Budget concessions to ink importers hit manufacturers
The twin effects of duty concessions given in the import of printing ink, coupled with high duties on raw material inputs required for ink manufacture, are killing the local ink manufacturing industry, said General Manager Sithara Ltd N.J. Munasinghe.
(29th January 2006)
| Cover Page
|| Page 2
| Page 3
|| Page 4
| Page 5
|| Center Page
| Page 9
| Page 10
|| Page 11
Sithara is one of the country's large printing ink manufacturers employing around 400 persons. Munasinghe said that in both the two budgets presented by the UPFA government in November, the one before the Presidential election and the other after that election, import duties on printing ink were brought down from 27.5% to 15%, thereby
dealing a crippling blow to the printing ink industry.
The compound effects of these actions have already led to the ink manufacturing department of Gunaratne Offset Printers having to close down, he said. This unit employed around 30-40 persons, said Munasinghe.
The printing ink manufacturing industry is believed to be employing around 1,000 persons in this Rs 1.5 billion industry which is recording a year on year growth because of the growth in the country's export industry.
Among the country's major printing ink manufacturers are Sithara, Grafo Laboratories, Colour Chroma, DIC Lanka, General Ink and Chroma.Munasinghe further said 'high' import duties on raw materials required for the manufacture of printing inks were also hurting the industry.
He said that duties on some of the essential ingredients required for printing such as resins that make upto 60% of the raw material inputs in the printing inks manufacturing industry ranged from between 5-27.5%."While duty on some of the high end resins required for printing ink manufacture was 27.5%, the duty on finished ink imports
was only 15%," Munasinghe said.
The industry had pointed out this ' tariff distrortion' to the Additional Director Fiscal Policy Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga at a recent meeting they had with him. Samaratunga had promised to address this anomaly.
Duties on pigments, another raw material required for the manufacture of printing inks range from between 12-15%, said Munasinghe.Generally raw material inputs imported for the purpose of manufacture are charged with an import duty of only 2%, he added. "We want the government to make this status quo applicable for the ink manufacturing
industry as well,"said Munasinghe.
A company like Sithara is also planning to go global, but high import duties on raw material inputs act as a disincentive, Munasinghe said.. He said that as a result of the current
duty structure which is weighted heavily in favour of imported printing inks, the country is being swamped by cheap printing ink from countries such as China and India and even from European countries due to economies of scale.
Munasinghe further said that the person who played a key role in bringing down the duties on imported printing ink was Manike Chandrasiri, an officer attached to the Enterprise Development Ministry. The printing ink industry also plans to make representations to Minister Rohitha Bogollagama through her with regard to their plight. The
Industry has also written to the head of the Finance Ministry's Trade and Tariff Cluster division Lal de Mel who functions under the National Council for Economic Development about this state of affairs.
A.Cap. buys 5.5% stake of NDB
With market speculation that the Janashakthi Group (JG) which core business is insurance having lost interest in NDB, after the latter company sold its controlling stake in Eagle Insurance to Aviva Insurance, UK, JG is believed to have had sold around a third of the three million shares (5.5%) of NDB's equity to Asia Capital (AC) at Rs 201 a
share at Friday's trading.
The balance two million shares is believed to have had been sold by Capital Alliance (CA) a financial services company also at Rs 201 a share. CA is believed to have had made a capital loss in this transaction, after buying these shares at Rs 220 a share. However, the direct sale made by JG on Friday had not incurred a capital loss for the
As a result of this transaction, JG is believed to have had reduced their stake in NDB from 17.5% to 15.7%. NDB has a total of 54.57 million issued shares.
JG's investment in NDB is subject to a court case, with the former company registering only under 10% of JG's investment in NDB in their books, on the grounds that JG has
contravened the Banking Act by accumulating 10% or more of NDB's voting shares without obtaining Monetary Board approval. Meanwhile, CA exited from NDB, with Friday's sale.
However, market sources alleged that CA was a front for Janashakthi and had made these purchases apparently on behalf of the latter company.
Friday's buyer of NDB, AC, is a company controlled by scientist turned businessman Dr Sena Yaddehige who also has a controlling stake in the Richard Pieris Group.
AC which is a financial services company in turn has an insurance company, Asian Alliance Insurance Company under its umbrella. AC's Friday's investment in NDB is believed to be their first buy of shares in this Bank.
