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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Retailers flood Bourse; Bullish sentiments propel market cap back at Rs. 2 trillion level

Retailers flood Bourse; Bullish sentiments propel market cap back at Rs. 2 trillion level

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Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
The Colombo Bourse yesterday gathered further strength with high volume of trades on the back of active retail play as well as select buying by institutional investors all of which propelled market capitalization back to Rs. 2 trillion, a level last seen 4 months ago.

Shunning reservations by some, signs of revival in the stock market are very apparent judging by the burst of activity. A staggering 115 million shares were transacted via 19,740 trades. Bulk of it was retail driven whilst high networth and institutional investors were active as well. Whilst penny and mid-size stocks dominated trading blue chips were in demand as well by those willing to pay a premium.

Improving sentiments saw market’s value rise by Rs. 27 billion yesterday taking the market capitalization to Rs. 2,007 billion, a level last recorded on 3 May 2012. However four months ago the level of activity was subdued with only 20.7 million shares done via 5,000 trades and yesterday’s market reflect many-fold increase.

The benchmark ASI rose by 71 points or 1.37% reducing the year to date negative return to below 14% from a 20% level in July whilst MPI shot up by 92 points or near 2% shortening the year to date negative return to 6% level. The market has risen by over 8% during the past two and half weeks. Turnover was a high Rs. 982 million.

The only negative feature was net foreign selling which however was only Rs. 23 million though year to date figure remains a record Rs. 28.6 billion. Analysts said foreign buying demand still remains but locals who have re-rated the market following recent rebound are willing to sell only at a premium. Given loads of day trades, retailers and others are reinvesting gains which confirm the improved outlook and sentiments especially in anticipation of a more pragmatic and capital market development-oriented regulatory regime, according to analysts.

“The indices continued to trend sharply higher supported by sustained buying interest across the board,” said John Keells Stock Brokers.

“Bourse showing signs of revival closed both the indices in green with notable gains, together with high volume and turnover levels. Breaking the long absence prevailed over months; active retailer participation witnessed during last week continued,” Asia Wealth Management said.

SC Securities said “The market inspiring performance of the Colombo bourse continued with investor participation witnessing a considerable augmentation. Gains were seen across the board with small & medium caps leading the way.” Lanka Securities also confirmed “Retail investors dominated the market activities.”

Softlogic Stockbrokers said Lanka Orix Leasing Company (+12.6%), Distilleries (+5.7%), Cargills (+4.0%) and AHOT Properties (+13.9%) were leading positive contributors to the index with market registering 3 gainers for every 1 loser.

The highest contributor for the day’s turnover was E-Channeling, on the back of high net worth and retail participation. (See separate box story).

Asia said institutional investors continued to trade on heavy weight John Keells Holdings, making the counter the second highest contributor towards the turnover. Further, exaggerated hype over retailer favourite counters continued to strengthen the day’s turnover with active trading on Environmental Resources Investment and Seylan Developments yielding considerable price gains at the closure of trading. “Active institutional investor involvement on Commercial Bank of Ceylon together with a crossing of 200,000 shares at a price of Rs. 105 each placed the counter on the top 5 contributors for the days turnover list,” Asia added.

Nation Lanka Finance (+8.8%) and Blue Diamonds [Non-Voting] (+15.8%) were also among highlights on a day dominated by retailers.

Softlogic said the renewed investor confidence has set the stage for a bull run where the market has already appreciated over 8% during the last 2.5 weeks.

“In certain instances it is observed that the herd mentality is still followed specially in the retail favourite counters. We believe buying interest is likely to remain across the board, but with the heavy selling pressure that is likely to be present in the retail favourite counters, it is advised to switch to counters with strong earnings performance,” it added.

Supported by positive investor sentiment and pent up market momentum DNH Financial believes that the current uptick in the market could be the beginning of a gradual but sustainable rally that could allow the bourse to comfortably cross the 5500 resistance level.

“While we are definitely encouraged by the recent momentum in the market, we nevertheless advise investors to accumulate quality stocks which are expected to outperform,” it added.

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