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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Market picks up but turnover remains disappointing

Market picks up but turnover remains disappointing

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Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Jun 19, 2013 (LBT) - Market gains 16 points: The bourse started off the day on a positive note gaining 42 points to 6,235 during the 1st hour of trading. The index adopted a downward trend afterwards but creating a volatile market pattern. However the index stayed in the green throughout the day to finally close with a gain of 16 points. NDB Capital Holdings, Ceylon Tobacco Company and John Keells Holdings were the main positive contributors to the index.

Commercial Bank seals top turnover slot: Commercial Bank led the turnover list with a single crossing of 410k shares dealt at LKR117.0. On-board trading in the counter was also high with the counter registering 3 mid-sized blocks of 112k, 50k and a further 50k at a similar price of LKR116.2. Other banking sector giants; Sampath Bank and Hatton National Bank also registered investor interest.

Conglomerates attain investor attention: Conglomerates; John Keells Holdings and Distilleries gained investor interest with the former recording 153k in volume while the latter recorded 201k in volume. No major blocks were traded in the counters while both recorded gains in their closing prices which were at LKR265.0 (+0.4%) and LKR193.0 (+0.5%) respectively.

Retailers on the side lines: Retailers continued to remain watchful in a rather volatile market where turnover and volumes have died down amidst selling pressure. Most retail favourite counters were also noted to be in negative territory.


COLOMBO, June 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's rupee edged up on Wednesday due to late dollar sales by exporters on thin volume, with the central bank not intervening in the currency market, but depreciation pressure on the rupee still remains a concern, said dealers.

'The rupee ended firmer due to last-minute dollar sales by exporters and foreign banks,' a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.

The rupee closed at 128.10/20 to the dollar, firmer from Tuesday's close of 128.50/60.

The rupee lost 1.6 percent last week. It fell to 129.00/129.10 per dollar in early trades on Friday, its lowest in more than six months, as foreign investors sold debt as part of a broader selloff in emerging markets on fears that loose global monetary conditions were about to end.

The rupee has weakened 0.5 percent so far this year, following a 10.7 percent depreciation in 2012 as the central bank opted for a flexible exchange rate regime in February 2012.

Sri Lanka's main stock index edged up from a five-week closing low in the previous session, on thin turnover as investors picked up select blue chips such as Ceylon Tobacco PLC and John Keells Holdings PLC.

The bourse ended 0.26 percent, or 16.23 points, firmer at 6,209.23, edging up from its lowest close since May 6.

It hit a five-week low on Tuesday on concerns over a possible pullout by foreign funds, following regional peers.

After the market closed, sources told Reuters that top conglomerate and market heavyweight John Keells Holdings will sign a $640 million deal to establish an integrated hotel complex.

Shares in Keells closed up 0.38 percent at 265 rupees per share.

Analysts, however, said the deal may not boost Keells' share prices as it has already been factored in.

'There was a rumour on this deal and we believe Keells' share price is bloated on speculation,' one analyst said on condition of anonymity.

Shares in Keells hit a record high of 299.80 rupees on May 21, but have fallen since then.

The market witnessed net foreign inflows of 64.25 million rupees ($499,800) on Wednesday, extending foreign inflows so far this year to 16.22 billion rupees.

The day's turnover was at 343.8 million rupees, well below this year's daily average of 1.01 billion rupees.

($1 = 128.5500 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

( Messaging: a)


Global Moderator
Turnover on the Colombo Stock Exchange yesterday remained disappointing at Rs.343.8 million, up from the previous day’s Rs.291.7, with the All Share Price Index gaining 16.23 points (0.26%) while the S&P SL20 lost a marginal 1.44 points (0.04%), with 123 gainers outpacing 70 losers while 118 counters closed flat.

Foreign purchases amounted to Rs. 155.50 million, leading to a net inflow of Rs. 64.25.

Brokers said that although turnover was disappointing, the market had picked up a little with foreign buying in blue chip stocks including Commercial Bank (voting) where over 0.4 million shares were crossed at Rs.117 contributing Rs.48 million to turnover, JKH, Distilleries, Sampath Bank and Ceylon Theatres.

In addition to the block trade in Commercial Bank, nearly 0.4 million shares of this counter traded on the floor between Rs.116 andRs.117 losing 40 cents to close at Rs.116.26 contributing Rs.45.9 million to turnover.

"The ASPI ended higher amid low activity levels dominated by trades on COMB which accounted for over 25% of market turnover," John Keells Stockbrokers said.

JKH helped the indices, closing Rs.2 up at Rs.266 on nearly 0.2 million done between Rs.265 and Rs.268 generating a turnover of Rs.40.6 million which was the day’s second highest turnover on the floor.

Distilleries was up a rupee to close at Rs.193 on 0.2 million shares done between Rs.163 and Rs.194 contributing Rs.38.8 million to turnover.

Other blue chips that showed some volume included Sampath down 40 cents to Rs.211 on 89,382 shares, 0.1 million Ceylon Theatres down a rupee toRs.144 and 3,216 Ceylon Tobacco up Rs.12.80 to Rs.1,050.

Brokers noted that the All Share Price Index had gone higher during intraday trading and expected the market to slowly stabilize.

Ceylon Investments announced a first and final dividend of Rs.1.75 for 2012/13 following shareholder approval at an AGM on July 30. The share will trade XD from July 31 with payment on August 8.

Carsons announced a first and final dividend of Rs.2 per share for 2012/13 following shareholder approval at an AGM on July 31. The share will trade XD from August 6 and with payment on August 4.

Ceylon Guardian Investment announced a first and final dividend of Rs.2.50 per share for 2012/13 following shareholder approval at an AGM on July 30. The share will trade XD from July 31 with payment on August 8.

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