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CSE recovers somewhat amid persisting political uncertainties and tensions



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE was able to bounce back somewhat and indicated a degree of recovery yesterday amid a climate of aggravating political upheaval. The CSE, which suffered losses over six consecutive trading days by dropping 2000 index points the previous day, was able to be positive yesterday, stock market analysts said.

The economic crisis which turned into a major social crisis due to a short supply of essential needs for the country has really discouraged CSE market investors from investing in the market in a considerable manner, market analysts said.

The market staged a subsequent rebound to positive territory as the ASPI picked up to 8,623, regaining around 493 points, while the S&P SL20 index gained 187 points to reach 2,877 yesterday.

Turnover stood at Rs 1.1 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Melstacorp, which crossed 850,000 shares to the tune of Rs 34 million, its shares traded at Rs 40. In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 342 million (two million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 92.9 million (12.8 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 59.5 million (128,000 shares traded), Hayleys Rs 54.8 million ( 720,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 39.4 million (3.5 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 32.7 million (830,000 shares traded) and Hayleys Fabrics Rs 30.8 million (one million shares traded).During the day 61.8 million share volumes changed hands in 17000 transactions.

The Capital Goods sector was the second-highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Hayleys and Royal Ceramics), while the sector index decreased by 3.35%. The share price of Hayleys recorded a loss of Rs. 2.60 (3.57%) to close at Rs. 70.30.

The share price of Royal Ceramics declined by Rs. 2 (5.62 per cent) to close at Rs. 33.60. LOLC Holdings and Browns Investments were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of LOLC Holdings lost Rs. 75.00 (15.32 per cent) to close at Rs. 414.50.

The share price of Browns Investments moved down by 10 cents (1.52 per cent) to close at Rs. 6.50.Separately Ceylinco Insurance announced a final dividend of Rs. 42 per share.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation remained subdued for the day. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, LOLC Holdings and Hayleys, while retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing nonvoting, Browns Investments, and Industrial Asphalts.

The secondary market remained inactive yesterday as investors waited for stability amid the growing anti-government protests in the country, market participants said, while the rupee was quoted at Rs 310 against the US dollar with no offers.

Commercial Banks were offering to sell dollars for telegraphic transfers at Rs 310 and buy at between Rs 295-300 yesterday.

Dealers said the market did not have a proper rupee quote on Monday. The Central Bank indicative spot rate was Rs 307.78 yesterday, down from Rs 310.85 the previous day.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has been made more flexible but a clean float has not yet been established. In the secondary market, there were no active bond rates. Market participants said investors were waiting for some form of stability.

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HNB renews partnership with Prime Group for exclusive home loans



HNB Assistant General Manager - PFS, Kanchana Karunagama (fourth from left) and Prime Group Director – Corporate Affairs, Nalinda Heenatigala (fifth from left) exchanging the MoU in the presence of other officials

Paving the path for aspiring homeowners, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank, HNB PLC, renewed its long-standing partnership with local real estate giant Prime Group to offer investors exclusive deals and benefits.

The partnership will offer customers a range of benefits, including special interest rates during the September and October promotional period. The exclusive offer extends to all properties across Prime Group’s extensive portfolio, including highly anticipated Prime Residencies projects, such as The Grand Ward Place, The Beachfront Uswetakeiyawa II and 43 by the Sea on Marine Drive, Dehiwala.

“Building your own home in Sri Lanka can be quite a challenge. The escalating costs of construction, driven by rising inflation, have added to the struggle. We at HNB remain steadfast in our commitment to empower every Sri Lankan to own a home of their own. As such, we are delighted to partner with Prime Group again to offer our customers affordable financing options and exceptional services,” HNB Assistant General Manager – Personal Financial Services (PFS), Kanchana Karunagama, said.

Delivering the best value to its customers, HNB will offer special interest rates during the promotional period. Prospective homeowners can make use of convenient and flexible repayment options tailor-made to their budgets, together with doorstep mortgage advisory services provided by the Bank’s dedicated agents, who will assist with the legal documentation needed for the facility.

