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.
Global CEO Forum fetes one of most influential SL entrepreneurs
In tribute to the late Merril J. Fernando, the esteemed Founder of Dilmah Tea, the Global Brand Creator 2023 Award was bestowed at the Global CEO Forum held recently in Sri Lanka. This prestigious accolade was presented to Kirmali Fernando (the daughter-in-law of late Merril J. Fernando) by the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Kataro Katsuki, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Janaka Abeysinghe, CEO -SLT MOBITEL, Dr. DMA Kulasuriya, Director General-NIBM, Ahamed Ikram, Director-Emerald International , Dilanga Karunaratna- Director Otto Bathware and Anura Siriwardena, Chairman-Global CEO Forum.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka extends its ‘Adopt A Beach’ program for a third year
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Ltd. proudly continues its mission to safeguard Sri Lanka’s shorelines by extending the ‘Adopt A Beach’ initiative for a triumphant third year. This exciting announcement aligns with the celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2023, emphasizing the paramount significance of coastal preservation.
Commemorating the partnership with an exclusive beach cleanup and an enlightening session at Crow Island Beach, the day’s proceedings were honored by the presence of the Governor of the Western Province and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Roshan Goonetileke and key government stakeholders representing the Ministry of Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council, Environmental Police Division, Coastal Conservation Department, Waste Management Authority and the Crow Island Beach Management Society.
Additionally, underlining the vital role that the youth of our nation play in forging cleaner and safer coastal regions, particularly through the realms of media and volunteerism, the occasion also brought together young talents from the media sector and a dedicated team of volunteers from the Clean Ocean Force, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club of the Ocean’s University, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club in Negombo, Rotaract Club Colombo Regent, Shri Vimukthi Youth Association, youth from International Schools and Adfactors Public Relations Lanka.
PLC’s profits surge 80.9% in Q1, amidst challenging environment
People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), a pillar of strength and stability in Sri Lanka’s financial sector, successfully concluded the 1st Quarter of the fiscal year 2023/24 with a year-on-year increase in Profit of 80.9% in the midst of a challenging economic landscape.
PLC’s top line interest income recorded an impressive 10.2%, reaching Rs. 7,465 million owing to the increased investment income during the quarter. However, the company’s net interest income showed a modest fall when compared to the first quarter of 2022/23. This was mostly the result of higher interest expenses brought on by the repricing of deposits to higher rates in line with higher policy rates. Despite the stated decrease in net interest income, PLC was able to end the first quarter with a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 331 million as opposed to Rs. 183 million recorded in Q1 2022/23 thanks to the significant year-on-year reduction in Impairment Charges as well as reduction in operating expenses, demonstrative of an intensified commitment to internal sustainability.
Similarly, PLC Group also recorded a PAT of Rs. 552 million during Q1 2023/24, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 21.5% mainly driven by the significant reduction in the Group’s impairment charges and other losses for loans and receivables.
Even in the face of a highly inflationary environment, PLC successfully reduced total operating expenses by 3.5% compared to the corresponding quarter in the year prior due to a determined effort to increase efficiency through digital initiatives, right-sizing of branches, and improvements in internal processes. PLC recognized the significance of recalibrating its balance sheet in a setting not favourable to business expansion and took strategic measures to ensure the right sizing of its balance sheet resulting a total asset base of Rs. 155,380 million as of 30 June 2023. Backed by these strategic moves, total asset base of the PLC Group also remained resilient at Rs. 179,948 million as of 30 June 2023.
In an extremely volatile and complex business setting PLC adopted a highly disciplined liquidity management approach to ensure financial stability whilst maintaining capital adequacy ratios well ahead of the statutory minimums at the end of Q1. The majority of PLC’s funding needs were met through improved collections enabling PLC to remain watchful in growing its deposit base in a high-interest environment. Despite these measures, the deposit base of PLC remained robust at Rs. 93,228 million as of 30 June 2023, showcasing strong customer confidence. The Group deposit base also remained strong at Rs. 100,439 million, as at 30 June 2023.
Meanwhile, PLC retained its No.1 position as Sri Lanka’s Most-Loved Brand in Leasing and Finance category, as ranked by Brand Finance in LMD Brands Annual. The company’s steadfast dedication to excellence was also evident in its ascent from 51 to 36 in the esteemed “Most Respected Entities” ranking by LMD within just one year, further cementing its position as one of Sri Lanka’s most respected and trusted financial services providers.
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