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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka to begin third Covid vaccine for frontline workers in health, border, tourism

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka to start rolling out the booster dose from November 01,2021, front line pandemic workers will be prioritized, a health official said.

The Director General of Health Services, Asela Gunawardena told reporters on Sunday (31),

The Pfizer-BionTech booster dose that will be initially given to the front line workers who have completed the six months of receiving a second dose of a vaccine.

“The booster dose will be given six months after the second dose” Gunawardena said. “It will be given according to the respective order that the vaccination was done”

Gunawardena said as according to the order, initially it will be given to the front line health workers, tri forces and police personnel, airport workers, port workers and people in the tourism industry due to direct contact of patients and personnel coming from abroad.

Then it will be given for the above 60 years old population, people with medical conditions in between the age of 30-60 and then all above 20 years old.

Sri Lanka has vaccinated 61 percent of the population against Coronavirus with 48 percent from Sinopharm official data showed, amid calls for more robust vaccination of older persons.

Sri Lanka Medical Association, a group of independent doctors said about 7 percent of over-60 population who received Sinopharm appeared to not get protection and they required a booster shot.

By October 29, 70.5 percent of the population had been vaccinated with one dose.

Sri Lanka’s vaccination rate came with China supplying large quantities, while supplies of others Pfizer is improving.

Up to October 31, about 6.4 percent of the population have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca and 3.66 percent with Pfizer which is being ramped up.

Partly helped by the rapid Sinopharm rollout and a recent lockdown Sri Lanka’s new infections have fallen to around 500 to 600 a day and deaths to between 20 and 30 a day. (Colombo/ October 31/2021)

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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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Sri Lanka services exports down 5.9-pct in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s services exports were estimated to have fallen 5.9 percent to 1,876.3 million US dollars, the island’s Export Development Board said.

Services exports estimated is made up of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services, transport and logistics.

There are more than 500 ICT companies, the EDB said.

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports were up 4.6 percent to US dollars 13.1 billion dollars in 2022 from 2021.

Sri Lanka’s goods exports are slowing amid lower growth in Western markets. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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