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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka stocks at over 2-wk high on foreign buying

Sri Lanka stocks at over 2-wk high on foreign buying

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sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin
COLOMBO, March 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka shares edged up on Tuesday to a more than two-week high as foreign investors brought select blue chips like market heavyweight John Keells Holding.

Local investors stayed on the sidelines after the central bank held rates steady, brokers said.

The main share index rose 0.48 percent, or 27.01 points, to 5,704.32, its highest since Feb. 22.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 320.98 million rupees, extending year-to-date foreign inflows to 3.10 billion rupees.

Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 1.19 percent to 237.50 rupees, their highest close since Oct. 13, 2010. The biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, rose 1.48 percent to a one-month high of 110.00 rupees.

'Foreigners see value in these select blue chips. But the interest rate is playing a major role in local investors' decision making,' said a stockbroker on condition of anonymity.

The central bank last Friday left policy rates unchanged for a third straight month, saying inflation was expected to ease and reach more favourable levels by the end of the year.

The day's turnover was 671.11 million rupees ($5.30 million), well below this year's daily average of 1.06 billion rupees.

The rupee firmed to a one-month closing high of 126.18/28 to the dollar compared with Monday's 126.45/55. ($1 = 126.6750 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Ron Popeski)

(ranga.sirilal@thomsonreuters.com)(+94-11-232-5540)

(Reuters Messaging: ranga.sirilal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)(twitter.com/rangab a)
http://www.xe.com/news/2013/03/12/3249801.htm

http://sharemarket-srilanka.blogspot.co.uk/

Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Total turnover for the day remained subdued at LKR671 mn

BY THARANGA SENARATNE

Mar 12, 2013 (LBT) - The market traded on a quiet note with the ASPI gaining just 0.5% to close at 5704. Turnover remained subdued at LKR671 mn with a crossing of John Keells Holdings accounting for 35% of the day’s total. Gainers matched losers with Serendib Engineering, SMB Leasing(X) and Huejay rising by 35.4%, 33.3% and 20.6% and offsetting declines in Udapussellawa Plantations, Environmental Resources Investments(W0003) and Convenience Foods which lost 16.9%, 12.5% and 7.5% respectively. Meanwhile, Asian stock markets declined today, dragged down by new worries about China's recovery and Europe's debt crises.

While the bourse appears to have taken a breather today, we advise investors to take advantage of any price weakness and accumulate positions in fundamentally strong counters. Although we view market opportunities mainly from a bottom-up perspective, at a macro level, economic growth is likely to continue unabated notwithstanding our expectation of a rise in inflationary pressures due to cost push factors caused by rising global commodity prices. From the standpoint of robust macro- economics, with balance sheets looking firm on a corporate (selectively) and country basis, we expect the domestic consumption cycle to continue, especially driven by the Sri Lankan middle class.

We consequently advise investors to take advantage of any price weakness and accumulate positions in fundamentally strong counters. While we remain Overweight on the Food and Beverages, Banking, Diversified and Hotels sectors, we emphasize the need for a careful bottom up stock selection strategy to identify stocks that would outperform within these sectors.

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