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NEWS – March 22, 2019

Local Economy News:

The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI – Base year 2013) declined by -0.5bps to 126.7bps in February 2019. Meanwhile point to point inflation (measured by NCPI) was recorded at 2.4% in February 2019 (vs. 1.2% in January 2019).



Local News:

Parallel construction of Central Expressway to offset delays (Daily FT)

The Road Development Authority has stated that the construction of the Central Expressway Phase I will have multiple sections commencing simultaneously to cut down delays, even though funding for the project remains gridlocked. It was further indicated that although Phase II of the project is set to be completed by 2019E, the public will not be able to experience the full benefits of the project, due to delays in the construction of the rest of the expressway.



No agreement with Oman Oil Ministry for refinery: BOI (Daily FT)

The Board of Investment (BOI) has stated there was no agreement between the Oman Oil and Gas Ministry and Silver Park International to build a US$3.8bn refinery in Hambantota (~236km from Colombo), but insisted that the project would move ahead. However, the BOI has mentioned that they were aware that the Oman Oil Company has registered their firm intention to participate in equity up to 30%, subject to reaching agreement between the parties.



Sri Lanka to discuss Draft National Policy on LNG (Daily News)

The Ministry of Highways & Road Development together with the Petroleum Resources Development has developed the draft national policy on natural gas with a view to establish and develop the natural gas industry in Sri Lanka. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka together along with The Ministry of Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat has decided to call public and expert comments on the draft national policy on Liquid Natural Gas.



CSE Announcement:

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) announced that 5.18mn ordinary voting shares and 0.93mn ordinary non-voting convertible shares of Nations Trust Bank (NTB) will be listed w.e.f 22 March 2019, pursuant to a scrip dividend in the proportion of 1:46.1 and 1:42.0 respectively.



Corporate Announcements:

Commercial Bank of Ceylon (COMB) announced that 15.2mn voting shares and 1.2mn non-voting shares will be issued and allotted in satisfaction of the Final Dividend for the year ended 31 December 2018.



LOLC Holdings (LOLC) announced that it has resolved to amalgamate with LOLC Micro Investments Limited (fully owned subsidiary of LOLC), w.e.f 30 April 2019 or such other date as may be decided by the Registrar General of Companies.



Dividend Announcement:

Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) –Final dividend of Rs.15.77 per share – XD: 15/05/2019 – PD: 24/05/2019

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