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on Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:31 pm
Let's give them the benefit of doubt. Very Happy

The Invisible wrote:NG is deemed to have a vision to develop Sri Lanka capital market when he was the regulator. I think his appointment was given keeping the same in mind.

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on Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:47 pm
Investors are accepting NG's appointment in a positive way..Twisted Evil

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on Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:07 pm
Yes.
My car My Petrol කිව්වලු.  Very Happy

Rational Investor wrote:Investors are accepting NG's appointment in a positive way..Twisted Evil  

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on Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:56 pm
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Anyway I don't think today's market movement is due to NGs appointment. It should be mainly by the resumption of trend of LOLC in moving towards 190s in anticipation of a great quarter. Many finance related stocks have joined the rally mid way. Then it flowed through to Construction sector started by AEL. All are linked to future expectations at least for next few months.

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on Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:24 am
Do you see a clear direction of the market at present , hope by today Very Happy Very Happy
The Invisible wrote:Anyway I don't think today's market movement is due to NGs appointment. It should be mainly by the resumption of trend of LOLC in moving towards 190s in anticipation of a great quarter. Many finance related stocks have joined the rally mid way. Then it flowed through to Construction sector started by AEL. All are linked to future expectations at least for next few months.
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on Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:27 am
Hon. Cabraal is the state minister in charge of the subject of the capital market. Not NG. I feel Cabral is also good.
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on Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:56 am

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on Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:41 pm
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Sri Lanka’s exports surpass USD 1bn mark in July with V shape recovery

Aug 14, 2020 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports have surpassed the USD 1 billion mark in July after six months time period where a similar achievement was only recorded in January during this year.

Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subhasinghe mentioned, “We have witnessed a phenomenal increase in exports in July 2020 with a new record for the year. Sri Lankas strategic location, its reliable manufacturing and export base and proactive and rapid action by the Sri Lankan Government to control Covid 19 have fulfilled our global customers needs. This is the reason for our remarkable recovery in exports, compared to when the crisis hit us. However, we need to be cautiously optimistic as we move towards year end due to the possible resurgence of Covid 19 in the US and European markets.”

As per the Customs statistics, earnings from merchandise exports recorded double-digit growth rate of 11.31% in July 2020 to US$ 1,090.18 Mn compared to July 2019. Moreover, earnings from merchandise exports in July 2020 increased by 20.3 % compared with the value recorded in June 2020.

This strong performance is consistent with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to Covid 19 pandemic within the country and globally. Increases in exports were recorded as; Europe Region (21.17%), South Asia(11.47%) and Middle East (8.91%) in July 2020 compared to July 2019.

Being the largest single export destination, United States of America has absorbed US$ 256.09 Mn worth of exports in July 2020 recording a 5.67% increase in comparison to US$ 242.36 Mn absorbed in June 2020.

Export Performance of Major Sectors in July 2020

Earnings from exports of Apparel & Textiles and Rubber & rubber-based products grew significantly during the month of July 2020 owing to higher demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, protective suits, surgical gloves, etc.,. PPE related exports have recorded US$ 115.1 Mn in July 2020.

Export earnings from tea in July 2020 which made up 12% of merchandise exports increased by 17.63% y-o-y to US$ 130.93 Mn and the export volume was also increased by 11.24% in July 2020 compared to July 2020. In addition, export earnings from tea recorded 1.39% increase in June 2020 in comparison to June 2019. The expansion was mainly due to higher demand for tea from Turkey and Russia.

Table 1: Merchandise Export Performance

Product 2019 Jan- July 2020 Jan- July % Growth 2019 July 2020 July % Growth

Apparel & Textiles 3226.11 2403.70 -25.49 473.52 467.04 -1.37
Tea 796.26 702.59 -11.76 111.31 130.93 17.63
Rubber & Rubber Based Products 535.32 434.25 -18.88 78.21 85.08 8.78
Coconut & Coconut based Products 370.35 356.39 -3.77 56.30 74.78 32.82
Diamonds, Gems & Jewellery 175.28 85.51 -51.22 17.49 14.35 -17.95
Electrical & Electronic Products 228.00 176.25 -22.70 32.63 32.15 -1.47
Spices, Essential Oils & Oleoresins 170.69 155.71 -8.78 26.60 41.22 54.96
Food & Beverages 220.96 218.42 -1.15 27.90 62.14 122.72
Seafood 163.98 117.59 -28.29 20.39 18.47 -9.42
Ornamental Fish 9.15 7.82 -14.54 1.13 1.44 27.43
Vegetables 18.39 15.53 -15.55 2.46 2.69 9.35
Fruits 23.75 20.23 -14.82 3.30 3.38 2.42
Other Export Crops 17.15 49.69 189.74 2.76 10.54 281.88
Cut Flowers & Foliage 11.65 7.72 -33.73 1.56 1.08 -30.77
Boat Building 63.61 1.64 -97.42 0.27 0.28 3.70
Petroleum Products 196.70 205.82 4.64 31.04 35.17 13.31
Other Manufactures 681.77 493.67 -27.59 92.51 109.44 18.30
Total 6,909.12 5,452.53 -21.08 979.38 1090.18 11.31

