Libyan order for Ceylon tea
Exporters of Ceylon tea have clinched a "massive" order
from Libya, brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said last week.
In a recently
concluded tender, the Libyan government bought a record 20 million-kg
from Sri Lankan exporters for delivery in 2003. Buying is expected
to start towards the year-end.
virtually captured the whole Libyan market," said Anil Cooke,
senior vice president of Asia Siyaka Commodities. "This is
superb for Sri Lanka." The entire order is in value added form
and is more than the highest ever quantity of 18 million kg shipped
by Sri Lanka to Libya in 2000. Libya usually buys around 20 million
kg of tea a year from different sources.
tea has always been the No. 1 choice in the Libyan market,"
Cooke said. "Also, in the last few years Sri Lanka has been
seen as a responsible, reliable and very efficient supplier. Our
exporters have really delivered on their promises while other countries
have let down buyers."
Exports to Libya
so far this year have trailed last year's shipments of 18 million
results, budget to drive prices up
The stock market is expected to move up this week on expectations
of an "investor-friendly" budget and good quarterly company
results, brokers said. The uncertainty that prevailed during the
previous week with talk of the government going for a snap election
has now been cleared, and together with the second round of peace
talks that commenced last week, contributed to improved sentiment.
are likely to move up and would be watched with keen interest include
JKH, NDB, Aitken Spence, ACL Cables and Tokyo Cement. These firms
are likely to benefit from the recovery in tourism, reconstruction
work in the north and east, and improved quarterly results, brokers
The All Share
Price Index closed the week at 817.23 while the Milanka Price Index
ended at 1377.05. Forced selling by brokers who lacked staying power
caused the market to dip on the last day of the month. - Thushara
bus firm says no fare hike yet
The British consortium that acquired stakes in six state-owned bus
companies last week has said it has no immediate intention of raising
fares to turn the loss-making firms around and make them profitable.
be no immediate price hike," said Ian Bulley, the Managing
Director of the newly formed consortium which invested Rs 1.45 billion
through the Colombo Stock Exchange to purchase 39 percent stakes
in the bus companies.
management cannot do any changes with regard to price hikes or changes
in the bus routes without the approval of the Transport Commission
and the Bus Monitoring Unit (BMU) to be established by the government,"
he told The Sunday Times FT.
comprising of three companies Ibis, Transbus and Mayflower, bought
39 percent stakes in the Colombo, Metropolitan, Mahanuwara, Kalutara,
Gampaha, Sabaragamuwa and Rajarata bus companies on Thursday.
that they are hoping to invest around Rs 600 million in the first
year. The newly formed consortium is to commence commercial operations
within at least the next two weeks.
It will also
sign a deal with Latec Engineering and Management Services Pvt.
Ltd - one of its local partners - to assemble 300 buses a year.
Bulley said that there would be no voluntary retirement scheme for
employees. Their immediate concern is to repair the 2,000 buses
that need urgent repair and to later introduce double-deckers on
The Court of
Appeal last week dismissed a case filed by two employees of the
CTB against the sale of the bus companies who said employees should
be given a stake. The Public Enterprise Reforms Commission (PERC)
called for expressions of interest to divest the 39 percent stakes
in the bus companies held by the government with the aim of forming
public/private partnerships to improve the transport service.
This was in
keeping with the government's policy of obtaining the resources
and expertise of the private sector to enhance the services and
efficiency of the bus companies. PERC said that regulatory action
would be carried out through a Bus Monitoring Unit (BMU) to be set
service to the customers, which include school trips, the first
bus and the last bus and season tickets would be continued even
after the new management takes over the operations, it said in a