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Saturday March 2nd, 2024

Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger, gilts ease

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 181.30/40 to the US dollar in the spot market on Thursday, while bond yields eased, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 181.70/80 to the greenback on Wednesday.

Liquidity in the overnight money market was 38.76 billion rupees, down from 40.46 billion rupees on Wednesday.

Central Bank injected 6.33 billion rupees at 7.45 percent in an overnight reverse repo auction.

Banks deposited 32.50 billion rupees in the Central Bank excess liquidity window.

In the secondary bond market, yields eased in moderate trading with buying mainly seen in short tenures, dealers said.

Dealers also said that with the upcoming bill auctions, some activity was witnessed in both 15.07.2023 and 15.09.2024 bonds.

Sri Lanka’s debt office is offering 30 billion rupees in treasury bonds to be sold on January 13th, split into 15 billion rupees at 9 percent maturing in 01.09.2023 and 15 billion at 11 percent maturing in 15.05.2030.

It is also offering Sri Lanka Development Bonds (Treasury bonds denominated in US dollar) up to 100 million US dollars of one year and seven months, two years, three years and five years in auction on the same date.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 closed at 8.70/85 percent on Thursday, gaining from 8.65/85 percent on Wednesday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2023 closed at 9.25/30 percent, stable from the previous close.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 9.62/65 percent declining from 9.65/70 percent on Wednesday.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 9.80/88 percent, down from 9.82/87 percent from yesterday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 10.00/10.15 percent, easing from 10.05/10.20 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2034 closed at 10.10/10.30 percent on Thursday, climbing from 10.05/10.25 percent.


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Sri Lanka eyes SOE law by May 2024 for better governance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to pass a Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act improve governance of state-owned enterprise by May 2024 as part of an anti-corruption efforts following an International Monetary Fund assessment.

Sri Lanka’s state enterprises have been used by politicians to give ‘jobs of the boys’, appropriate vehicles for personal use, fill board of directors and key positions with henchmen and relatives, according to critics.

Meanwhile macro-economists working for the state also used them to give off-budget subsides or made energy utilities in particular borrow through supplier’s credits and state banks after forex shortages are triggered through inflationary rate cuts.

The government has taken billons of dollars of loans given to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation from state banks.

There have also been high profile procurement scandals connected to SOEs.

An SOE Reform Policy was approved by Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers in May 2023.

The Public Commercial Business (PCB) Act has now been drafted.

A holding company to own the SOEs will be incorporated and an Advisory Committee and Board of Directors will be appointed after the PCB law is approved, the statement said. (Colombo/Mar01/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 308.80/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 308.80/90 to the US dollar Friday, from 309.50/70 on Thursday, dealers said.

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 10.65/75 percent up from 10.50/70 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.90/12.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 12.15/35 percent down from 12.20/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent up from 12.30/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 12.30/45 percent down from 12.35/50 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.50/13.00 percent from 12.55/13.00 percent. (Colombo/Mar1/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.37-pct, Expo to de-list

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up 0.37 percent on Friday, and SG Holdings, the parent company of Expolanka Holdings Plc, said it was taking the company private.

Expolanka is the largest listed company on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Expolanka Holdings PLC has, at the Board Meeting held on 1st March 2024, considered a request from its principal shareholder and resolved to initiate the de-listing of the Company’s shares from the Official List of the Colombo Stock Exchange subject to obtaining necessary shareholder approval and regulatory approvals,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.

As per arrangements with SG Holdings Global Pte Ltd, the Company’s majority shareholder, it will purchase its shares from shareholders who may wish to divest their shareholding in the Company at a purchase price of Rs 185.00 per share. The share closed up at 150.50.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.37 percent, or 39.47 points, at 10,691; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.64 percent, or 19.59 points, at 3,037.

Turnover stayed above the 1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive day, registering 1.4 billion.

Crossings in Melstarcorp Plc (135mn) up at 89.50, Hatton National Bank Plc (64mn) up at 158.00, Hemas Holdings Plc (53mn) up at 75.00 and Central Finance Company Plc (26mn) up at 103.50, added significantly to the day’s turnover.

“The upward trend is continuing, with more retail buying also coming in, the number of trades was more than 10,000 today,” a market participant said. “Investors are looking for undervalued stocks and buying in quantities.” (Colombo/Mar1/2024).

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