ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks slipped for the fifth consecutive session on Monday (29) to its lowest close in near three weeks with the day’s turnover slumping to a one-month low as most investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of an interim budget debate on Tuesday, brokers said.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.69% or 60.92 points to 8,732.47, its lowest since August 10.
The market generated 1.2 billion rupees in turnover, the lowest since August 1 and, less than half of this year’s average daily turnover of 3.11 billion rupees.
“Today, most investors moved to the sidelines ahead the budget debate tomorrow. Although there was selling in the market, it was also at a slower pace” an analyst said.
The investors are concerned about the various revenue-based tax hike the government is expected to impose to fulfil for a possible IMF program as well as to get the country out of it’s economic crisis.
Sri Lanka defaulted on its foreign debt on April 12 and deepened an economic collapse into a political crisis. Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independence era. The economy is expected to contract more than 8 percent this year.
The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 1.15% or 33.07 points down at 2,830.67.
The main index ASPI has gained 12.9 percent in August so far after gaining 5.3 percent in July. It lost 9.3 percent in June, 23 percent in April, and 14.5 percent in March.
The index has lost 28.5 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.
Net foreign inflow was 59 million rupees on Monday. The total net foreign outflow so far this year is 385 million rupees.
Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.
Richard Pieris pushed the index down, closing 6.1 percent weaker at 19.90 rupees a share.
Melstacorp closed 3 percent down at 46.1 rupees a share, and Expolanka fell 1.3 percent to 212 rupees. (Colombo/Aug29/2022)