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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka manufacturing recovers strongly in May, financial services expand: PMI

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s manufacturing recovered strongly showing in May 2024 from April festival holidays while services also continued to expand at a slower pace, a Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by the central bank showed.

Services companies have also begun new hires.

The Manufacturing PMI index was 58.2 in May from below 50 in April.

“All sub-indices, except for employment, rose above the neutral threshold during the month, resulting in an overall increase in the index value,” the statement said.

“The increases in New Orders and Production sub-indices were mainly attributable to the manufacture of food and beverages sector.

“Most of the respondents mentioned that the considerable increase in production activities was due to more working days prevailed in May compared to the previous month.”

Expectations about the near future was also positive except for concerns about the global shipping amid unrest in the Middle East.

“The industry expectations for the next three months remain positive, anticipating a gradual increase in demand,” the statement said.

“However, many respondents are cautious about the existing issues related to container availability in the global shipping industry.”

The Services PMI was 55 in May, after recoding 56.7 in April.

“…[B[usiness activities in the financial services continued to grow in line with the reductions in market interest rates,” the statement said.

“Further, business activities in the transportation services experienced a considerable growth, while telecommunication, real estate, health and professional services also recorded positive developments during the month.”

Amid a downturn in tourism, business activities in the accommodation, food and beverages services fell.

Wholesale and retail trade also declined with end of the festive season.

New Businesses increased in May, particularly with the increases observed in financial services

Employment increased in May due to new recruitments made by several companies. (Colombo/June19/2024)

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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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