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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Two more die in Sri Lanka fuel queues amid shortage

ECONOMYNEXT – Two Sri Lankans died in fuel queues over the weekend, police media said on Monday (11), bringing the death toll in fuel queues to seven since March 31.

Both death had occurred due to heart attack after being waiting in the queues for a long time.

“The two deaths earlier were due to heart attacks. They were on medications,” Police Spokesman Nihal Thalduwa told Economy Next.

A 47-year old private bus driver from Gonawila died on Saturday (09) while waiting in the fuel queue. Eyewitnesses had said that the man collapsed on the street.

The second death took place on Sunday (10) morning and a 52-year old tourist guide of Kochchikade died. Police media stated that the man had filled his tank and gone about 10 meters before he was found dead in his vehicle.

Of the previous five deaths, four were of senior citizens who died of natural causes, the fifth, a 29-year old man was stabbed to death following an argument while waiting in a fuel queue.

People standing in fuel queues, cans in hand, has been a common sight in recent weeks as Sri Lanka’s fuel shortages worsen amid a worsening forex crisis.

People have been seen collecting extra fuel in fear of future shortages.

Authorities say panic buying is making the problem worse when fuel is available and a continuous supply is to be ensured through a 500 million US dollar Indian credit line.

Severe shortage of foreign currency has reduced the fuel import and that in fact had led to shortage and extended power cuts as high as 13 hours in a day.

Sri Lanka is facing multiple crisis simultaneously – power cuts, shortages of essentials, and a sharp depreciation of the rupee following the float.

Thousands of Sri Lankans have taken to the streets to protest the Government’s mishandling of the economy, organized via social media. Hundreds of protesters have occupied a protesting site next to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office for the third day on Monday. (Colombo/April 11/2022)

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Sri Lanka coconut prices ease at auction

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s coconut auction prices fell in the last auction in January 2023, with average prices going down by 4.1 percent at an auction on January 26, data showed.

The average price for 1,000 nuts fell to 80.811.89 from 84,116.85 a week earlier at the weekly auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority.

The highest price was 87,300 rupees for 1,000 nuts down from the previous week’s 90,200 rupees, while the lowest was 72,500 down from 73,000 rupees.

The auction offered 469,564 coconuts and 300,983 nuts were sold. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares edge up at close

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares edged up on Wednesday pushed as investors bought in to beaten down shares following the previous session’s drop, market analyst said.“

At this price level what we are seeing is a lot of confidence from the investors to collect when the prices drop. So, the market is not falling sharply,” a market analyst said.

Market had also seen buying in Expolanka shares on speculation that the parent company of SG Holdings was buying back into the shares.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up by 0.96 percent or 84.96 points to 8,950.01.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 gained 1.27 percent or 35.02 points to 2,799.53.

Banking and Insurance counters had seen interest on the back of positive sentiments from the IMF.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees today,lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and nearly half of 2022 average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a flow of net foreign inflow of 45 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 1.9 billion so far this year.

Top gainers of the day were Commercial Bank, Expolanka, and Ceylinco Insurance. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)






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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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