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Market Indicators as at
31 July 2020
 : 04 August 2020

Local Economy News:
The Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI – Base year 2013) increased +0.1bps to 135.4 index points, whilst point to point inflation was recorded at 4.2% in July 2020 (vs. 3.9% in June 2020). Meanwhile, annual average inflation was recorded at 4.8%.

Local News:

New Parliament meets on 20 August 2020 (Economy Next)
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has summoned the new Parliament to meet on 20th August 2020 following the General Election on 05 August 2020.

Business confidence stabilises (Daily FT)
The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) remained largely unchanged in July 2020, registering an increase of one base point to 97 from June 2020 and an improvement compared to July 2019 when the index stood at 74. Further LMD reports that the impact of COVID-19 continues to be cited as the most pressing concern for the business community, followed by political instability, as well as high taxes and inflation.

Medicine prices to be reduced (Daily News)
National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) stated that Five pharmaceutical companies have pledged to reduce the prices of medicines with effect from August 2020. According, the price reduction has been done in response to the letters of cancellation issued by the NMRA.

July exports top US$1bn mark despite COVID (Daily FT)
Provisional data has indicated that merchandise exports in July 2020 have surpassed US$1bn mark despite COVID 19. This is slightly higher than the US$999mn achieved in July 2019. Further it was mentioned that in July 2020 apparel, tea, coconut, rubber, fruits and vegetables and other agricultural crop exports had performed extremely well.

CBSL denies media reports on macroeconomic projection updates (Daily Mirror)
CBSL stated that several media reports containing certain macroeconomic projections have been erroneously attributed to them. It was mentioned that the CBSL has not released to the public any updates to its macroeconomic projections since the publication of the CBSL Annual Report in April 2020.

Corporate Announcements: 

It was announced that Mr. Muthukuda Nahil Wijesuriya had purchased 27.8mn shares of East West Properties (EAST) at a consideration of Rs.11 per share on 31 July 2020, following which Mr. Muthukuda Nahil Wijesuriya holds 51mn ordinary shares of EAST (36.9% of the voting share capital of EAST)

It was announced that Vidullanka (VLL) has successfully completed the construction of the 6.5MW Bukinda Small Hydro Power Plant located in Kabale District of Uganda and commissioned to the national grid on 30 July 2020. The project is expected to supply 27.4GWh annually to the national grid of Uganda

Results for the period ended 30 June 2020:

Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) reported a 2Q2020 Net profit of Rs.490.3 (+2% YoY), resulting in a 2H2020 Net profit of Rs.906.0 (+20% YoY)

Union Bank of Colombo (UBC) reported a 2Q2020 Net profit of Rs.149.9 (-27% YoY), resulting in a 2H2020 Net profit of Rs.344.8 (+7% YoY)

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