of revenue licences islandwide at Department of Motor Traffic head offices and regional branches will be temporarily halted on October 2.

The facility of obtaining vehicle permits online will also be temporarily halted on 6 October till midnight.

The Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the Provincial Motor Traffic Departments are working to modernize the current vehicle revenue license issuance system.

The implementation of the new eRL 2.0 system is expected to be an important step in the digitalisation of Sri Lanka. (Colombo/Sep30/2023)

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Sri Lankan Airlines flights cancelled as aircraft grounded

ECONOMYNEXT – State-run SriLankan Airlines has apologized to passengers who were stranded as multiple aircraft were grounded at the same time.

The airline said it has strict procedures which requires aircraft to be grounded when technical issues are discovered.

“Unfortunately, in this case we suffered a number of groundings at the same time,” the airline said.

“We apologize for the disruption and inconvenience caused and assure all our loyal customers that we are working diligently to minimize such occurrences moving forward.”

The airline said it was booking passengers on other airlines while some have been accommodated at hotels. (Colombo/Sept30/2023)

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