As a result of this transaction, Friday's trading saw a Rs 958.1 million turnover. However, the benchmark ASPI dipped by 8.6 points over Thursday's closing figure to finish the week at 2,166.50 points, primarily because NDB's transactions were done at Rs 201 a share, Rs 23 less than its previous closing price.
NDB's contribution to the day's turnover was Rs 606 million on a share volume that was slightly over three million. NDB closed the week at Rs 201. Meanwhile, the more sensitive MPI closed the week at 2,724.92 points, down 24.35 points over Thursday's closing figure.
Other stock that made a sizeable contribution to the day's turnover were SLT Rs 70.2 million on a share volume of 3.8 million. SLT closed at Rs 18.50, 25 cents less than its
previous closing price. Ceylon Leather Products, Rs 41.7 million on a share volume of 1.7 million. Ceylon Leather closed at Rs 25.25, Rs 3 more than its previous closing price.
Seylan Bank (non voting), Rs 33 million on a share volume of 1.97 million. Seylan (nv) closed at Rs 15.75, Rs 3.25 less than its previous and CIC Rs 27.8 million on a share volume of 100,600. CIC closed at Rs 281.50, Rs 4.75 more than its previous closing price. CIC, through the Stock Exchange on Friday announced a rights issue on both their
voting and non voting shares in the proportion of one for one.
The rights issue on their voting shares is at Rs 62 a share and on their non voting at Rs 35 a share. And on top of the enhanced capital from the rights issue, CIC has also announced a three for two bonus issue. Sources said that CIC which has reserves totalling Rs 2.1 billion, plans to raise a sum of Rs 520 million from the rights issue by
which they hope to wipe out their debt component which stands at Rs 500 million.
Sources said that February 22, the day peace talks with the LTTE will restart in Geneva will be crucial for the bourse.But sounding a note of optimsm they expected the talks to be positve, as a result of which the market would take off.
Ceylinco consolidates market leadership
Ceylinco Insurance Co. Ltd., has retained its position as market leader in Sri Lanka's insurance sector last year, with a consolidated premium income of Rs 12.8 billion and a market share of more than 32% in both Life and General insurance segments, a press release said. The company's Life Insurance Division Ceylinco Life has consolidated
its status as Sri Lanka's largest and most successful life insurer with a premium income growth of more than 21% to Rs 4.8 billion in the year under review, a growth rate which the company has described as "very satisfactory" in a period of economic and political uncertainty.
Ceylinco Life sold 145,139 new policies in 2005, achieving a monthly average of more than 12,000 new policies. This represents a 28.7% growth in new business during the year. The company's Life Fund recorded a 19% growth to total Rs 12 billion as at December 31, 2005, demonstrating prudent financial management in a period of volatility in
investment markets. Commenting on these results, Ceylinco Life's Chief Executive Director R. Renganathan said: "It is noteworthy that we have achieved a rate of Growth that enabled us to increase our lead over competition in a year during which much of our focus was on corporate social responsibility (CSR)." "Our performance in 2005 also illustrates the balance Ceylinco Life has achieved in maintaining an equitable sharing of the benefits
of growth between policyholders and shareholders," he said. Describing the concluded financial year as "another milestone year for Ceylinco Life," Renganathan said it would be best remembered for the company's exemplary demonstration of leadership in the CSR sphere and the international and local accolades it won for CSR and Brand Excellence.
However, Ceylinco Life's focus on CSR in the review period did not distract it from its primary mandate which is business growth, Renganathan said. The company invested in four new branches-Batticaloa, Nelliady, Chunnakam and Gampaha, and with its regional and sub offices, now provides customers an IT-enabled, fully integrated network of 115
outlets. This is the largest branch network in the life insurance sector in Sri Lanka. The company also launched three new products in the year under review including investment-linked insurance, a new concept to Sri Lanka, offering new insurance products linked to investments in gilt-edged government securities or fixed income securities.
The company set up two investment funds, the Government Securities Fund and the Ceylinco Investment Fund, lunching the country's first two investment-linked insurance products, 'Ceylinco Shilpa' and 'Ceylinco Retirement Fund. Two other products, Ceylinco 'Uthum' policy which provides free life cover after maturity and 'Divi Sayura,' a new
single-premium, over-the-counter life insurance policy designed to protect lower income groups whose lives and livelihoods are linked to the coastal economy were also launched in the year under review. The high points of 2005 were the honours the company received at nationaland international level. In only the second time Ceylinco Life Participated at the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing's annual Brand Excellence Awards.
