Sri Lanka stocks open slightly higher; rupee and bonds steady

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks opened 0.06 percent higher on Monday on buying-interest in LOLC Finance and fabric maker Teejay Lanka Plc, while bond yields and the rupee were steady, market participants said.

Colombo’s benchmark All Share index was up 3.76 points to 5,962.20 and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks gained 0.21 percent in early trading, up 6.47 points to 3,061.23.

Market turnover was 11 million rupees within the first half hour of trading with 17 stocks gaining and 8 declining.

Teejay Lanka was up 80 cents to 34.40 rupees and Watawala Plantations gained 1.90 rupees to 22 rupees.

Expolanka Holdings was up 10 cents to 4.10 rupees and LOLC Finance gained 10 cents to 3.70 rupees.

The Sri Lanka rupee which opened steady Tuesday at 181.75/90 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market was quoted an hour later at a narrower band of about 181.85/90 rupees, market participants said.

The currency closed weaker on Monday at 181.75/85 rupees against the greenback, compared to Friday’s closing of 181.60/65 rupees.

On Monday, the Central Bank called for proposals from investment banks to manage sovereign bond issues up to 2 billion US dollars, even as ratings agency Fitch said Sri Lanka was one of the frontier markets in Asia facing external pressure and debt refinancing risks this year.

The rating agency noted that in Asia it downgraded Pakistan and Sri Lanka in December 2018.

Bond yields were steady in  early secondary market trading.





A bond maturing in 2023 was quoted wide at 11.20/30 percent, compared to Monday’s closing of 11.23/28 percent.

A bond maturing in 2025 was trading at 11.37/41 percent, narrowing from the previous closing of 11.38/44 percent.

A bond maturing in 2026 was steady at 11.42/45 percent. (COLOMBO, 22 January 2019)

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