Colombo bourse finished the final trading day of 2013 on a positive note. The main share index closed the day at 5,912.78, with a gain of 13.58 points or 0.2% while S&P SL 20 index closed at 3,263.87, a marginal decline of 3.58 points. Price appreciations in blue chips such as Aitken Spence Hotels (LKR 74.80,+12.7%), Ceylon Tobacco (LKR 1,188.90,+0.7%) and Carsons Cumberbatch (LKR 350.00,+1.5%) supported the gains in the main share index while S&P index returns were affected by the price dips in counters such as John Keells Holdings (LKR 225.00,-2.4%), Commercial Bank (LKR 121.10,-0.8%) and Cargills Ceylon (LKR 147.00,-2%).
Gainers outweighed the losers 113 to 76 and the cash map closed at 46%.
The market turnover reached LKR 565mn supported by crossings in HNB (0.8mn shares at LKR 144.00), John Keells Holdings (0.1mn shares at LKR 230.00) and Ceylinco Insurance (43,230 shares at LKR 1,100.00). Crossings accounted for 34% of the total turnover.
Hatton National Bank emerged as the top contributor to the market turnover (LKR 133mn) followed by John Keells Holdings (LKR 99mn ) and Ceylinco Insurance (LKR 50mn).
Ceylinco Insurance managed to close at LKR 1,340.00 (+21.2%) after the notable price dip of 17.9% in yesterday’s session. Further Lanka Tiles (LKR 78.90,+12.6%) and Central Investments and Finance (LKR 1.00,+11.1%) were among the top gainers of the day.
Blue Diamond – non voting declined further in todays’ session. The script closed at LKR 1.10,-8.3%. Kandy Hotels closed at LKR 7.30,-5.2%.
Among the banks, Hatton National Bank closed at LKR 147.00 (+2.8%), Hatton National Bank – nonvoting closed at LKR 119.00 (+1.7%) and DFCC Bank closed at LKR 129.50 (+1.4%).
John Keells Holdings warrants 22 continued to attract heavy investor interest throughout the day. The counter closed at LKR 79.20, -0.1%. Further penny stocks such as E-Chanelling (LKR 12.50,0%), Touchwood Investments (LKR 2.80,+3.7%) and Panasian Power (LKR 2.40,+4.4%) were among the heavily traded stocks.
Asian Hotels & Properties closed 0.40 or 0.6% lower at LKR 65.00 on the ex-dividend date.
Foreign investors were net buyers for the sixth consecutive day with a net inflow of LKR 163mn. Foreign participation accounted for 26% of the total market activity. Net inflows were seen in counters such as HNB (LKR 88mn), John Keells Holdings (LKR 56mn) and Sampath Bank (LKR 9mn) while net outflows were reported in counters such as Commercial Bank (LKR 5mn) and Dolphin Hotels (LKR 2mn).
On’ally Holdings ex-dividend date falls on next Thursday. The script closed at LKR 47.20,-2.1%.
Meanwhile, as per the announcement made to the CSE, Peoples Leasing and Finance has obtained a syndicated term loan of USD 50mn from Emirates NBD Bank PJSC of United Arab Emirates and The Commercial Bank of Qatar of State of Qatar. The counter closed at LKR 13.40,+0.8% in today’s trading session.
2013 was a better year for stocks than 2012
The ASI finished 2013 with a gain of 4.8%, the best performance since 2010. From a longer term perspective, the index is 24.8% above the June 2012 low and 24.3% below the all-time high of February 2011.
According to Bloomberg data 10 stocks reported gains of more than 50% while 36 stocks were up between 20-50% this year. Prices of 69 stocks were up between 0-20%. E-channeling (+136%), Textured Jersey (+93%), Lanka IOC (+79%), Lanka Ceramic (+68%), Kelani Tyres (+55%), Asiri Hospitals (+52%) and Ceylon Tobacco (+49%) were among the best performers for year 2013.
On the other hand, share prices of seven companies declined by more than 50% while 78 companies reported a drop in share price between 20-50%. Among the top losers were PC House (-89%), PC Pharma (-86%), PCH Holdings (-84%), Central Investments & Finance (-80%) and Touchwood Investments (-70%).
The Beverage, Food and Tobacco sector was the top gainer in 2013 with an increase of 28% followed by Power and Energy sector (+20%) and Healthcare (+17%). Top losers were Information Technology (-27%) and Trading sector (-21%).
Domestic investor participation in 2013 was approximately 64% of the market activity. The high interest rates in the government and corporate debt markets encouraged most of the investors to shift into fixed income securities and this dampened the momentum this year. In 2013, 24 companies raised a total of approx. LKR 71bn through debenture issues as opposed to approx. LKR 26bn raised in rights issues and approx. LKR 2.1bn raised in the two IPOs.
Foreign investors were more optimistic in 2013 and continued to be in the buying side for the second consecutive year. Foreign inflow to the bourse in 2013 was LKR 22bn, the second highest foreign net inflow with highest being the net inflow of LKR 39bn in 2012. Foreign participation accounted for 36% market activity this year, a notable improvement from 25% in 2012.
The big question for 2014 is whether investors will become confident enough to move into more aggressive growth choices. The market is still recovering from the nadirs in 2011/12 but the bourse is showing some optimism about future growth and there seems to be an overall improvement in sentiment in the market as conditions have relatively changed for the best. We expect the quest for higher yield in the stock market to gain further momentum in the next year due to the decline in the interest rates which is a direct result of Central Bank’s attempts to bolster the economy (The 365day T-bill currently at 8.5%, 316 bps below the rate at the start of this year). Whilst a positive trend could be expected in 2014, we encourage investors to base their buying decisions on the fundamentals and prospects of the company.