By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Trading activities at the CSE were positive initially yesterday and there was increased buying interest in shares owing to improved investor sentiment subsequent to a Central Bank projection of a five percent growth of the economy this year, stock market analysts said.
However, towards the latter part of the day profit takings were noted and the stock market turned negative, analysts said.
Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All Share Price Index went down by 83.17 points and S and P SL20 declined by 25.59 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.95 billion with a single crossing. This crossing was reported in Sampath Bank, which crossed 3.5 million shares to the tune of Rs. 173.2 million; its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.
In the retail market five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Rs. 1.3 billion (7.8 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 1.1 billion (111 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs. 188 million (21.5 million shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Non Voting) Rs. 167 million (3.7 million shares traded) and LOLC Holdings Rs. 106.2 million (200,000 shares traded). During the day 215 million shares changed hands in 29000 transactions.
Further, Nestle’s parent company, Nestle SA, purchased 100,000 shares in Nestle Lanka Plc. The company purchased 49.4 million shares and with the purchase, total shareholding of Nestle SA would be 91.95 percent.
On Monday, market capitalisation had fallen to Rs. 3.80 trillion (after the indices plunged by nearly 4%) from Rs. 3.95 billion but by the previous day it had recovered to Rs. 3.97 trillion – though still marginally below the Rs. 4 trillion threshold last enjoyed on September 9.
It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in LOLC Finance. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Hayleys and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing voting and SMB Leasing non-voting. Foreign participation in market activity remained at subdued levels with foreigners closing as net sellers.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka rupee exchange rate was quoted at USD 199.64.
Global CEO Forum fetes one of most influential SL entrepreneurs
In tribute to the late Merril J. Fernando, the esteemed Founder of Dilmah Tea, the Global Brand Creator 2023 Award was bestowed at the Global CEO Forum held recently in Sri Lanka. This prestigious accolade was presented to Kirmali Fernando (the daughter-in-law of late Merril J. Fernando) by the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Kataro Katsuki, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Janaka Abeysinghe, CEO -SLT MOBITEL, Dr. DMA Kulasuriya, Director General-NIBM, Ahamed Ikram, Director-Emerald International , Dilanga Karunaratna- Director Otto Bathware and Anura Siriwardena, Chairman-Global CEO Forum.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka extends its ‘Adopt A Beach’ program for a third year
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Ltd. proudly continues its mission to safeguard Sri Lanka’s shorelines by extending the ‘Adopt A Beach’ initiative for a triumphant third year. This exciting announcement aligns with the celebration of International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 16, 2023, emphasizing the paramount significance of coastal preservation.
Commemorating the partnership with an exclusive beach cleanup and an enlightening session at Crow Island Beach, the day’s proceedings were honored by the presence of the Governor of the Western Province and Marshal of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Roshan Goonetileke and key government stakeholders representing the Ministry of Local Government, Colombo Municipal Council, Environmental Police Division, Coastal Conservation Department, Waste Management Authority and the Crow Island Beach Management Society.
Additionally, underlining the vital role that the youth of our nation play in forging cleaner and safer coastal regions, particularly through the realms of media and volunteerism, the occasion also brought together young talents from the media sector and a dedicated team of volunteers from the Clean Ocean Force, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club of the Ocean’s University, Clean Ocean Force Youth Club in Negombo, Rotaract Club Colombo Regent, Shri Vimukthi Youth Association, youth from International Schools and Adfactors Public Relations Lanka.
PLC’s profits surge 80.9% in Q1, amidst challenging environment
People’s Leasing & Finance PLC (PLC), a pillar of strength and stability in Sri Lanka’s financial sector, successfully concluded the 1st Quarter of the fiscal year 2023/24 with a year-on-year increase in Profit of 80.9% in the midst of a challenging economic landscape.
PLC’s top line interest income recorded an impressive 10.2%, reaching Rs. 7,465 million owing to the increased investment income during the quarter. However, the company’s net interest income showed a modest fall when compared to the first quarter of 2022/23. This was mostly the result of higher interest expenses brought on by the repricing of deposits to higher rates in line with higher policy rates. Despite the stated decrease in net interest income, PLC was able to end the first quarter with a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 331 million as opposed to Rs. 183 million recorded in Q1 2022/23 thanks to the significant year-on-year reduction in Impairment Charges as well as reduction in operating expenses, demonstrative of an intensified commitment to internal sustainability.
Similarly, PLC Group also recorded a PAT of Rs. 552 million during Q1 2023/24, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 21.5% mainly driven by the significant reduction in the Group’s impairment charges and other losses for loans and receivables.
Even in the face of a highly inflationary environment, PLC successfully reduced total operating expenses by 3.5% compared to the corresponding quarter in the year prior due to a determined effort to increase efficiency through digital initiatives, right-sizing of branches, and improvements in internal processes. PLC recognized the significance of recalibrating its balance sheet in a setting not favourable to business expansion and took strategic measures to ensure the right sizing of its balance sheet resulting a total asset base of Rs. 155,380 million as of 30 June 2023. Backed by these strategic moves, total asset base of the PLC Group also remained resilient at Rs. 179,948 million as of 30 June 2023.
In an extremely volatile and complex business setting PLC adopted a highly disciplined liquidity management approach to ensure financial stability whilst maintaining capital adequacy ratios well ahead of the statutory minimums at the end of Q1. The majority of PLC’s funding needs were met through improved collections enabling PLC to remain watchful in growing its deposit base in a high-interest environment. Despite these measures, the deposit base of PLC remained robust at Rs. 93,228 million as of 30 June 2023, showcasing strong customer confidence. The Group deposit base also remained strong at Rs. 100,439 million, as at 30 June 2023.
Meanwhile, PLC retained its No.1 position as Sri Lanka’s Most-Loved Brand in Leasing and Finance category, as ranked by Brand Finance in LMD Brands Annual. The company’s steadfast dedication to excellence was also evident in its ascent from 51 to 36 in the esteemed “Most Respected Entities” ranking by LMD within just one year, further cementing its position as one of Sri Lanka’s most respected and trusted financial services providers.
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