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CSE turnover surpasses Rs 14 billion, ASPI records historic high

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Stimulus from reserve buffers

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was bullish throughout yesterday due to turnover surpassed Rs 14 billion and the All Share Price Index recorded the highest ever 9,163 points in the stock market history, stock market analysts said. During the day both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index up by 160.5 points and S and P SL20 up by 75.9 points. Main contributing factor to reach All Share Price to the historic highest level and the turnover to touch Rs 14.65 billion due to the significant improvement in the investor sentiment as Sri Lanka was able to secure US$ 1.3 billion worth of foreign reserves that received from a Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation of International Monetary Fund (IMF), a disbursement under the Currency Swap Arrangement with the Bangladesh Bank and another loan from Chinese Development Bank.The bourse appeared challenging as Expolanka Holdings on the previous day dislodged LOLC Holdings yet again to reclaim the most valued status, stock market analysts said.

Expolanka and Browns Investments were the main contributors yesterday for the All Share Price Index. Those two companies’ share prices were also appreciated. Expolanka Holdings share price increased from Rs 167.75 to Rs 181, which was Rs 13.25 or eight percent increased and Browns Investments share price appreciated from Rs 10.40 to Rs 11.50, which was 11 percent or Rs 1.10 appreciation.

 Turnover stood at Rs 14.6 billion with five crossings. Those crossings were reported in HNB where five million shares crossed for Rs 675 million and its share price traded at Rs 135, Royal Ceramic 2.8 million shares crossed for Rs 112.8 million and its share price traded at Rs 41, HNB (Non Voting) 837,000 shares crossed for Rs 104.6 million and its share price traded at Rs 125, Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs 51.5 million and its share price traded at Rs 51.50 and Commercial Bank 500,000 shares crossed for Rs 42.75 million and its share price traded at Rs 85.50.

In the  retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Expolanka Rs 4.7 billion (26 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 2.9 billion (257 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs 996 million (8.4 million shares traded), LOLC Rs 674 million (1.1 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 670 million (15.2 million shares traded). During the day 484 million share volume changed hands in 66740 transactions.Since early last week investors have ignited a battle between Expolanka and LOLC for the number one position, with each holding a forte for a day only. Analysts claimed Expolanka remains solid and on demand given the large volumes traded since early last week. It retaining the most valued status for a second day running today would prove this view. Others believe Expolanka is now overpriced. Nevertheless, the stock market, which is on an all-time high, has developed a craving for companies with strong dollar earnings and both Expolanka and LOLC, as well as Hayleys and several Group companies are being sought after for the same reason.



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Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System

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The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.

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Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia

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Sagara Gunawardene

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.

“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.

Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.

Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.

Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.

‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.

‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.

Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.

‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.

‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’

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Share market moves into positive territory; indices up

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.

Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.

The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.

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