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Sri Lanka rupee ends flat, gilt yields unchanged

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka rupee closed flat at 185.00/185.10 against the US dollar on Thursday while bond yields remained unchanged and stocks gained, dealers said.

The rupee ended at 185.00/10 rupees against the greenback on Wednesday.

In today’s cabinet meeting, Sri Lanka increased the age of employment to 16 from 15. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took the ownership to present the 20-amendment draft and the cabinet unanimously supported it.

Sri Lanka will also continue the non-essential goods ban of products which can be grown and harvested in the country, including new vehicles. Vehicle imports plunged 45 per cent in August.

In the secondary government securities markets, bond yields were flat, dealers said.

A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 closed at 5.52/57 per cent on Thursday, up from 5.50/55 per cent at Wednesday’s closing.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2023 closed at 5.55/63 per cent, marginally up from 5.52/60 per cent at its last close.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 6.05/15 per cent on Thursday, up from 6.03/13 per cent at previous day’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 closed at 6.35/45 per cent, steady from 6.35/42 per cent at the previous day’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 6.52/62 per cent, down from 6.55/60 per cent at its previous close on Wednesday.

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A bond maturing on 15.08.2027 closed at 6.87/97 per cent, up from 6.85/95 per cent at previous day’s closing.

The new bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed flat at 7.05/11 per cent on Thursday, from 7.05/12 per cent on Wednesday’s closing.

A 10-year bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 7.25/40 per cent, unchanged from the previous day’s closing.

In the equities market, Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 1.31 per cent higher on Thursday, on Index heavy Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Sampath Bank and Asiri Hospital Holdings pushing up the market, provisional data showed.

The bourse reached a near 8 months high aided by the extended rally in mid-caps, FirstCapital Research said.

“ASPI experienced a spike within the first few minutes of trading, thereafter, recorded a downtrend till mid-day. Later market recovered and witnessed an upward movement predominantly due to the heavy buying interest in selected Material and Banking counters.

“Banking counters took over the dominance in the turnover almost after 2 weeks closely followed by Material counters making a combined contribution of 48 per cent. Foreign investors continued to be net-sellers while recording low participation”.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) at the Colombo stock exchange closed 73.26 points up at 5,658.66.

The main index stated low at 5,604.83 at the beginning of trading for the day but continued to increase on volatile trading throughout the day.

The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 3.06 per cent or 73.71 points up at 2,480.07.

The market turnover was 3.4 billion rupees, while 116 stocks gained and 69 fell.

Index-heavy Commercial bank of Ceylon contributed most to the ASPI gain, closing 03.40 rupees up at 82.40 rupees a share.

Sampath Bank closed 5.90 rupees up at 132.40 rupees a share and Asiri Hospital Holdings closed 1.80 rupees up at 23.40 rupees a share.

A 31.2-million-rupee crossing (negotiated trade) was seen in Melstacorp PLC at 35.00 rupees a share and the stock closed at 35.10 rupees a share.

Net foreign buying in the market was 242.03 million rupees.

Colombo Stock Exchange also marked its digitalisation of the stock market where physical paperwork involved in opening trading accounts, settlements and dividend payments would be eliminated.

Speaking at the event, State Minister for money and capital markets Nivard Cabraal said that Sri Lanka’s equity market should aim to raise its listed companies to 500 from the current 200 and more than quadruple market capitalization to 60 million US dollars over the next five years,
(Colombo/September 17/2020)

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