Speculation on declining bank interest rates peps share market

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading was positive and bullish throughout yesterday because of market speculation that bank interest rates would come down today. Accordingly, Sri Lanka’s shares rose over 1.5 per cent in mid-day trade, pushed up by index- heavy shares, especially blue chips, for the second day straight, stock market analysts said.

Previously the market slipped for six straight sessions, on speculation over local debt restructuring, while investors waited for clear directions despite the country presenting its 2023 budget.

Amid those developments, the main All -Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 1173.4 points and the S and P SL20 rose by 58.5 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.45 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Commercial Bank, which crossed 548,000 shares to the tune of Rs 27.4 million, its shares traded at Rs 50 and Sampath Bank 660,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 20.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 31.50.

In the retail market top companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 360 million (two million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 170 million (1.2 million shares traded), Lankem Developments Rs 65.3 million (2.4 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 62.4 million (11.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 61.2 million (186,000 shares traded), Colombo Fort Land Rs 58.8 million (1.9 million shares traded). During the day 57.5 million share volumes changed hands in 18000 transactions.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sunshine Holdings, Commercial Bank and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and Dialog Axiata, while retail interest was noted in Sri Lanka Telecom, First Capital Treasuries and Colombo Fort Land & Building.

The Food, Beverage & Tobacco sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Sunshine Holdings and Lankem Developments) while the sector index gained 3.50%. The share price of Sunshine Holdings gained Rs 1.10 (3.44 per cent) to close at Rs 33.10. The share price of Lankem Developments recorded a gain of Rs 5.20 (21.31per cent) to close at Rs 29.60.

The Energy sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC) while the sector index increased by 11.89 per cent. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs 20.50 (13.02 per cent) to close at Rs 178.

Expolanka Holdings and Ceylinco Insurance were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings moved up by Rs 14.25 (11.45 per cent) to close at Rs 138.75. The share price of Ceylinco Insurance appreciated by Rs 146.00 (7.47 per cent) to close at Rs 2,100.00.

Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 360.99 and the selling rate Rs. 371.83. The inflation rate is more than 70 per cent.


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