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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » CSE THIS WEEK

CSE THIS WEEK

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61CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:22 pm

ruwan326


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics

SPSE and CSE enter a memorandum of understanding to enhance collaboration


January, 16, 2019

CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Ms-Krishika-Narayan-CEO-of-South-Pacific-Stock-Exchange-SPSE CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 WAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==
The South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a collaborative relationship between the two exchanges seeking mutual development opportunities in the Fijian and the Sri Lankan capital markets.

A MoU enables the two exchanges to work together and learn from each other’s experiences. Given that most stock exchanges are unique in their countries, such cross-border collaboration and exchange of information and knowledge can enhance market development. These benefits can be particularly important for activities that often fall exclusively to securities exchanges in any given country, such as investor awareness initiatives, advancing trading and settlement and integrating market data with website development.

The potential forms of cooperation between SPSE and CSE can help the two institutions to become the preferred securities exchanges in their respective regions. Because CSE is a larger, more developed exchange, it presents an ideal partnership opportunity for the SPSE to gain greater insight about technological advancements. The particular MoU includes provisions to encourage exchanging information about market development efforts, regional cooperation and expansion initiatives and the use of information technology systems to enhance ease of doing business in both jurisdictions. The MoU also can facilitate staff secondments to further explore ways to share knowledge and means to develop the respective exchanges further.

On the signing of the MoU with CSE, the SPSE CEO, Ms Krishika Narayan said that “this signing of the MoU is a milestone achievement for SPSE as this is going to establish a framework for collaboration between SPSE and CSE and express the common goals of the two institutions inaugurating a pathway towards the success of both institutions. SPSE is a progressive organisation and our intention is to optimise our operational capacity which we believe can be significantly enhanced through fostering professional relationships with institutions with similar intent.”

Commenting on the development, Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the CEO of CSE said “the MoU with SPSE further strengthens our collaborative effort with peer exchanges in the Asia-Pacific region and opens up new possibilities for CSE. We look forward to an engaging and mutually beneficial relationship with SPSE. We anticipate that the MoU will pave the way for CSE to build fruitful relationships with key stakeholders in the Fijian capital market.”

The SPSE was established in 1979 and is the only licensed securities exchange under the Companies Act of Fiji and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. SPSE is a business in transformation and operates in an evolving era where development of growth opportunities in order to enhance its competitiveness remains pivotal for further progress and as such it’s concentration revolves around scaling up the activities of the SPSE by means of increasing the number of listed securities, increasing the scope of products currently traded on its platform and improving its visibility at the international level in a move towards regional expansion.

CSE is the nucleus of Sri Lanka's capital market as the licensed operator of the stock market. CSE is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1985. CSE acts as a conduit of both equity and debt capital and provides the necessary market infrastructure to buyers and sellers in order to transact. CSE also performs regulatory oversight to ensure the fairness and integrity of the Sri Lankan capital market. The post-trade services provided by CSE currently comprise of settlement and safekeeping and are provided through a fully owned subsidiary, Central Depository Systems (Private) Limited (CDS).

Through this collaboration effort both the Exchanges envisage further growth in their respective capital markets and look forward to fostering a propitious business relationship going forward.

​​​​​​​http://bizenglish.adaderana.lk/south-pacific-stock-exchange-spse-and-colombo-stock-exchange-cse-enter-a-memorandum-of-understanding-to-enhance-collaboration/

62CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:06 pm

ruwan326


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sri Lankan stocks down, interest in Lankem Developments

Jan 18, 2019 

Sri Lanka’s benchmark stock market index closed lower Friday in moderate turnover with interest seen in Lankem Developments, brokers said. 

The All Share Price Index fell 1.05 points or 0.02 percent to end at 5,988.07 while the more liquid S&P SL20 index closed at 3,066.29, up 13.04 points or 0.43 percent. Turnover was 661 million rupees.

