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Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat Vote_lcap11%Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat Vote_rcap 11% [ 21 ]
Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat Vote_lcap20%Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat Vote_rcap 20% [ 37 ]
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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat

Foreign investors forge ahead whilst locals retreat

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Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Nov 21, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka stocks extended losses, sliding 1.3 percent Wednesday on top a 1.2 percent fall a day earlier with losses across the board with some margin calls also contributing, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index fell 73 percent to close at 5,360.60 after recovering some intra-day losses. The S&P SL20 Index fell 40.77 points (1.36 percent) to close at 2,951.26.

Index heavy large caps including John Keells Holdings (down 3.90 rupees to 210.10), Aitken Spence (down 7.0 to 118 rupees), Ceylon Tobacco Company (down 3.90 to 704), Distilleries (down 4.90 to 145 rupees) contributed most to the index fall.

Active trading was also seen in Environmental Resources Investments with two 70 million tranches in two warrants traded at around 4.50 rupees and 4.20.

Analysts say ERI is a classic story in Sri Lanka's stock market history. The firm which only had assets, which it said was invested in platinum stock started to trade at increasingly higher multiples to net asset value. Most of the stock was held by promoters.

Its stock price continued to move up with virtually no operating revenues or profits other than capital gains amid asset transfers. It then bought some troubled firms showing revenues but not much profit.

The firm also issued a series of warrants, until new rules were brought to the market. It also came under SEC investigation, which eventually forced the firm to bring back cash into Sri Lanka. The promoters are now exiting.

Sri Lanka's stocks have now fallen over 600 points from an early October peak.

Stocks went through a mini rally through August with the speculation of the replacement of former securities and exchange rife in the market. Stock started to pick up in August from an end July level of 4944 to 6005 in early October.


Global Moderator

Godahewa factor is over back to 5000 level.. what factor next:D



Published: Wednesday, 21 Nov 2012 | 6:20 AM ET Text Size
COLOMBO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks fell for a sixth straight session on Wednesday to hit a 11-week low on forced selling and margin calls, dealers said, while concerns over high interest rates weighed on the bourse.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index fell 1.35 percent, or 73.35 points, to end at 5,360.60, its lowest since Sept. 4.

Analysts said investors had been shifting to fixed deposits from equities after the central bank kept key policy rates at three-year highs after the market closed on Friday.

The yield on the 364-day T-bill gained 8 basis points to 12.81 percent at a weekly auction on Wednesday, rising for the sixth consecutive week, central bank data showed.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 1.82 percent to 210.10 rupees a share.

The day's turnover was 1.56 billion Sri Lanka rupees ($11.97 million), more than this year's daily average of 912.9 million rupees. Foreign investors bought a net 425.5 million rupees worth of shares, extending the net foreign inflow this year to 34.5 billion rupees.

The rupee closed weaker at 130.30/40 to the dollar compared with Tuesday's close of 130.25/35 on importer dollar demand, dealers said. ($1 = 130.3000 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Ron Popeski)

(( Messaging:



For the pessimists, the list of woes in Sri Lanka is countless, but for discerning and analytical non-nationals, the potential of Sri Lankan equities and the environment in which select listed firms will operate in the future doesn’t appear to be foreign or shaky, as confirmed by the continuous net inflow to the Bourse.

The market, which has lost Rs. 55 billion in value in two days due to a multitude of reasons including lack of confidence, yesterday saw foreign buying worth Rs. 1.37 billion and a net inflow of over Rs. 400 million after sales worth Rs. 950 million. Yesterday’s inflow brought the year-to-date figure back to Rs. 35 billion levels, an all time high.

As locals stayed watching or sold out, foreign funds were busy yesterday collecting available quantities of premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH). It accounted for 22% of the day’s turnover, with 1.6 million shares changing hands for Rs. 343 million.

JKH saw 1.5 million of its shares done at Rs. 215 each via three crossings and thereafter the price dipped to close a Rs. 212. Some linked the start of the market’s dip to the slide by the number one stock.

However, overall sentiment was negative, resulting in the ASI losing 1.3% yesterday, bringing the year-to-date negative return to over 11%.

In a follow-up to recent executions, deals on ERI warrants generated Rs. 609 million turnover yesterday, whilst HNB and Aitken Spence were among major contributors though their prices dipped as well.

Asia Wealth Management said the activities at the Colombo Bourse continued to head south, as it lost field, pulling down the indices. Echoing what the Daily FT has been emphasising, Asia Wealth said: “Despite the 2013 Budget proposing several concessions to the capital market coupled with the satisfactory corporate earnings for the September quarter 2012 reported by several companies, investors remain on the side line, showing uncertainty.”

“Presumably, increasing interest rates are also posing challenges to the capital market activities as the investors are attracted towards the fixed income securities,” it added.

Lanka Securities said: “The market continued its lacklustre trend as indices saw a sharp dip led by retail selling. Few investors seem to be selling shares to prepare for the upcoming festive season.”

“The14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) on All Share Index fell below the 30 levels and stands at 25, which indicates the market is in an oversold position and akin to a trend reversal. Market PE is 11.3x and most of the fundamental stocks are presently trading with attractive price multiples,” Lanka Securities added.

Softlogic Stockbrokers said the nosedive in the Bourse extended for a second day as portfolios start to get affected by margin calls. Selling pressure gained momentum during the first half of the day as the index bottomed out at 5,357.6, while a slight recovery followed allowing the index to close at 5,377.9 points.

The blue chips led by Aitken Spence (-5.6%), Ceylon Tobacco (-1.9%), John Keells Holdings (-1.8%) and Distilleries (-3.3%) were the primary contributors to the decline of the index.

“The lack of buying interest continued to haunt the market, while the sudden build-up of some selling pressure resulted in a deep downward swing. The high proportion of large deals suggest that institutional and foreign play still exists in the market dominating turnover and activity, picking up counters with strong valuations. We continue to suggest our investors note the trend of these large investors and accumulate the value counter which trade at deep bargains,” Softlogic said.

With limited downside risk expected, DNH Financial advised investors to take advantage of the robust domestic economics and corporate fundamentals to buy into counters with sustainable financial attributes.

“While equity investors have been hit relatively hard over the past couple of months following a series of events which has taken investor attention away from the strong corporate performance of several blue chip heavyweight and middleweight counters, we believe the window to invest is now open for those willing to adopt a selective approach,” it said.

“We believe that the market could now be entering a pivot point ahead of the year end which may lead to a likely re-rating. However, stock selectivity will determine the winners from the losers,” DNH emphasised.

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