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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka rupee quoted around 194.00/195.50 in spot-next, gilt yields down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee was quoted around 194.00/195.50 in the spot-next market on Monday while bond yields eased ahead of the first policy review on Tuesday, dealers said.

Rupee last closed around 195.20/195.70 in the one-week forward market on Friday against the greenback.

The central bank’s indicative spot rate was 192.7447 on January 18, up from 191.0367 on January 15 on Friday.

The commercial bank average buying rate for dollar telegraphic transfers was 190.7700/196.0500 on January 15, steady from 190.3300/194.0700 from on January 13.

Indicative US dollar spot quoted at the moment around 192.7447 rupees.

Sri Lanka will have the first-policy review meeting of the year tomorrow, Tuesday.

Market analysts are expecting Central Bank to keep the rates unchanged as the lower interest rates are seen to reap benefits.

Sri Lanka’s stocks market soared 3 per cent on Friday due to excessive liquidity in the market and lower interest making stocks a lucrative asset class.

Sri Lanka stocks have risen the most in the world in 2021 after Venezuela in local currency and is just behind Vietnam and Bermuda in US dollar terms among stock markets tracked by Bloomberg.

The ASPI’s 3.91 per cent gain on January 15 was the highest daily rise among markets tracked by Bloomberg.

Colombo stocks were up 9.72 per cent in US dollar terms.

On Monday, the Colombo’s Stock Exchange’s main index All Share Price (ASPI) opened at the 8,000 psychological benchmarks.

In bond markets, gilt yields eased but the long-tenor yields were up, dealers said.

A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 was quoted at 5.30/35 per cent on Monday, down from 5.35/42 per cent at Friday’s end.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2023 was quoted at 5.35/40 per cent on Monday, down from 5.40/45 per cent at the last closing.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 was quoted at 6.20/30 per cent on Monday, down from 6.22/28 per cent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 was quoted at 6.35/45 per cent, up from 6.32/42 per cent at Friday’s end.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 was quoted at 6.60/65 per cent, up from 6.53/60 per cent at the last closing.

A bond maturing on 15.08.2027 was quoted at 7.05/15 per cent, steady from 7.05/13 per cent at the last closing.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 quoted flat at 7.20/40 per cent.

A 10-year bond maturing on 15.05.2030 was quoted steady at 7.60/80 per cent on Monday, from 7.60/75 per cent at Friday’s end. (Colombo/Jan18/2021)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exemption on one house, but did mention an exemption threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being, housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses were assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

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