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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka president thanks state employees who turned up for work during strike

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered his thanks to non-executive government employees who reported for duty on two days of strikes, as trade unions threatened to bring the state sector to a halt.

“I want to thank the non-executive government employees who reported for duty on July 8 and 9. Your commitment during these challenging economic times exemplifies true patriotism and integrity,” Wickremesinghe tweeted Wednesday July 10 afternoon.

“As a mark of our gratitude, the cabinet has approved a special salary increment following my proposal. This increment recognises your efforts to strengthen the country and support its people when Sri Lanka needs you the most,” he said.

The government announced on Tuesday that it would grant a special pay increment to non-executive government officials who reported for duty on July 8 and 9, despite an ongoing trade union action.

They will also be issued a commendation certificate for future promotions, the president’s media division said on Tuesday.

“Non-executive government employees, who reported for duty on July 8 and 9, 2024, will be granted a special salary increment as a token of appreciation for their dedication during a challenging economic period.”

Sections of the country’s public sector went on strike, or reported sick, Monday and Tuesday causing immense inconvenience to people.

Trade unions behind the strikes are demanding a salary hike.

The government earlier this year provided a monthly allowance of 10,000 rupees to all public servants.

The country will need an extra 275 billion rupees to give 20,000 rupee salary hike to state workers, requiring value added tax to be raised by 4 percent, State Minister for Finance Shehan Semasinghe said. (Colombo/Jul10/2024)

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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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