The ASPI was dragged lower mainly by Commercial Leasing & Finance, which fell 30 cents or almost 11 percent to close at 2.50 rupees  a share,  Melstacorp which fell one rupee or two percent to end at 47 rupees and Aitken Spence which ended at 44 rupees, down 1.50 or 3.3 percent.

Lankem Developments was the most actively traded share and the day’s highest gainer, closing at 4.40 rupees, up 50 cents or 13 percent.


https://economynext.com/Sri_Lankan_stocks_down,_interest_in_Lankem_Developments-3-13177-3.html

63CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:08 am

ruwan326


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
UK assures existing GSP+ tariffs will continue post-Brexit
19 January 2019​​​​​​​

  • Britain to set up trade preference team to implement new system in three tiers to provide same rates as EU
  • Says UK will remain a key economic partner in the world 
  • Calls on local entrepreneurs to proactively engage with policymakers to take local economy forward 


British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka James Dauris on Thursday assured local exporters the UK would extend the same preferential tariff rates to countries which were currently beneficiaries of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) of the European Union to ensure there would be minimal impact to their exports post-Brexit.

Delivering the keynote address at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the National Chamber of Exporters, he highlighted some of the key issues related to international trade and Britain’s ambitions post-Brexit outlook as well as responsibilities of local exporters and business leaders in charting Sri Lanka’s future growth.

“There are a lot of queries related to Brexit. Day one after the exit from the European Union (EU) we will set up a trade preference team to introduce preferential market access to developing countries under the EU GSP scheme to minimise business disruption,” he assured the export fraternity of Sri Lanka. He said this intended system of the UK would be implemented in three tiers and rates would be set at the same rates as the EU, while also noting that they would remain open, encouraging and friendly towards investors and businesses from around the world including Sri Lanka even after leaving the EU. 

He affirmed that the UK, after Brexit, would have in place a system of tariffs which would extend the same preferential tariff rates to countries which were currently beneficiaries of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) including Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner said the UK was confident of continuing its growth post-Brexit, which has also been acknowledged by the EU. “The UK is an outward-looking, engaging and key partner in economic development in the world,” he added.

Referring to the world’s fast-changing economic landscape and challenges related to international trade, the High Commissioner pointed out that countries needed to be more cautious in the face of these profound new developments. 

“There are significant changes taking place in the world economy. China’s growth in the past few years has been remarkable and according to research studies, it shows that it will take over the world’s biggest economy, which is the US, by 2030. Experts also predict that by 2050 China and India put together will be equal to all the G7 economies. Power always follows money, so you must not underestimate the profound impact of all these activities,” he warned.

The High Commissioner also called on local entrepreneurs, exporters and business leaders to actively voice their concerns to direct the country’s growth trajectory in the right direction through collective engagement.

“While the Government will set out the regulations and fiscal management at macro level, as entrepreneurs and business leaders you all have an active and a responsible role to play to navigate Sri Lanka to be one of the prosperous economies. Focus on innovation and higher customer services, collectively call on the Government to simplify process of doing business, liberalise labour laws and have outward-looking polices. The voice of business leaders matters,” he insisted.

http://www.ft.lk/front-page/UK-assures-existing-GSP--tariffs-will-continue-post-Brexit/44-671149

64CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:29 am

ruwan326


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sri Lanka's EPF loses most from Laugfs, Dockyard, Carsons; gains from banks

Jan 21, 2019 

Sri Lanka's Employees Provident Fund, managed by the central bank has lost 9.2 billion rupees on its stock portfolio up to June 2018 despite investments in banks gaining it about 9 billion rupees led by Sampath Bank, a report from the agency said.

The stocks have been bought at different times, but among the most controversial were those made at the height of a stock market bubble which ended around 2011.

The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) Department on January 16 said the 2 trillion rupee fund made up of private sector employee retirement savings has lost 8.4 billion rupees in the value of stocks held for investment, since it first purchased each stock, up to June 2018.
This was a fall of 10.9 percent to 68.88 billion rupees.

