ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks gained for the sixth straight session on Thursday (04) to its highest in more than two months with the turnover recording its highest in over four month high as buying interest in the market continued following President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s policy statement.
The turnover was 3.79 billion rupees, its highest since March 25 and more than this year’s average daily turnover of 3.03 billion rupees.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) rose 1.84% or 149.00 points to 8,229.14, its highest since May 30.
“We are seeing the buying interest continuing in the market and new investors are re-activating too. This is common in the equity market when there is political stability,” a market analyst said.
“Lead is coming through the power and energy sector and plantation sector.”
Wickremesinghe in his policy statement at the parliament revealed the plans on a 4-year IMF loan programme, debt restructuring, fiscal reforms, and dealing with loss making state owned enterprises.
He also said the country is in the final stages of the debt restructuring plan that will be presented to the IMF and negotiations will begin with creditors soon.
The more liquid S&P SL20 index moved up, closing at 3.54% or 91.62 points stronger at 2,677.67.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independent era and the economy is expected to contract 7% this year.
The main ASPI gained 6.4 percent in August so far after gaining 5.3% in July. It lost 9.3% in June, 23% in April, and 14.5% in March.
The market has lost 32.7% so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80% return last year when large volumes of money were printed.
Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt default on April 12 has already led the country to be rated with restricted/selective default rating by rating agencies, which has weighed on investor sentiment.
Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.
LOLC which pushed the ASPI, closed 14.4% up at 476.3 rupees a share, Expolanka closed 8.8% firmer at 208 rupees a share, while Royal Ceramics gained 9.7% to 32.1 rupees. (Colombo/Aug 04/2022)