Negative investor sentiment triggers circuit breaker at CSE but turnover remains healthy
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
The CSE suffered a temporary setback yesterday with the halting of trading around 1.45 pm as an index of liquid stocks plunged below 5 per cent in intra-day trading because of panic selling of mainly index weighted blue-chip counters.
The S&P SL 20 index fell 5.01 per cent, after earlier recovering from a 4.8 per cent fall but recorded a healthy turnover level, which was above the annual average level of Rs 3.5 billion. The broader All Share Index was down 4.45-pct. The circuit breaker occurred in the stock market due to negative sentiments on the macroeconomic front, especially stemming from power cuts and the foreign exchange crisis, stock market analysts said.
Stocks have been driven by loose monetary policy both at home and abroad. Some stocks have been bought as an inflation hedge with the rupee expected to fall. Others have also benefited from import controls. Sri Lanka’s loose monetary policy however has led to increasing external weaknesses which have translated into disrupted supplies, market watchers said.
The All- Share Price Index went down by 542 points and S and P SL20 declined by 203.9 points. Turnover stood at Rs 4.2 billion without a single crossing.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs one billion (4.3 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 350 million (26.2 million shares traded), Commercial Leasing and Finance Rs 314 million (four million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 268 million (11.4 million shares traded),LOLC Holdings Rs 137 million (132,000 shares traded), Dialog Rs 132 million (11.5 million shares traded) and Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 129 million (one million shares traded). During the day 221 million share volumes changed hands in 45000 transactions.
Separately, Nestle Lanka, Hatton National Bank and Hatton National Bank non-voting announced their interim dividends and scrip dividend of Rs 20, Rs 6.50 cash and Rs.2.50 scrip, for voting and non -voting, while HNB Assurance announced a first and final dividend of Rs 3.20 per share. Nestle Lanka announced a final dividend of Rs 35 per share.
Yesterday, the US dollar rate was quoted at Rs 202.66, which was the controlled price of the Central Bank. If the Central Bank allowed a free float of the rupee, it would touch Rs 250, market analysts said.
Women led LPO services firm Velox Partners enters new office space in Colombo
Velox Partners, a tech-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm, expanded its presence into Colombo to augment its existing law firm. Velox commenced operations in January 2020 prior to the onset of the pandemic. Today, it has expanded its services across numerous verticals Commercial law, Litigation, Conveyancing and Company Secretarial Services, with Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Services being the core. It is geared as a fully-fledged legal service provider servicing clients across United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Velox is female-led with over 90% being women comprising versatile and experienced lawyers. Their expertise bridges multiple disciplines of law with a local and global clientele. The two powerhouses leading the firm are its founding partners Lihini Fernando and Dakshika Perera whose collective experience spans over three decades.
Velox Partners saw Covid-19 restrictions and remote working as an opportunity to position the firm as a tech-based entity and launched its LPO arm. Providing back office legal services to law firms across continents was seen as a viable business model that is both functional and lucrative. Furthermore, the partners of Velox realized the potential of positioning Sri Lanka as a LPO Hub, where the LPO sector enables foreign remittance to the island nation to rebuild its economy. This also provided an opportunity particularly as LPO services can be offered remotely, without a physical office presence.
Velox has serviced clients in over 14 jurisdictions worldwide providing solutions on the ethos, ‘Beyond Legal’. Velox believes in combining business efficiency and tech enabled processes to differentiate itself from the conventional law firms.
Lawyers at Velox are solution providers guided by industry expertise. The team comprises professionals based in Australia, the United States of America, Singapore, and Sri Lanka which enables them to draw cross country perspectives in providing services. Velox is now poised to use their multiple years of experience across continents to provide smart legal solutions.
Estonian TV crew gets a taste of Sri Lanka for the first time
Sri Lanka Tourism, under its Scandinavian market promotions hosted a Media FAM with 4 Media personnel from Kanal2 TV from Estonia. The tour started off on February 28 and ended on March 8. The purpose of hosting this tour was to receive more high-end tourist arrivals from Estonia, as well as the other Scandinavian markets including Lithuania and Latvia.
Subsequently, this tour was hosted in collaboration with the Sri Lanka embassy in Sweden which contributed to make this tour a success. The FAM Tour covered all the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, including wild life, Ayurveda, Boutique hotels, and also cultural attractions.
All these attractions were filmed and the destination will be promoted on air via Kanal2 TV, through the TV show ‘’ Kaugele Siit’’ (far from here). The first episode of this programme is scheduled to be telecast for 45 minutes. This travel programme has 420,000 followers as their audience. Kanal2 TV was also the official Media partner for the Winter Olympics 2018, a Sri Lanka Tourism press release said.
The release adds: ‘The visitors were quite impressed with the 8-day tour which they had, enjoying every moment of their tour. They were equally mesmerized with the warm hospitality which they received from the Sri Lankans, which they are mostly renowned for. They enjoyed the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and the variety of dishes which they tasted. Nevertheless, they had the opportunity of exploring every attraction of the paradise island to convey the message to their fellow Estonians, that Sri Lanka is a unique travel destination which has everything in store for the enthusiastic traveler.
‘They also had a cooking demonstration by courtesy of Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resorts & Spas Wadduwa, and also a Yoga treat at the same venue. Visiting the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda , the Elephant orphanage at Pinnawala, going through a safari at Eco park was also another amazing experience which they had during their stay.’
The Academy of International Business signs Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the Pacific
Academy of International Business Sri Lanka (AIB) held its second graduation at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall with over fifty graduates successfully passing out. At the recent graduation, the business academy signed its MOU with the University of the Pacific.
The signing of the MOU is a major milestone for the business academy. The courses offered are DBA, MBA, and BBA top-up programs through AIB. Prof Liam, Rector – of the University of Pacific, expressed confidence that the program delivered by AIB will be very beneficial.
The event was graced by passed graduates, teachers, and lecturers, the ceremony was hosted by the chief guest and the regional director of ABE(UK) Dr Praveen Mahendran. “The ABE(UK) is one of the long-standing professional awarding bodies from the UK and AIB is proud to be associated with ABE and approved by the awarding body.
Hard work, competency and capability are the values that produce results, through the AIB and its programs these are achievable. Every student is encouraged to show their full potential”.
The distinguished guests were the Vice President of the BNI Pioneer Chapter, Dilan Fonseka. He emphasized, the importance of students gaining experience in entrepreneurial skills and business development by enrolling at BNI. AIB is a member of BNI, which creates multiple opportunities.
About the Academy of International Business: AIB is recognized for its management programs, digital marketing, marketing, and English language programs such as IELTS, and PTE. It’s widely popular among students in search of pursuing business and management courses.The Director of AIB Sri Lanka, Chrishankar Janathanan, expressed the institute’s commitment to providing the best quality education. It’s not only a center that is simply cornered to the education sector but also has focused its efforts on recruitment services and digital agency services.
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