Sri Lanka stocks close down 1.7-pct, recoups steep intra-day losses

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed down 1.7 percent Thursday, recovering from a steep intra-day fall that pushed the benchmark index down 6.4 percent triggering two trading halts, and recouped some losses as buying interest returned to some stocks, brokers said.

Sri Lanka’s benchmark All Share Price Index fell 134.6 points to close at 7,653.55 on the back of 2.9 percent a day earlier.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks fell 0.82 percent or 25.42 points to close at 3,062.28 after gaining some of the losses after market reopened at 12.48 hours.

Trading was halted twice as an index of liquid stocks fell 8.13 percent triggering circuit breakers.

Stocks have lost 295 billion rupees in value since last Friday, data show.

The benchmark index fell to a low of 7,215.90 points or over 1,000 points over four trading days, before picking up as buying interest returned to some stocks, brokers said.

Punters who had bought on margin and on broker credit were trying to reduce their exposure with many, except late comers sitting on large profits.

They were also spooked as over-hyped earnings expectations raised by some punters and splits disappointed, market participants. Colombo stock started to fall after record turnover of 23 billion rupees including the purchase of shares in a subsidiary of Brown and Company.

Market turnover was 4.3 billion rupees with 49 stocks gaining and 161 falling.

Sri Lanka’s stocks gained over 30 percent in January driven by several months of money printing, which had pushed up excess liquidity in money markets, lowered interest rates and triggered import controls, which had made many businessmen engaged in productive import trade jobless.

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As the rupee came under pressure from liquidity and reserves were lost, foreign investors have been steadily exiting.

Vallibel One fell 4.70 rupees to close at 52.00 rupees a share contributing most for the fall of ASPI and Expolanka Holdings closed 2.00 rupees down at 47.20 rupees.

LOLC Holdingsfell 10.25 rupees to close at 397.50 rupees, LOLC Finance, a part of LOLC, fell 30 cents to close at 6.50 rupees. Brown and Company gained 6.50 rupees to close at 185.00 rupees while Browns investments fell 10 cents to close at 5.40 rupees.

Hayleys and several units which have declared splits are under a trading pause.

Subsidiaries of Hayleys group, The Kingsbury Plc closed 10 cents down at 12.00 rupees while Unisys Engineering closed 2.20 rupees down at 2.20 rupees, and Singer Industries Ceylon closed 3.80 rupeesdown at 89.20 rupees.

John Keells Holdings fell 2.75 rupees to close at 152.00 rupees.

Royal Ceramic Lanka closed 14.00 rupees down at 280.25 rupees, Lanka tiles fell 14.75 rupees to close at 185.50 rupees, Lanka Walltiles closed 10.50 rupees down at 192.00 rupees while Lanka Ceramic closed 2.50 rupees up at 148.25 rupees.

Hatton National Bank closed 4.50 rupees down at 134.75 rupees, Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell 1.70 cents to close at 85.80 rupees while DFCC Bank closed 90 cents up at 64.90 rupees and Sampath Bank closed 1.25 rupees up at 165.00 rupees.

Nations trust bank fell 1.40 rupees to close at 58.30 rupees and Seylan Bank fell 90 cents to close at 51.90 rupees and Pan Asia Banking Corporation fell 60 cents to close at 16.50 rupees.

Central Finance Company fell 3.00 rupees to close at 105.00 rupees, Alliance Finance Company fell 1.00 rupees to close at 53.80 rupees and Citizens Development Business Finance fell 4.00 rupees to close at 115.00 rupees.

Sinhaputhra Finance closed 70 cents down at 7.50 rupees a share, Softlogic Finance closed 20 cents down at 11.00rupees a share and Housing DevelopmentFinance fell 50 cents to close at 40.00 rupees.

Cargills Ceylon fell 25cents a share to close at 234.75 rupees while Hemas Holdings fell 1.80 rupees to 87.20 rupees, Distilleries Company fell 30 cents to close at 19.70 rupees and Ceylon Grain Elevators fell 1.00 rupees to close at 150.75 rupees while Melstacorpgained 1.10 rupees a share to close at 53.30 rupees.

In the hotel sector Eden Hotel Lanka fell 10 cents to close at 10.80 rupees while Sigiriya Village hotel closed 50 cents down at 35.80 rupees, John Keels Hotelsclosed 40 cents down at 10.70 rupees a share andAitken Spence Hotel holdings fell 10 cents to close at 31.90 rupees.

Ceylon Tobacco Company fell 15.25 rupees to close at 1,085.00 rupees and Piramal Glass Ceylon closed 20 cents down at 9.20 rupees and Ceylon Cold storesclosed 10.75 rupees down at 664.00 rupees.

Carson Cumberbatch fell 19.25 rupees to close at 279.00 rupees while Access Engineering fell 30 cents to close at 25.00 rupees.

Nestle Lanka closed 13.75 rupees down at 1,156.25 rupees and Aitken Spence Plc closed 1.90 rupees down at 62.30 rupees.

Sunshine Holdings gained 3.90 rupees to close at 83.90 rupees a share.

Richard Pieris and Company closed 20 cents down at 14.40 rupees.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed 60 cents down at 35.50 rupees and Dialog Axiata closed 10 cents down at 12.10 rupees.

The Capital Goods Industry which was the most active fell 2.4 percent today. (Colombo/Feb 11/2021)

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