Sri Lanka stocks in worst plunge in seven years after Easter Sunday bombings

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stock market closed 3.63 percent lower on Tuesday, the worst daily fall in seven years, following the Easter Sunday bombings which targeted churches and hotels, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 203.77 points down at 5,402.58, reversing a four-day gain up to 5,606.35, and a general upward momentum since March 27, when the index had been at 5,511.77.

Before the bombings, First Capital Research had said that the stocks were now in the trough of a cycle, with possible upside.

The ASPI had last fallen in such a fashion back in February 2012, when a balance of payment crisis and fuel price increases had triggered a 3.7 percent fall, Asia Securities, a brokerage, said.

Meanwhile, the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 3.79 percent, or 102.60 points lower at 2,607.67.

Market turnover was 226.89 million rupees, with 160 stock prices falling, and only 6 gaining.

Index-heavy John Keells Holdings, a diversified group, accounted for half of the daily turnover, and closed 11.70 rupees (7.70 percent) lower at 140.30 rupees a share.

Cinnamon Grand, one of the hotels targetted in the bombings, is owned by JKH.

Shares of The Kingsbury, another of the hotels targeted, fell 1.30 rupees (9.77 percent) to 12 rupees a share.

East West Properties, which recently sold its main hotel to a Singaporean party, accounted for 20 percent of the turnover, and was down 1 rupee (5.26 percent) to 18 rupees a share.

The top three bank shares also fell, albeit at lower rates.

Commercial Bank closed 3.10 rupees (3.23 percent) lower at 92.80 rupees a share, while Hatton National Bank closed 5.30 rupees (3.67 percent) lower at 139 rupees a share and Sampath Bank closed 10 rupees (6.06 percent) lower at 155 rupees a share.
(Colombo, April 23, 2019-SB)


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