CSE closes on the up, driven by bullish investor sentiment

by Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE yesterday closed on the up, thanks to a strong recovery following bullish sentiments indicated in the morning, while during the middle of the session profit- takings were witnessed in LOLC Group counters, mainly Browns Investments, Brown and Company, LOLC Holdings and Vallibel One. However, during the latter part of the day the CSE slowly recovered and ended on a positive note, stock market analysts said.

The All- Share Price Index finished on a 53.76- point gain or 0.5 per cent and the S&P SL20 rose to 19.47 points. Turnover was healthy at Rs. 6 billion involving 873 million shares with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Alumex PLC, which crossed three million shares to the tune of Rs 48 million and its shares traded at Rs 16.

It is said the ASPI crossed the 11,000-mark once again and returned to positive territory after witnessing three sessions of losses, while the more liquid S&P SL20 index also resumed its record-breaking run and posted a gain of more than 1%, largely helped by price increases recorded in Expolanka.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs 835 million (2.7 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 645 million (44.3 million shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 431 million (10.5 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 262 million (3.7 million shares traded),Commercial Leasing and Finance Rs 26.2 million (7.8 million shares traded), SMB Finance Rs 250 million (217 million shares traded) and Brown and Company Rs 214 million (68,000 shares traded).

During the day, plantation sector counters, especially Sunshine Holdings and Watawala Plantations, performed well. Sunshine Holdings share price appreciated by eight percent or Rs 3.30. Its shares started trading at Rs 38 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs 41.30 and Watawala Plantations shares appreciated by Rs 9 or eight per cent. Its share price shot up to Rs 118 from Rs 109. Further, SMP Leasing and Finance shares appreciated by 20 per cent or 20 cents. Its share price appreciated to Rs 1.20 from Rs 1.

Expolanka, Richard Pieris and Melstacorp were the main contributors to the All- Share Price Index. During the day 873 million share volumes changed hands in 44000 transactions. Separately, Windforce Ltd. and Vallibel One announced their interim dividends of 55 cents and Rs. 1.50 per share respectively.

It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation remained subdued for the day while mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Brown & Company and Vallibel One, while retail interest was noted in Commercial Leasing & Finance, SMB Leasing and Browns Investments.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 202.94, which was controlled by the Central Bank. The foreign currency shortage is having a negative impact on business, irrespective of the type of business, in relation to imports and exports. Our construction and import trading businesses are being disrupted and other measures that have come around have made the situation even worse, market sources said.


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