ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee opened strong at 175.95/10 against the US dollar in the spot market on Wednesday while bond yields were steady and the stocks opened 0.22 percent higher, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 176.30/40 against the greenback on Tuesday.
In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 12.06 points to 5,403.27 and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks was 0.45 percent, or 11.43 points up at 2,536.18, in the first-half hour of trade.
Market turnover was 139 million rupees with 38 stocks gaining and 15 declining.
Asian Hotels and Properties PLC was up 3.60 rupees at 40.00 rupees a share, John Keells Holdings PLC gained 1.00 rupee to 142.50 rupees a share and Trans Asia Hotels PLC was 2.80 rupees up at 76.50 rupees a share, contributing to ASPI gain.
Asian Hotels and Properties and Trans Asia Hotels are subsidiaries of the John Keells Group, which operates the country’s largest hotel and travel business.
The hotels and travel index was up 1.04 percent on Wednesday morning, the second highest gain after the construction and engineering index which was up 1.44 percent.
In the government securities market, bond yields were stable in dull trade ahead of the weekly bill auction, as investors adopted a wait-and-see stance, dealers said.
Sri Lanka’s debt office is offering a 23 billion rupees auction, split into 7.5 billion rupees in 3-month bills, 3.5 billion rupees in 6-month maturity and 12 billion rupees in 12-months bills.
The World Bank this week upgraded Sri Lanka to upper-middle income country from a lower-middle income country under its latest income classification for the 2020 fiscal year.
Dealers said that more investors may buy rupee bonds in the long run due to the World Bank’s move.
However, investors are also weighing the risks from political instability in the run up to elections and the security in the country, dealers said.
A bond maturing on 15.10.2021 was quoted at 9.20/30 percent, steady from 9.20/28 percent at Tuesday’s close.
A bond maturing on 15.03.2023 was quoted at 9.70/80 percent, steady from 9.70/78 percent.
A bond maturing on 15.6.2024 was quoted unchanged at 9.85/90 percent.
A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted at 10.10/18 percent, steady from 10.10/20 percent.
A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 was quoted at 10.15/25 percent, easing from 10.17/25 percent.
A 10-year bond maturing on 01.05.2029 was quoted at 10.32/37 percent, edging up from 10.30/35 percent.