Sri Lanka’s Trade Performance in Major Markets

Exports to EU Region recorded an increase of 21.67% to US$ 356.64 Mn in July 2020 compared with July 2019. Meanwhile, exports to United Kingdom as the largest trading partner in the EU Region recorded an increase of 18.66 % to US$ 100.1 Mn in July 2020 compared with July 2019. In addition exports to UK has increased by 53.08% in July 2020 compared to June 2020.

Further, exports to Germany, Itally, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada, China, Japan and Turkey have aslo shown better performance during this period.

https://www.lankabusinessonline.com/sri-lankas-exports-surpass-usd-1bn-mark-in-july-with-a-v-shape-recovery/

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on Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:45 am
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Sri Lanka to maintain stable rupee, draw foreign investors: Minister Cabraal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will maintain a stable rupee and competitive interest rates and create conditions to bring back foreign investors to capital markets, State Minister for Finance Nivard Cabraal said.

“We will keep a stable rupee, and competitive interest rates for all to do business,” Cabraal said soon after assuming office at the Finance Ministry in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s rupee fell from 131 to the US dollar at the end of 2014 to 182 to the US dollar by the end of 2019 amid ‘flexible exchange rate’ (a discretionary external anchor) and ‘flexible inflation targeting (a discretionary domestic anchor) while growth plunged.

Most foreign investors in rupee bonds left as the credibility of the peg weakened steadily. Foreign investors in stocks, some whom have been in the country for decades are also leaving.

Meanwhile Cabraal, a former central bank governor until the end of 2015, said there were 3.4 billion US dollars of foreign investments rupee Treasuries five years ago, which had fallen to below 200 million US dollars.

“We have to raise this,” he said. “We have to follow policies that help capital to flow in to debt and equities markets.”

The administration will support domestic businesses to be strong but also create conditions to draw foreign investors, he said.

“We will protect and support domestic businesses to become strong,” he said. “We are open to the world. We are asking the world to come and do business with Sri Lanka.”

“Some of these policies may sound contradictory, but that is where we must maintain a balance.”

He said Sri Lanka has never defaulted on foreign debt and will maintain the record.

“We now have political stability and a strong mandate to make economic decisions,” he said.

State enterprises will be strengthened, not sold he said.

He said the control of Covid had laid a strong foundation, though there were many challenges ahead.

Sri Lanka had already used some tools to stimulate the economy.

“We will use the all tools available to stimulate the economy,” he said.

However countries with pegged exchange rates that engage in stimulus may have unfortunate consequences, analysts say.

Sri Lanka earned a downgrade after an estimated loss of about 500 billion rupees in taxes in a ‘fiscal stimulus’ of about 3.8 percent of gross domestic product.

After the crisis Sri Lanka injected liquidity of over 420 billion rupees which is a monetary stimulus of about 2.7 percent of estimated GDP, which sent the rupee reeling to 200 to the US dollar until private credit turned negative.

Import controls, not seen since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system of soft-pegs in 1971, have also been brought in.

The rupee has since been allowed to return to around 184 to the US dollar. (Colombo/Aug14/2020)

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on Mon Aug 17, 2020 9:50 am
Daily Ft;
Apparel sector exports continue to grow in July with support from stakeholders
Friday, 14 August 2020 00:00 -      - 1038

As exports cross the $ 1 billion mark in July, led by pent-up demand that is driving a surge in sales in some markets, companies are becoming more optimistic about the near future. Apparel in particular is riding the wave of demand to continue its upward momentum and perform extremely well in July.

Hela Clothing is one such apparel company that is currently enjoying a growth in their exports. The company has attributed its ability to remain competitive in the current business landscape to quick decision making and support from their network of partners. The industry had been suffering since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the lockdown went into effect in April. It was estimated that collectively the apparel industry had lost $ 1.5 billion in revenue for the year. However, consecutive upward movement in apparel exports is highlighting the resilience of the industry and its players.

