ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed at a new 8-year low Thursday amid panic selling by investors after domestically transmitted Coronavirus patient was found and fears spread over school children getting infected brokers said.
The Colombo All Share Price Index closed 194.97 points down at 5,019 points. The ASPI hit 5,009 points reached in May 2012, according to stock exchange data.
The S&P SL 20 Index of liquid stock closed down 4.39 percent, after falling over 5 percent in intra-day trading triggering the second circuit breaker for the week.
Turnover was thin reaching 514 million rupees with 21 stocks gaining and 169 falling.
Index-heavy John Keells Holdings closed down 4.70 rupees at 131.00 rupees, contributing most to the ASPI’s fall.
Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 2.70 rupees down at 24.10 rupees and Browns Investments fell 1.20 rupees to 2.20 rupees a share.
Many stocks are trading at decade lows and are considered attractive though sentiment is weak. Sri Lanka also slashed value added tax spooking rate agencies and foreign investors.
On Wednesday the country’s price control agency, Consumer Affairs Authority a contributor to regime uncertainty that hits private investment slammed controls on chicken meat, potentially hurting poultry stocks on top of Coronavirus fears.
Bairaha Farms closed at 85.00 rupees down 5.0. Three acre farms closed at 93.0 rupees, down 5.80.
Sri Lanka’s tourism stocks, which were just recovering from Easter Sunday attacks have been further hit by the virus.
The Banks Industry, which was the most active, fell 4.7 percent.
The Capital goods industry which was also active fell 4.8 percent.
Regional markets also fell, with Tokyo down 4.4 percent, Shanghai down 1.5 percent and Hong Kong fell 3.7 percent. (Colombo/Mar12/2020)