The company was adjudged Sri Lanka's 'Brand of the Year,''Service Brand of the Year'and the 'Local Brand of the Year' for 2005. These awards came barely two weeks after the company was adjudged best among Asia's top insurance companies in CSR at the 2005 Asia Insurance Industry Awards in Singapore. "Our successes and our continued
leadership of the industry are a tribute to the trust that Ceylinco Insurance has built through the commitment of management, the hard work of our sales force, innovation in the development of policies that respond to market needs and a highly developed sense of mission and caring for the wellbeing of the customers," said Renganathan. Established in 1988 after the government permitted the entry of the private sector into the field in 1987, Ceylinco
Insurance is the successor to Ceylon Insurance Co. Ltd., which was the first Sri Lankan company to be registered under the Companies Ordinance of 1938. Ceylinco Insurance is the only Sri Lankan insurance company to date to venture overseas.
GESCO's CSR initiative
The Hager Technology Scholarship Programme (HTSP) was recently inaugurated by Hager Electro of France and Germany, internationally reputed in the electrical circuit protection devices market, a press release said.
This programme is done in collaboration with its Sri Lankan agent, General Sales Co., Ltd (GESCO). The inaugural scholarship awarding ceremony for the students of the Moratuwa Apprenticeship Training Institute (MATI) was recently conducted at the auditorium of the said institute.
GESCO, a member of Chandra Senanayake Holdings, is the local agent for Hager Electrical devices. Under this project, regular financial assistance is offered under the HTSP for students who are studying at the MATI and electrical appliances necessary for their daily study purposes are also supplied free of charge.
The relevant agreement in this regard was signed and exchanged between P. N. K. Dias, Principal of the said institute and Athula Kudagamage, GESCO's Marketing Manager at the inaugural ceremony and the handing over of several Hager electrical protection devices presented by GESCO to the institute took place at this occasion.
Dias in his speech said that the voluntary participation of private sector institutions for such social service projects should be appreciated. Kudagamage said that GESCO is ever prepared to come forward to render corporate social responsibility (CSR) intitiatives. They were even prepared to go beyond their current initiative by finding
employment to the students who are undergoing training.
Amal Senadhilankara, Chairman of the National Apprenticeship Training Institute was the chief guest at this ceremony and the cheques were presented by him.
British poet in town
The 'book buzz' series that has been in existence for the past eight months has offered its audience the opportunity of experiencing some of the best UK and local literary talent there is to offer, a press release said.
Flavoured with the powerful vocals of UK Performance Poet Zena Edwards in early January, 'book buzz' promises that the next event will also be an experience to be remembered.
Lucy English, the second UK Performance Poet to be featured in the series, was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in UK. Popularly known as the 'slam sex goddess,' English is famed to be one of Bristol's leading performance poets engaging in 'Slam poetry' (SP). SP is when writers perform their poetry to an audience who rate the poets and 'judge'
them by picking their favourite poet. After leaving East Anglia University with a BA in English and American Literature, English lived in the countryside, growing her own vegetables, keeping a goat and having babies.
While bringing up her three children she started writing and in 1994-5 took an MA in creative writing. English is also the author of three published books - 'Selfish People', 'Children of light' and 'Our Dancing Days' which will be on sale at the book buzz event.
English will first perform at the Kandy British Council on February 27 at 5.30 pm, followed by a performance at the Galle Face Barista in Colombo on February 28 at 5.30 pm. "Our partner for this Book Buzz event is offering 25% discount coupons from tomorrow (February 20) onwards at all their outlets which can be redeemed at the Galle
Face Barista during the Book Buzz event on February 28. All Book Buzz events are open to the public. An added bonus this time if you collect your discount coupon from Barista before it's too late."
A step forward in IT learning
Sri Lankan students seeking an international degree now have the opportunity of earning a degree inspired through extensive research commissioned by computer giant IBM, a press release said.
A special partnership agreement between IBM and Australian educational giant Edith Cowan University (ECU) allows ECU to gain access to world-class research conducted by IBM in key
areas of IT curriculum design and academic development. A Double Major in Software Engineering and Computer Science from ECU offered through its partner campus ACBT in Colombo offers Sri Lankan students the opportunity to gain this world-class qualification recognized by the Australian government.
"ECU graduates begin their careers with an advantage- armed with a cutting-edge and professionally focused degree developed closely with Australian and international industry
and government bodies," says ACBT Principal Alan Robertson.
