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Thursday April 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s China-run Hambantota Port sees higher oil and gas ship calls

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port said it has seen a steep increase in oil and gas vessels in 2023 helped by Sinopec’s bunker operations, and is expecting to double throughput in 2024.

More than 300 oil and gas vessels had called at the port up, 132 percent from the crisis year in 2022.

A key reason for this is the port’s bunkering partner Sinopec actively operating in the market, bringing significant value addition to the HIP’s commercial operations.

The overall oil and gas throughput handled by the port in 2023 was 918,000 metric tonnes with 700,000 MT of bunker and 218,000 MT LPG cargoes.

“We are looking at the energy sector as a growth market for HIP and are actively promoting it,” Chief Operating Officer of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) Tissa Wickremasinghe, said in a statement.

“We expect these figures to more than double in the current year. With Sinopec partnering with HIP, we are changing the dynamics of bunker supplies in the Indian Ocean, adhering to the highest levels of health and safety.”

A total of 35 vessels called at HIP in July 2023, making it the month for the highest number of calls during the year.

LPG vessel calls had increased 186 percent and bunker vessels 125 percent in 2023 from 114 bunker and 15 LPG vessels that called in 2022. (Colombo/Jan31/2024)

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Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

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Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent down from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

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