Like Hela Clothing, many in the industry have relied on the support and understanding of all their stakeholders to help navigate the unchartered waters of the pandemic.

“Support from all our stakeholders helped us meet the challenges of the moment and bounce back faster than expected,” said Hela Clothing Chairman A.R. Rasiah. “This includes support from our valued employees, our trusted banking partners as well as from the Export Development Board and the Board of Investment who helped us each step of the way to ensure that we got what we needed to function during the lockdown and after.”

“Thanks to this unwavering support we are now on stronger footing,” he added.

The industry which saw dire predictions in April was faced with mass unemployment and dramatically reduced salaries due to deep pay cuts. But the current state of exports would appear to paint a different story – one of recovery. This is a sentiment cautiously shared by Hela Clothing as the company witnesses renewed interest from their customer portfolio. The improved results and outlook led the company to start repaying deferred salaries in July.

“From the start in April we wanted to make sure everyone understood that we were not instituting a pay cut but rather a deferment of a part of their pay. And once we were in a stronger financial position we would be paying those deferments back,” said Rasiah.

Hela has said that these payments will be evaluated on a month-by-month basis and depend on the financial viability of the company. However, they do intend on paying back all deferred pay at the earliest possibility to ensure that their employees do not face any unnecessary burden. The company also hopes that this action will have a wider positive implication for the national economy.

While Hela Clothing has been fortunate the export industry as a whole and the nation still have many challenges ahead. The US, which remains Sri Lanka’s single largest export market (27% of total merchandise exports in 2019), is still battling to flatten the curve and recent plans to re-open states have faced major obstacles as the country continues to post record infection figures daily.
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on Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:30 pm
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Sri Lanka central bank buys US$162mn in July 2020 amid negative private credit

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s central bank has bought 162.5 million dollars from the interbank forex markets in July 2020 after negative private credit in May and June official data show.

Sri Lanka has also slapped severe import controls, not seen since the break-up of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 when the entire economy was closed. The contribution of the import controls make to negative private credit is not clear.

Sri Lanka’s forex reserves picked up by 400 million US dollars to 7.1 billion US dollars in July after a 500 million dollars swap from the Reserve Bank of India.

Related

Sri Lanka private credit negative for second month in June 2020

Sri Lanka forex reserves rise to US$7.1bn in July 2020 after India swap

The intervention data does not show official transactions, such as reserve appropriations to repay debt.

Sri Lanka’s highly unstable soft-peg with the US dollar came under severe pressure after record money printing in March and April 2020 coupled with a so-called ‘flexible’ exchange rate.

The ‘flexible exchange rate’ is a set of discretionary practices were foreign reserve sales interventions (which extinguishes excess liquidity injections and push up short term rates) are delayed for the peg to break and panic spread among importers who will then borrow and cover their bills early.

In March private credit surged to 100 billion rupees.

The liquidity is injected (monetary stimulus) to target the call money rate as private credit begins to recover (pro-cyclical) from an earlier balance of payments crisis under a so-called ‘flexible’ inflation targeting to close a perceived output gap, at different levels of inflation.

In May and June private credit was negative, though the public sector deficit expanded as tax revenues fell partly due to a so-called ‘fiscal’ stimulus involving value added and other tax cuts.

In June the central bank also bought dollars on a net basis, purchasing 69 million US dollars and selling 9.25 million dollars.

By purchasing dollars the central bank can stop the currency appreciating as credit turns negative, in an explicit or implicit de facto real effective exchange rate targeting exercise.

Except after the 2009 crisis, the central bank has kept the exchange rate close to the level the peg had broken and prevented appreciation, in the worst record among South Asian monetary authorities.

During the March-April liquidity injection cycle the rupee fell from around 182 to close to 200 to the US dollar. It was then kept around 185 to the US dollar in July.





Over the last two weeks the rupee had been allowed to appreciate slightly.

All central banks in South Asia derive their currencies from Indian rupees or pegs to the Indian rupees at around 4.70 to the US dollar at the end of World War II.

The worst record is seen in Sri Lanka followed by Pakistan and Bangladesh. However Bangladesh central bank has followed better policies for over a decade, keeping the exchange rate stable, allowing strong phase of growth.

Bhutan and Nepal does not practice interventionist monetary policy and has kept strong pegs, bt fixed to the India rupee, where the Reserve Bank of India has bad policy.

