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Bittersweet indices on Sri Lanka’s export and import unit values



Sri Lanka’s export unit value index increased in July 2022 significantly, but its import unit value index eclipsed the gains made by the former, according to Weekly Economic Indicators of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).The export unit value index increased by 14.6 per cent, (year-on-year), in July 2022 due to higher prices registered in all major categories, namely industrial, mineral and agricultural exports, CBSL said.

However, the import unit value index in July 2022 increased by 18.1 per cent, (year-on-year), due to higher prices recorded in intermediate and investment goods. Accordingly, the terms of trade deteriorated by 3.0 per cent, (year-on-year), to 91.2 index points in July 2022, CBSL said.Meanwhile, the average price of tea in the Colombo auction increased substantially to US dollars 4.08 per kg in July 2022 from US dollars 2.96 per kg in July 2021.

Further according to the report:

Net credit to the government and outstanding credit to public corporations from the banking system increased by Rs. 129.5 billion and Rs. 24.9 billion respectively, in July 2022.However, outstanding credit extended to the private sector declined by Rs. 41.0 bn in July 2022.

Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in July 2022 decreased by 22.0 per cent to 85.6 compared to July 2021. Among the major sub divisions of the manufacturing industries, “Coke and refined petroleum products” (98.5 per cent) and “Other non-metallic mineral products” (37.7 per cent) have mainly caused to this overall decrease.

During the year up to 09th September 2022, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated against the US dollar by 44.6 per cent. Given the cross currency exchange rate movements, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated against the Indian rupee by 40.7 per cent, the Euro by 37.7 per cent, the pound sterling by 35.4 per cent and the Japanese yen by 30.9 per cent during this period.Weekly AWPR for the week ending 09th September 2022 increased by 51 bps to 26.27 per cent compared to the previous week.

By 09th September 2022, the All Share Price Index (ASPI) increased by 4.16 per cent to 9,704.21 points and the S&P SL 20 Index increased by 4.04 per cent to 3,131.29 points, compared to the index values of last week.Outstanding central government debt increased to Rs. 21,696.6 bn by end March 2022 from Rs. 17,589.4 bn as at end 2021.

During the period under review (03.09.2022 to 09.09.2022), crude oil prices were largely on a declining trend. At the beginning of the period, prices increased due to OPEC+‘s decision on output cuts. However, prices decreased later on prospects of further tightening of monetary policy globally and fears of recession and the COVID-19 lockdowns in China causing a weakening of fuel demand. Overall, during the period under review, Brent and WTI prices decreased by US dollars 5.46 per barrel and US dollars 4.92 per barrel, respectively.

The gross official reserves were provisionally estimated at US dollars 1,716 mn as at end August 2022.Broad money (M2b) expanded by 16.0 per cent, on a year-on-year basis, in July 2022.

Earnings from exports increased by 12.9 per cent (year-on-year) to US dollars 7,678 mn during the seven months ending July 2022 as a result of increased earnings mainly from exports of textiles and garments (20.0%), petroleum products (51.9%), gems, diamonds and jewellery (50.2%), machinery and mechanical appliances (12.1%) and food, beverages and tobacco (9.3%). Import expenditure decreased slightly by 3.5 per cent (year-on-year) to US dollars 11,315 mn during seven months ending July 2022, mainly due to lower imports of machinery and equipment (-17.0%), base metals (-44.0%), telecommunication devices (-80.6%) and medical and pharmaceuticals (-30.6%). Accordingly, the deficit in the trade account narrowed to US dollars 3,637 mn during the seven months ending July 2022 from US dollars 4,922 mn in the corresponding period of 2021.

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OKLO adds new feature to Ceylon Tea SmartAuction platform



OKLO Private Limited, a leading Sri Lankan solutions provider for the Ceylon Tea e-Auction platform, recently added an all-new segment for factories in its SmartAuction platform. This new feature provides over 650 factories with the chance to value and grade teas within the system, printing final catalogues, real-time and post-sales reports, and viewing their tea variants being auctioned live. For the first time, a live auction participation option has been instigated for all stakeholders and factories in the country’s 150 years of auctioning history. The availability of this platform would now allow the tea-producing community to benefit from newly added or enhanced functionalities similar to other stakeholders.

With tea being the most significant commodity to be auctioned in Sri Lanka, it is also one of the most significant contributors to the local economy. As Ceylon Tea has already garnered a worldwide name, the branding has enabled Sri Lanka to be placed on the map as an influential tea-producing entity. At the same time, this functionality can also be utilised by other organisations that market commodities such as rubber, spices and coconut. Being present via an e-Auction paves the way for more competition among buyers and sellers.

Regarding the inclusion of their new feature, OKLO Private Limited, Managing Director – Thilanka Withanage stated, “Since the Colombo Tea e-Auction went live on the OKLO SmartAuction platform, the team has been releasing advanced features and functionalities to all stakeholders. With the release of the latest version, all Sri Lankan tea factories can now have complete access to the platform, similar to all other stakeholders. Our objective is to maintain consistency in the face of tech innovation and uplift our nation’s ascent in the digital realm. We will continue utilising our nation’s talents and build cutting-edge, practical, impactful products that will set innovative strides.”

Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association, Vice Chairman – Pasindu Pieris shared his views on the newly enhanced platform. He said, “This state-of-the-art solution from OKLO provided to the tea sector amalgamates all aspects related to dispatching tea from the factory to the point where it is sold at the auction through competitive bidding. Now, we can see our tea variants being sold at the auction right from our factory premises. The platform offers transparency and traceability while improving efficiency throughout the supply chain.”

OKLO is a Sri Lankan Technology Solutions Provider with current solution offerings in the Travel and Trading sectors. It was founded in 2011 and has been expanded to become one of the key players in the Travel IT sector, catering to some of the largest blue-chip companies such as Walkers Tours, Cinnamon Hotels, Jetwing Travels etc.For more information, email, call +94777320383, or visit

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CSE trading marked by ‘a degree of sluggishness’; main indices decline



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities reflected a degree of sluggishness yesterday as most stock market investors are adopting a wait- and- see approach due to ongoing IMF discussions on bailing out the Sri Lankan economy, coupled with issues that surfaced in the coal purchase agreement between the Browns Group and a Chinese company relating to coal power generation, stock analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 31.8 points and the S and P SL20 declined by 19.1 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 150,000 shares to the tune of Rs 21.5 million with its shares trading at Rs 143 and CIC Holdings 241,000 shares crossed for Rs 20.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 85.

In the retail market top six companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 394 million (1.4 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 237 million (one million shares traded), Richard Pieris Rs 146 million (4.4 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 138 million (1.3 million shares traded), JKH Rs 129 million (910,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 112 million (7.2 million shares traded). During the day 150 million share volumes changed hands in 30000 transactions.It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Expolanka Holdings, Sunshine Holdings and Lankem Developments.

Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, ACL Cables and Royal Ceramics, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments. The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to ACL Cables and Royal Ceramics), while the sector index gained 1.23 per cent. The share price of ACL Cables moved up by Rs. 6 (5.69 per cent) to close at Rs. 111.50. The share price of Royal Ceramics recorded a gain of Rs. 1.70 (4.10 per cent) to close at Rs. 43.20.

The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to market turnover (due to Lankem Developments), while the sector index increased by 1.07 per cent. The share price of Lankem Developments appreciated by Rs. 1.50 (4.12 per cent) to close at Rs. 37.90.

Expolanka Holdings and Lanka IOC were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings decreased by Rs. 2.25 (0.99 per cent) to close at Rs. 224.25. The share price of Lanka IOC closed flat at Rs. 290.50.Yesterday the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.18 and selling rate Rs 369.93.

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Airtel Lanka records 1.7mn customers switch to Freedom Packs



One year after the launch of Airtel Lanka’s industry-disrupting prepaid packs ‘Freedom’, the company announced a staggering 1.7 million users have switched to Airtel Freedom, as at the end of August 2022.

“We serve around three million customers in Sri Lanka, aided mainly by this unprecedented adoption of our Freedom packs. The overwhelming customer endorsement reaffirms our strategy of bringing simplicity and value through our products.” notes Airtel Lanka Managing Director/CEO Ashish Chandra.

Powered by Airtel’s world-class 5G-ready mobile broadband network, the telco has reimagined the overall offering and experience for customers, with a strong focus on ensuring value for money, and an advanced network experience. These factors undoubtedly resonate with most users, who are either data-heavy or call-heavy users.

Airtel Lanka’s initial innovation in facilitating unlimited, affordable access to the internet through Freedom Packs continued to evolve, with the telco introducing new world-class features to both its prepaid Freedom Packs and postpaid Freedom Plans

Airtel also disrupted the local telco market with the entrance of the Freedom Unlimited Rs.749 package, which is aimed at prepaid users. For a very affordable cost, users can now make unlimited calls to any network, with unlimited access to favourite social media platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and stream superior quality videos on YouTube for 30 days in addition to receiving additional 30GB anytime date.

Airtel was also the first telco to introduce unlimited calls for any network for a postpaid customer through Unlimited 1098. Priced at Rs. 1,098, an Airtel user has access to unlimited calls to any network, 40GB anytime data and SMS facilities. Additionally, Airtel is also the only telco to offer data rollover service for postpaid customers, allowing up to 200GB to be carried onto the next month’s billing cycle, saving data and expenses for the end-consumer.

Airtel Lanka has been part of implementing many industry-firsts in Sri Lanka’s telco space, and was also the first to introduce unlimited calls in Sri Lanka, on calls made to the same network. With the launch of Airtel Freedom, the company offers its users the ultimate convenience for all their voice, SMS and data needs, offering even greater savings compared to the competition. With the introduction of Unlimited, Airtel Lanka undoubtedly serves as a clear trendsetter for the country’s telecommunications industry.

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