The double major has been specifically designed to meet pressing industry requirements and should offer graduates a distinct advantage in securing employment around the world, he says.
Sri Lankan students who have sat for the GCE O/L Exam can prepare themselves for this international double degree by taking ACBT's A/L-equivalent 8-month IT-Foundation Course or enter straight into the degree programme if they have sat for the GCE A/L, says ACBT's Marketing head Pubudu Alahakoon.
Students can complete the entire degree in Sri Lanka and get awarded their degree directly from ECU or students can study part of their degree at ACBT and transfer credits to an Australian university of their choice.
Studying at ACBT is a fourth of the cost if a student studies in Australia. All of the courses offered by ACBT are accredited by the Australian Government and are listed on the Commonwealth Register of International Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The accreditation procedures ensure that all courses meet the required Australian
quality assurance standards. Under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, ECU conducts regular quality assurance surveys of ECU and PIBT academic programmes conducted by ACBT.
ACBT is one of the few institutes which have BoI approval to conduct Australian degree programmes in Sri Lanka." ACBT is governed and supervised by the ECU board which is answerable to the Australian government in maintaining the same standards in Sri Lanka as in Australia.
ECU graduates at ACBT are in demand by Sri Lankan blue-chip companies and IT giants and often secure employment even before graduation.
CREO-BIT protects c'nut plantations
The black beetle pest (Oryctes Rhinocerous) is prevalent throughout the island in all coconut growing areas, a press release said.
Identifying the presence of the pest on individual trees is straight forward-A hole on the base of the trunk is generally visible as is the characteristic geometric cuts that appear on unfolded leaves of the palm.
Although damage to adult trees caused by the black beetle pest (BBP) is not fatal in all cases, young palms and seedlings experience considerable retardation in growth and occasional death. Commercial cultivators have had to face hardship due to attack by the BBP as it generally leads to low output and potential destruction of the trees. The
net effect is that the consumer at the end of the chain is faced with higher prices. Pioneering bitumen products manufacturer Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) Ltd have through extensive research into the problem and in consultation with the Coconut research Institute developed CREO-BIT - an easily applied preventive.
When CREO-BIT is applied at the base of unopened leaves, which is the prime area of attack, it prevents the successful laying of eggs and hence the spread of the pest on the palms and seedlings that have been treated.
As it is not a pesticide, it does not harm the environment either and prevents the spread of the pest organically. Further, the blend of mineral oils that constitute the preventive does not get washed away by monsoonal weather but remains on the areas applied whatever the weather conditions, providing 24 hour protection over a number of
CREO-BIT also counters the red weevil (Rynchophorous Ferrugineus) menace, using the same methodology of preventing successful egg laying by the pest.
The treatment is cost effective. Field trials suggest that a litre of product is sufficient to treat 150 seedlings. Older palms will have a higher usage dependent on their girth.
Application is easy. It can be applied straight off the container and adheres strongly to palms and dries fast, acting as a shield against attack. CREO-BIT is available in one litre, five litre,10 litre and 200 litre packs islandwide in agro chemical stores and agrarian service centres. An advisory service is available for cultivators and
estate owners through the Company's Technical division.
ICDL, the 'ultimate' computer qualification
In more than 70% of the countries across the globe, the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) is recognized as the world's leading end user computer skills certification programme, a press release said.
Known as the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) in Europe, the qualification is governed by the ECDL Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides vendor neutral
certification. As the global standard for end-user computer skills, ICDL maintains same standards and requirements immaterial to country or location, providing identical qualification and recognition whether one takes the assessment in Asia, USA or Europe.
It is considered to be the fastest growing IT qualification, with over five million candidates registered in over 15,000 test centres. ICDL testing is fully automated where the result is known instantly. Test software and tests, managed centrally in Europe are subjected to quality assurance measures. Testing is delivered through accredited
test centres. In countries where there are large numbers, tests are delivered in the native language. Currently the tests are offered in 25 languages.
ICDL is the leading certification to be adopted by governments, international organizations and corporations alike. They include UN organisations, the European Union, National Health Service UK (NHS), many Ministries and many multi national corporates around the world. Several organisations have found ICDL to be productive, bringing
excellent returns on investments, eg. NHS, the world's third largest employer, experiences a saving of 38 minutes per day per person.