The most monetary stability has been provided by the Monetary Authority of Maldives, where per capita income is now over 11,000 Us dollars. (Colombo/Aug17/2020)

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on Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:42 pm
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Sri Lanka stock exchange woos IT firms with revised requirements

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stock exchange has offered options for information technology firms with a track record to list, including via a second tier board with entry requirements which accommodates valuations of tech firms.

Colombo Stock Exchange Chief Executive Rajeeva Bandaranaike said listing requirements were changed to cater to the models seen in tech sector.

“Companies that ideally could not look at a listing on the main board as a result of the three consecutive year profit requirement now have other options,” Chief Regulatory Officer of CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane was quoted as saying at a forum with an IT industry body.

“Companies with positive net assets for two financial years could list on the CSE with an aggregate net profit after tax for three years, an alternate which does not require companies to be profitable for three consecutive years.

“To broaden the entry routes, we have also introduced revenue and cashflow options in addition to the two profit-based routes. ”

Companies that could show an aggregate revenue of 3 billion rupees for three financial years or positive operating cashflow after adjusting for working capital for two consecutive years could apply to list.

Companies that have revenues of 5 billion rupees at the point of listing could also use the route.

Companies could see a listing on the Diri Savi Board if they had a revenue of 350 million rupees for the financial year immediately preceding the date of application and a market capitalization of two billion rupees at the point of listing.

“When it comes to Financing there are many options companies can evaluate from bootstrapping, Angel investors, debt capital, Venture Capital to private equity,” Chairman of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), Abbas Kamrudeen said.

“But my belief is that for those companies that have matured to some extent, there is no better option to financing than going public.

“The reason being, it not only gives you flexibility and speed in future rounds of financing, but it will allow you to understand the true value of your organization.”
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on Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:51 am
Govt comfortable repaying foreign debt, sovereign bond in 2020
ECONOMYNEXT.COM
Govt has seen no difficulties repaying foreign debt 2020, including a billion dollar sovereign bond, with only 2.5 billion US dollars left to pay in the balance of the year, a top official said.

In October 2020, a billion dollar bond is maturing which cannot be rolled over due to adverse market conditions.
Sri Lanka had 7.2 billion US dollars in reserves. “To repay the October maturity we are more than comfortable,” Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters last week.
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on Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:38 pm
CEAT ramps up ‘2-wheeler’ tyre production by 85% in 3 months
Monday, 7 September 2020 01:20 -      - 153
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CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced the achievement of an 85% increase in the production of tyres for the ‘two-wheeler’ segment over just three months, as a full-bodied response to the needs of the local market consequent to the temporary import restrictions introduced by the Government.

Maximising capacity utilisation at its manufacturing plants at Kelaniya and Kalutara, the company pushed production of tyres for motorcycles and scooters from 27,000 units a month in June to 41,000 per month in July and August, and is on target to produce 50,000 tyres in September, increasing volumes by 52% in the first step and by an incremental 22% thereafter.

The sharp increases in production of tyres for the two-wheeler segment follows similar ramping up of production of truck and bus tyres as well as passenger car radials by CEAT Kelani, which prior to these increases was producing half of Sri Lanka’s pneumatic tyre requirements. To achieve the increases in two-wheeler capacity, the company said it had utilised available capacity at its three-wheeler tyre plant in Kalutara.

CEAT Kelani currently manufactures 32 different types of scooter and motorcycle tyres in 43 varying specifications, and now caters to 37% of local market requirements for two-wheeler tyres.

“The import restrictions challenge domestic industries to show what they are truly capable of, and we are pulling out all the stops to fully utilise the capacity we have to support the government’s initiative of import substitution through increased domestic manufacturing,” CEAT Kelani Managing Director Ravi Dadlani said.

“We are continuing to look at ways of meeting demand for the most popular categories and sizes of tyres, and are keeping the government informed of the products that we are not equipped to manufacture, so that they can be imported,” he added.

CEAT’s increased production of truck and bus tyres has resulted in the company producing 100% of the segment’s requirements and enabled the Government to make a saving of Rs. 11 billion a year in foreign exchange. The company’s latest initiative in the two-wheeler tyre segment is estimated to enable a further saving of Rs. 350 million a year through import substitution, Dadlani disclosed.

