SOE restructuring plans positively impact Lanka Hospitals and SLT shares

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government’s proposals relating to the restructuring of State Owned Enterprises, based on IMF recommendations, had a positive impact on Lanka Hospitals and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) stocks yesterday, despite the market being volatile, stock market analysts said. CSE was edging down in mid-morning trade and became volatile due to manifold reasons. But more importantly there was net foreign buying with October so far producing over Rs. 1.4 billion, thereby boosting the year- to- date figure to Rs. 16.7 billion.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index moved down by 55.2 points and S and P SL20 declined by 16.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.3 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Lanka Wall Tiles, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 72 million, its shares traded at Rs 72 and CIC Holdings 250,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 35 million and its shares fetched Rs 100.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 378 million (1.5 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 231 million (1.3 million shares traded), CIC Holdings (Voting) Rs 173 million (1.7 million shares traded), CIC (Non- Voting) Rs 149 million (2.1 million shares traded), Sri Lanka Telecom Rs 143 million (2.2 million shares traded), Agsta PLC Rs 136 million (7.9 million shares traded) and Lanka Hospital Rs 123million (1.1 million shares traded). During the day 117 million share volumes changed hands in 23000 share transactions.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in JKH, CIC Holdings and Commercial Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and CIC Holdings (non- voting), while retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing (voting and non-voting), Browns Investments and LOLC Finance.The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to JKH), while the sector index gained 3.39 per cent. The share price of JKH moved up by Rs. 1.50 (1.17 per cent) to close at Rs. 130.

The Energy sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index increased by 9.79 per cent. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs. 23.25 (10.89 per cent) to close at Rs. 236.75.

Expolanka Holdings and CIC Holdings (voting and non-voting) were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings gained Rs. 12.75 (8.23 per cent) to close at Rs. 167.75. The share price of CIC Holdings voting recorded a gain of Rs. 5 (5.42 per cent) to close at Rs.97.20, while the non- voting share price appreciated by Rs. 3.80 (5.70 per cent) to close at Rs. 70.50.Yesterday, the Central Bank-announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.81 and selling rate Rs 370.71.

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