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Friday January 27th, 2023

Sri Lanka to ban travellers from Iran, Italy, South Korea for two weeks

DESERTED: People are no longer buying non-essentials in many markets.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will not permit travellers from Italy, Iran and South Korea board aircraft coming to Sri Lanka from Saturday March 14 in a measure to curb the spread of Coronavirus infection as the country reported its second domestically transmitted case.

“As the numbers of the confirmed cases continue to rise in these three countries, it is a prompt decision taken by Sri Lanka and the authorities concerned to stop the virus entering the country,” said Shehan Sumanasekera, Director Operations Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka will turn back passengers who have traveled from these three countries from Saturday March 14 until March 28.

“Accordingly all airlines are strongly advised not to board during the aforementioned period in any of their flights destined to Sri Lanka, any passenger either originating from Iran, Italy or South Korea or who has been in any of those countries within the last 14 days,” Sumanasekera said.

Sri Lanka confirmed its second COVID-19 patient on March 12, who has had close contact with the first domestically contracted Coronovirus patient who had guided an Italian tour group.

From March 10th, 2020, all arrivals from Iran, Italy and South Korea were sent to quarantine centers in Batticaloa.

So far there are 935 people are quarantined in these centers. Sri Lanka is running out of quarantine space and some travellers had refused to go to the centres.

Authorities in Sri Lanka has urged the public not to panic but take steps to avoid risks by staying away from crowded places, washing hands frequently and maintaining distance.

Anyone with fever or cough has been asked to wear a mask and seen medical advice.

The government also shut schools, to calm fears of parents, though the education minister said there was no medical reasons to do so.

Related

Canada PM’s wife tests positive for new coronavirus

Coronavirus is also spreading to other countries. The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office said. (Colombo/Mar12/2020 – Update III)

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Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata hopes to hold prices despite rising costs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata hopes to hold prices despite higher taxes, rising costs like energy, officials said as the country goes through the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

High inflation following a collapse of the currency has reduced real incomes of customers.

“There are many factors to consider, especially with the last price increase we did in last year did not resulted in a significant increase in revenue” Pradeep De Almeida · Group Chief Technology Officer at Dialog Axiata said at the launch of its Future zone at Lotus tower.

In September,2022 following an electricity tarrif hike dialog increased its tariffs on Mobile, Fixed Telephone, Broadband Plans and Value Added Services (Prepaid and Postpaid) by 20 percent while tariffs on all Pay Television Services were raised 25 percent.

Value Added Tax (VAT) was also raised by the government from 12 percent to 15 percent on all Telecommunications and Pay TV services.

“Even though we increase the prices we only saw around 8-9 percent increase in revenue,” Almeida said.

“That is because many users cut off their usage to limit the spending”.

Over the 24 months to December 2022, the central bank has generated inflation of 76 percent, based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index official data shows.

Dialog will increase efficiencies and manage costs in an attempt to avoid prices increases for customs, he said.

“We are trying to mainly bear the cost from our side. We are getting a massive support from our parent company Telekom Malaysia International,” Navin Peiris, Group Chief Enterprise Officer at Dialog told EconomyNext.

“Therefore as of now, there is no plan to increase prices”. (Colombo/Jan 26/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares fall at market close on profit taking

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares fell on Thursday as profit taking entered the market mainly on financial and diversified sectors, brokers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.13 percent or 11.50 points to close at 8,926.56.

“The market was trading on dull trade mainly due to profit taking,” an analyst said.

“Also we saw investors taking a sideline as quarterly reports started to come”.

The earnings in the first quarter of 2023 are expected to be negative with revised up taxes and an imminent electricity tariff hike.

Earnings in the second quarter are expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF loan and possible reduction in the market interest rates as the tax revenue has started to generate funds.

The central bank’s policy decision was expected and investors have been eying on IMF deal with hopes of rapid economic recovery from the current unprecedented economic crisis, however since the market gained in the last sessions profit taking has come about, analysts said.

The market has been on a rising trend on the hopes of a faster IMF deal. However, the central bank government said the IMF deal is likely in the quarter or in the first month of the second quarter.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 fell  0.33 percent or 9.21 points to 2,798.

LOLC had seen some attention by investors as the firm disposed 90,256,750 shares held with Agstar PLC at 15-17.50 rupees a share.

The market witnessed a turnover of 1.2 billion rupees, lower than the month’s daily average of 1.9 billion rupees.

Expolanka dragging the market down closed 2.36 percent down at 186.7 rupees a share. Sampath bank fell 1.41 percent to close at 42 rupees a share while Royal Ceramic Lanka closed 2.59 percent dwn at 30.1 rupees a share.

(Colombo/Jan26/2023)

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Sri Lanka bonds yields steady at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka bond yields were steady at close on Thursday, dealers said, while a guidance peg for interbank transactions by the Central Bank remained steady.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2024 closed at 31.00/20 percent unchanged from the last close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 closed at 26.60/90 percent, up from 28.50/70 percent on Wednesday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 28.60/85 percent, up from 28.50/60 percent at the last close.

The three months bill closed at 29.75/30.25 percent unchanged from the last close.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions appreciated by another 2 cents to 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 360.49 rupees on Thursday, data showed.  (Colombo/Jan 26/2022)

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