The latest qualification introduced by the ECDL Foundation, e-Citizen is intended to help candidates to develop an understanding of computers and the Internet with a view to facilitating their participation in the 'Information Society.' As governments and organisations are moving increasingly towards the online provision of information,
products and services, e-Citizen provides a improver level training and certification for those with a limited knowledge of computers and the internet. The qualification is useful for basic level users involved with e-Government services. Assessment in e-Citizen is in the same lines of ICDL but is limited to one test only.
ICDL is promoted in Sri Lanka by testIT Ltd., the local business partner of ICDL Asia Pacific. The Computer Society of Sri Lanka is the accreditation agency for Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka there are over 60 accredited test centres, among which are reputed IT training centres.
Another trophy for Cinnamon Grand
Cinnamon Grand Colombo (CGC) in its fine gastrology method of demonstration bagged yet another elusive trophy to adorn their crown recently.
Their '1st Commist' I.M.M.G.K.Seneviratne clinched the Best Pastry Chef Challenging Championship Trophy sponsored by New Zealand Milk Industries Ltd., manufacturers, marketers and distributors of Anchor Milk products in Sri Lanka.
The Grand Finals was held at Water's Edge where Seneviratne bagged the trophies for both the' Best Cake' and the 'Best Dessert' categories for his Dual Cream Cheese cake and the Reality Cream Dazzle dessert beating all the other hotels including five star hotels.
Seventy contestants from seven provinces took part at this competition and among the seven finalists Seneviratne showed his culinary art from timing, tidiness to efficiency, thus defeating well-experienced chefs in the country.
"A great feat not only to the chef but also to the hotel as well. He could even compete with international chefs, " said CGC's Executive Chef R. Morugama. "Unlike
some other hotels in the country particularly in the City we are not connected to an international chain of hotels that receive international training for their chefs. So to clinch such an award from an international panel of judges is an achievement for this young chef who has already shown his exceptional talents," said, Public Relations Manager Tharika Goonathilake at a press briefing.
Seneviratne was delighted that he could maximise on the fresh milk, butter, cheese and other products of Anchor brand for the preparation of succulent dessert and cake that made him victorious at the competition.
"It was a challenge to me. During the six hour time frame given to the competitors, I finished 15 minutes ahead of the stipulated time," he said. Seneviratne will be visiting New Zealand next month and will be a part of the Chef Guilds of Lanka delegation at the forthcoming World
Association of Cooks Societies World Congress that will be held in Auckland from March 12-16.
Having reviewed recent economic developments and prospects, the Monetary Board has decided to maintain the policy interest rates of the Central Bank at their current levels and to continue with the conduct of open market operations aimed at bringing down the monetary expansion to the desired path, a press release said.
The following is an assessment of the factors that were taken into consideration in arriving at this decision. The expansion in economic activities in 2005 is expected to continue
in 2006 with better performance in all key sectors. The upturn in the Agricultural output led by increased paddy production in 2005 is projected to continue with favourable weather conditions and improved water levels in the major reservoirs. The Industrial sector output is projected to expand, underpinned by favourable external demand and sustained domestic demand.
The high water levels in reservoirs would help increase the value addition in power generation in 2006.
The performance in the Services sector is expected to continue with the expansion in trade, transportation, telecoms, tourism and financial services sub-sectors. The expansion in international trade continued in 2005 benefiting from
sustained external demand. Cumulative exports increased by 10.2% last year. Cumulative imports grew by 10.8% in 2005 mainly due to the increased expenditure on crude oil, fertilizer and other essential commodities such as sugar and milk powder. Although the trade deficit widened, higher inflows through private remittances which grew by 26% in 2005 helped contain the
current account deficit. With the increase in foreign currency inflows to the government, the balance of payments in 2005 is estimated to have recorded a surplus of $ 501 million.
The Central Bank's gross official reserves increased from $ 2.2 billion (3.3 months of imports) as at end 2004 to $ 2.7 billion (3.7months of imports) as at end December 2005. The country's total reserves increased from $ 3.4 billion as at end December 2004 (5.2 months of imports) to $ 4.2 billion (5.7 months of imports) as at end December
The foreign exchange market has been relatively stable thus far in 2006 due to the increased inflows and consequent improvement in reserves. The moderation in inflation that began
in 2005 continued in January 2006. Inflation measured as the annual average change in the Colombo Consumers' Price Index (CCPI) declined from 11.6% in December 2005 to 11.1% in January 2006. Inflation as measured on a point-to-point basis of CCPI remained at 8% in January 2006. The Sri Lanka Consumers' Price Index (SLCPI) declined from 4.6% in November 2005 to
3.6% in December 2005 on a point-to-point basis indicating a faster reduction than that of the CCPI. Inflation in 2006 is also expected to remain at moderately low rates without posing a significant threat to the growth momentum.
