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Friday August 19th, 2022

Sri Lanka stocks slump extends to fifth day

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.36 percent lower on Thursday, continuing its fall for the fifth day, brokers said.

Colombo’s All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 20.43 points down at 5,667.50.

The index reached an intra-day high of 5,697.00 just after market open and reached a daily low of 5,667.53 in the afternoon.

The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.07 percent or 2.04 points down at 2,447.78.

The market turnover was 696.3 million rupees with 48 stocks gaining and 69 falling.

A crossing (negotiated trade) in Ceylon Tobacco Company contributed 29.2 million rupees to turnover.

Index-heavy Ceylon Tobacco Company closed 24.90 rupees lower at 1,050.00 rupees a share, contributing most to the fall of the ASPI.

John Keells Holdings closed 1.50 rupees lower at 151.50 a share and Bukit Darah closed 18.80 rupees down at 219.90 rupees a share also contributing to the fall of the ASPI.
(Colombo/Oct 03/2019)

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Sri Lanka records 10 new COVID-19 deaths in 48 hours as case numbers rise

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka recorded 10 COVID-19 deaths in the 48 hours from August 17 to 19 taking the country’s pandemic death toll to 16,640, health ministry data showed.

Sri Lanka is experiencing a slight increase in COVID-19 cases with the relaxation of public health restrictions relating to face masks and public gatherings.

Health authorities said the situation will be monitored constantly and have asked the general public to continue to follow basic hygiene measures in order to control the spread of the virus again in the community.

In August alone 2,924 new cases were recorded in Sri Lanka, with 84 deaths attributed to the disease.

So far in 2022, from January onward, health authorities have identified 81,157 patients to date.

Epidemiology unit data showed that 874 patients are currently receiving treatment, out of which 716 are receiving home based care.

The spread of the virus has increased with the use of public transport rising after an easing of a fuel crisis.

Sri Lanka is also facing difficulties in securing essential medicine supplies for the health sector due to a forex shortage.

Health officials said if the number of COVID-19 patients rise to a level the health sector cannot manage,  with the added issues of fuel and medical shortages, the health system might collapse.

“It is the responsibility of us all. There is no use trying to forcibly control people. We all have the responsibility to reduce or stop the spread of the virus before it gets out of control. We have been living with it for the past two years,” Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath said. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)

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Sri Lanka stocks gain as market consolidates after profit taking

Stock market information

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks gained on Friday for the second session, with the market continues to stabilize after profit taking in two session early this week, dealers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) rose 0.73% or 65.18 points to 8,975.57, on Friday. It hit more than four-month high before falling mainly on profit taking after it gained nearly 2,000 points in 12 straight sessions through Monday.

Analysts said the buying interest in energy sector and plantation-related stocks still continuing after investors have shifted from top liquid shares, analysts said.

The market generated 3.1 billion rupees in turnover, nearly equal to this year’s average daily turnover of 3.13 billion rupees. On Thursday, the turnover slumped to more than two-week low.

Sri Lanka has already declared sovereign debt default on April 12 this year and failed to pay its first sovereign debt in May amid a deepening economic crisis which later turned into a political crisis and led to a change in the president, cabinet, and government.

The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 0.05% or 1.62 points up at 2,963.95.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independence era and the economy is expected to contract more than 8 percent this year.

The main ASPI gained 16.1 percent in August so far after gaining 5.3 percent in July. It lost 9.3 percent in June, 23 percent in April, and 14.5 percent in March.

The market index has lost 27.1 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

Net foreign inflow was 40 million rupees on Friday, but the total net foreign outflow so far this year is 1.05 billion rupees.
Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.

Expolanka pushed the index up, closing 2.3 percent firmer at 223.7 rupees a share.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed 24.9 percent up at 52.7 rupees a share, and Cargills Ceylon gained 7.9 percent to 179.7 rupees. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)

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Sri Lanka suspends distribution at filling stations that didn’t adopt QR system

Sri Lanka has totally dependent on India for its fuel requirement from March to mid June.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has suspended fuel distribution at 12 filling stations that had failed to follow the guidelines of implementing the QR code system for fuel sales, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said.

The decision was made during a progress review with the marketing division of the state run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

“Instructions were given to continuously monitor the stations and to submit complaints received by the public to the relevant police stations,” Wijesekara said.

Wijesekara had previously lodged  a complaint with the CID to investigate CPC and CPSTL activities.


Sri Lanka energy minister seeks police probe into fuel distribution complaints

Since the implementation of the QR code system in early August, the authorities have been on the lookout for individuals who break the guidelines set by the Ministry. A contact number to send in evidence of rule breaking was provided for the public, and police have been carrying out investigations to identify and take actions against hoarders.

The Energy Ministry has been tweaking the system to enable businesses to register multiple vehicles under one phone number, and periodic maintenance activities are being carried out on the site.

Wijesekara has said that fuel quotas will be amended if necessary.

Authorities have said that any person engaged in black market activities will be fined and jailed.

As of Thursday August 17 nearly 6 million users had signed up with the QR code, and a little over 99 million liters of fuel had been consumed. (Colombo/Aug19/2022)


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