CSE opens trading with 2.5 per cent gain; turnover exceeds Rs. 2 billion

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE opened with a 2.5 per cent gain, surpassing a turnover of over Rs 2 billion yesterday, a day after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed opposition lawmaker Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.The appointment of Wickremesinghe, who is seen as a politician who could help the country to face the ongoing economic crisis, is expected to bring some political stability to the crisis hit country along with the appointment of a new Cabinet presently. Market analysts had expected a sharp gain in the index after Wickremesinghe’s appointment, stock brokers said.
Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All -Share Price Index went up by 343 points and S and P SL20 rose by 139 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.18 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 255,000 shares to the tune of Rs 32.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 126.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 920 million (4.8 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 161 million (23.7 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 140 million (18.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs 59.6 million (824,000 shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 58.5 million (118,000 shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 53.4 million (one million shares traded) and Lanka IOC Rs 45.1 million (1.1 million shares traded). During the day 117 million share volumes changed hands in 25000 transactions.

Sri Lanka’s stock market saw US $ 49 million in net inflows, compared to an outflow of US $ 26 million , taking the total in the first two months to $ 85 million, Central Bank data showed.In December 2021, there was a marginal $ 4 million inflow to stocks, followed by a US $36 million inflow in January.
In 2021 as a whole there was a US $ 238 million outflow from stocks up from $ 225 million a year earlier, as economists printed money to boost growth and close an output gap (Keynesian stimulus) after also cutting taxes to close what was claimed to be a ‘persistent output gap’, scaring investors.
Yesterday, the Central bank began to quote a daily guidance average rate of Rs 360 for the spot US dollar under a process started on May 13, which is set substantially below the market rate.Banks could quote Rs 2.60 plus or minus under the new directives.


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