Sri Lanka stocks fall for third day on hotels, banks

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.43 percent lower on Monday, falling for the third straight day pushed down by hotels and banking stock, provisional data showed.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 25.44 points down at 5,869.07, falling throughout the day.
 
The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 0.33 percent or 9.67 points down at 2,896.14. 
 
Market turnover was 622.8 million rupees with 30 stocks gaining and 100 stocks falling.
 
Asian Hotels and Properties (AHPL) contributed most to the ASPI fall, closing 3.30 rupees down at 38.50 rupees a share. AHPL’s Cinnamon Grand was one of the hotels bombed during the Easter Sunday attacks.
 
The ASPI was pushed down by retailer and food producer Cargills (Ceylon) which closed 3.60 rupees down at 185.40 rupees a share and state-owned telco Sri Lanka Telecom which closed 50 cents down at 29.30 rupees a share.
 
Most banks also closed lower, with two of the three largest lenders (Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank) also dragging the ASPI down.
 
Hatton National Bank closed 2.20 rupees down at 173 rupees a share and Commercial Bank closed 90 cents down at 105.10 rupees a share.
 
The banking and finance stocks closed 0.59 percent down on Monday. Banks have been posting lower profits in both the March and June quarter due to low credit growth and rising bad loans.
 
However, Sampath Bank, also one of the three largest lenders, closed 2.30 rupees up at 165.40 rupees a share despite reporting a 39.4 percent fall in profits for the June quarter.
 
There was a negotiated trade (crossing) in Sampath Bank totalling 180 million rupees.
 
There was also a 45 million rupee crossing in diversified group Hemas Holdings.
 
Hotel stock closed  0.77 percent down on Thursday. Most hotels are posting losses in the June quarter as tourist arrivals plummeted following the Easter Sunday attacks. (Colombo/Aug19/2019)