Bourse witnessed relatively slow paced activity as the benchmark index shot up 22 points during the first half of trading and stepped into the red, dipping15 points at its close of 5,836.11points. S&P caliber players booked the top turnover slot during the day denoting the confidence placed on steady play. Consequently the index settled with a lesser dip of 10 points at 3,257.98 points. Counters backed by steady fundamentals supported the index with notable gains derived from Lion Brewery (+5.9%), John Keells Holdings (+0.5%), Ceylon Tobacco Company (+0.5%) and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings (+2.8%) however losses made in heavy caps outweighed these gains.
Four off-board blocks in Hatton National Bank which accounted for considerable foreign interest recently were transacted during early hours breathing in LKR287 mn to the turnover level where c.1.9 mn shares changed hands at LKR147.0 contributing 40% to the day’s turnover. The counter secured a 0.4% gain at its close of LKR148.9. Another banking player; National Development Bank attracted interest on-board with its price appreciating to LKR151.0 (+1.3%) within the day while the rest of the banking players continued to trim early gains.
Dialog Axiata continued to gather focus with majority of the day’s trades weighing on the buying side. Two significant on-board blocks in the counter totaling c.4.9 mn shares were transacted at its intra-day high of LKR9.2 before it closed flat for the day.
Aitken Spence and its hotel arm Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings were noted in the top turnover slot with the latter depicting strong buying interest. Its price shot up to LKR79.0 (+6.5%) at its peak before settling with a 2.8% gain at LKR76.3. Royal Ceramics Lanka attracted notable buying interest with 3 blocks carrying 195k shares being traded on board.
Retail activity was subdued during trading while penny play sustained focus. Bairaha Farms witnessed reactivated play with its earnings announcement for 3QFY13. The counter having seen its profits gliding down 96% YoY saw its price plunging amidst selling pressure to close with a 7% drop at LKR136.0.
Some activity was noted in the counters which traded at their 52 week high levels lately; Ceylon Tobacco Company, Sampath Bank and Distilleries. The former gained 0.5% for the day while the latter counters dipped at their close having traded on thin volumes.
Courtesy : Softlogic Equity Research