Stocks held for trading lost 24.9 percent of their value, or 742.7 million rupees, with the biggest hit coming from Aitken Spence and its hotel subsidiary.
The EF had lost about 2.0 billion rupees on Colombo Dockyard shares which It had bought for 2,791 million rupees and was in its books at 765 million rupees, losing about three fourths of the value.

Market value of Laugfs Gas Plc voting and non-voting stocks fell 56.9 percent or 1.9 billion rupees. Voting stock the EFP bought for 2.68 billion rupees was worth 1.15 billion rupees, by June 2018.
A 1.7 billion rupee fall in value came through Carsons Cumberbatch Plc, which is currently attempting to delist most of its companies from the stock exchange, with the initial investment value down 64.5 percent compared to the market value in June 2018.

The EPF had bought Carsons Cumberbatch, which owned several Malaysian oil palm firm, for 2.59 billion rupees, but it was now worth 919 million rupees.
Another 1.7 billion hit came from Carsons oil palm unit Bukit Darah Plc. Bukit stock had been bought for 2.3 billion rupees and was now worth 577 million rupees.
Over a billion rupees each were also slashed from market values of Browns & Co Plc, the troubled The Finance Company Plc and the John Keells hotel subsidiary Asian Hotels & Properties Plc.
In total 43 stocks lost value for EPF shareholders after being bought, out of 66 stocks held in the investment portfolio.
Five of the six bank stocks, adding 9 billion rupees to market value of the investment equity portfolio.
Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank, three of the country's systemically important banks, contributed 88.8 percent to the gain.
Sampath stock bought for 4.8 billion rupees were worth 8.4 billion rupees.

DFCC was the sole bank to lose market value after being purchased by the EPF, devaluing by 842.1 million rupees or 24.8 percent.
The central bank has been criticized for buying bank shares through the EPF, as the central bank then becomes both a controlling shareholder and the regulator, but had bought the most gains.
The EPF had invested 10.8 billion rupees in companies not listed publicly, most of which had generated had not paid dividends up to end-2017, the central bank said in a disclosure under the right to information law in 2018.

Sri Lanka's stock market is now at lower price to earnings multiples, unlike the 2011 bubble, leading to some making a cases for it to enter the market.
Current governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy had said that corporate Sri Lanka was going at 'fire sale' prices.

Coomaraswamy had said he was setting up a more transparent framework for stock market investments.
He had said stock investments make up around 2.5 percent of EPF assets,  and the central bank plans to increase this to around 5 percent. 

The EPF dealers had earlier made controversial 'pump and dump' deals with some market participants in the run up to 2011, earning it the sobriquet 'buyer of last resort.'
Some critics suspect that the relationships made at the time made the so-called 'bondscam' possible.

https://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_s_EPF_loses_most_from_Laugfs,_Dockyard,_Carsons;_gains_from_banks-3-13184-3.html

65CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:42 pm

ruwan326


Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
More should be done to win confidence of exporters - Ramal J.
Monday, January 21

With the implementation of the National Export Strategy (NES), much work is left to be done in terms of winning confidence of the export community said Ramal Jasinghe, immediate Past President of National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) of Sri Lanka.

“NCE is now engaged as a participant to the implementation process of the NES, with seats on the Advisory and Working Committees.” Jasinghe told at the 17th Annual General Meeting of NCE, held at Galadari Hotel, Colombo.

He said that Chamber was continually in the forefront raising concerns of exporters related to the negotiations of the proposed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with larger countries who enjoy greater economies of scale, to mitigate difficulties to enter their territories due to non-tariff barriers, non-recognition of quarantine and laboratory test reports of Sri Lankan institutions, country of origin requirements, and items included in the negative lists which impact Sri Lankan manufacturers.

“However the Chamber recognizes the need to reach a wider global customer base through FTAs or a similar mechanism, to achieve inclusion to the global market place, on fair trading terms. “he said.



