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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka rupee slightly firmer, stocks gain

ECONOMYEXT- Sri Lanka rupee was quoted at 186.50/65, slightly firmer Wednesday while bond yields were flat and stocks gained 0.52 percent, dealers and brokers said.

Sri Lanka rupee ended  186.55/65 to the greenback on Tuesday’s close.

In equities market, stocks gained 0.52 percent higher in the first half-hour of trade, provisional data showed.

Colombo’s All Share Price Index advanced 26.48 points up to 5,109.55 on Wednesday.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks climbed 0.61 percent or 13.71 points up at 2,271.28.

Market turnover amounted to 461.5 million rupees with 63 stocks making gains and 43 stocks fell.

Index-heavy John Keells Holdings contributed most to the ASPI’s gain trading at 124.80 rupees a share, up by 4.80 rupees.

State telco, Sri Lankan Telecom shares gained 60 cents to trade at 28.00 rupees a share while Asian Hotels & Properties traded 2.00 rupees higher at 31.00 rupees a share, also contributing to the ASPI’s gain.

In the secondary government securities market, bond yields were more or less stable, dealers said.

All maturities starting from 2022 to 2026 were seen highly liquid in the market, dealers said.

Sri Lanka’s debt office is offering 27 billion rupees up in a weekly auction to be held today.

An offer of bills split into 7.5 billion rupees maturing in 3-months, 3.5 billion rupees maturing in 9-months, and 16 billion rupees maturing in 12-months.

A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 was quoted at 6.15/20 percent on Wednesday, stable from 6.15/23 percent at Tuesday’s end.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2023 was quoted at 6.20/35 percent,  down from 6.25/33 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 was quoted at 6.90 /97 percent, up from 6.88/95 percent at the previous day’s close.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 was quoted at 7.07/12 percent on Wednesday, up from 7.05/15 percent at yesterday’s end.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 was quoted at 7.17/22 percent, stable from 7.17/25 percent at Tuesday’s end.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 was quoted at 7.25/35 percent, down from 7.30/40 percent at the previous day’s close.


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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 exempt on one house, but did mention a 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 was 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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