Despite showing some volatility, indices remained in the green throughout the day’s trading as the boarder index touched a high of 4,932.5 points (up 23.8 points) before closing at 4,927.1 points. The liquid MPI secured a higher 28.7 point advance to close with 4,550.0. The S&P SL20 index also settling with a 16.5 point gain at 2,794.4 point. High caps; Commercial Bank, Hayleys, Hatton National Bank & Sri Lanka Telecom weighed positively on the indices.
It is encouraging to note that the recent run in the bourse has led fundamentals to take the lead with sound gains in steady stocks including John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank of Ceylon [Voting & Non – Voting], Hatton National Bank [Voting & Non – Voting], Distilleries, Hayles, Nestle Lanka, Sampath Bank & National Development Bank. The momentum in the steady players has built up as the foreigners spearheaded picking on the attractively priced companies with expected sustainable earnings growth potential. Nevertheless, the local players are still falling behind, lost amidst the prevalent short term economic uncertainties.
Non – Voting & Voting shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon stole the limelight today as the shares occupied the first & third positions of the day’s turnover list respectively. A number of large transactions in the Non – Voting share including a 157.5k share parcel at LKR80.0 were seen taken on board. The Voting share also proved to be equally active as they collectively added c.30.3% to the day’s turnover. Both the shares currently attractively trading at 6.8x & 8.7x 2012E PER, advanced 1.6% and 1.8% to close at LKR102.1 & LKR80.0 respectively. Further, Voting & Non-Voting shares of Hatton National Bank also continued interest as they advanced by 2.7% & 1.3% at their close of LKR134.0 & LKR96.0 respectively.
Ascot Holdings, appeared in the crossings board as a block of 125k shares was traded at LKR205.0. Despite moving on thin volumes, heavyweight John Keells Holdings, extended interest as the counter edged up marginally to close at LKR195.1. Renewed play was evident in Lanka Orix Leasing as it saw several large trades taken on board including 100.1k & 114.8k share blocks. Similar interest was also visible in Brown & Company as it closed at LKR110.0 with a 0.9% gain. Renewed participation was also witnessed in Overseas Realty, Tess Agro & Vallibel Finance. Buying interest emerged in Vallibel One (trading below its book value) as it encountered few large on board deals to close with a marginal 0.7% advance at LKR14.8. Hotel sector players; John Keells Hotels & Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings grabbed attention where the latter advanced 2.5% at its close of LKR69.7.