China’s delay in consenting to restructuring seen as the only hurdle to IMF bailout

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

China’s delay in agreeing to a debt restructuring is the only remaining hurdle on the path to Sri Lanka obtaining the IMF bailout, market analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index went up by 64 points and S and P SL20 rose by 31.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.4 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Melstacorp, where 668,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 40 million; its shares traded at Rs 60, Sampath Bank 500,000 shares crossed for Rs 24.5 million and its shares traded at Rs 49, Access Engineering 1.75 million shares crossed for Rs 21 million and its shares traded at Rs 12 and JKH 151,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 20.8 million; its shares fetching Rs 137.30.

In the retail market top companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were Sampath Bank, Rs 199 million (four million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 142.7 million (2.3 million shares traded), Ceylinco Insurance Rs 131 million (60000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 112 million (565,000 shares traded), SLT Rs 49.8 million (610,000 shares traded) and Hela Apparel Rs 47.1 million (five million shares traded). During the day 69.5 million share volumes changed hands in 18000 transactions.

Further, indices closed in the green as a result of price gains in counters, such as, Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank.

It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank, JAT Holdings, and Hemas Holdings. Mixed interest was observed in Sri Lanka Telecom, Aitken Spence and Melstacorp, while retail interest was noted in Amana Bank, SMB Leasing voting & nonvoting and Browns Investments.

The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Hemas Holdings and Aitken Spence) while the sector index gained 0.25 per cent. The share price of Hemas Holdings increased by Rs. 1.40 (2.24 per cent) to Rs. 64. The share price of Aitken Spence gained by 50 cents to reach Rs. 150.

The banking sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Sampath Bank), while the sector index increased by 8.00 per cent. The share price of Sampath Bank gained Rs. 4.80 (10.86 per cent) to reach Rs. 49.00.

Sri Lanka Telecom and Melstacorp were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Sri Lanka Telecom moved up by Rs. 7.70 (10.74 per cent) to Rs. 79.40. The share price of Melstacorp appreciated by 1 rupee to Rs. 58.10.

Separately, Nestle Lanka announced its first and final dividends of Rs. 55 and Rs. 75 per share respectively.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.97 and the selling rate Rs 369.31.

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