Stock investors welcome interim budget; turnover hits Rs. 4.3 billion

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE gained on positive sentiments yesterday as investors welcomed the interim budget that was presented in parliament on Tuesday. It didn’t have any deviations from the economic policy that was presented on May 31, a top analyst said.

Stock brokers welcomed the interim budget and said that it was a long term economic development budget based on IMF recommended reforms. The IMF mission’s stay in Sri Lanka has been extended by one day as discussions are ongoing, Mission Chief Peter Breuer said in a statement.

“The IMF Mission in Colombo has been extended by one day because discussions are still ongoing with the authorities, he said. Breuer further said they planned to conclude the mission and issue a press release today. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund have reached a preliminary agreement on an emergency loan.

However, a top CSE official told The Island Financial Review that this is an interim budget for only a few months. But the 2023 budget was the most important one, which will be presented to parliament in November.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index gained 205.92 points (2.32 per cent) to end at 9071.32 and S and P SL20 gained by 75.92 points (2.65 per cent) to end the day at 2938.67. The turnover stood at Rs. 4.3 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka Holdings, where 1.4 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 308 million, its shares traded at Rs 220, Commercial Bank four million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 204 million, its shares traded at Rs 51, Aitken Spence 207,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 31.2 million, its shares fetched Rs 150 and Lankem Development one million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 30 million, its shares fetching Rs 30.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Aitken Spence Rs 918 million (6.2 million share traded), Lanka IOC Rs 362 million (two million shares traded), Lankem Development Rs 223 million (7.5 million shares traded), Kotagala Plantations Rs 204 million (19.9 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 119 million (914,000 shares traded), Agsta PLC Rs 151 million (ten million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs 122 million (1.1 million shares traded).

Further Aitken Spence reported a significant gain, whose share price appreciated by Rs 18.25 or 14 per cent. Its share price moved to Rs 148.74 from Rs 130.50. It contributed approximately 33 per cent to the turnover. Main sectors that contributed to the turnover were the Capital Goods, which contributed Rs 1.3 billion or 31 per cent and Food Beverage and Tobacco Rs 900 million or 21 per cent. During the day 134 million share volumes changed hands in 33000 share transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s dollar buying rate was Rs 357.55 and selling rate Rs 368.90.

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