Heavy buying interest in Lanka IOC stocks; exponential sales growth predicted

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE shares slipped in mid-day trade yesterday after gaining for five straight sessions. But at the beginning profit- takings were noted in LOLC Group counters and heavy buying interest was witnessed in Lanka IOC stocks because investors are anticipating an exponential sales growth in the company, market analysts said.

“We are seeing investors shift to new shares that gained in the past few sessions from the heavy weights, an analyst said. Further, the stock market remained positive with a healthy activity level and continuous buying by foreigners with net inflows topping the Rs. 1 billion mark in the first three market days of September.

Both indices were down. The main All- Share price Index (ASPI) declined by 36.06 points (0.38 per cent) to end the day at 9330.33 and S and P SL20 declined by 32.37 points (1.07 per cent) to end the day at 2998.19. The turnover stood at Rs 4.1 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Kelsey Development, which was crossed 3.4 million shares to the tune of Rs 181 million and its shares traded at Rs 24.60.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 1.2 billion (5.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 367 million (1.6 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 260 million (26.5 million shares traded), CIC Holdings (Voting) Rs 206 million ( 2.6 million shares traded), CIC Holdings (Non-Voting) Rs 191 million (3.2 million shares traded), Lion Brewery Rs 158 million (301000 shares traded) and Agsta PLC Rs 149 million (nine million shares traded).

The bourse witnessed yet another day of gains as investors confidently rallied with perceptible interest on Lanka IOC which led the market as investors reacted positively. During the day the market heavy weight Lanka IOC share price gained by 10 per cent or Rs 21. Its shares moved to Rs 223.25 from Rs 202.25. During the day 129 million share volumes changed hands in 35000 share transactions.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in some stocks. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Agsta and CIC Holdings while retail interest was noted in LOLC Finance, Browns Investments and Co-Operative Insurance Company.

Diversified Financials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to LOLC Finance), while the sector index increased by 3.04 per cent. The shares of LOLC Finance gained Rs. 1.70 (19.10 per cent) to close at Rs. 10.60.

Yesterday, the Central Bank announced its dollar buying rate as Rs 358.05 and the selling rate as Rs 369.02.


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