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Monday December 5th, 2022

Sri Lanka scrapes 1,075 tonnes of X-Press Pearl waste off shores

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has scraped 1,075 tonnes of waste off X-Press Pearl into containers which are being stored while expert committees calculate the economic loss, a minister said while a watch was kept on the vessel for any oil leak.

“We have done the maximum to protect the marine environment,” Minister State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal Nalaka Godahewa told parliament.

“But we must also accept when this kind of an accident happens, there is damage from that to the marine life, to the environment and to the water.

“So now we must get compensation for the damage. In order get the compensation we must make the calculations properly, we cannot say that this is the compensation as soon as the ship is sunk.”

The 1,075 tonnes of waste collected from the shores are being stored in 43 containers to be used as evidence in discussions with the insurers, Godahewa said.

The material packed into the containers also contains sea sand and the it is not clear what the net volume of debris is.

As well as burnt debris, large volumes of plastic nurdles have washed ashore from the ship as some un-burnt containers toppled off the ship when there was an explosion and the vessel developed a list in the first days of the fire.

Several committees have been appointed to calculate the losses to the country.

“We have appointed 5 sub-committees; an environment sub-committee, a fishery sub-committee, a tourism sub-committee, a marine sub-committee and a legal sub-committee,’ he said.

“We are doing a complete study (adyanayak) about the incident.”

Interim compensation has also been requested in the meantime he said.

X-Press Peal was on the East Asia to Middle East service of X-Press Feeders running from Malaysia, Singpore, Jebel Ali, Qatar, India, Colombo and back to Malaysia.

Sri Lanka had to help the vessel, when it caught fire.

In 2018 MSC Daniela, a vessel carrying 14,000 caught fire far away from Colombo Port, which was not due to call in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Ports Authority has responded and fought the fire.

“That is the normal procedure,” Gohahewa explained. “Even if the vessel was not bound to Sri Lanka, when it caught fire near Sri Lankan waters, the procedure is to answer it and help.”

Sri Lanka is responsible for a large Sear and Rescue area around its waters under maritime convenstions and also its flight information region for aviation. (Colombo/June08/2021)

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Sri Lanka’s shares gain in mid market trade

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up in mid day trade on Monday (05), continuing the positive run for seven straight sessions on news over a possible debt restructuring from Paris Club, analysts said.

All Share Price Index gained by 0.69% or 60.10 points to 8,829, while the most liquid shares gained by 0.96% or 26.59 points to 2,801.

“The market was pushed up over the news of a potential 10 year debt moratorium,” analysts said.

The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis. 

Related – Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium in 15-year Sri Lanka debt re-structure: report

The market generated a revenue of 2.1 billion rupees.

Top gainers during 1130 hours were Expolanka, Browns Investment and LOLC.  (Colombo/Dec05/2022)


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Sri Lanka bond yields slightly down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were slightly down at open on Monday while t- bills were inactive, dealers said.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions was at 363.18 rupees against the US dollar, appreciated from 363.19 rupees on Friday.

“Only one bond is being quoted today, and the rest remaining unquoted” a dealer said.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 quoted at 29.30/30.00 percent down from 29.50/75 percent at Friday’s close.(Colombo/ Dec 03/2022)

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Sri Lanka should prioritize RCEP , not small FTAs: economist

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka should make joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) a priority instead of trying to negotiate multiple smaller deals, an economist has said.

“We do not have the bandwidth in government and the technical resources to do multiple trade agreements,” Anushka Wijesinghe an economist who has been involved in trade told a business forum in Colombo.

“I think RCEP should be number one priority, rather than three or four tiny bilateral goods agreements.”

Sri Lanka is trying negotiate a free trade deal with China and expand an existing one with India.

Data show that Sri Lanka has been able to boost exports with FTAs.

Sri Lanka has high tariff protection which ultimately backfire.

Sri Lanka has protectionist business interests their profits from overpriced goods have had priority over ordinary consumers and overall economic efficiency that comes from free trade.

Sri Lanka also has monetary instability, which has worsened under flexible inflation targeting, with a series of currency crises coming in rapid successions.

Forex shortages from mis-targeted interest rates under flexible or discretionary monetary policies have discredited free trade and liberalization in general and strengthened the hands of economic nationalists, analysts say.

The country also has monetary instability, which makes life difficult not only for investors but all economic agents.

Over the past two decades Sri Lanka’s exports have not grown as much as competitors. (Colombo/Dec05/2022)

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