By Hiran H.Senewiratne
The CSE bounced back yesterday after witnessing a heavy market drop on the previous day due to panic-stricken investors disposing of their stocks to gain short term profits after the Central Bank’s involvement in controlling the rupee rate as against the dollar, stock market analysts said.
One of the reasons for the stock market to bounce back yesterday was a comment by State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal to the media that the recently passed Tax Amnesty Act would benefit the capital market and that there could be an inflow of around Rs. 100 billion to the CSE before the end of the year. This gave a slight impetus to the highly volatile stock market, analysts said.
Further, the Central Bank also issued new directions to licensed commercial banks and the National Savings Bank on the import of certain non-essential and non-urgent goods with immediate effect until further notice to preserve foreign reserves. This slightly impacted export- oriented companies yesterday, analysts said.
Consequently, both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 222 points and S and P SL20 rose by 66.80 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 5.7 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, where four million shares crossed to the tune of Rs. 204.8 million, its shares traded at Rs. 51.50, Expolanka Holdings 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 105.6 million, its shares traded at Rs. 176, HNB 250,000 shares crossed for Rs. 35.7 million, its shares fetched Rs. 143 and HNB (Non Voting) 200,000 shares crossed for Rs 26 million, its shares trading at Rs. 130.
In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.59 billion (9.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 1.26 billion (129 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs. 400 million (725,000 shares traded), Nestle Lanka Rs. 379 million (314,000 shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 221 million (two million shares traded). During the day 265 million share volumes changed hands in 36000 transactions.
It is said that clients are using the current market weakness to accumulate fundamentally strong stocks. This is because it is believed that there are no structural reasons, whether on a macroeconomic level or at a company level, to justify the current sell off. It was important to note that major shareholders continued to hold their stakes, or even increased their stakes, reflecting strong confidence in the stocks they had invested in, market analysts said.
SLTMobitel-PEOTV and DP Education launch ‘Videsa DP Education’
SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider has teamed up with DP Education, to launch ‘Videsa DP Education’, a dedicated educational channel on CH.215 of SLTMobitel–PEOTV, ensuring school children from Grade Five to Advanced Level have access to a high-quality learning experience with Rewind TV.
The revolutionary services of SLTMobitel-PEOTV includes ‘Videsa’ a series of educational channels hosted on the platform, that comprise of 06 TV channels dedicated to individual grades covering grades 06 to 11, that enhance the knowledge sharing with curriculum-centered lessons from a panel of reputed teachers. DP Education, a unique online learning platform, leverages digital solutions to deliver quality education to empower students. Together, Videsa and DP Education, enrich the educational arena further with the ‘Videsa DP Education’ channel, a dedicated television space for the students at home.
This path-breaking partnership is a commitment by SLTMobitel–PEOTV to support the education of children, whose options are limited due to the challenges convergence posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will use the home TV screen and mobile devices as a ubiquitous medium to impart knowledge providing access to quality education for students across the country.
Commenting on the initiative, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT said, “We understand that parents are now faced with the challenge of keeping their children safe during the pandemic as well as having to deal with the ongoing disturbances to their children’s education. As a solution to ensure that their learning remains uninterrupted, we have already introduced six different channels for Grade 6 to Grade 11 students through our Videsa digital platform. Our latest initiative and partnership with DP Education has now enabled us to launch a dedicated channel with unique learning experiences in key subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English for students from Grade 5 to Advanced Level with the Rewind TV facility. We are appreciative of the exceptional efforts extended by Mr. Dammika Perera and his team at DP Education and are grateful for the opportunity to connect the two learning platforms together in unison to create a revolutionary learning experience for our children”.
Thornton and Dane’s combined projects portfolio tops Rs 5.9 billion
Thornton Engineering, the Nextventures owned civil engineering company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Dane Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs 350 million, creating a construction business with a combined portfolio of Rs 5.9 billion.
The new entity, Thornton and Dane Engineering, expects to add new construction projects with a cumulative value of Rs 5 billion within the current financial year, nearly doubling its projects portfolio, the Company said in its announcement.
“We are excited at the post-acquisition prospects for the new company, because we strongly believe that it is a good example for the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Thornton and Dane Director Dinesh Schaffter. “The combined strengths of Thornton and Dane create a formidable as well as extremely flexible engineering company that is capable of executing projects of varying scope and scale.”
Capacity-building programs for SMEs
Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), the apex body for SMEs in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront in supporting the SMEs during the pandemic. The chamber took several measures since the pandemic first hit the country in the first quarter of 2020. The Webinar series “Way Forward for SMEs” was a grand success among other initiatives, which was conducted with the participation of prominent scholars, leading business personalities as well as top rankers of state and private sector organizations.
The president of SLCSMI, Prof. Rohan De Silva said: “We are always there to represent and support the SMEs in the country and that’s our prime duty. During the first wave, we understood the need to share the knowledge and provide psychological support for the business owners to withstand the difficult times and that’s how the webinar series was born. Our initiative was well received by the businesses and our audience was not limited to Sri Lanka alone, as we witnessed participants from around 12 countries.”
Prof. Rohan further said that the chamber has looked at the possibilities of providing sustainable solutions to the SMEs beyond merely conducting knowledge sharing sessions and the Executive Committee has decided to introduce a range of Capacity Building programs to develop the SMEs. These programs include different solutions to address various gaps among the SMEs and the chamber intends to issue a valuable certificate for the participants of these programs.
The chamber has partnered with the Asia Pacific Institute of Money and Entrepreneurship Development (iMED) to design and deliver the programs and the details of the Programs will be unveiled at the launching event scheduled to be held on the 25th of September.
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