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Lanka IOC stocks thrive as India considers economic relief package for Sri Lanka

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The trading activites in the Colombo Stock Exchange  (CSE) yesterday were positive throughout the day and most counters indicated considerable buying interest. However, exceptional buying interest was noted in Lanka IOC stocks, which reflected that investor confidence had increased in those stocks following the announcement by the Indian government’s relief package for Sri Lanka, market analysts said.

It is said that the Indian government is considering an emergency economic relief package for Sri Lanka and under this package India is also planning to supply refined oil to the country.

With this news, the  buying interest propped up on  Lanka IOC Plc stocks. Its  share  price appreciated by 32 percent or Rs 16 during the day. Its share price startered trading at Rs 49.10 at the end of the day it shot up to Rs 65.10.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index up by 180.65 points and S and P SL20 up by 45.28 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3.7 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Commercial Bank, which crossed 1.1 million shares to the tune of Rs 89.2 million and its share price traded at Rs 77.50, Windforce Limited three million shares crossed for Rs 54.3 million and its share price traded at Rs 18.10 and Chevron Lubricants  210,000 shares crossed for Rs 23.5 million and its share price traded at Rs 112.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Lanka IOC Rs one billion, (17 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 334 million (884,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 201 million (14.3 million shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 191.9 million (4.3 million shares traded), hSenid Rs 149 million (6.5 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 121 million (105,000 shares traded) and JKH Rs 19.5 million (626,000 shares traded).



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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