Local investor interest in share market leaving much to be desired

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The stock market reverted to bearish mood yesterday amidst low turnover as local investor interest remained lacklustre. However, the secondary market is at a standstill ahead of the weekly T-bill auctions, dealers said, while the Central bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions remains unchanged.

Dealers said market activities were at a standstill as the bond auction proceeds. The Central bank has announced a Rs 90.0 billion bond auction for December 29, 2022, with Rs 30.0 billion expected to be raised from a 15.05.25 maturity and Rs 60.0 billion offered under the 15.05.26 maturity.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index rose by 20.55 points and S and P SL20 rose by 0.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.7 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Orient Finance, where 11.8 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 118 million; its shares traded at Rs 10 and JKH 450,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 60.9 million, its shares fetched Rs 135.50.

In the retail market, top seven companies that contributed to the turnover were; Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 382 million (4.5 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Plc Rs 328 million (40.3 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 123 million (695,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 84.3 million (466,000 shares traded), Browns Investment Rs 84 million (12.3 million shares traded), Janashakthi Insurance Rs 79.5 million (2.5 million shares traded) and LOLC Finance Rs 71.6 million (8.8 million shares traded). During the day 124 million share volumes changed hands in 20000 share transactions.

It said high net worth and institutional investor participation remained subdued for the day. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and Softlogic Life Insurance, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing non-voting and Softlogic Capital.

The Energy sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index lost 0.33 per cent. The share price of Lanka IOC decreased by 75 cents to close at Rs. 210.The Insurance sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Softlogic Life Insurance), while the sector index increased by 1 per cent. The share price of Softlogic Life Insurance gained Rs. 5 (7.05 per cent) to close at Rs. 75.90.Yesterday the Central Bank announced the US dollar parity rate as Rs. 356.74.


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