Friday, 26 May 2017

Sri Lankan shares end lower on profit-booking; John Keells falls

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Friday, recording their first weekly decline in nine, as investors booked profits in shares of diversified companies such as John Keells Holdings Plc and Melstacorp Plc .

The Colombo stock index ended 0.25 percent weaker at 6,697.86. On Tuesday the bourse hit its lowest close since May 15 hit on Tuesday. The bourse fell 0.47 percent during the week recording its first weekly fall in nine weeks.

The index rose 0.86 percent last week.

Turnover stood at 237.4 million rupees ($1.56 million), well below this year's daily average of 902.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 15.3 million rupees worth of shares extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.39 billion rupees wroth of equities.

"Market has came down on low volumes. Though there is no serious selling pressure, there is a bit of a wait-and-watch attitude to see whether selling will come," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

"Investor's are waiting to buy at bargain prices."

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.65 percent while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc fell 1.16 percent and Melstacorp Plc ended 1.35 percent weaker and Colombo Cold Stores Plc fell 0.95 percent.

($1 = 152.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) 

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Cabinet nod for 1,040 MW hybrid wind and solar energy park in Pooneryn

The Government has received approval from the Cabinet of Ministers to set up a 1,040 MW hybrid wind and solar energy park in Pooneryn in the battle-scarred Northern Province.

The Cabinet at its meeting held on Tuesday has approved plans to build a hybrid renewable energy park including 240 MW of wind and 800 MW of solar at Pooneryn.

According to the Government’s policy to add a considerable amount of electricity to the national grid through renewable energy sources, the Government recently established several such energy projects in the country.

The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) has identified the northern regions of the country as a suitable area to build wind power and solar power plants.

The Government expects to add a significant amount of electricity from renewable energy to the national grid.

Accordingly, the Cabinet has approved a proposal made by the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to implement the project to build the hybrid energy park consisting of 240 MW wind and 800 MW solar power in three stages.

Kandy Hotels invests Rs. 600 m for 16% stake in Hotels Corp. subsidiary with Maldives exposure

Kandy Hotels Plc has acquired 16.1% stake in United Hotels Ltd. for Rs. 600 million.

The stake amounts to 48 million shares and the purchase was made at Rs. 12.50 each.

United Hotels is a subsidiary of Ceylon Hotels Corporation. It owns 100% of Ceylon Hotels Maldives Ltd, which owns 100% of Handhuvaru Ocean Holidays Ltd, the Maldivian venture.

Commercial High Court orders publication of Gazette of application to liquidate Lanka Sugar

  • Litigation by Gal-Oya Plantation Ltd. following non-payment of Rs. 151 m debt
  • Pelawatte Sugar Company and Sevenagala Sugar Company come under Lanka Sugar
The Commercial High Court yesterday ordered that publication be made in a gazette and in daily papers to liquidate Lanka Sugar Ltd. on an application filed by Gal-Oya Plantation Ltd.

Gal-Oya Plantation Ltd. had filed this action in the Commercial High Court of Colombo in terms of section 271 of the Companies Act.

Gal-Oya Plantation Ltd. stated in its petition that it is a creditor of Lanka Sugar Ltd. as it has provided Molasses worth Rs. 151,129,655.85 and had requested the same amount be paid on several instances. Thereafter it has demanded that said amount be paid and Lanka Sugar Ltd. has not acceded to this request. Thereafter, a statutory notice had been sent to Lanka Sugar Ltd. and the case had been filed thereafter that Lanka Sugar Ltd. be liquidated on the basis that it shall be deemed unable to pay off its debts.

Lanka Sugar Ltd. is the entity under which both the Pelawatte Sugar Company and Sevenagala Sugar Company come under.

It was submitted in court that the Chairman of Lanka Sugar Ltd, having accepted the liability in writing, had thereafter attempted to dispute the amount claimed on the footing that it was only a confirmation made for audit purposes.

The Court, being satisfied prima facie with the case of Gal-Oya Plantation Ltd, ordered that publication be made in a Gazette and the daily papers by 4 July 2017 notifying that an application had been made to Court to wind up Lanka Sugar Ltd.

DFCC makes Rs. 915 m profit from 1% COMBank stake sale

  • Melstacorp the buyer; stake now over 4%
DFCC Bank yesterday disclosed that it made a one-off after-tax profit of Rs. 915 million from the sale of a 1% stake in Commercial Bank on Wednesday.

It sold 10 million shares at Rs. 138 each in a deal worth Rs. 1.38 billion.

The buyer was Melstacorp Plc, which previously held a 3.39% stake or 28.65 million shares. DFCC, the largest shareholder in Commercial Bank, held 14.69% as of end March 2017.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Sri Lankan shares edge up as banks gain

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares ended marginally higher on Thursday as banking shares rose, but profit-booking in several recent outperformers capped gains.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.05 percent firmer at 6,714.95, further moving away from its lowest close since May 15 hit on Tuesday.

The index rose 0.83 percent last week and has climbed 11 percent since March 31 through Friday.

Turnover stood at 394 million rupees ($2.58 million), well below this year's daily average of 909.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors net sold shares worth 4.53 million rupees worth of shares, but they have been net buyers of 19.39 billion rupees wroth of equities so far this year.

Shares in Nanda Investment Plc rose 8.17 percent, while Lion Brewery Plc rose 5.99 percent and DFCC bank Plc ended 3.75 percent up.

($1 = 152.7800 Sri Lankan rupees) 

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Sri Lanka's HNB Assurance records a ‘robust’ Q1

HNB Assurance PLC (HNBA) and its fully owned subsidiary HNB General Insurance Limited (HNBGI) posted a Profit After Tax (PAT) of LKR 74 MN for the first quarter of 2017, reflecting a 121% growth compared to LKR 33 MN recorded during the corresponding period last year.

The Group achieved a growth of 18% during Q1 of 2017, posting a Gross Written Premium (GWP) of LKR 1.9 BN against the GWP of LKR 1.6 BN recorded during the same of 2016. The Life Insurance Company posted a GWP of LKR 988 MN and the General Insurance Company posted a GWP of LKR 929 MN during the period under review. The Group was able to deliver a steady performance as a result of the strategic initiatives implemented in new business acquisition as well as streamlining its core business operations.

The key contributors to the reported growth were identified as the growth in both Individual and Corporate Policies of the Life Insurance Company as well as the contribution of the Motor segment of the General Insurance Company. On a comparable basis with the results of the corresponding period of 2016, the post-tax profit of the Life Insurance business showcased a growth of 66%. The businesses were successful in capturing new market segments and seizing profitable growth opportunities, despite the challenging market and economic conditions. The recorded growth was in line with the Group’s expectations on the phase of maximizing its profits as well as in delivering value to its stakeholders.

Sharing thoughts on the financial performance of the Group, Chairperson of HNBA and HNBGI Ms. Rose Cooray stated, "We are indeed pleased on the results the Group was able to yield at the end of the first quarter of this year, amidst the stiff competition and other macroeconomic factors. The Group surpassed the LKR 15 BN milestone of Total Assets during the first quarter of 2017 and Investments in Financial Instruments reached a value of LKR 12 BN. During the same period the Life Insurance Fund grew by 7% while the General Insurance Fund grew by 5% reaching values of LKR 9 BN and LKR 2 BN respectively. These results reflect the favorable direction the company is headed and the Board, the management and staff of both HNBA and HNBGI are committed to improve the financial performance of the Group as well as to strengthen the competitive positioning of both HNBA and HNBGI". - HNBA