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HEADLINES - 13th November 2018


Longer wait for SC decision – DailyFT

Civil society members, activists, and politicians alike sought the intervention of the Supreme Court as their last refuge yesterday, filing 11 fundamental rights petitions claiming President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament was unconstitutional. 


Gazette calling for deposits issued, General Election 2019 – The Island

A gazette notification, calling for deposits from independent candidates contesting the general election scheduled for January 5 was issued yesterday. Each independent candidate would have to pay a deposit of Rs.2,000. Election Commission officials said arrangements had been made to accept the deposits at District Secretaries’ Offices or District Election Offices.


President fetes top corporate performers – Daily News

The annual Business Top 30 awards ceremony for top corporate performers of Sri Lanka organised by the Business Today magazine was held at Shangri La Hotel in Colombo yesterday and John Keells Holdings PLC was once again ranked at number one.


Sri Lanka's Colombo Port volumes up 14.9-pct by Sept – EconomyNext

Container volumes at Sri Lanka's Colombo Port rose 14.9 percent to 5,223,292 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) growing at one of the fastest rates seen among major ports in the world. Broadbased growth has been seen in all terminals in Colombo, Sri Lanka Ports Authority said with its own terminal growing at the fastest pace. SLPA's Jaya container terminal (JCT), which cannot handle 'mega ships' grew its transshipment volumes by 23.3 percent to 1,445,425  TEUS.


Sri Lanka tobacco monopoly profit down, tax hike reduces sales – EconomyNext

Sri Lanka's Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (CTC) posted net profits of 3.6 billion rupees for the September 2018 quarter, down 7.4 percent from a year earlier after a tax increase in August. Interim financials released to the Colombo Stock Exchange said that the firm's indirect tax contributions through excise duty and other levies fell 8.9 percent from a year earlier to 25.5 billion rupees.


John Keells Holdings (JKH) makes Rs11bn stock buyback offer – LBO

Shares of Colombo Stock Exchange market bellwether John Keells Holdings (JKH) were halted this morning pending announcement of a stock buyback. The company announced that it is making buyback offer for 5% of its outstanding shares at a price of Rs160/share. The price is over a 10% premium to the previous trading sessions’ closing price, and over a 5% premium to its last reported net asset value per share.


Indian Railways’ rolls out new trains for SL – Ceylon Today

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), the Indian Railways premier coach manufacturing unit, has rolled out a special rake of diesel electric multiple units, with an aerodynamic nose and rotatable seats akin to Train-18 for Sri Lanka.


Rupee hits record low of 175.90 on political uncertainty – DailyFT

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low on Monday, as political uncertainty triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to sack Parliament weighed on sentiment, in line with bonds, market sources said. The currency hit 175.90 versus the dollar, surpassing its previous all-time peak of 175.65 hit on 1 November. 


Despite constitutional standoff, policy to remain unchanged – DailyFT

Considering the prevailing political and economic conditions of the country, First Capital Research believes that policy rate change is not required. However, we are of the view that a 35% probability exists for a rate hike, depending on the ability to raise foreign borrowings to service the maturing debt in early 2019.


Bearish sentiment continues ahead of Treasury bond auctions – DailyFT

The secondary bond market opened the week by continuing its bearish sentiment witnessed towards the latter part of the previous week with limited trades taking place. Trades on the 01.05.20, 15.12.21, 15.03.23 and 15.07.23 maturities were witnessed at levels of 11.50% to 11.60%, 11.25% to 11.30%, 11.56% to 11.60% and 11.70% respectively. March and August 2019 maturities were seen changing hands at levels of 9.95% to 10.05% and 10.25% respectively in the secondary bill market.


Dollar climbs to 16-month peak; pound falls on Brexit fears – DailyFT

NEW YORK (Reuters): The dollar reached a 16-month high on Monday against a basket of currencies as investors built bets on a Federal Reserve interest rate increase next month, and political risks in Europe which put pressure on the euro and the pound. 


Asia stocks lower amid growth worries – DailyFT

HANGHAI (Reuters): Asian shares drifted lower on Monday as signs of softening demand in China rekindled anxiety about the outlook for world growth, but Saudi Arabia’s plans to cut production helped to halt a slide in oil prices.


Foreigners sold Asian equities in October on worries over trade, slowing growth – DailyFT

Reuters: Foreign investors sold Asian equities heavily in October on concerns over slowing earnings, higher US interest rates and trade tensions between the United States and China.


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