By Hiran H. Senewiratne
The CSE was able to rebound somewhat and yesterday signaled some recovery amid deepening political upheaval. The CSE, which has suffered losses for six consecutive trading days by losing 2,000 index points the day before, could have been positive yesterday, equity analysts said.
The economic crisis that has turned into a major social crisis due to a shortage of essential needs for the country has really discouraged CSE market investors from investing heavily in the market, market analysts said.
The market then bounced back into positive territory as the ASPI climbed back to 8,623, regaining around 493 points, while the S&P SL20 index gained 187 points to hit 2,877 yesterday.
The turnover amounted to Rs 1.1 billion with a single pass. The crossover was reported to Melstacorp, which crossed 850,000 shares at Rs 34 million, with its shares trading at Rs 40. ; Expolanka Holdings Rs 342 million (two million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 92.9 million (12.8 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 59.5 million (128,000 shares traded), Hayleys Rs 54, 8 million (720,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 39.4 million (3.5 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 32.7 million (830,000 shares traded) and Hayleys Fabrics Rs 30.8 million (a million shares traded). During the day, 61.8 million volumes of shares changed hands in 17,000 transactions.
The capital goods sector was the second largest contributor to market turnover (thanks to Hayleys and Royal Ceramics), while the sector index fell by 3.35%. Hayleys share price recorded a loss of Rs. 2.60 (3.57%) to close at Rs. 70.30.
Royal Ceramics share price declined by Rs. 2 (5.62%) to close at Rs. 33.60. LOLC Holdings and Browns Investments were also among the top revenue contributors. LOLC Holdings’ share price fell Rs. 75.00 (15.32%) to close at Rs. 414.50.
Browns Investments’ share price fell 10 cents (1.52%) to close at Rs. 6.50. Separately, Ceylinco Insurance announced a final dividend of Rs. 42 per share.
High net worth and institutional investor participation are said to have remained subdued for the day. Mixed interest was seen from Expolanka Holdings, LOLC Holdings and Hayleys, while retail interest was noted from non-voting SMB Leasing, Browns Investments and Industrial Asphalts.
The secondary market remained dormant yesterday as investors waited for stability amid growing anti-government protests in the country, market participants said, while the rupee was quoted at Rs 310 against the US dollar with no bids.
Commercial banks were offering to sell dollars for wire transfers at Rs 310 and buy between Rs 295 and 300 yesterday.
Dealers said the market lacked a suitable quotation for the rupee on Monday. The Central Bank’s indicative spot rate was Rs 307.78 yesterday, down from Rs 310.85 the previous day.
The Sri Lankan Rupee has eased, but a clean float has yet to be established. On the secondary market, there were no active bond rates. Market participants said investors were expecting some form of stability.