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CSE moves into red territory; both indices dip for the first time in 2023



By Hiran H. Senewiratne

External and internal gloomy environmental conditions moved the CSE into red territory and ended April, sans the New Year season, with both indices suffering a dip for the first time in 2023 yesterday, market analysts said.

The stock market indicated negative due to panic-selling and margin calls. Consequently, the market declined 430 points for 11 consecutive days ending last Friday. But yesterday alone the CSE was down 258 points. Allegations that debt restructuring is happening haphazardly and some psychological factors impacted the bourse negatively, market analysts said.

Further, the financial crisis at a top US bank, “First Republic Bank ”, affected shareholder interest. Regulators orchestrating JPMorgan Chase to acquire the California lender’s assets and deposits is perhaps the best outcome that might have been expected in the circumstances, market sources said.

These internal and external factors created some worries for local and foreign investors as well, market analysts said.

The benchmark ASPI was down 258 points. The latter suffered its second consecutive monthly dip. S and P SL20 went down by 93 points. Turnover stood at Rs 984 million sans any crossings.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 189.2 million (1.24 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 78.5 million (481,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 75.2 million (14 million shares traded), Dialog Axiata Rs 34.5 million (3.2 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 31 million (1.5 million shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 29.8 million (678,000 shares traded) and JKH Rs 27.5 million (200,000 shares traded). During the day 52.4 million share volumes changed hands in 17343 transactions.

The negative sentiments are largely from locals who got a fresh jolt by President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s remarks in Parliament that he will close down the CSE if it dips sharply. Average daily turnover last week was Rs. 878 million, down from Rs. 994 million the previous week, observers said.

Yesterday the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 313.73 and selling rate Rs 328.41.


Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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