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Hopes of equity-friendly budget boost bourse

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities were positive from the beginning yesterday because stock market investors are expecting an equity market- friendly budget to be presented to parliament by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa today, stock market analysts said.

The budget would be an investment- friendly, pro-private sector job- creation budget and it would target to attract foreign investments, analysts said. Sri Lanka’s budget this year is likely to look into the strategic interests of foreign countries as well as the country’s need for dollar inflows to boost its reserves, another analyst said.

Yesterday, new buying interest was witnessed in the LOLC Group of companies, especially LOLC Finance, whose share price appreciated by 24 percent or Rs 4.70. At the commencement of trading, shares stood at Rs 20.10 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs 24.80.

Amid those developments both indices showed mixed reactions. The All Share Price Index went up by 163.77 points and S and P SL20 declined by 9.04 points. Turnover stood at Rs 6.8 billion with three crossings. The crossing were reported in Renuka Hotel, which crossed four million shares to the tune of Rs 80 million, its shares traded at Rs 20, Aitken Spence one million shares crossed for Rs 40 million, its shares traded at Rs 40 and Sampath Bank 500,000 shares crossed for Rs 27.5 million, its shares fetching Rs 55.

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; LOLC Finance Rs 1.9 billion (80.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 539 million (46.5 million shares traded), Shaw Wallace Investments Rs 519 million (42.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 305 million (1.5 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 296 million (438,000 shares traded) and Agalawatte Plantations Rs 245 million (seven million shares traded).

During the day, Watawala Plantations shares appreciated by 11 percent or Rs 8.30. Its share price shot up to Rs 81.60 due to recording healthy profits in the last quarter and also as a result of paying considerable dividends to shareholders. During the day 347 million share volumes changed hands in 55000 transactions. Further, the industry diversified financial sector contributed more than Rs 2.9 billion, which accounts for almost 50 per cent of the day’s turnover. The Diversified Financials sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka Orix Finance and LOLC Holdings).

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Access Engineering, Vallibel One and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in R I L Property, Expolanka Holdings and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Pan Asian Power. Yesterday, the US dollar was quoted at Rs 201.21, which was the controlled price set by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.



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Passport Office collaborates with banks to boost international monetary transfers from migrants

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Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal hands over a new account to a young migrant worker which he opened at the new HNB counter at the Passport Office yesterday, where Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of HNB was present. Pic by Thushara Athapaththu

by Sanath Nanayakkare

People’s Bank, National Savings Bank , Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka yesterday established new banking counters at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, at ‘Suhurupaya’, Battaramulla.

The initiative is intended support the Central Bank’s ongoing effort to boost the country’s foreign reserves by offering migrant workers access for safe, official remittance channels from the time they obtain new passports or renew their passports for international jobs.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka who was the chief guest of the opening ceremony said,” A lot of Sri Lankans go overseas for jobs and send their hard-earned money to Sri Lanka. Sometimes they face various issues when remitting money. So we thought we should provide the opportunity for them to open an account as they obtain their passports at the passport office which they can operate with greater ease and trust when sending money to their families from abroad. The Controller of Immigration and Emigration, his staff, the officials at the Central Bank and at other relevant banks worked in unison to establish their counters here just within a week. This shows that government institutions can collaborate with the private sector and quickly accomplish any task for the benefit of the country and its people. Our hard-working migrant workforce will enjoy the convenience and reliability of this service. As a result of it, more foreign money will flow into the country and the nation will reap benefits from it,” he said.

Workers’ remittances have been a key pillar of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings that has nearly 100 per cent of domestic value addition, providing a substantial cushion for external sector resilience of the country. Workers’ remittances have covered around 80 per cent of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades, and strengthening remittances inflows to the country brings several socio-economic benefits including the smooth supply of forex inflows to the formal banking system.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka established a new department named ‘Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department’ with effect from November 3, 2021 to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances inflows to the country.

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SLT-MOBITEL powered SLIOT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 fostering innovation

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider was the proud sponsor of SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020, championing innovation in Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics to reward and further develop a pipeline of tech talent and critical skills among Sri Lanka’s youth. The winners of the competitions were honoured at a special ceremony held recently.

SLIoT Challenge 2020 and IESL RoboGames 2020 was a collaborative effort between SLT-MOBITEL, the Department of Computer Science & Engineering of the University of Moratuwa and the IT and Computer Engineering Sectional Committee of Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka (IESL). Recognising the value of promoting digital inclusion among youth and to develop new generation technology concepts, SLT-MOBITEL sponsored the event for the fourth consecutive year. Both competitions encourage technological innovation among youth which in turn provides avenues for SLT-MOBITEL to capitalize on its futuristic thinking towards a connected future.

The SLIoT Challenge 2020 theme centred around the current pandemic ‘Overcoming COVID-19 with IoT’ and over 77 submissions were received. SLT-MOBITEL comprehends that IoT is being widely embraced with the number of connected devices growing rapidly. SLT-MOBITEL recognizes that driving an IoT competition for Sri Lankan youth allows students to unleash their potential in the IoT domain and acts as a gateway to support the country’s evolution towards digital transformation.

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Akshata launches unique new tea blends

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Akshata brand, a pioneer in promoting health and wellness the traditional way presents herbal tea alongside honey/jaggery as an alternative to sugar, redefining tea consumption.

Akshata ‘Ranawara’ herbal tea which promotes clear skin and health benefits for the body is dedicated to Queen Soma Devi who was acclaimed for her beauty, bravery, and sacrifice to save King Valagamba in 77 BC.

Managing Director of Grains N Green, Roshan Perera says, “In addition to the myriad of health benefits, consumers are encouraged to experience a taste of nostalgia with each sip of Akshata herbal tea. Today’s health-conscious consumers increasingly buy items that support their nutrition and fitness. Sugar is no longer included in this list due to its negative impact on one’s health. That’s why we have introduced healthy alternatives for sugar. Putting honey or jaggery in tea is a much healthier choice than using sugar as it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly, and with our product you can get the tea as well as

the sweeteners all in one pack. This saves time, money, and is a healthier alternative to drinking tea with sugar.”

Akshata herbal tea with bees honey/Jaggery is available at Spar and Glomark supermarkets and can also purchase online at askshatastore.com

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