Oct 15, 2013 (LBT) - Indices denoted gains: Indices settled with gains backed by positive market sentiment stemming from the policy rate cut. The benchmark index recorded a 19 point gain at its peak before settling at 5,961.98 (+9 points). Gains in Nestle Lanka (+3.5%), John Keells Holdings (+1.2%) and Aitken Spence (+2.4%) supported the positive movement however the S&P SL20 index closed on marginal grounds as Ceylon Tobacco Company and Hatton National Bank weighed on performance.
Crossings dominated turnover adding 85%: Turnover levels surpassed the LKR2.5 bn mark, the highest since 20th June 2013 primarily backed by John Keells Holdings. The counter displayed notable interest as two blocks amounting to 5 mn shares were transacted at LKR218.0. John Keells Holdings [Rights] commenced trading today highlighting 5 off-board blocks totaling 15.9 mn shares at LKR60.0. Sampath Bank and Textured Jersey Lanka highlighted the crossings board with one block each at LKR175.0 and LKR15.0 respectively. Both gained 2.3% and 4.0% at their intra-day peak levels of LKR177.0 and LKR15.3 (52-week high) respectively. The above crossings added 85% to the day’s turnover.
Interest extended BFI and P&E sector: Banking and Finance sector interest heightened with Sampath Bank and Hatton National Bank displaying considerable activity. The latter gathered focus with an on-board block of 120k shares which traded at LKR150.0. Power and Energy sector players; Laugfs Gas and Lanka IOC continued to gather buying interest in anticipation of strong earnings performance. Renewed interest was seen in Lanka Ceramic and Hayleys. The latter recorded an on-board block of 200k shares at LKR125.0.
Improved retail activity: Retail activity improved with the overall positive sentiment in the market. Selected counters denoted significant interest; Touchwood Investments, York Arcade Holdings, Textured Jersey Lanka, Laugfs Gas and Sampath Bank.