ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up at close on Wednesday as positive sentiments continued over the possible conclusion of the International Monetary Fund’s extended loan facility, dealers said.
“However, market slowed down by the end of the day as some profit taking coming in mainly in banking sector,” dealers said.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up at 0.05 percent or 4.92 points higher at 9,647.86, its highest close for this year.
“Due to the market running in green for the sixth consecutive session, selling pressure was observed during the end.”
The loan from the IMF was originally expected in December of last year.
As creditors of the island nation, India and the Paris Club have given specific assurances to restructure the sovereign debt of Sri Lanka’s external borrowing while China only gave a two-year moratorium and promised to restructure debt, but Sri Lanka has sought a more specific assurance in line with the IMF deal.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday said, the letter of intent was sent on Monday, on the same day as the assurance from China came in, for the board approval of the land program.
“We expect Board Approval in the third or fourth week of March” Wickremesinghe told the parliament.
The market saw a Net foreign inflow of 19.7 million rupees. So far for 2023, the market has recorded a total Net foreign inflow of 2.3 billion rupees.
“John Keells Holdings and Hayley’s Fabric brought in the most foreign inflows for the day” an analyst said.
The most liquid index, S&P SL20, closed 0.61 percent, or 17.6 points, down at 2,851.54.
The market saw a turnover of 3.2 billion rupees on Wednesday, higher than this year’s daily average of 1.9 billion rupees.
The top gainers were Hatton National Bank, Dialog Axiata and Diesel and Motor Engineering. (Colombo/Mar 08/2023)