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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka targets up to 150,000 China tourists in 2023

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is targeting up to 150,000 tourists from China in 2023, after the country opened outward tourism and is in talks to get more Chinese airlines to fly to Colombo, officials said.

“We expect between 140,000 – 150,000 Chinese tourists this year and destinations focusing on sports and adventure are popular with Chinese tourists,” Chalaka Gajabahu, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) told EconomyNext.

“As China is an agent driven market, we have done four roadshows in towns across China which has a direct air connectivity with Colombo.”

Sri Lanka was in the first set of countries designated for group travel by China after the country re-opened for tourism after lifting Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernando met Chen Yin, Chairman of China Tourism Group (CTG), a top travel operator, who headed a delegation to the Indian Ocean island.

“At the meeting he agreed to provide the necessary support to increase tourists to the level seen before the pandemic and also help re-start flights by Chinese airlines,” Minister Fernando said in a post.

A planned duty-free shopping complex in the China-backed Colombo Port City was also discussed, he said.

Before the pandemic in 2019, 1.9 million tourists visited Sri Lanka, when a suicide blast disrupted tourism. In 2018, 265,965 tourists came from China.

Up to April,2023, 441,177 tourist came to Sri Lanka. In May 4,173 Chinese tourists came.

Gajabahu said SLTBP was working with two Chinese travel agencies to bring tourists.

At the moment there were 10 flights per week from China to Sri Lanka however.

Air China will start direct flights between Chengdu and Colombo three times a week from July 08, 2023, he said.

Sri Lanka is also in talks to increase flights by China Southern and Chongqing Airlines, Gajabahu said. (Colombo/June06/2023)

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Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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