Staff level agreement with IMF takes CSE to positive territory

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE remained positive yesterday and all blue chip counters, along with those of the LOLC Group, were very active in the market due to positive external factors, such as the signing of the staff level agreement by the Sri Lanka government with the IMF, to obtain a bailout package to take the economy out of the current crisis, stock market analysts said.

Further, some rating agencies also looked at Sri Lanka positively, thus creating an impetus to CSE trading, market analysts said.

Amid those developments the market to traversed to green territory. The market mainly rallied around the LOLC Group of companies. LOLC Finance shares gained by 19.1 per cent or Rs 1.70. Its share price moved to Rs 10.60 from Rs 8.90. These positive developments attracted foreign investors as well. Over the last five days net foreign outflow reached more than Rs 1.6 billion. Expolanka stocks have become most sought after stocks in the market; its main shareholder H.G Holdings, being a foreign entity, is now looking at buying its shares from the local market, analysts said.

Both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index gained 49.94 -points (0.54 per cent) to end the day at 9366.39 and S and P SL20 gained19.97 points (0.66 per cent) to end the day at 3039.38. Turnover stood at Rs 4. 136 billion with two crossings. Those two crossings were reported in Expolanka Holdings, which crossed 2.5 million shares to the tune of Rs 562 million; its shares traded at Rs 225 and Melstacorp 400,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 23 million, its shares traded at Rs 57.50.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; LOLC Finance Rs 646 million (61.7 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 573 million (2.8 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 284 million (1.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 257 million (30.9 million shares traded), Agsta PLC Rs 116.7 million (7.2 million shares traded), CIC Holdings Rs 114 million (1.5 million shares traded) and LOLC General Insurance Rs 91.5 million (9.1 million shares traded). During the day 203 million share volumes changed hands in 37000 share transactions.

Yesterday the Central Bank announced the US buying rate as Rs 358.05 and the selling rate as Rs 369.02. The Central Bank’s prudential monetary policies have stabilized the rupee rate, financial observers said.

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