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Thursday June 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka’s shares edge down in mid day trade

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged down in mid day trade on profit taking and selling pressures channeled after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan agreement had been approved, an analyst said.

All Share Price Index was down 0.04 percent or 4.20 points to 9,600.23, while the most liquid index S&P SL20 was down 0.09 percent or 2.39 points to 2,803.14.

“The market is on muted sentiments despite the IMF loan being approved, the market is down on selling pressures and profit taking, but this isn’t a massive sell off but a period of market consolidation,” an analyst said.

The market generated a turnover of 497 million rupees during the first hour of trade.

Top losers in mid day trade were Lanka IOC, Hatton National Bank and Sampath Bank.

Majority of the banks have been on slower investment trends after the IMF approval had been granted to the dollar deprived island nation on fears of domestic debt restructuring.

Sri Lanka is looking at options to re-structure domestic debt, or local law local currency debt (LLLC), without harming the banking sector and announce them the International Monetary Fund said in a report.

The market saw a run up before the IMF was approved purely run on speculations, with top contributors to revenue being the banking and financial sector willing to take risks domestic debt restructuring, an analyst said.

Now a pull back is present as the market was constantly running on green and leaving investors needing more insight on debt restructuring plans.

Lanka IOC was amidst a top loser during mid day trade solely based on Power and Energy Minister’s speech at Parliament, where it was assured fuel prices were to be in April, citing falling international oil prices and ability to get a competitive prices after regained trust from suppliers due to the International Monetary Fund loan approval. (Colombo/Mar22/2023)

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Sri Lanka exports down in April, trade deficit up from March, rupee stronger

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 12.6 percent from a year ago to 849 million US dollars in April 2023, amid weaker external demand, while imports were down 15.8 percent to 1,431 million Us dollars, central bank data showed.

Exports also fell 1,037 million dollars in March 2023, amid seasonal effects.

The trade deficit expanded to 583 million US dollars in April from 412 million US dollars in March 2023. Imports were at 1431 million US dollars in April from 1,450 million dollars in March.

Imports can pick as tourism, worker remittances and net inflows to government go up.

The rupee continued to appreciate.

“Exchange rate showed a notable appreciation during April 2023 with the continued improvement in liquidity in the domestic foreign exchange market, the discontinuation of the daily guidance on exchange rates,” the central bank said.

Up to April exports were down 9 percent to 3.8 billion rupees and imports were down 28 percent to 5.2 billion rupees and the trade deficit was 1.4 billion rupees.

Investment goods imports were down in April amid a contraction in credit.

“Almost all types of goods listed under the three main investment good categories, namely machinery and equipment, building material and transport equipment, recorded a decline,” the central bank said.

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Sri Lanka President discusses debt restructure, program progress with IMF

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has discussed progress of International Monetary Fund program and debt restructuring during a visit of Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura, statement said.

“The discussion primarily focused on the progress of the IMF program between Sri Lanka and the IMF,” a statement from President’s office said.

“Attention was also paid to the on-going debt restructuring negotiations.”

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake was also in the meeting.

Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Mahinda Siriwardena, Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Marie Gulde, and Resident Representative IMF in Sri Lanka Sarwat Jahan, attended this event. (Colombo/June01/2023)

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Sri Lanka cuts petrol to Rs318 a litre, kerosene to Rs245

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has cut petrol 92-Octane by 15 rupees to 318 rupees a litre and kerosene by 50 rupees to 245 rupees a litre from midnight May 31, the Ministry of Energy said.

Petrol 95 Octane will be raised by 20 rupees to 385 rupees, and Lanka Super Diesel 4 Star Euro 4 will be raised by 10 rupees to 340 rupees a litre.

Lanka Industrial Kerosene will be cut by 60 rupees a litre to 270 rupees.

Kerosene which is similar to jet fuel is usually the most expensive fuel in international markets followed by diesel and petrol is usually the cheapest.

Kerosene which is substantially cheaper than diesel is also used by buses to cut costs. (Colombo/May31/2023)

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