CSE moves up in the wake of SL-IMF deal as local corruption comes into focus

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka’s shares moved up over 2.5 per cent  in mid-morning trade yesterday on new found hope after the IMF announced that it agreed to offer a US$ 2.9 billion loan fund to the crisis-hit country, which has widely focus on to prevent corruption in the government, stock market analysts said.

“This time the IMF recommended measures and reforms based on corruption in Sri Lanka, because the government’s corruption is very critical, which caught up to us. Therefore, the IMF supports creating fiscal transparency and introducing new laws and legislation to address those issues, IMF senior mission chief Peter Breuer said yesterday at the IMF press conference held at the Central Bank head office in Colombo.

Stock market analysts and brokers welcomed and heralded the IMF assistance and support to revive the economy from a medium to long term perspective by reducing corruption in the government sector. The latter task is expected to help in developing the capital market in a sustainable manner.

Amid those developments both indices indicated positive and upbeat situations. All-Share Price Index gained 183.49 points (2.02 per cent) to end at 9254.81 while S and P SL 20 gained 80.01 points (2.73 per cent) to end the day at 3008.98. Turnover stood at Rs 4.1 billion with two crossings. The crossings were reported in Expolanka Holdings, which crossed 1.3 million shares to the tune of Rs 303.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 225 and Kelani Valley Plantations 300,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 31.4 million, its shares fetched Rs 104.50.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 735 million (3.8 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 253 million (1.1 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 249 million (4.4 million shares traded), Lankem Development Rs 137 million (4.5 million shares traded), CIC Holdings Rs 130 million (1.8 million shares traded), Kotagala Plantations Rs 123 million (11.6 million shares traded) and Agsta PLC Rs 106 million (6.7 million shares traded). During the trading almost all stocks, including blue- chips, contributed to the market in a positive manner. Todate, net foreign inflow has been recorded at more than Rs 550 million. It is said that 151 million share volumes changed hands in 37000 share transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s dollar buying rate was Rs 357.51 and the selling rate Rs 368.86. IMF also said that the Central Bank’s prudential fiscal policy management system has done reasonably well to maintain rupee stability against the dollar.


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