The Colombo stock market yesterday reached the double digit return landmark with investor sentiments boosting the benchmark index to highest level in 33 months and net foreign buying returning.
Active trading by institutional and retail investors saw the All Share Index (ASI) gain by 1% or 67 points to close at 6,549.91, a level at its highest since 14 October 2011, according to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
The gain pushed the year-to-date positive return at the CSE to 11.04% yesterday from 9.91% on Monday. As reported by the Daily FT yesterday, the market was highly anticipative whether the ASI would cross the double digit return mark.
The ASI also surpassed the psychological resistance level of 6,500, after an elapse of more than 12 months prompting NDB Stockbrokers to say the move indicated “the positive momentum.”
The 11% year-to-date gain comes on top of a 4.78% return achieved in 2013, which ended two years of negative returns.
The liquid S&P SL 20 Index gained by 1.6% to finish at 12.63% year-to-date return.
Ending two days of net selling, foreign investors swung to a net buying position. Net inflow yesterday was Rs. 290 million compared to a net selling of Rs. 168 million on Monday. The year to date net foreign inflow was an impressive Rs. 9.22 billion. CSE’s market capitalisation has grown by 11.8% to Rs. 2.75 trillion.
Chevron for the second consecutive day saw heavy foreign buying with yesterday’s net inflow being Rs. 124 million. HNB saw net buying of Rs. 97 million and Nestle saw Rs. 63 million.
NDB Stockbrokers said institutional and high net worth investor interest continued with parcel trades elevating the turnover to Rs. 1.7 billion.
Lanka Securities said yesterday gainers outweighed losers 138 to 71, while 61 counters remained unchanged. Cash map improved to 65% from 56%. 28 equities touched 52wk high prices while one counter reached 52-week low price levels.
Distilleries was the highest turnover with 1.1 million of its shares traded (inclusive of two crossings each covering over half a million shares at Rs. 205 and Rs. 205.10 each) for Rs. 232 million. JKH saw Rs. 181 million worth of trading whilst its share price rose by Rs. 7.50 or over 3% to close at Rs. 234.60.
LOLC Securities said heavy weight JKH and NEST (up Rs. 122.5 to Rs. 2,095) positively contributed to ASI by 33 points.
PCH Holdings, PC Pharma and Tess Agro attracted heavy investor participation.
Price of REEF.W gained 13% for the day while BLUE.X witnessed a gain of 9%.
Access Engineering and Sathosa Motors announced final dividends of Rs. 0.50 and Rs. 5 per share respectively. Access Engineering shares closed at Rs. 26.20 (+1.6%) while Sathosa Motors counter closed at Rs. 240.20 (-0.2%).
Bank Finance & Insurance sector contributed mostly to the market turnover while the sector index was up by 1.03%.