An Echelon Media Company
Sunday May 19th, 2024

Sri Lanka shares close lower on weak macroeconomic sentiments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares edged down on Friday on weak macroeconomic sentiments on constant delays on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan that was supposed be acquired by the first quarter of 2023, analyst said.

“Bourse closed the week on a negative note as investor sentiment weaken over a possible delay in Debt restructuring talks with bilateral creditors and a downgrade of Sri Lankan banks’ ratings by Fitch,” First Capital Market Research said in it’s daily note.

“Accordingly, selling spree emerged on major banks where COMB largely dragged the index down.”

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 0.86 percent or 71.47 points lower at 8,262.58.

The index has already lost 1.9 percent within the first two weeks of trade.

Standard Chartered report said that the debt restructuring could be pushed back to end-2023 due to delays in the IMF programme.

“IMF board approval for Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme has been delayed as negotiations with bilateral lenders take longer than expected. We now expect board approval to happen in Q2-2023 (versus Q1 previously) given delays in securing financing assurances from bilateral creditors,” the report said.

Market has been falling since the year started due to the proposed 65 percent electricity tariff hike while the government also hiked various excise duties.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 closed 0.86 percent or 21.84 points lower to 2,528.08.

First quarter of 2023 is expected to be negative with the taxations going in to effect from January 1st and there are talks of a hike in electricity tariffs, which has gained Cabinet approval and is waiting for recommendations by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

Whereas the second quarter was expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF getting through and with the interest rates expected to ease as the taxes starts to generate funds.

Sri Lanka is expecting a further contraction in the economy after a negative growth in 2022, Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said at the Weekly Cabinet Press Briefing.

The market witnessed a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees, lower than this month’s 2.0 billion rupees average daily turnover. It is also comparatively much lower than 2022’s daily average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The market saw a net foreign inflow of 109 million rupees. The net foreign inflow for the first two weeks of January is 200 million rupees. The total foreign inflow of 2022 was 31 billion rupees.

Commercial Bank pushed the index down to close at 1.8 percent lower at 50.2 rupees.
Browns Investment fell 3.1 percent to close at 6.3 rupees and Lanka IOC closed 1.9 percent lower at 177.5 rupees a share. (Colombo/Jan13/2023)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka seeks to draw youth into agri-entrepreneurship with 1.6bn funding

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries has earmarked 1.6 billion rupees for the establishment of 160 model farms across the island, that are to be owned and operated by youth agri-entrepreneurs.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries has taken steps to allocate 1,600 million rupees to establish 160 villages in 25 districts with 6 youth agri entrepreneurship villages in each district,” Minister Mahinda Amaraweera was quoted in a statement.

“Arrangements have been made to provide an amount of one million rupees to each village under the first phase.”

The Minister said the aim of the program is to attract youth to agriculture and to introduce them to new agricultural technology, so they could target local markets and exports.

Under the initiative vegetables, fruits, plantation crops, and fish are to be harvested, and livestock products are to be produced in the villages. (Colombo/May18/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka Navy nabs fishermen engaged in illegal fishing

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Navy apprehended eight persons engaged in illegal fishing in the seas off Ambalanpokkanei, Mullaitivu, Poduwakattu, and Trincomalee, this week.

“The operations also led to the seizure of 3 dinghies and unauthorized fishing gear employed for these illegal acts,” it said in a statement.

“The Sri Lanka Navy remains vigilant and conducts operations to combat illegal fishing in its sea and coastal areas, with a view to supporting legal fishing activities.”

The fishermen were engaging in light-coarse fishing and using unauthorized fishing nets.

They were intercepted by the SLNS Gotabaya and SLNS Walagamba of the Eastern Naval Command.

The individuals were identified as residents of Mullaitivu, Kuchchaveli and Poduwakattu, aged between 21 to 53 years.

The fishermen, dinghies and unauthorized fishing gear were handed over to the Assistant Directorate of Fisheries – Mullaitivu, and the Fisheries Inspector of Trincomalee for legal action, the Navy said. (Colombo/May18/2024)

Continue Reading

Fifteen years after the end of the war, victims still await justice at Mullivaikkal: Amnesty

ECONOMYNEXT – Speaking at a commemoration marking the 15th anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s internal armed conflict on 18 May 2009, which culminated in the brutal Mullivaikkal offensive where countless civilian lives were lost, Secretary General at Amnesty International Agnès Callamard said:

“Today’s anniversary is a grim reminder of the collective failure of the Sri Lankan authorities and the international community to deliver justice to the many victims of Sri Lanka’s three-decade-long internal armed conflict.

It is sobering to stand in the same place where, 15 years ago, countless civilian lives were lost during the last days of the war.

Ahead of this event, we have witnessed clampdown on the memory initiatives, including arrests, arbitrary detentions and deliberately skewed interpretations of the Tamil community’s attempts to remember their people lost to the war. Authorities must respect the space for victims to grieve, memorialise their loved ones and respect their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

UN investigations have found credible evidence of crimes under international law and other violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by those on both sides of the conflict, yet there has been little in the way of an independent or impartial national inquiry into such serious crimes.

Meanwhile, the families of those who were forcibly disappeared during the conflict have been left to search desperately for their loved ones. It is truly heartbreaking to hear from victims how long they have been demanding justice in vain.

The Sri Lankan government is best placed to provide answers to the victims, however numerous domestic mechanisms to establish accountability in the last 15 years have been mere window dressing.

The report by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released earlier this week too reiterates the gaping deficits in Sri Lanka’s accountability initiatives that has contributed to impunity remaining deeply entrenched.

Tens of thousands of victims and their families continue to suffer in anguish as they await truth, justice, and reparations. We stand in solidarity with them here in Mullivaikkal today.”

Background:

During the internal armed conflict from 1983 to 2009, Sri Lankan government forces and their armed political affiliates committed extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and acts of torture against Tamils suspected of links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The LTTE also launched indiscriminate suicide attacks on civilian targets like buses and railway stations, assassinated politicians and critics, and forcibly recruited children as fighters.

Violations of international human rights and humanitarian law peaked in the final months of the conflict, most notably in May 2009 when some 300,000 displaced civilians were trapped between the warring parties.

It was at Mullivaikkal, a small village in Mullaitivu district in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, where the final offensive between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE took place, killing at least 40,000 civilians according to UN estimates.

Each year, on 18 May, a memorial event at Mullivaikkal brings together thousands of war-affected Tamils to commemorate those lost to the war and demand justice and accountability.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) this week released a report on accountability for enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka.
(Colombo/May18/2024)

Continue Reading