The expansion of production capacity for this segment of tyres has resulted in a 100% increase in the production of sizes 90/90-12 TL and 90/100-10 TL that fit popular scooter models such as Honda Dio, Yamaha Ray ZR, Honda Grazia, TVS Wego, and Suzuki Burgman.

Meanwhile, CEAT’s production of tyre size 90/90-17 TL that fits motorcycle models such as TVS Apache, Bajaj Pulsar 160 NF and Bajaj Pulsar 180 has increased by 400%, and the company has achieved a 100% increase in the production of the 100/80-17 TL tyre that is required for the popular Yamaha FZ. Production of tyres for Bajaj Pulsar 150, Bajaj CT 100, Bajaj Platina, and TVS Heavy Duty Super XL has also increased significantly, the company said.

Notably, CEAT Kelani Holdings has kept the prices of its tyres unchanged since December 2019 to support customers and the economy, despite the additional investments made in increasing capacity and an increase in market prices due to demand.

CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India-Sri Lanka joint ventures in the manufacturing sector. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date totals Rs. 8 billion, inclusive of Rs. 3 billion committed in January 2018 for expansion of volumes, technology upgrades and new product development.

The company’s manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka encompass pneumatic tyres in the radial (passenger cars, vans and SUVs), commercial (Bias-ply and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.
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on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:20 am
Australia announces business partnership opportunities in Sri Lanka for COVID-19 recovery
Author LBO
Posted on September 15, 2020 | Economy
Sep 15, 2020 (LBO) – The Australian High Commission in Colombo announced a call for proposals on 14 September 2020, to support COVID-19 economic recovery in Sri Lanka under the Business Partnerships Platform (BPP).
The BPP is a flagship initiative of the Australian Government. It supports partnerships with businesses to deliver sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, while also ensuring commercial returns for businesses.
“Business will play a central role in rebuilding Sri Lanka’s economy as it recovers from COVID-19, and this exciting opportunity to partner with the Australian Government can support positive change through improved livelihood opportunities, enhanced gender equality and an inclusive economic recovery,” said David Holly, Australian HIgh Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
The BPP can co-finance with businesses to support COVID-19 economic recovery by establishing partnerships that contribute to digitalisation, skills development for workers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, economic opportunities for women, or green recovery.
In Sri Lanka, they are seeking partnerships in the following sectors:
• Information and communication technology (ICT)
• Agriculture technology and fisheries
• Online education and education technoogy
• Financial inclusion
Businesses can apply individually or in a consortium. The Australian Government will provide matched funding of up to AUD 500,000 to successful business initiatives.
Businesses with a commercial idea that could make a lasting social impact are encouraged to contact the Australian High Commission in Colombo, R.Sivasuthan@dfat.gov.au or visit: www.thebpp.com.au for further information. Applications close 4 November 2020.
To participate in an information session, register online at https://thebpp.com.au/call-for-partnerships/bpp-sri-lanka-call-for-partnerships
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on Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:20 am
Australia announces business partnership opportunities in Sri Lanka for COVID-19 recovery
Author LBO
Posted on September 15, 2020 | Economy
Sep 15, 2020 (LBO) – The Australian High Commission in Colombo announced a call for proposals on 14 September 2020, to support COVID-19 economic recovery in Sri Lanka under the Business Partnerships Platform (BPP).
The BPP is a flagship initiative of the Australian Government. It supports partnerships with businesses to deliver sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, while also ensuring commercial returns for businesses.
“Business will play a central role in rebuilding Sri Lanka’s economy as it recovers from COVID-19, and this exciting opportunity to partner with the Australian Government can support positive change through improved livelihood opportunities, enhanced gender equality and an inclusive economic recovery,” said David Holly, Australian HIgh Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
The BPP can co-finance with businesses to support COVID-19 economic recovery by establishing partnerships that contribute to digitalisation, skills development for workers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, economic opportunities for women, or green recovery.
In Sri Lanka, they are seeking partnerships in the following sectors:
• Information and communication technology (ICT)
• Agriculture technology and fisheries
• Online education and education technoogy
• Financial inclusion
Businesses can apply individually or in a consortium. The Australian Government will provide matched funding of up to AUD 500,000 to successful business initiatives.
Businesses with a commercial idea that could make a lasting social impact are encouraged to contact the Australian High Commission in Colombo, R.Sivasuthan@dfat.gov.au or visit: www.thebpp.com.au for further information. Applications close 4 November 2020.
To participate in an information session, register online at https://thebpp.com.au/call-for-partnerships/bpp-sri-lanka-call-for-partnerships
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