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Thursday April 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka stock trading halted, index falls below 5000

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Colombo Stock Exchange halted trading for 30 minutes Friday, the third time in a week as an index of liquid stocks dropped below 5 percent, broker said as bourse followed many regional and global markets down on Coronavirus fears.

The Standard and Poor’s SL 20 Index fell 5.04 percent or 115.6 points to 2,178 points when trading was halted around 1000 am.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index fell 2.98 percent to 4,870 points dropping below the psychological 5,000 points.

Global markets have taken a battering as air travel was restricted and many areas in Europe was locked down even as China was limping back to life.

Sri Lanka has also tightened restrictions after two cases of domestic transmission of the Coronavirus.

Sri Lanka is halting the entry of travelers from Italy, Korea and Iran for two weeks and has also closed schools as a precautionary measure.

Customers rushed to buy extra goods from supermarkets Thursday.

Many of Sri Lanka’s stocks are trading at decade lows but sentiment is weak, brokers said.

Hotels and export firms have been hurt by the Coronavirus epidemic. Stocks edged lower after trading resumed.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings fell 16 percent to 15 rupees, in the first hour of trading Friday.

John Keells Holdings fell 7.30 rupees to 124.00.

Dipped Products fell 4.40 rupees to 60.60 rupees and Commercial Bank fell 4.0 rupees to 71.00 rupees in the first hour of trading.

Global oil prices have also fallen sharply, which is expected to help Sri Lanka with higher state revenues as the authorities remain cautious about cutting prices (Colombo/Mar13/2020)

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Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

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Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent down from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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