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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

SriLankan Airlines, Colombo airport running lonely South Asia hub in Coronavirus battle

LONELY SKIES: South Asian skies are empty with India closed and most airlines stopping passenger flights.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo airport is serving daily and weekly flights facilitating international transit passengers and export-import cargo of the last remaining global hubs amid a Coronavirus pandemic as airports are closed, transit is banned and carriers grounded across the world.

Sri Lanka stopped all inbound travelers on March 19, but is permitting outbound travelers, cargo, humanitarian and emergency landings fulfilling as the key South Asian aviation hub.

Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka, the airport agency and Civil Aviation Authority are making the country safe and also providing “connections to critical destinations”, Shehan Sumanasekara, Director (Operations) said.

“The airlines continuation plan is helpful to the 22,000 plus tourists in the country currently to find their way back to their respective countries,” Sumanasekara, Airports and Aviation Operations Director told EconomyNext.

Keeping SriLanka connected to the rest of the world and bringing in vital cargo, medical supplies and flying out exports is SriLankan Airlines, which is also flying to London, Japan, Australia.

SriLankan is also flying all cargo flights to India and China which are the largest trading partners of Sri Lanka.

Oman Air is still flying daily to Sri Lanka as of the last week of March. Qatar Airways is flying twice a day. Aeroflot is flying almost every day, China Eastern twice a week, Edelweiss to Zurich once.

Cathay Pacific is operating all cargo flights.

UAE’s Emirates suspended all flights this week as did Etihad, and Air Arabia. Dubai is suspending both inbound and outbound travel for two weeks from March 26. (Colombo/Mar25/2020)

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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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