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Saturday April 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka to promote aviation sector jobs among school students

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and SriLankan Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to promote aviation sector jobs among school children, through television programs and in-person orientations by SriLankan personnel.

The ‘Guwan Sihina’ program focuses on schoolchildren from rural areas, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena said on Thursday (14).

“There are 4.4 million children across the nation, especially in rural areas, who come to school to only learn what they will be questioned in examinations,” Gunawardena said. “There is a skills mismatch.”

“In contrast to most developed countries, we do not offer opportunities for these children to broaden their understanding and ideas of the world beyond the school curriculum. That’s why a majority of Sri Lankans historically have struggled to find stable and sufficient incomes,” he said.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) statistics, in the next 20 years due to rising demand, 27,000 new aircraft will be needed to be added to the current 17,000 commercial fleet. Over 617,000 pilots will be needed to fly these crafts.

It also estimates that 609,000 new technicians will be needed to maintain these new aircrafts, and 40,000 air traffic controllers will be needed on ground, in 10 years time.

Gunawardena said that he was thankful that they can reach children through the television, to offer them the opportunity to see the jobs available in the aviation industry, naval field, ports and shipping sectors at a young age.

“We should help bring awareness to the sector, especially among the young and brave students of the O/L and A/L classes. We should show them what we have, attract them and prepare a generation of children suited for tomorrow’s world.”

Civil Aviation Authority Director General P A Jayakantha said: “We face challenges in finding persons with the right skills, qualifications and experience. This is a national responsibility, and we have to bring awareness to these children with the programs we have conducted.

“Those who benefited the most from our programs, in the past, have been the children of urban areas,” he said.

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said the aviation sector made a profit of 26 billion rupees and the ports sector 19 billion rupees, this year. “I gave 10 billion of this to the treasury,” he said. (Colombo/Dec14/2023)

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Sri Lanka discussing giving extra land, water for Chinese oil refinery

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions with China’s Sinopec to give extra land and assure water supplies after the company decided to expand the capacity of a planned oil refinery in Hambantota, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“There are concerns on how the water supply is going to be provided for the refinery,” Minister Wijesekera told reporters Friday.

The refinery will need more land and also revise conditions in a Board of Investment agreement, he said.

Read more
Sinopec to double capacity of new refinery in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota

Recommendations and decisions from Sri Lanka’s side had already been sent and Sinopec is expected to revert back in May.

“We are hoping to sign the agreement once everyone has agreed,” Wijesekara said.

The principle agreements are expected to be signed by June, he said.

The refinery could sell up to 10 percent of its output in the domestic market.

“There is no commitment by the government to purchase anything,” Minister Wijesekera said. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 302.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 302.00/50 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Friday, down from 301.50/302.00 a day earlier, dealers said.

There was increased demand for dollars after the central bank bought 715 million dollars from forex markets. In the previous two months it was buying on average about 200 million US dollars, leaving market participants and bank in a ‘oversold’ position.

There were some official dollars sales Friday dealers said.

READ Sri Lanka rupee quoted wide to US dollar as peg inconsistencies flare up

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 11.30/40 percent down from 11.35/40 percent.

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

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed stable at 12.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.30/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 12.40/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, banks trade down

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

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.38 percent, or 44.80 points, at 11,753; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.53 percent, or 18.46 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was at 1.4 billion. The diversified financials (Rs366mn) and banks (Rs266mn) sectors continued to see selling pressure.

“This was possibly due to uncertainty around the bond discussions,” market participants said.

With the exception of Sampath Bank Plc (up at 77.50) all other banks traded down in the day. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc was down at 104.50, Hatton National Bank Plc was down at 188.50, and DFCC Bank Plc was down at 77.00.

LOLC Finance Plc saw the most trades and closed up at 6.40. Another LOLC company, Browns Investments Plc, also saw high traded volumes and closed up at 5.60.

Softlogic Capital Plc was up at 7.00, and Softlogic Holdings Plc was up at 11.20. A trading suspension imposed on SHL.N0000 was lifted effective today as the company submitted the annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023.

However, shares of the Company will remain in the Watch List “due to Qualified Audit Opinion and Emphasis of matter on going concern in the Independent Auditor’s Report in the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.”

Dialog Axiata Plc, which announced its merger with Bharti Airtel Thursday, saw its share price close up at 11.90.

“There was some traction on index heavyweights,” market participants pointed out.

Top contributors to the APSI included Aitken Spence Plc (up at 134.50), Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (up at 1,245.25, and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc (up at 1,048.50).

There was a net foreign inflow of 5 million. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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