CSE expected to maintain growth momentum in the wake of brighter IMF bailout hopes

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE will be able to maintain its growth momentum with IMF bailout prospects brightening this week. Consequently, foreign inflows to the CSE will improve in the future, Head-Market Development, CSE, Niroshan Wijesundara said.

“To date the CSE has been able to register a 14 per cent growth and with the IMF bailout approval we could expect more foreign inflows into the market, Wijesundera told the Island Financial Review.

Amidst these developments the market ended on a positive note at the end of yesterday. Initially there were mild profit- takings but this did not negatively impact the overall performance of the market.

Accordingly, shares edged up in mid-day trade yesterday while investors adopted a wait- and -see approach as the country looked forward to IMF approval on the Extended Fund Facility towards the end of this week.

“Investors are on a wait- and- see approach as the IMF is likely to approve the US$ 2.9 billion dollar loan, market analysts said.

“Selling pressures have eased and now buying sentiments are improving, analysts said.

The ASPI went up by 29.54 points, while the most liquid S&P SL20 index rose by 15.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.8 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Hemas Holdings, which crossed three million shares to the tune of Rs 199 million, its shares were quoted at Rs 65, Hayleys 738,000 shares crossed for Rs 59.8 million, its shares traded at Rs 31 and JKH 290,000 shares crossed for Rs 42 million, and its shares fetched Rs 141.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Browns Investments Rs 209 million (30.8 million shares traded), JKH Rs 84.6 million (584,000 shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 79.5 million (4.9 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 75.4 million (10.9 million shares traded), Union Bank Rs 62.9 million (6.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 60 million (420,000 shares traded) and SLT Rs 57.5 million (687,000 shares traded). During the day 98.7 million share volumes changed hands in 20000 transactions.

Top gainers during mid- hours were Commercial Bank, Browns Investment and Access Engineering. Access Engineering is an unusual top contributor and this is because interest had been generated in it after assurances had been given on the IMF deal and there is an assumption that multilateral projects are likely to begin with the IMF restructuring process coming to a close, market analysts said.

Sri Lanka’s growth will be contained at a negative 3 per cent in 2023 after a 12.4 per cent shrinkage in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is expected to turn positive from next year, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. Siyambalapitiya told reporters on March 18 that Sri Lanka can expect a “positive economy” in 2024.

Yesterday the rupee opened stronger and was quoted at around Rs 330/338 to the US dollar, stronger from Friday’s close of Rs 337/345 to the US dollar, dealers said.

Island.lk

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