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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka govt to amend to TRC Act to accommodate Elon Musk’s Starlink

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in the process of amending its Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Act to accommodate Starlink satellite system found by billionaire head of SpaceX and Tesla.

The island nation has already granted preliminary approval for Starlink to provide satellite-based internet services in the country, following a formal public consultation process. The move came after President Ranil Wickremesinghe met Musk in the sideline the 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia two months ago.

However, Sri Lanka’s TRC law has no provision to grant licence for a third party to operate telecommunication services.

The new amendment that will be presented in the parliament on Tuesday (09) will introduce infrastructure service licence, telecommunication service licence and cable landing station licence, State Technology Minister Kanaka Herath said.

“Starlink comes under the telecommunication service licence,” he told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo on Monday (08).

He said concerns about the new amendment have been already addressed by removing some clauses on the advice of the Attorney General (AG) Department.

“There were four requests from the AG Department. So, we have taken everything now and it went through the parliament oversight committee stage also,” Herath said when asked over the national security concerns arising from the new amendment.

“According to that we have done all the amendments and we are going to present it to the parliament tomorrow.”

The State Minister last month said Sri Lanka would be collaborating with Starlink to provide internet facilities via satellite technology, marking a significant transformation in the technology sector with a fast internet service.

Starlink is not yet established as a telephone network company in Sri Lanka.

The amendment will allow TRC to issue a Telecommunication Service provider license for Starlink.

Starlink is a low earth orbit satellite network, connected to Musk’s SpaceX group.

The network connects around 3 million people with high-speed internet across nearly 100 countries, territories and other markets. (Colombo/July 08/2024)

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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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