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Rs. 5000 allowance for low income families seen as potentially destabilizing

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government is not interested in resolving the current burning macro and micro economic issues. A Cabinet proposal to provide a Rs 5000 allowance to 3.1 million identified low-income families as a bonus for the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year will make the situation worse. Because printing further rupees/money to provide this amount, will once again create inflationary and foreign reserve pressure in the country, stock market analysts.

Yesterday the CSE commenced its trading with a marginal gain but did not sustain it for a long period. At 1 pm S and P SL20 was down by less than five per cent, thus, triggering a circuit breaker for about half an hour, stock market analysts said. Investor sentiment is dwindling due to weak macroeconomic conditions with the unprecedented depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, stock market analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 442 points and S and P SL20 declined by 153.5 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.7 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were in Seylan Bank, which crossed three million shares to the tune of Rs 106.8 million, its shares traded at Rs 35.5 and Melstacorp 750,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 33.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 45.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 543 million (2.1 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 202 million (21.7 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 192 million (259,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 163 million (14.1 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 121..3 million (2.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs 92 million (596,000 shares traded) and CT Holdings Rs 77.5 million (500,000 shares traded). During the day 265 million shares changed hands in 29000 transactions.

The Sri Lanka rupee was quoted at 285/310 to the US dollar in the spot market yesterday, while bond markets were mostly inactive with the ongoing bond auction, dealers said.

Commercial Banks were offering to sell dollars for telegraphic transfers at Rs 299 rupees and buying between Rs 275/289 .The Central Bank indicative spot rate was Rs 294.98 flat from the previous day.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has been made more flexible but a clean float has not yet been established. Economists and analysts have urged the Central Bank to raise rates and halt a surrender rule that is taking dollars away from the banking system and creating rupees.



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CSE Director Board appoints new chairman

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The Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Dumith Fernando who has served in this role since July 01, 2020, has informed the Board of his intention to retire by rotation on June 23, 2022 at the conclusion of his current term as a Director. Subsequently, at its regular monthly board meeting held on May 19th, 2022, the Board of the CSE has elected Director Dilshan Wirasekara to succeed Fernando as Chairman with effect from June 24th, 2022. Wirasekara is currently Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC.According to the Articles of Association of the CSE, it’s Chair is chosen from among the five Directors elected by the members of the CSE. The appointment of Wirasekara is in line with the CSE’s normal board succession practice.

The outgoing Chairman Fernando said that “We are very pleased with the advancement of the CSE in the last 2 years. The market has set records across capital raising, trading volumes and participation alongside significant wealth creation for investors. The CSE is also financially stronger than it has ever been, and I am pleased to hand over my role following the institution’s highest-ever profitability and capital reserves position. Credit for this is due to my fellow board members, management and staff as well as all those stakeholders who collaborated with us including our regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and the stock broking and investor communities.”

Commenting on the appointment of his successor, he further stated “I have had the pleasure of serving as a Director with Dilshan for five years where he has been a critical and energetic member of the board. The board and I have full confidence that he will continue to work with all stakeholders to build on our recent efforts to transform into a modern-day multi-product exchange. I look forward to supporting Dilshan over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.”Wirasekara thanked both the outgoing chairman for his leadership of the CSE over the last 2 years and the CSE Board for the confidence placed in him. He further stated, “I hope to continue the good progress at the CSE and look forward to working with the Board and the CSE team together with the regulator and the industry to advance our ambitious capital market development plans.”

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SLIM Research Bureau embarks on a mission to promote fair trade in Sri Lanka

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As corporates and consumers globally are shifting towards best practices such as sustainability, inclusivity, and most importantly, equality to all, “fairness” has become a significant part of how business and buyer decisions are made.With this in mind, SLIM Research Bureau, the research arm associated with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), recently signed an agreement with Fairtrade NAPP at SLIM Home, in aspiration of promoting fair trade and consumption of fairly traded products in the local market of Sri Lanka.Through this collaboration, SLIM Research Bureau and Fairtrade intends to launch a project – named “SRI-PROM” funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy – that aims to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural areas in Sri Lanka, through the development of much more profitable eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Commenting on the partnership, SLIM President Mr. Nuwan Gamage stated: “SLIM is thrilled to enter into this milestone partnership with Fairtrade NAPP to instil globally accepted best practices within the corporate circle that help achieve fair, equitable trade relationships. The project will be the first step in inviting businesses across industries to become a trailblazer that sets an example both in Sri Lanka and around the world. We look forward to expand these efforts further in the days to come.”The modern concept of fair trade refers to the ethical and sustainable sourcing of products, where workers and farmers at the foundational level of supply and value chains are treated fairly. This, in turn, offers consumers a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty through their purchases.

Fairtrade International Programme Consultant for Sri Lanka, Standards Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Asia-Pacific Representative Mrs. Iresha Sanjeewanie noted: “Fairtrade takes a 360-degree approach to address a number of different issues and developmental challenges faced by small-scale producers and workers. Though Fairtrade Standards are a glum eye-opener into the implications of unfair trade, in a broader sense, it advocates reform-oriented research and pushes to raise the bar in trade.”

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Bank of Ceylon sponsors Annual Sand Paving Ceremony at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Temple Anuradhapura

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Invoking the blessings of the sacred “Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi” situated in the historic city of Anuradhapura, on the country and on all its citizens, for peace, harmony and prosperity, the Bank of Ceylon conducted its annual ceremony of strewing fresh sand which is known as “weli Athirime Pinkama” in “Uda Maluwa” recently.

The ceremony took place with the participation of the Bank’s General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, DGM Corporate and Offshore Banking Priyal Silva, DGM Human Resource Dhamma Wijeyawardhene, DGM Branch operations and Development Banking Nilantha Meneripitiyage, AGM North Central Province Mahinda Bandara, AGM Marketing Aruna Hettiarachchi, AGM North Western Mrs.Ruchindra Perera and other staff members. The event was organized by the Bank’s Assistant General Manager North Central Province (NCP) G.K.G. Mahinda Bandara and staff members of the NCP province with the guidance of the Atamasthanadipathi of Anuradhapura, the Most Venerable Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero.

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