He also noted that the Chamber has presented to the Ministry of Finance a comprehensive set of budget of proposals following consultations with member exporters, and the conduct of a pre-budget workshop to identify issues. We trust that these proposals will be taken in to consideration following the resolution of the prevalent political issues, which the Chamber will follow up on behalf of our members”

With the real possibility of the GSP concession eventually being withdrawn to the growing Middle Income Status of the Country, emphasis on the export of Services would attract more focus of the Chamber.

“Having made positive through the initiatives of our ICT cluster, we recognize as a sustainable way forward the need to add on more service providers earning foreign exchange to augment the service sector portfolio of the Chamber, such as education , Tourism and Professional services, to develop a robust export economy.” he said.

He also stressed Sri Lanka’s competitor countries in the region such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, have overtaken Sri Lanka in apparel exports sector this year by a wide margin due to their gains during the period where Sri Lanka lost GSP+ benefits, with total exports from Bangladesh which is categorized as a least developed country reaching US$ 40 billion.

http://dailynews.lk/2019/01/21/business/174882/more-should-be-done-win-confidence-exporters-ramal-j

66CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:03 pm

ruwan326

ruwan326
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sri Lanka rupee 'undervalued' with REER at 96 amid soft-peg collapse

Jan 22, 2019 

CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 2018REER_11_Nov_lgCSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 WAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==
  

Sri Lanka's real effective exchange rate (REER) index has dropped below 100 amid a collapse of a soft-peg with the US dollar, forcing the central bank to spend 1.2 billion US dollars to prop up the currency while printing money.

A REER index calculated by the central bank dropped from 102.24 in September to 98.10 in October and 96.29 in November, as credibility of Sri Lanka's dollar peg was lost making exporters hold dollars and borrow printed money and foreign holders of rupee bonds to flee.

The rupee fell from 161 to the US dollar in August to 179 to the US dollar by end November. Meanwhile other currencies such as the Indian rupee appreciated. The rupee has fallen from 151 from the beginning of 2018.

A real effective exchange rate index is calculated by measuring the changes against a basket (usually trade weighted) and adjusted for inflation.

Sri Lanka is targeting the exchange rate to maintain a REER peg of around 100.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said earlier in January that the rupee had depreciated almost 20 percent in 2018 and it was a 'disorderly depreciation,' of the currency.

"The real effective exchange rate is well below 100, so it is undervalued," Coomaraswamy said.

"So now we have to intervene. The depreciation of the currency is no longer aligned with fundamentals in terms of current account flows. It is being driven by capital outflows from the government securities market."

Analysts had warned that a soft-pegged central bank which prints large volumes of money to offset interventions in forex markets through open market operations to target interest rates (sterilizing outflows), allowing banks to give loans (or buy securities) without raising deposits, cannot hope to target an exchange rate with any degree of success.

Analysts have said that targeting the REER index requires currency board like tools (hard peg), such as a floating policy rate to limit or eliminate outflow sterilization with new money and a variable target reduces the credibility further.

Cont... https://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_rupee__undervalued__with_REER_at_96_amid_soft_peg_collapse-3-13203-1.html

67CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:13 pm

ruwan326

ruwan326
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
U.S. Navy doing cargo transfer at Sri Lanka’s main airport

Jan 23, 2019 


The United States Navy is doing a cargo transfer operation at Sri Lanka’s main international airport under a plan to use the island’s location to make it a military logistics hub, the U.S embassy in Colombo said.

Under the initiative, several U.S. naval aircraft are scheduled to land and depart from the Bandaranaike International Airport outside Colombo, a commercial airport, bringing in a variety of non-lethal supplies, a statement said.  

The supplies will be transferred between planes and then flown to the U.S.S. John C. Stennis aircraft carrier at sea from January 21 to 29.  
Supplies may include personal mail for sailors, paper goods, spare parts and tools, and other items, the embassy said.  
No cargo, military equipment, or personnel associated with this initiative will remain in Sri Lanka after the completion of the cargo transfer. 


