By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE trading activities kicked off yesterday with a market downturn but later indicated an exceptional interest in Commercial Leasing and Finance stocks. Consequently, the All-Share Price Index shot up to a comfortable territory, stock market analysts said.
The market began the penultimate month of 2021 on a negative note amid lacklustre investor sentiment triggered by political undercurrents and external concerns. But due to the low interest regime people are quite enthusiastic to invest in stocks. However, yesterday, Commercial Leasing and Finance being the main performer in the market, contributed 154 points to the stock market. Its share prices increased by 22 percent or Rs 10.80. Its shares started trading at Rs 48.20 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs 59. Since the company is an index heavy entity, its stocks are sought after in the stock market for trading purposes, market analysts said.
Amid those developments, the All Share Price Index went up by 139.59 points and the S&P SL20 Index rose by 6.08 points, while turnover was Rs. 4.4 billion involving 117 million shares and the number traded was 34000. During the day three crossings were reported and those crossings were, Melstacorp 6.5 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 370.5 million, its shares traded at Rs 57, Elpitiya Plantations 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 52.5 million, its shares traded at 105 and Sunshine Holdings one million shares crossed for Rs 27 million, its shares fetching Rs 27.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 1 billion (five million shares traded), Commercial Leasing and Finance Rs 396 million (7.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 215 million (20 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 166 million (2.9 million shares traded) and Central Industries Rs 163 million (one million shares traded).
The lacklustre investor interest or their being on the sidelines was despite the release of impressive corporate earnings so far. Nevertheless, macro concerns remain; hence, less enthusiasm yesterday, though some believe there will be a fresh round of buying ahead of the presentation of budget 2022.
It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in selected stocks, such as, Sampath Bank and Commercial Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Royal Ceramics and Commercial Leasing and Finance.
Yesterday the US dollar was quoted at Rs 202.49 as per the Central Bank controlled price to prevent escalation of prices in essential goods.
ESOFT Metro Campus holds Graduation Ceremony 2021
The Annual Graduation Ceremony of ESOFT Metro Campus was held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall (BMICH) on the 23rd and 24th of November 2021. A total of 1,800 students graduated at this year’s event. Successful students received their Pearson BTEC Higher National Diplomas, Pearson Level 7 Qualifications, London Metropolitan University (UK) Degrees and MBA’s, Kingston University (UK) Degrees and MSc’s.
It was held across two days and split into 9 sessions, to be in full compliance with health guidelines. In addition to the conferring of degrees, batch tops were awarded gold medals and special awards were made to the top achievers of the programmes.
Keynote addresses were by an eminent group of academics and industry leaders including Mr. Conard Dias CEO, LOLC Finance PLC, Mr. Thushera Kawdawatta – CEO, Axiata Digital Labs, Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Chairman and Managing Director of the ESOFT Group, Dr. Sampath Wahala – Chairman, Sri Lanka Accreditation Board, Mr. Tishan Subasinghe – Managing Director and joint Managing Partner Moore Stephens Consulting (Pvt) Ltd and Moore Stephens Aiyar, Prof. A.A.C Abeysinghe – M.Phil. PhD Programme Coordinator, Senior Lecturer Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo.
Foreign delegates from the University Partners were present virtually and delivered their speeches and wishes for the graduates via video. The Virtusa careers team were also present on both days in order to provide career opportunities to the young and successful graduates. ESOFT prides itself in producing graduates who are work-ready and able to take on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new economy.
ESOFT has a rich history of 21 years and is the largest private sector higher education network in Sri Lanka, and offers a variety of programmes through an extensive island-wide network of over 40 branches and serves over 40,000 learners each year in a range of programmes from school leaver courses to postgraduate programmes.
ESOFT partnered with Kingston University London in 2012 to offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in engineering and soon established a dedicated College of Engineering in Katubedda. In 2013, they partnered with London Metropolitan University to offer a range of programmes leading to undergraduate and postgraduate awards in Computing, Business, Hospitality, and Travel & Tourism. A range of MSc programmes in IT and an International Doctoral programme for IT, Science and Engineering research areas, has also been introduced via Kingston University.
The ESOFT Group has won local and international awards from Pearson (UK), BCS (UK), NBQSA, National Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka in recognition of their academic excellence and business performance. Their pinnacle accomplishment was to be recognized by the Sri Lankan Government as a Non-state Degree Awarding Institution in 2019.
Coconut industry products raking in forex to the tune of $ 7000 yearly – State Minister
By Steve A. Morrell
Earnings from exporting coconut products amounted to $ 7000 annually. Such exports include jaggery and treacle, which are key products relating to the coconut industry, State Minister of Coconut, Kithul and Palmyrah Cultivation Promotion Arundika Fernando said.
Although coconut, as part of the plantation industry, was not given due recognition, it was now a distinct contributor to forex earnings and was of significant importance to the economy of the country, Fernando said.
The State Minister added: “Development of the coconut plantations includes value addition promotion to its various products, which are now key to sustaining the coconut plantations.
“Such development included propagation of 600,000 nursery plants for distribution among smallholders and large-scale plantations to add further progress to the industry. As a result, the coconut industry is part of the mainstream economy.
“The coconut industry made a substantial financial contribution to the economy of the country. Value addition in all products was key to development. Coconut products, used extensively in allied local industries, were contributors to value addition. This is efficiently handled by the private sector.
“Collaboration with the Jaffna University was on-going to develop kitul and palmyrah.
“Soil testing and further inputs were envisaged for development.
“Export markets would include Europe, Canada and the US. This is particularly true of kitul treacle and jaggery. Value of these exports would reach approximately $ 2 million.”
INSEE Cement’s 360-Degree Approach Eases Cement Shortage in Sri Lanka
Operating at maximum production capacity with optimized distribution channels for a number of weeks, INSEE Cement has successfully helped to mitigate the cement shortage that was prevailing in the local market. INSEE Cement’s concentrated and immediate contingency measures across its entire operation at the onset of the shortage ensured an uninterrupted market supply of cement, while also logging a record-high 700,000 MT production output during the third quarter of 2021 for the company.
“As Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer, INSEE Cement took on the responsibility to ensure the local construction industry’s post-COVID-19 revival remained on its trajectory,” stated Gustavo Navarro, Chief Executive Officer at INSEE Cement Sri Lanka. “We continued to fully support government regulations and industrial policies to first stabilize the market, and were able to deploy our island-wide distribution and dealership network to ensure an uninterrupted supply across the island. The loyalty and patience of our customers gave us that extra encouragement we needed to overcome the challenge.”
INSEE Cement operates at a 3.6MT maximum capacity, with a 1.5MT production at the Galle plant, a 1.3MT output from the Puttalam facility and a 0.8MT import capacity at the Colombo Cement Terminal. To mitigate the shortage the company introduced two more additional import vessels to its logistics operation to accelerate production and distribution cycles.
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