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Banks come to the fore as best performing sector at CSE

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The trading activities at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) started in a lackluster manner yesterday, but gained momentum by mid-day with both indices turning out to be positive towards the end of the session.

The reason for the market to pick up fast was because it was driven by the banking sector counters, stock market analysts said.

“The stock market witnessed a significant rally in the banking sector counters and in that backdrop, share prices at the banking sector counters appreciated significantly, they said.

Among listed banking sector counters Amana share price appreciated by 25 percent or 80 cents. Its share price started trading at Rs 3.20 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 4. Other major banks such as Commercial Bank, Sampath Bank and HNB share prices also appreciated.

Commercial Bank share price appreciated by three percent or Rs 2.80. Its share price traded at Rs 87 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 89.80, Sampath Bank share price appreciated by five percent or Rs 2.70. Its share price started trading at Rs 54.60 at the end of the day and moved up to Rs 57.30 and HNB share price appreciated by 4.6 percent or Rs 6.75. Its share price started trading at Rs 144 and at the end of the day it shot up to Rs 150.75.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index up by 92.81 points and S and P SL20 up by 76.21 points. Turnover stood at Rs 4.1 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in ACL Cables, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 45 million and its share price traded at Rs 45 and Dialog 1.9 million shares crossed for Rs 20.5 million and its share price traded at Rs 10.80.

In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Expolanka Holdings Rs 442 million (2.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 324 million (30.2 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs 249 million (4.4 million shares traded), Amana Bank Rs 165 million (42 million shares traded) and Commercial Bank Rs 142 million (1.6 million shares traded). During the day 296 million share volume changed hands in 40,000 transactions.

Yesterday, Sri Lanka rupee quoted against the US dollar was Rs 200.088. It is said that the Central Bank’s intervention and imposed a maximum rate of Rs 203 for a US dollar.



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‘Dollar reserves in SL plummet drastically, putting the economy in jeopardy‘

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Key personnel at CNCI forum

By Steve A. Morrell

Sri Lanka’s dollar reserves have declined from $ 7.15 billion in 2019 to $ 2.8 billion currently. The President conceded economic failures although reasons for such failure were not explained, chairman, National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) Canisius Fernando said.

Fernando added recently at a forum: “Forex reserves are insufficient to expedite payment of import bills. More so that cost incurred on container traffic for imports and or exports was on a rising spiral. In comparison to cost of container shipping recorded at $ 2,800 earlier, it is now $ 12,000, indicating a rise in multiples of 250.

“Additionally, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP +) affecting our trade with EU countries, placed Sri Lanka’s reputation at a risk, meaning that countries could veer away from Sri Lanka prompted by a possible inability to honor our trade commitments. The clear example being trade with the US. Rather than await goods and services transactions with Sri Lanka, that could invariably take three months, US economists and their trade sector opted to transact trade with countries in close proximity to US shores.

“Dearth of container traffic and rising cost for on- loading and off- loading of cargo seriously affect trade imbalances. Consequently, the credit worthiness of the Sri Lankan economy is affected, which in turn seriously affects the GDP.

“Worker wages which were static because of trade shut- downs caused demands for increased wages. Wage demands of Rs 1,500 from employees became a major phenomenon in most sectors. The question at issue was the hypothetical position of business establishments of about 4000 employees demanding increased wages. This would cause closure of those companies resulting in unemployment.

“The proverbial domino effect of such repercussions would cause further chaos in the economy.

“There was no proper policy in most sectors. Suspension of the import of fertilizer and consequent confusion would, in the short run, result in famine and food shortages. Already this was evident in the public panic caused by having to stand in line to purchase essentials. That the crisis is upon us and the question of a quick solution is not feasible in the current context of the economy.

“Foreign investors are lured by the possibility of cheap labour in Sri Lanka to establish their businesses here, but in this instance too, this is only a hypothetical situation but not the reality.”

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Supuni Products gives back by way of welfare initiative, helps to uplift the needy patients with chronic illnesses

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Supuni Products first started in 2016 when the business proprietor, Supuni Lakmalie along with her husband only had Rs. 150 as investment. With that small amount, they purchased kollu (lentils) and kurakkan and ground them using a grindstone. This was the beginning for them and today, Supuni Products is a booming enterprise that specializes in ground spices and cereal, operating from the town of Nildandahinna, Walapane. Their products are of very high quality and 100% natural and consists of 15 different spice and cereal products including chilli, coriander, turmeric, pepper, curry powder, kurakkan, lentil (kollu) etc.

In 2018, Supuni Products received the opportunity to supply kurakkan flour and cereal to be included into the Poshana Malla, which is a nutrition package prepared for pregnant women, instigated by the government. The success of their business was such that they were able to gain an equity of over Rs. Four million during the past three years.

As part of a welfare initiative, they have also pledged to allocate one rupee for every kilogram of product sold, towards supporting patients with financial difficulties and require emergency surgery and for those with chronic diseases. While having had to run a business in the confines of their own home, the grant offering they received from the enterprise project allowed them to complete construction work of their new factory. She now hopes to expand the business, improve their supply chain, and create new employment opportunities.

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Dialog Enterprise offers Dell Technologies Cloud IaaS in Sri Lanka

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Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, is working with Dell Technologies Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) in Sri Lanka to offer Dell Technologies Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions to customers to innovate and scale rapidly, reduce costs and increase performance of business-critical infrastructure.

“Together, with our combined forces, we bring the only hybrid multi-cloud partnership in the country, giving access to private clouds as well as to our existing public cloud, and for on-premises infrastructure, robustly powered by Dell Technologies and VMWare. Envisioning a one-stop multiservice solution for all enterprise requirements, we strive continuously to keep to the changing landscape strengthening the cloud play in the arena,” said Navin Pieris, the Vice President – Enterprise Business and Large Enterprise Sales, Dialog Axiata PLC.

Rather than making capital investments in hardware, storage and servers to maintain them, enterprises can harness and scale IaaS resources when needed, paying only for infrastructure services they consume. Mitigating and allowing for any threat of data loss, the cloud partnership also offers cyber recovery as a service with a guaranteed uptime of 99.95%, end-to-end management of data centers and 24×7 support with zero operational burden on the customer. Ensuring the same standardization, self-service, automation and analytics capabilities that exist in the public cloud, the partnership facilitates secure private clouds for customers along with servers, storage and customized enterprise, private and/or public cloud solutions as required by enterprises.

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