ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares fell for the third straight session on Monday as investors await assurance on IMF fund.
“Selling interest is bringing the index down as Investors are not happy to invest until they see some solid assurance on IMF loan and the island’s debt restructure,” an analyst said.
During the early hours of trade, dealers said the market slipped following President Ranil Wickremesinghe comment that the IMF deal would take first half to stabilize instead of the anticipated first quarter.
Towards the end of the session market has got some buying interest on Softlogic companies on speculation of a merger.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 0.52 percent or 43.51 points lower at 8,380.60.
ASPI lost 0.77 percent in the first week of trade after losing 1.8 percent in December.
Market has been falling since the year started due to the proposed 65 percent electricity tariff hike while the government also hiked various excise duties.
The more liquid index S&P SL20 closed 1.23 percent or 32.07 points lower at 2,580.87.
Colombo stocks ended 2022 losing 30.5 percent from 2021’s 80 percent gain.
First quarter of 2023 is expected to be negative with the taxations going in to effect from January 1st and there are talks of a hike in electricity tariffs.
Whereas the second quarter was expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF getting through and with the interest rates expected to ease as the taxes starts to generate funds.
The market witnessed a turnover of 2.3 billion rupees, slightly lower than 2022’s daily average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.
The market saw a net foreign inflow of 12 million rupees. The net foreign inflow for the first week of January is 63 million rupees. The total foreign inflow of 2022 was 31 billion rupees.
Lanka IOC dragged the index down to close at 4.4 percent lower at 192 rupees.
LOLC fell 3.7 percent to close at 379.3 rupees and John Keells Holdings closed 1.6 percent lower at 135.8 rupees a share. (Colombo/Jan09/2023)