By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Trading at the CSE was halted twice yesterday. On the first occasion, the index of liquid stocks fell 8.13 percent, triggering a 7.5 percent circuit breaker. Trading was halted for a second time at 12.18 hours, when the index fell 5.0 percent.
Initially, CSE’s benchmark All Share Index fell 6.47 percent or 500 points and there was heavy selling pressure, stock brokers said.
Stock buyers who had bought on margin or credit were also trying to cut positions. The index had been going up partly due to low interest rates amid record excess liquidity in money markets. Many investors are also sitting on capital gains after a 30 percent gain in January 2021, market sources said.
Analysts said the CSE had fallen by nearly 15 percent from 9,000 points to 7,735 points within days, perhaps exposing fickleness, but others said fundamentals were intact based on earnings and valuations, hence investor behaviour was unwarranted.
Amid those developments, the market witnessed a fast recovery in the latter part of the day and huge selling pressure was noted in the LOLC Group and Vallibel One. Further, Carsons Cumberbatch and Vallible One were two companies that lowered the index. In the latter part of the day, the All Share Price Index had fallen 134.62 points and the S and P SL20 had declined by 48.42 points. During the day only 76 companies’ share prices moved up and 156 recorded a drop in prices, market sources said.
The turnover stood at Rs. 4.38 billion without any crossings. In the retail market, top five contributors to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 563 million (12.5 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 458 million (90.8 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs. 404 million (one million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 381 million (1.4 million shares traded) and JKH Rs. 352 million (2.3 million shares traded). During the day, 198 million share volumes changed hands in 37,000 transactions.
Sri Lanka rupee was quoted around 195.00/198.00 levels in the one-week forwards market on Wednesday, while bond yields edged up on selling pressure, dealers said.
The rupee last closed in one-week forward market at 196.00/198.00 levels on Wednesday. The rupee closed wide 194.00/198.00 to the US dollar in the spot market on Wednesday.
CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.
The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.
HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.
The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.
“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.
Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.
DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities
As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.
This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.
Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.
“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.
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