An Echelon Media Company
Saturday April 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka issues emergency food regulations as prices go up, rupee weakens

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya has issued emergency regulations under Public Security Ordinance and appointed a Major General to oversee food distribution as prices of goods went up and the rupee fell in the wake of dysfunctional bond auctions and money printing.

“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promulgated emergency regulations under the Public Security Ordnance on the supply of essential goods from midnight today,” his spokesman Kingsley Ratnayake said in a message.

The regulations are issued to give powers to officials to ensure that essential items including, paddy, rice, and sugar are sold at government-mandated prices or prices based on import costs at Customs and prevent hiding of stocks, he said.

It will also allow state banks that had given credit to import goods to recover their loans, he said.

To coordinate the distribution of food, Major General M D S P Nivunhella had been appointed Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, he said.

The regulations came as a 50 billion rupees bond auction failed to draw buyers due to controlled ceiling yields and 92 percent of the offer was unsold.


Sri Lanka fails to sell 92-pct of bond auction

Sri Lanka fails to sell 33-pct of Treasuries with overnight rate hiked before 12-month ceiling

Sri Lanka rupee falls to 222/223 to US dollar at most banks

On Friday 12 billion rupees were printed after last Wednesday’s Treasury bill auction failed to sell all offered bills.

However, on September 01, a 2 percent hike in reserve ratio will absorb some of the liquidity from failed auctions.

State Minister for Marketing and Consumer Protection Lasantha Algiyawanna said rice and sugar had gone up more than any other commodity and it cannot only be blamed on international prices and the fall of the rupee.

Sri Lanka has also banned the import of rice, creating further supply shortfalls. But international rice and sugar prices have also risen in a so-called Powell Bubble, as the Federal Reserve printed money and drove commodity prices up.

He said by August 13, 2021 authorities have estimated that 221,664.64 metric tons of paddy were stocked in 157 paddy stores, 177,842.97 metric tons of rice 117 rice warehouses.

There were 124,344.67 metric tons of white sugar in 74 storehouses, 33,132.11 metric tons of brown sugar in 52 stores, and 19,896.49 metric tons of maize in 32 maize stores were registered with the Consumer Affairs Authority. (Colombo/Aug31/2021)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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)

Continue Reading

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)

Continue Reading

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)

Continue Reading