“This is part of a larger temporary cargo transfer initiative that promotes Sri Lanka's efforts to become a regional hub for logistics and commerce,” the statement said.  
The January transfers will contribute about 25 million Sri Lankan rupees to the country’s economy.  
“Sri Lanka's leaders have outlined their vision for the country’s regional engagement that reflects its location at the nexus of the Indo-Pacific and seizes the opportunities that this unique position presents,” said U.S. Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz.  

“We are happy to support this vision through a range of mutually beneficial initiatives, such as contracting Sri Lankan services and goods to support U.S. military and commercial vessels that often transit the Indo-Pacific’s busy sea lanes.”

This is the third iteration of the temporary cargo transfer initiative.  
It follows two successful transfers that took place in August 2018 at Bandaranaike International Airport and Trincomalee and in December 2018 at Bandaranaike International Airport.
The statement said U.S.-Sri Lanka security cooperation encompasses a variety of joint exercises and training that has developed the skills and interoperability of both countries.  

https://economynext.com/U.S._Navy_doing_cargo_transfer_at_Sri_Lanka%E2%80%99s_main_airport-3-13221-10.html

68CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:05 am

ruwan326

ruwan326
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sri Lanka rupee wider, bond market quiet in early trading

Jan 28, 2019 


Sri Lanka's rupee was quoted at 181.50/70 to the US dollar in the spot market in mid-morning trade Monday, while bond markets were flat, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 182.60/65 levels to the US dollar Friday, dealers said.
Bond were quoted mostly around the levels seen at closing time Friday, with active trading yet to start, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 was quoted at 10.85/95 around Friday's level.
A bond maturing on 15.12.2023, was quoted at 11.35/45 percent.

A 7-year bond maturing 01.08.2016 was quoted at 11.52/62 percent.
A bond maturing on 01.06.2026 was quoted at 11.55/65 percent.
A bond maturing on 01.09.2028 was quoted at 11.58/68 percent.

At the Colombo Stock Exchange, the All Share Price Index was down 0.05 percent or 3.06 points to 5975.24 in the first half hour of trading compared to Friday's close.
The more liquid stocks in the S&P SL20 Index were up 0.44 percent or 13.32 points to 3059.55.

Market turnover was 23.5 million rupees.
Lanka IOC stock was down 1 rupee to 22.00 rupees, while HVA Foods was down 10 cents to 4.40 rupees, and  Cargills Ceylon was down 3.70 rupees to 200 rupees.
Stocks of plantation companies were also down after getting hit by higher minimum wages.

https://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_rupee_wider,_bond_market_quiet_in_early_trading-3-13263-3.html

69CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Empty Re: CSE THIS WEEK Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:37 pm

ruwan326

ruwan326
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Limits, depreciation trigger first import dip in 17 months
29 January 2019


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CSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 Image_f0e77f1e3bCSE THIS WEEK - Page 4 WAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==



 

  • Expenditure on imports in November down 9.1% to $ 1.76 b
  • Personal vehicle imports drop 34.8% 
  • Exports in November up 4.1% to $ 980 m
  • Twin development helps significantly narrow trade deficit
  • First 11 months imports top Rs. 20 b; Exports near $ 11 b mark


 

Restrictions and depreciation have triggered imports to report first ever decline in 17 months in November and help significantly narrow the trade deficit with exports improving by a modest 4.1%.

The Central Bank said yesterday expenditure on merchandise imports declined by 9.1% (year-on-year) for the first time since June 2017 to $ 1.76 billion in November 2018. 

“The decline in consumer and investment goods contributed to the decline reflecting mainly the impact of restrictions on personal vehicles and non-essential consumer goods imports, while the relatively larger depreciation of the rupee may also have contributed to curtailing imports,” the Bank added.

Earnings from merchandise exports increased moderately by 4.1% (year-on-year) to $ 980 million in November 2018. The growth in exports was driven by industrial exports while agricultural exports continued to decline. The twin development saw trade deficit narrow significantly in November to $ 785 million as against $ 999 million a year earlier. 

