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Saturday May 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s mid day shares edge up on wait and see approach

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up in mid day trade on Monday, adopting a wait and see approach as the crisis hit island expects an approval on the EFF towards the end of today.
“Investors are on a wait and see approach, as the International Monetary Fund is likely to approve our 2.9 billion dollar loan,” Ranjan Ranatunga of First Capital Holdings said.
All Share Price Index (ASPI)  edged up 0.67 percent or 64.34 points to 9,734.76, while the most liquid share S&P SL20 was up 0.61 percent or 17.32 points to 2,857.43.
“Selling pressures have eased and now buying sentiments are improving sustaining the market at green,” Ranatunga said.
The market generated a turnover of 901 million rupees at 1130 hours.
“The wait and see approach has generated moderate levels of turnover,” Ranatunga said.
Top gainers during mid hours were Commercial Bank, Browns Investment and Access Engineering. 
“Access Engineering, is an unusual top contributor and this is because interest has been generated after assurances had been given for the IMF deal and there is an assumption that multilateral projects are likely to begin with IMF coming to its conclusions,” Ranatunga said.
Commercial Bank has been seeing some attraction over the past few sessions, as it is the biggest private bank and with the IMF coming to an end, investors have been indulging in a premium share as there has been affirmations by the State that the economy may recover, Ranatunga said.
Sri Lanka’s growth will be contained at negative 3 percent in 2023 after a 12.4 percent shrinkage in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is expected to turn positive from next year, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

Siyambalapitiya told reporters on Saturday March 18 that Sri Lanka can expect a “positive economy” in 2024. (Colombo/Mar20/2023)


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Sri Lanka’s ‘Sancharaka Udawa’ tourist fair seeks to involve universities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ‘Sancharaka Udawa’ tourism fair kicked off this week to promote interaction between industry stakeholders and relevant Government bodies, including the Tourist Police, and also universities.

“Several universities, including Colombo, Uva Wellasa, Kelaniya, Sabaragamuwa and Rajarata were given free stalls to facilitate student interaction with industry professionals,” Chairman of the Sancharaka Udawa Organising Committee, Charith De De Alwis said in a statement.

The event takes place today (18) at the BMICH and houses stalls for hoteliers, tour and transport services, with a goal of attracting 10,000 visitors.

Organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), the 11th edition of Sancharaka Udawa offers a platform for both B2B and B2C sectors.

“Sancharaka Udawa houses over 170 exhibitors and a footfall of more than 10,000 visitors,” De Alwis said.

This year’s edition will include participants from outbound tourism sectors to facilitate capacity building. The event provides networking opportunities for industry newcomers and veterans.

“The networking platform offers opportunity for small and medium-sized service providers integrating them into the broader tourism landscape. The anticipated outcome is a substantial increase in bookings particularly for regional small-scale tourism service providers.” (Colombo/May18/2024)

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Sri Lanka’s CEB sells LTL shares to West Coast IPP for Rs26bn

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has sold shares of an affiliate to West Coast Power Company Limited, an independent power producer giving profits of 25.9 billion rupees in the March 2024 quarter, interim accounts showed.

The sale has been carried out as a transfer.

“Twenty-eight percent (28-pct) of share ownership of CEB within LTL Holding’s equity capital has been transferred to West Coast Power Company Ltd for a total consideration of Rs 26 billion as part of a partial settlement of outstanding dues…” the March interim accounts said.

“This transaction resulted in a net gain of Rs25.9 billion rupees which has been recognized and reflected in the ‘Gain from Share Disposal’ in the individual financial statement in CEB.”

LTL Holdings is a former transformer making unit of the CEB set up with ABB where the foreign holding was sold to its management.

The firm has since set up several IPPs.

West Coast Power operates a 300MW combined cycle IPP in Kerawalapitiya promoted by LTL group liked firms in which both the Treasury and Employees Provident Fund also have shares.

Its operational and maintenance contract is with Lakdhanavi, another private IPP. The firm has been paying dividends.

The capital gain from the transfer of shares helped the CEB post profits to 84 billion rupees for the March 2024 quarter.

CEB reported gross profits of 62.7 billion rupees from energy sales and 30.6 billion rupees in other income and gains in the March 2024 quarter. Other income was only 3.1 billion rupees in last year. (Colombo/May18/2024)

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Sri Lanka mulls mandating prices for shopping bags in supermarkets

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka may end the practice of supermarkets giving free shopping bags, as part of efforts to contain plastic use according to deliberations at a parliamentary committee following a supreme court decision.

Sri Lanka’s courts many years ago barred supermarkets from charging for plastic bags from customers after activists went to court.

However a Supreme Court ruled in March this year to overturn that.

The parliament Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development said it could not reverse the gazette issued under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act until it had received a copy of the ruling.

The committee said the ruling might prompt shoppers to bring their own bags, which would lead to a reduction in polythene waste.

It may only apply to supermarkets and not to smaller merchants, however. (Colombo/May18/2024)

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