Rupee depreciation seen as kindling share purchases; foreign investors comparatively active

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The CSE witnessed less trading yesterday but foreign investors were somewhat active and trying to purchase more stocks due to the country’s rupee depreciation, stock market analysts said.According to stock brokers, the last ten days’ net foreign inflows were Rs 292 million, which was quite a healthy situation, considering the turbulent times.With the rupee depreciation it is quite cheap for foreign investors to purchase, specially, blue-chip stocks, market sources said.

Therefore, the stock market gained in the first hour of trading despite the low activity level, stemming from the anticipated protest today, which has discouraged investors from being very active in the market, analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All-Share Price index went up by 22.8 points and S and P SL20 rose by 18.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 385 million, sans crossings. In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 95.2 million (584,000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 46.6 million (622,000 shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 24.9 million (670,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 19.2 million (3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 16.8 million (2.7 million shares traded), Haycarb Rs 16.2 million (329,000 shares traded) and HNB Rs 15.9 million (204,000 shares traded). During the day 22.9 million share volumes changed hands in 8500 share transactions.

It was noticed that most of the banking sector counters began to plunge amid monetary policy tightening. Further, high net worth and institution investor participation was noted in several blue chip companies, such as, HNB, JKH and Lanka IOC.

Yesterday, the Central Bank announced dollar buying rate was Rs 356.82 and selling rate Rs 367.66. With the introduction of tight monetary policies, depreciation has been controlled to a great extent, financial observers said.

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