Investor sentiment dampened by Expolanka Holdings’ quarterly results

By Hiran H.Senwiratne

CSE trading was seen as negative throughout yesterday because last week, the stock market company with a large market capitalization, Expolanka Holdings’ quarterly results did not reach expected levels.

This dampened investor sentiment significantly, stock market analysts said.

The government and its creditors, which include India, China, Japan and some private bondholders, will discuss the country’s debt restructuring at length at their meeting soon. But the delay in the IMF bail- out arrangement has negatively impacted investor sentiment, market analysts said.

Given these gloomy external and internal environmental factors, selling pressure was noted in most blue chip companies, market analysts added.

Expolanka Holdings and Lanka IOC were among the blue-chip companies that depressed the market. Both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 126 points and S and P SL2O declined by 51.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.08 billion without a single crossing.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 369 million (2.4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 147 million (789,000 shares traded),

Browns Investments Rs 57.7 million (9.5 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 32.4 million (4.7 million shares traded), Hemas Holdings Rs 31.6 million (575,000 shares traded), Lanka Walltiles Rs 24.1 million (397,000 shares traded) and JKH Rs 22.2 million (167,000 shares traded). During the day 42.8 million share volumes changed hands in 13000 transactions.

Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing Rs 141.6 million of shares, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading stocks worth Rs1 billion, as reported last Friday.

Meanwhile, the exclusive LMD-Nielsen IQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) provides a semblance of relief; it has climbed a heartening 13 basis points to 89 in October, from September’s 76, the business magazine LMD reports in its latest edition.

‘Little comfort though as we must acknowledge that two in five households are reportedly poorly nourished today. This will give some positive sentiment for the listed companies, market analysts said.

Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 360.65 and the selling rate Rs 371.21.

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