Macroeconomic arena developments boost share market

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE turned negative yesterday due to profit- takings but during the last session the market showed some recovery on account of some stability in the macro- economic arena and on the political front in the country, stock market analysts said.

Developments in favour of the market were: A UK trade arrangement in favour of Sri Lanka, USAID assistance to David Pieris Company to introduce electric three wheelers instead of fuel- driven vehicles for the local market and approval for setting up two wind power projects in the North by the Adani Group by way of foreign direct investments. These initiatives created some confidence among stock market investors, market analysts said.

Sri Lanka shares slipped over 2 per cent for the second consecutive session, pushed down by retail shares LOLC, Hayleys and Expolanka on profit- taking. Both indices moved downwards. All- Share Price Index declined by 178.89 points (1.9 per cent) to end at 8907.35 and S and P SL20 declined by 56.92 points (1.87 per cent) to end the day at 2980.67.

Turnover stood at Rs 3.7 billion with two crossings. Those two crossings were reported in Citizens Development Business Finance, which crossed 1.1 million shares to the tune of Rs 220 million, its shares traded at Rs. 200 and JKH, 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 64 million; its shares traded at Rs 128.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 1 billion (5.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 410 million (1.9 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 263 million (32 million shares traded), Agstar Rs 195 million (15.5 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 103 million (178,000 shares traded), Hayleys Rs 102 million (965,000 shares traded), and ACL Cables Rs 98 (1.3 million shares traded). During the day 129 million share volumes changed hands in 33000 share transactions.

.It said counters such as Expolanka Holdings, Browns Investments, LOLC and Hayleys, which have seen significant interest recently, closed lower following the session. Turnover remained strong, supported by retail and Hela Apparel activity. Lanka IOC and Expolanka accounted for a sizable portion of volumes (40.9% of turnover), however activity remained more broad- based as seen over previous sessions.

It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Hunas Holdings, Hela Apparel Holdings and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and ACL Cables, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing and EML Consultants.

Energy sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index gained 6.20 per cent. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs 11.50 (6.88%) to close at Rs. 178.75.

The Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to ACL Cables) while the sector index decreased by 0.47 per cent. The share price of ACL Cables recorded a gain of Rs 9.80 (14.50 per cent) to close at Rs. 77.40.

Yesterday the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 357.31 and the selling rate Rs 368.68.

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