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CSE starts off in the green but sulks in bearish mode by mid-day

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE shares fell over 1.5 per cent in mid-day trade yesterday after opening in the green, pushed down by Ceylon Tobacco Company, LOLC and Sampath Bank, market analysts said.

In the morning session the market started off on a bit of a bearish note after it witnessed a drop, because investors anticipated Lanka IOC second quarter results to show a notable profit. But it was reported to be less than expected. This resulted in dampening the spirits of most investors, which negatively impacted other stocks and a decline started at the end of the day’s trading, stock market analysts said.

Furthermore, the upcoming budget which is likely to be presented to parliament in November also created some panic among investors due to probable tax increases. Increasing of existing taxes is also possible to reach government revenue targets, market analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices were negative. All- Share Price Index went down by 169 points and S and P SL20 went down by 47 points.

Turnover stood at Rs 2.05 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Kahawatte Plantations, which crossed 1.55 million shares to the tune of Rs 58.9 million, its shares traded at Rs 38.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 423 million (3.3 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 368 million (two million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 296 million (two million shares traded), CIC Holdings (non -voting) Rs 88.4 million (1.3 million shares traded), Agsta PLC Rs 63.3 million (3.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 58.3 million (9.9 million shares traded) and CIC Holdings (voting) Rs 53.2 million (561,000 shares traded). During the day 69.2 million share volumes changed hands in 18375 share transactions.

Ross Dairies recently acquired Watawala Plantations’ fresh milk arm, Watawala Dairy, which operates the ‘Pride of Lonach’ brand of pasteurized farm fresh milk.

The ownership, management, distribution and production of the brand has been formally transferred to Ross Dairies effective September 16, 2022.

A subsidiary of the Conmix Group of Companies, Ross Dairies has owned and operated a model farm with Australian heifer cows in the Matale District since 2017.

Sampath Bank has announced plans to raise Rs. 10 billion via a Basel III compliant debenture issue.

Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 360.71 and selling rate Rs 371.26.



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Tea industry targets USD 1.2 bn export turnover in 2023

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Sri Lanka will earn around USD 1.2 billion from tea exports for 2023 exporting around 260 million Kg, said Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, (SLTB) Niraj de Mel, last week.

SLTB is forecasting a modest growth for 2023 in comparison to the current year estimating an increased production of 290 million Kgs with export revenues expected to increase to USD 1.4 billion. Due to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, during the first half of the year and a shortage of tea, sales caught up and auction prices increased sharply from March 2022. Despite fuel shortages and logistic issues, the Regional Plantation Companies and smallholders have been able to continue the harvesting of green leaf throughout the year. When compared to 2020 and 2021 volumes, the Green Leaf price to smallholders has increased exponentially from July 2022 onwards.

“The tea smallholder who used to get around Rs. 90 per kg three years ago is now getting around Rs. 250 per kg and some estates have paid nearly Rs. 1,000 per kg. He said that though the glyphosate fertiliser ban is lifted planters should not use it heavily as a ‘global ban of glyphosate’ is imminent for the tea industry. Some countries like Taiwan already reject tea grown with the use of glyphosate.” He recalled that tea production reached an all time high with a record of 340 million Kgs in 2013. “After short increases during the period 2017 to 2019, tea production recorded a decrease in 2020, mainly due to the fallout from the pandemic and now we are taking several steps to increase production.”

The Tea board is offering a host of financial grants and loans to the tea growers, factories as well as for exporters. “These include subsidies for replanting, fertiliser for growers, special grants and loans for factories to upgrade their machinery and soft loans for exporters for packaging. These facilities exceed Rs. 4 billion per year.”

Tea Commissioner E. Edirisinghe said that they would also provide Rs. I million for tea factory expansion which comes as a grant. “In addition, we pay 3% of the capital when factories install solar,” he said.

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UTECH Technologies recognised at Sahasak Nimavum Innovation Awards

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UTECH Technologies (Pvt) Limited, Sri Lanka’s leading Industry 4.0 transformation solutions provider won the most prestigious innovation award, the DASIS award at the Sahasak Nimavum National Innovation Awards held recently. The DASIS Award is judged across all competing categories and only awarded to the innovation that shows novelty in technology and has been commercialized successfully. This award is judged by a learned panel of national and international judges including academia and industry experts. UTECH also won overall gold for best commercialized ICT innovation. UTECH has won many national and international awards, including the overall gold for “IoT technology of the year” at the Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA) in 2021.

UTECH’s Managing Director, Riyad Ismail said, “Having many Sri Lankan industrial conglomerates as our clients, we have started exporting our hardware and software solutions to world markets.”

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David Pieris Group imparts three-wheeler mechanic skills to 20 women in Jaffna

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Producing skilled female labour and encouraging active participation of women in the economy of the Nation, the David Pieris Group successfully concluded another mechanical training programme in Jaffna recently.

The women who completed the programme titled ‘Empowering Women Through Technical Training’ received a NVQ (National Vocational Qualifications) Level 01 certificate and comprehensive 02 tool kits at the awards ceremony held at the North Gate Hotel, Jaffna on the 09th November 2022. 20 women from the Northern Province including the Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts participated in this programme.

This programme, was initiated by the David Pieris Group in association with the Sri Lanka Women’s Bureau under the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment in 2017 and is the first and only mechanic based technical Programme exclusively targeting women.

Speaking at the ceremony Samantha Silva, Chief Marketing Officer, David Pieris Motor Company (Pvt.) Ltd said; “This initiative will provide the technical training required to attend to any type of repair related to three-wheelers with the ultimate goal of creating trained, certified women mechanics, especially in the Northern Province which has an increased percentage of women led families and communities post three decades of civil war.”

The candidates for the programme were selected in collaboration with the DPMC Dealer network in the Northern Province. Upon completing the theory segment of the technical training, the candidates had the opportunity of attending to practical repair work at DPMC service dealers in their respective areas in order to gain necessary and valuable hands- on experience. At the conclusion of the programme subject to a final assessment, they were certified as mechanics.

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