“As Prime Group, our mission is to empower Sri Lankans with the chance to achieve homeownership, allowing them to find stability and make the most of these challenging times. Therefore, it is a pleasure for us to partner with HNB in serving our customers,” Prime Group Director – Corporate Affairs Nalinda Heenatigala said.

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SLT-MOBITEL empowers Apple iPhone users across Sri Lanka to embrace 5G revolution



SLT-MOBITEL is providing a groundbreaking opportunity, enabling customers with latest Apple iPhone devices to experience the best of 5G technology through its state-of-the-art 5G trial network. Apple users who have 5G compatible iPhone devices and with the latest iOS 17 update can now experience 5G when they are in a SLT-MOBITEL 5G trial zone.

Recognising 5G as a game-changer, SLT-MOBITEL was the first to trial 5G technology in South Asia in 2018 and has been at the forefront of the 5G revolution in Sri Lanka ever since. Recently, SLT-MOBITEL expanded its 5G pre-commercial trial network across main cities including Colombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Galle, and Jaffna, setting pathways for customers to seamlessly explore the possibilities of 5G technology.

Celebrating the new offering, SLT-MOBITEL is providing its customers with an amazing 10GB of free trial data on the lightning-fast 5G network. The trial data allows users to explore the capabilities of 5G without an initial cost and harness the full power of 5G technology, unlocking a world of new possibilities.SLT-MOBITEL extends a special invitation to customers who own 5G enabled iPhone 12 devices and beyond, to seize this exciting opportunity and become part of the 5G revolution by updating their eligible iOS device.

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SLPA poised as an exemplary model for SOEs, says its chairman



A group photograph taken at the Annual Performance Review Meeting (APRM) of SLPA

Keith D. Bernard – the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), welcoming the attendees as chair, made this comments at the Annual Performance Review Meeting (APRM) of SLPA for the year 2022. The meeting was held on September 14, 2023, at its headquarters in Colombo.Entities incorporated under any statute other than the Companies Act must have an APRM every year where the annual report is presented. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) was established under Act No. 51 of 1970.

In terms of the Guidelines for Corporate Governance of PED Circular No. 1/2021 dated November 16, 2021, it is important that the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) maintain continuous communication with their stakeholders at all times through mandatory requirements such as the Annual Report. Such disclosure of information ensures transparency and accountability without compromising any statutory or operational requirements of the entity.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of SLPA expressed his perspective on the organisation’s future direction. He acknowledged SLPA’s recent achievements and progress in completing the East Container Terminal (ECT) and stressed the need for strategic planning with government support for the future.

“At present, SLPA serves as the regulator, operator, and landlord of our ports. In our capacity as the landlord, we possess assets throughout the country, and all commercial ports fall under the purview of SLPA. Additionally, we compete directly with private operators as operators ourselves. Therefore, we must carefully consider whether our role as operators should remain independent or involve collaboration with other operators. It’s crucial that we approach this strategically and define our precise role in this sector for the future,” he said.

Bernard also highlighted the significance of conducting a self-assessment in the pursuit of good governance within the organisation.

“We have commendable ministerial support and boast a talented team of dedicated professionals who tirelessly work towards the success of our port. While we have encountered challenges in the past, we are confident that, leveraging our strengths, we can overcome any hurdles. SLPA has the potential to serve as an exemplary model for the private sector, leading the way and becoming a guiding beacon for all institutions in Sri Lanka,” he said.

The Additional Director General of the Department of Public Enterprises – B.A.T. Rodrigo, commenting at the event, mentioned that in comparison to the other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Sri Lanka, SLPA is the leading SOE amongst them and has been a role model to other SOEs. He wished SLPA would continue doing so in the future. He also thanked the Chairman, the Board of Directors, and the Management of SLPA for arranging the APRM adhering to the good governance guidelines.

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