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Bull run on CSE ends, but market remains heated



The unprecedented bull run on the Colombo Stock Exchange ended at the close of trading on Friday with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) that hade been galloping for several previous days closing 143.94 points (1.53%) down at 8,668.07 while S&P SL 20 reflecting more liquid (and possibly stronger shares) gaining 8.85 points (0.25%) to close at 3,514,8.

Brokers and analysts said that that the correction process appears to have begun although both indices remain sharply up from levels posted until what one broker called “the crazy upward momentum” began several days ago.

Among the shares that declined Friday were hot counters like those belonging to LOLC Holdings, the Ishara Nanayakkara-controlled conglomerate and several Hayleys Group companies controlled by Mr. Dhammika Perera including the parent and the bigger subsidiaries like Haycarb and Dipped Products.

LOLC was down Rs. 8.50 to Rs. 512.75 on approx. four million shares done at between Rs. 498.25 and Rs. 574 in 3,245 trades when the market closed for the week on Friday. Likewise, the three Hayleys biggies, Hayleys, Haycarb and Dipped Products where 10 for one share splits (each existing share will be subdivided into 10) are pending also lost steam.

Hayleys was down Rs. 30.25 to Rs. 772 on approx. 0.3 million shares done in 592 trades between Rs. 755.50 and Rs. 815.Dipped Products declined Rs. 39.25 to Rs. 703 on approx. 0.5 million shares done between Rs. 680 – 760 on 1,676 trades while Haycarb lost Rs. 85.25 to close at Rs. 1,196 on 0.13 million shares done between 1,165 -1,280 in 662 trades.

The CSE has been posting turnovers running into billions hitting an all time high in the peak of the bull run. A feature of the red hot market was day trading by small investors (as well as some biggies) who took advantage of the upward momentum buying and selling on the same day with no cash outlay and paying only once and not twice on brokerage on two transactions.

“All they had to do was collect their profits at the end of the day,” one broker said. “It was very hard for us because we were getting so many telephone calls and could not offer serious advice because we had no sense of market direction.”

They were not willing to hazard a guess on what will happen when trading resumes on Monday given the way things went on the last several days, but most expected the correction of the ASPI which began on Friday to continue.

“Look at this one example,” one market player said. “Central Finance (CF) closed at Rs. 116.50 on Friday, up Rs. 3.50 on 1.26 million shares done between Rs. 115-135 in 583 trades. DFCC Bank lost 40 cents to close at Rs. 74.10 on 0.77 million shares done between Rs. 73.10 and Rs. 78 in 296 trades. DFCC’s net assets value is way ahead of CF. It makes no sense.”

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SL gets Rs 452 mn for saving ill-fated tanker: Rs. 3.4 bn asked for



By Ifham Nizam and Rathindra Kuruwita

The Marine Enviro-nment Protection Authority (MEPA) yesterday received Rs. 452 million from London for having saved MT New Diamond, a super oil tanker that caught fire in the Sri Lanka’s territorial waters last year.

MEPA General Manager, Dr. P. B. Terney Pradeep Kumara told The Island that Rs. 442 million had come for the services rendered by the Sri Lanka Navy, MEPA and Rs. 10 million by way of a fine imposed on the Ship’s Captain.

However, Sri Lanka has to receive a much larger amount for the damage caused to the marine environment, Dr. Kumara said. Following the incident, Sri Lankan authorities filed charges against the Captain of the ill-fated vessel and made a claim for $2.4 million from the ship’s owners for the firefighting and pollution prevention efforts.

Twenty experts from the Universities of Moratuwa, Ruhuna and Sri Jayewardenepura submitted their recommendations as regards the damage to the environment, to the Attorney General. Based on the report, the Attorney General’s Department had asked for Rs. 3.4 billion (around USD 19 million) as compensation for environmental damage, the Coordinating Officer for the Attorney General, state counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

Soon they would have discussions with the lawyers of the shipping agent concerned on compensation for environmental damage caused, she said.

Dr. Kumara, who is the former Head of the Department of Oceanography/Marine Geology of the Ruhuna University, said that the incident had caused deaths among marine species due to spillage of some toxic fuel from the vessel.

The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 MT oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out in its engine room as the vessel was passing the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on September 3, 2020.

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PSC on gender equality meets for the first time



State Minister, Fernandopulle flanked by two other PSC members

Special attention on microfinance

The Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to further gender equality, to investigate instances of discrimination against women and to present recommendations to Parliament, focused on microfinance loans that are currently affecting a large number of women in Sri Lanka, when they met for the first time in Parliament recently.

The meeting was chaired by the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle.

It was also revealed that the Cabinet had approved the re-establishment of an institution to regulate Microfinance loans in Sri Lanka.

The MPs also discussed the role of the Select Committee. They decided that the primary role of the Committee should be to investigate women’s grievances and all forms of discrimination based on gender, including workplace violence.

Another task before this committee is to examine and review laws that can be used to enhance gender equality, encourage relevant ministries and authorities to formulate plans to further gender equality and to allocate financial resources.

The Committee will also try to encourage greater women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the national and provincial levels as well as in government, civil society and the private sector.

MPs Rohini Kaviratne, (Dr.) Harini Amarasuriya, M. Udayakumar, S. Sritharan, Rohana Bandara and the Secretary to the Committee, Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff of the Parliament Kushani Rohanadheera were also present at the meeting.



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A/L Examination from October 04 to 30



The 2021 GCE Advanced Level examination would be held from October 4 to 30, Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said yesterday addressing the media at his Ministry.

Minister Peiris said the examination was earlier scheduled to be held in August.

The Grade 5 scholarship examination would be held on October 03 and the 2021 GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) examination in the last week of January 2022, the Minister said.

“Usually, schools are open for academic activities for around 200 days a year. But in 2020, schools were open for about 150 days. It was around 130 days in the Western Province. We were not able to fill this gap with online classes due to lack of internet facilities in many parts of the country,” he said.

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