Market players wary of IMF board-level approval, monetary policy direction

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

Trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) kicked off with a positive note yesterday, but later turned negative with profit takings recorded on several stocks.

” Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe’s recent comments to Reuters that the country’s debt restructuring and IMF board level approval would likely be delayed by another six months was in part a reason for the market to fall, market analysts said.Therefore, the stock market fell in mid day trade, a day after the market gained on debt restructuring assurance feedback by India and China, an analyst said. “Although The market, although it’s in the red, still is on a positive sentiment, because the market gained in the past few sessions and is bound to slow down,” the analyst said.

Investors are waiting for the Monetary Policy Review by the Central Bank due today, which is another reason why the market is on slower sentiments, analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index down by 88.55 points and S and P SL20down by 32.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.48 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Sunshine Holdings, which crossed 590,000 shares to the tune of Rs 23 million and its share price traded at Rs 39.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Browns Investments Rs 125 million (17.5 million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 120 million (1.1 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 101.5 million (6.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs 94.7 million (2.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 80.7 million (412,000 shares treated). ACL Cables Rs 68.7 million (853,000 shares traded)) and LOCL Holdings Rs 56.5 million (131,000 shares traded). During the day 70.6 million share volume changed hands in 21000 transactions.

It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, First Capital Holdings and Capital Alliance whilst retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Industrial Asphalts and LOLC Finance.The Diversified Financials sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to First Capital Holdings, First Capital Treasuries and Capital Alliance) whilst the sector index gained 4.06 percent.

The share price of First Capital Holdings gained Rs. 3.10 (8.40 percent ) to close at Rs. 40. The share price of FirstCapital Treasuries recorded a gain of Rs. 1.50 (5.86 percent) to close at Rs. 27.10. The share price of Capital Alliance appreciated by Rs. 2 (6.45 percent) to close at Rs. 33.The Food, Beverage & Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Browns Investments) whilst the sector index increased by 2.09 percent . The share price of Browns Investments increased by 40 cents (5.97 percent) to close at Rs. 7.10.

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