Exports in the first 11 months grew by 5% to $ 10.85 billion whilst imports were up 8.3% to $ 20.5 billion, resulting in the cumulative deficit expanding to $ 9.64 billion in comparison to $ 8.59 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.

Limits...

Terms of trade, which represents the relative price of imports in terms of exports, improved by 1.6% (year-on-year) to 112.8 index points in November 2018 due to an increase of export prices supported by a marginal decline in import prices.

In November under industrial exports, export earnings from textiles and garments increased notably in November 2018 mainly driven by exports to the USA. In addition, garment exports to non-traditional markets such as India, Canada and Australia as well as the EU market increased along with textile and other made up textile articles. 

Earnings from petroleum products increased significantly in November 2018 reflecting higher bunker and aviation fuel prices despite a slight reduction in export volumes in comparison to that of November 2017. Export earnings from machinery and mechanical appliances also increased substantially during November 2018 due to improved performance in all sub-categories therein.

Further, export earnings from food, beverages and tobacco, rubber products and base metals and articles rose in November 2018, contributing towards the increase in industrial exports. However, export earnings from printing industry products, gems, diamonds and jewellery and leather, travel goods and footwear declined in November 2018.

Earnings from agricultural exports recorded a decline during the month due to poor performance in almost all sub-categories except the categories of unmanufactured tobacco and vegetables. Reflecting lower average export prices and exported volumes, export earnings from tea declined in November 2018.

Export earnings from spices also declined during the month due to the lower volumes in most categories of spices. Further, earnings from coconut exports declined due to the drop in both kernel and non-kernel products. Earnings from seafood exports also declined in November 2018 while in cumulative terms, seafood exports rose with higher exports to the EU market.

The export volume index in November 2018 increased by 2.9% while the export unit value index increased by 1.1%, implying that the growth in exports was driven mainly by the increased volume, rather than the price, compared to the volume and unit value indices in November 2017. 

Import expenditure on consumer goods declined (year-on-year) notably in November 2018 due to lower expenditure on food and beverages driven by rice, vegetables, dairy products and sugar imports. Such reduction in imports on food and beverages can be attributed to the combined effect of lower import volumes due to higher domestic production and lower commodity prices in the international market. Expenditure on non-food consumer goods such as telecommunication devices and home appliances decreased in November 2018 on a year-on-year basis, partly due to measures taken by the Central Bank to restrict certain categories of non-essential consumer goods imports. 

“Expenditure on personal vehicle imports showed a significant decline of 34.8% in November 2018 from the previous month, reflecting the impact of policy measures put in place to curtail personal vehicle imports. It is expected that the importation of motor vehicles and non-essential consumer goods could decelerate further in the coming months,” it said. 

Expenditure on the importation of investment goods also decreased in November 2018 mainly due to lower imports under many sub-categories. Specifically, a significant decline was seen in expenditure on the importation of cement and vehicles for commercial purposes compared to November 2017.

In contrast, import expenditure on intermediate goods increased, albeit marginally, driven by fuel, base metals and fertiliser imports. 

Expenditure on fuel imports increased with the combined effect of higher import prices and volumes of both refined petroleum products and coal, despite a reduction recorded in the import volume of crude oil. Meanwhile, expenditure on base metal imports increased driven by iron and steel. However, expenditure on gold imports continued to decline significantly in November 2018, reflecting the impact of customs duty imposed on gold in April 2018. 

Expenditure on wheat and maize also dropped during the month mainly due to lower imported volumes. Import expenditure on mineral products and textiles and textile articles also declined during the month, contributing to mitigate the pressure on import expenditure.

Both import volume and unit value indices decreased by 8.6% and 0.5%, respectively in November 2018. This indicates that the decline in imports during the month was driven by the reduction in volumes imported despite lower prices of imported goods in comparison to the corresponding period of 2017. 

http://www.ft.lk/top-story/Limits--depreciation-trigger-first-import-dip-in-17-months/26-671880

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