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SOE restructuring plans positively impact Lanka Hospitals and SLT shares

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government’s proposals relating to the restructuring of State Owned Enterprises, based on IMF recommendations, had a positive impact on Lanka Hospitals and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) stocks yesterday, despite the market being volatile, stock market analysts said. CSE was edging down in mid-morning trade and became volatile due to manifold reasons. But more importantly there was net foreign buying with October so far producing over Rs. 1.4 billion, thereby boosting the year- to- date figure to Rs. 16.7 billion.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index moved down by 55.2 points and S and P SL20 declined by 16.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.3 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Lanka Wall Tiles, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 72 million, its shares traded at Rs 72 and CIC Holdings 250,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 35 million and its shares fetched Rs 100.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 378 million (1.5 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 231 million (1.3 million shares traded), CIC Holdings (Voting) Rs 173 million (1.7 million shares traded), CIC (Non- Voting) Rs 149 million (2.1 million shares traded), Sri Lanka Telecom Rs 143 million (2.2 million shares traded), Agsta PLC Rs 136 million (7.9 million shares traded) and Lanka Hospital Rs 123million (1.1 million shares traded). During the day 117 million share volumes changed hands in 23000 share transactions.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in JKH, CIC Holdings and Commercial Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and CIC Holdings (non- voting), while retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing (voting and non-voting), Browns Investments and LOLC Finance.The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to JKH), while the sector index gained 3.39 per cent. The share price of JKH moved up by Rs. 1.50 (1.17 per cent) to close at Rs. 130.

The Energy sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index increased by 9.79 per cent. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs. 23.25 (10.89 per cent) to close at Rs. 236.75.

Expolanka Holdings and CIC Holdings (voting and non-voting) were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings gained Rs. 12.75 (8.23 per cent) to close at Rs. 167.75. The share price of CIC Holdings voting recorded a gain of Rs. 5 (5.42 per cent) to close at Rs.97.20, while the non- voting share price appreciated by Rs. 3.80 (5.70 per cent) to close at Rs. 70.50.Yesterday, the Central Bank-announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.81 and selling rate Rs 370.71.



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Norlanka Manufacturing Trincomalee receives LEED Gold Certification

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Norlanka Manufacturing Trincomalee was recently awarded the prestigious LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).Norlanka, one of Sri Lanka’s largest sustainable exporters of baby and kidswear, has an extensive ESG (Environmental/Social/Governance) strategy and understands the responsibility it has concerning the future of a sustainable apparel industry. Therefore, ethical sourcing, in particular working with responsible supply chain partners has been a critical operational necessity.

The LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and it is backed by an entire industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation. It’s awarded for projects that have earned points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality. Buildings consume energy and resources at an alarming rate, therefore the LEED rating system is the most widely used green building rating system, as it provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings.

LEED takes multiple areas into account with varying sub-criteria when certifying a building such as location, transportation, sustainability of the site, construction, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resource, waste management, indoor environment quality, innovations and more.

Chief Innovation Officer of Norlanka, Buddhi Paranamana stated, “This LEED Gold certification is a testament to our constant drive to improve our sustainability efforts. This award marks yet another milestone in Norlanka’s journey towards becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Since 2010 we’ve constantly been learning how to do things in a more sustainable way. I would like to congratulate our team for obtaining this certification. It showcases dedication towards achieving sustainable excellence while achieving our goals and providing customers with high-quality products.”

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People’s Bank celebrates 75 years of Independence by offering gifts to newborns

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People’s Bank celebrated Sri Lanka’s 75thNational Independence at a modest ceremony held at their Head Office which was followed by a series of island wide initiatives.People’s Bank’s ‘Birth of Freedom’ programme which commences on every Independence Day was carried out this year as well. Under this concept, People’s Bank gifts Rs.2,000/- worth of an ‘IsuruUdana’ Gift Certificate to every baby born between the 1st and 14th of February.

People’s Bank launched this programme in 2006 with the vision of instilling national pride and encouraging parents to plan for their children’s future. Parents can open an ‘Isuru Udana’ Children’s Savings Account at any People’s Bank Branch using the Gift Certificate.

Director of the Castle Street Maternity Hospital Dr. Ajith Danthanarayana, Director of De Soysa Hospital for Women in Borella Dr. Pradeep Wijesinghe, People’s Bank Senior Deputy General Manager (TB & OCS) Rohan Pathirage, Deputy General Manager (Retail Banking) Renuka Jayasinghe, Deputy General Manager (Strategic Planning, Performance Management & Research) Jayanthi Kurukulasooriya, Deputy General Manager (Risk Management) Roshini Wijerathna, Deputy General Manager (Banking Support Services) Nipunika Wijayaratne, Deputy General Manager (Channel Management) T.M.W Chandrakumara, Head of Marketing Nalaka Wijayawardana, Assistant General Manager (Retail Banking) Nalin Pathiranage, Assistant General Manager (Human Resources) Manjula Dissanayake, Colombo North Regional Manager S.L.M.A.S Samarathunga, Colombo South Regional Manager M.S Kanakka Hewage, Borella Branch Manager W.A.N Udayangani, Town Hall Branch Manager Tiral Pradeep, Deputy Director of De Soysa Hospital for Women in Borella, Dr. K.M Nihal, Administrative Officer of Castle Street Hospital for Women S.M.T.A.R. Bandara, Nursing officers along with hospital staff were also present at the event.In line with the above all People’s Bank branches across the country initiated ‘Nidahase Upatha’ activities island wide.

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SL bondholders ready for debt restructuring talks with authorities– with conditions

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Sri Lanka’s bondholders have told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that they are prepared to engage with Sri Lankan authorities in debt restructuring talks consistent with the parameters of the global lender’s program.The Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka bondholders conveyed its stance in a letter directed to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Friday (Feb. 03).

“The Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.”

The Bondholder Group acknowledged the Sri Lankan authorities’ engagement with their official creditors towards a resolution of the current crisis and restoration of debt sustainability.

The Bondholder Group further acknowledged that such engagement has recently resulted in the Indian government delivering letters of financing assurances to the IMF, committing to support Sri Lanka and contribute to its efforts to restore debt sustainability by providing debt relief and financing consistent with the IMF Extended Fund Facility Arrangement and the IMF Programme targets indicated in the India’s letter to the global lender.

Sri Lanka Bondholder Group Letter to IMF stated:

Based on the limited information available to us at this time, including information contained in the India Letter, we understand that the IMF Programme’s debt sustainability targets are identified as (i) reducing the ratio of public debt to GDP to 95% by 2032, (ii) limiting the central government’s annual gross financing needs to GDP ratio to 13% in the period between 2027 and 2032, and central government annual foreign currency debt service at 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032 and (iii) closing of the external financing gap.

The Bondholder Group hereby confirms it is prepared to engage, through its Steering Committee, with the Sri Lankan authorities in restructuring negotiations consistent with the parameters of an IMF Programme and the targets specified therein (the “IMF Programme Targets”), which the Bondholder Group understands to be the targets identified in the India Letter; it being recognized that these negotiations will necessarily be further informed by the receipt of the forthcoming DSA. We would note that the finalization of an agreement will also be subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

The central government’s domestic debt – defined as debt governed by local law – is reorganized in a manner that both ensures debt sustainability and safeguards financial stability. Assuming that annual gross financing needs should not exceed 13% of GDP in the period between 2027 and 2032, whilst allowing for central government annual foreign currency debt service to reach 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032, domestic gross financing should therefore be limited at 8.5% of GDP for the period 2027-2032.

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