Sri Lanka stocks continue to gain on tobacco, alcohol tax cuts

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks gained 0.84 percent on Thursday, pushed up by Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka for the second day after the government announced tax cuts, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) at the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 43.08 points up at 5,984.50, rallying for the third straight day and making gains on a retreat seen since December 30 when the market reached 6,156.

Opening at a daily low, the index reached a high of 5,993.60 in the last hour of trading near the psychological 6,000 mark.

The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.97 percent or 27.77 points up at 2,877.06.

Market turnover was 604.54 million rupees, while 84 stocks gained and 41 fell.

There was high foreign investor participation, with net sales of 125.9 million rupees.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco, closed 39.80 rupees up at 1,100.00 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI gain.

Alcohol maker Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed 40 cents up at 17.50 rupees a share and Sampath Bank closed 4.20 rupees up at 164.70 rupees a share, also contributing to the ASPI gain.

Sri Lanka’s largest brewer Lion and largest lender Commercial Bank too pushed the ASPI up.

The government this week decided to cut income taxes on tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking and manufacturing industries.

A 64 million rupee negotiated trade (crossing) was seen in Sampath bank at 164.20 rupees a share.

Two crossings amounting to 118.8 million rupees was also seen in HNB at 162.00 rupees a share and the stock closed at 162 rupees a share. (Colombo/Jan 23/2020)