ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.54 percent up on Thursday, gaining for a second straight session on bullish local sentiment led by index heavy weights Distilleries Plc, LOLC Holdings and Aitken Spence, brokers said.
Foreign investors continued to exit the island nation’s risky asset. Foreign investors net sold 141.5 million rupees worth stocks on Thursday. Sri Lanka bourse suffered 33.7 billion foreign outflows so far this year.
The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index gained 43.78 points to close at 8,140.76.
Brokers said foreign investors will wait until the rupee currency stabilizes and concerns economic risks are addressed. The island nation’s economy is facing difficulties in securing cheap foreign credit after a raft of downgrading by all three global rating agencies.
The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks gained 0.67 per cent or 20.55 points to close at 3,071.54.
ASPI opened the day at 8,096.98 and gained till midday, but saw volatile trading before the close.
Turnover was 2.4 billion rupees with 123 stocks gaining and 65 falling.
Distilleries Company closed 60 cents up at 19.80 rupees a share and Melstacorp Plc closed 1.70 rupees up at 52.70 rupees.
LOLC Holdings closed 5.25 rupees up at 468.00 rupees a share, LOLC Finance closed flat at 6.90 rupees a share while LOLC Development Finance closed 11.50 rupees down at 495.25 rupees a share.
Browns Investment, a subsidiary of LOLC, closed flat at 6.40 rupees a share while Brown and Company fell 2.50 rupees to close at 184.50 rupees a share.
John Keells Holdings gained 1.25 rupees to close at 138.00 rupees a share and Vallibel One closed 50 cents up at 57.50 rupees a share.
John Keells Holdings which has operations in container terminals, leisure, retail and financial services reported earnings of 1.53 billion rupees for the June 2021 quarter, recovering from a loss of 1.6 billion a year ago during a Coronavirus lockdown.
JKH reported earnings of 1.16 rupees for the quarter.
Hayleys Plc closed 50 cents up at 82.00 rupees with key subsidiaries Haycarb Plc closed 40 cents up at 97.90 rupees and Dipped Products fell 30 cents to close at 57.50 rupees.
Hemas Holdings closed 50 cents up at 79.50 rupees.
Expolanka Holdings went down 10 cents to close at 66.70 rupees.
Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC closed flat at 960.00 rupees, Piramal Glass Ceylon closed flat at 14.30 rupees and Ceylon Cold Stores closed 5.75 rupees down at 650.25 rupees.
Sri Lanka Telecom closed 80 cents up at 34.30 rupees and Richard Pieris and Company closed flat at 17.00 rupees.
Dialog Axiata closed flat at 11.70 rupees, Nestle Lanka fell 4.25 rupees to 1,313.50.
Housing Development Finance closed 10 cents up at 35.60 rupees and Central Finance Company closed 70 cents up at 89.90 rupees.
Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed 50 cents up at 84.90 rupees.
Hatton National Bank closed flat at 129.50 rupees a share and Sampath Bank closed 20 cents up at 51.80 rupees a share.
DFCC Bank closed 80 cents up at 59.90 rupees. Nations Trust Bank closed 80 cents up at 56.80 rupees.
NDB stocks gained 2.60 rupees per share to close at 79.60 rupees, a day after the lender posted 55 percent rise in June quarter net profit to 1.7 billion rupees from a year earlier, helped by double digit growth in net interest income and fees interim accounts showed.
Seylan Bank closed 40 cents down at 47.50 rupees and Pan Asia Banking Corporation closed 10 cents up at 15.90 rupees.
In the hotel sector, Eden Hotel Lanka closed 20 cents up at 16.10 rupees, John Keells Hotels closed 40 cents up at 11.50 rupees a share and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings closed 90 cents up at 32.40 rupees.
Access Engineering closed flat at 22.70 rupees. Aitken Spence Plc gained 5.10 rupees up to close at 69.90 rupees.
Windforce Closed flat at 19.00 rupees, Chrissworld limited closed 1.10 rupees up at 13.90 rupees and Prime Land Residencies closed flat at 9.60 rupees.
Royal Ceramic Lanka closed 10 cents up at 38.60 rupees, Lanka Tiles closed 60 cents up at 56.60 rupees and Lanka Walltiles closed 30 cents up at 69.10 rupees. (Colombo/July 29/2021)