The monetary policy measures taken since end 2004 by the Central Bank have been instrumental in restraining the excessive growth in money supply. Reserve money which was growing at 20% by end December 2004 has decelerated to 15.8% by end December 2005. Broad
money growth has also declined from 19.6% by end December 2004 to 19.1% by end December 2005. The deceleration in broad money has been a result of the deceleration in private sector credit growth and decline in credit to public corporations. Market interest rates have stabilized to a large extent.
In view of these developments, the Monetary Board has decided to maintain Central Bank policy interest rates at their current levels and to continue with the conduct of open market operations aimed at bringing down monetary expansion to the desired path. The next monetary policy announcement will
be made on March 15.
Barcoding becoming mandatory for exports
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. the USA based world's largest retail chain has already announced that all of its suppliers should equip their products with barcode technology by January 2006, a press release said.
Not only Wal-Mart but also other retail giants like Germany's Metro and Britain's Tesco are also requesting their suppliers to adopt barcode technology. Why do many retailers
today, prefer suppliers with barcode technology?
Barcodes enable retailers to have significant cost savings and efficient supply chain management. Often the most dramatic examples involve operating inventories. In a busy operation, this can be a significant saving of time and money.
The typical error rate of a human on data entry is one error per 300 characters. Clerical and data entry errors can be a source of costs and related problems: extra freight costs, unhappy customers and time spent to track down problems are few examples. But those data entry errors can be avoided with barcode scanners, as the error rate for a
barcode scanner is one error in 36 trillion characters.
In countries like India and China most exporters as well as retailers have adopted barcode technology. This has created a new challenge for Sri Lankan exporters in the international market place. According to statistics, currently 10% of Sri Lankan exporters use barcode technology. Exporters who do not use barcode technology face an
increased risk of losing international buyers as barcoding of products is a must in a majority of the international markets.
Usage of barcodes will benefit all types of exporters, including bulk exporters. Traders should be aware that international ports/customs points are well advanced in technology and use barcodes to scan items for clearance.
Barcodes are operated as a unified system called GS1 (Global Standard One) around the world, which is coordinated by its headquarters in Brussels. In Sri Lanka, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is the authorized body to issue GS1 barcodes. Any local company that wishes to obtain barcodes for their products must register with CCC.
Three year T.bonds fetch 11.16% interest
Treasury bill yield rates in the primary auction held on Wednesday remained unchanged, a Central Bank press release said. The auction was over-subscribed with bids received amounting to Rs.16.3 billion as against the offered Rs. 10.4 billion. The amount accepted was Rs. 6.7 billion, while Rs. 8.8 billion worth of treasury bills were retired.
The treasury bond auction for three year maturities was held on Monday with settlement on Wednesday. The auction was oversubscribed with bids received amounting to Rs. 1.84 billion as against the total offered amount of Rs. one billion. At the auction, bids equivalent to the total offered amount of Rs. one billion was accepted from the
market at the WAYR of 11.16%.
Total outright transactions reported by primary dealers for the week ending on Wednesday amounted to Rs. 17.2 billion, of which Rs. 4.6 billion were reported for treasury bonds and Rs. 12.6 billion for treasury bills. The repurchase and reverse repurchase transactions by primary dealers continued
to outweigh the outright transactions volume with Rs. 57 billion reported for the period.
Market preference continues to rest in benchmark treasury bonds with short-term maturities. Yield rates for treasury bonds with short-term maturities showed a marginal decline in the secondary market compared with the previous week.
Meanwhile, a treasury bill auction will be held on February 22 with settlement on February 24, while Rs. one billion worth of treasury bonds under the series of 7.5% 2009 "A" will be offered to the market on an auction basis on February 21 with settlement
on February 24.
Nawaloka Hospitals has declared a 5% tax free interim dividend with dates to be notified.
DIMO has declared a 30% interim dividend with excluding dividend date fixed for March 1 and payment date: March 13.
Asian Hotels and Properties has declared a 10% interim dividend. Excluding dividend (XD) is March 1 and payment date, March 13.
Trans Asia Hotel has declared an 18.5% interim dividend. XD date is March 1 and payment date March 13.