EconomyNext – Sri Lankan stocks bounced back Thursday, partially recovering some of the heavy losses suffered since last week’s government budget which slammed hefty new taxes on big companies.
The benchmark All Share Price Index ended 0.67 percent or 47.25 points higher at
7,047.31 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, closed at 3,865.59, up 40.61 points or 1.06 percent.
Turnover was 2.4 billion rupees much of it coming from trades in John Keells Holdings, the most actively traded stock. JKH ended up 0.6 percent or 1.20 rupees at 203.
Stock brokers Lanka Securities the rally was driven by bargain hunters and foreign buying of JKH.
"Foreign investors drove the turnover to a three-week high led by purchases in John Keells Holdings," Lanka Securities said in a report.
Several crossings were recorded in JKH with 1.1 million shares changing hands at a price range of 201.00-202.00 rupees.
Foreign investors were net buyers with net inflow of 968 million rupees, mostly in JKH.
Stock brokers said the market recovered as it had fallen too steeply in a panic reaction to the January 29 budget which imposed a 25 percent ‘super gain’ tax on firms earning over two billion rupees along with other one-off taxes on telecom and liquor companies.
Another share price slump on Monday brought to almost 160 billion rupees stock value lost since last Thursday’s budget.
The benchmark index was lifted by gains in Dialog Axiata, Hatton National Bank, Access Engineering (AEL), Ceylinco Insurance and Aitken Spence.
AEL was also actively traded, rising almost six percent to close at 26.70, up 1.50 rupees.
Commercial Bank gained 1.30 rupees (0.8 percent) to end at 163.00 while Dialog Axiata gained 7.14 percent (0.80) to end at 12.00 rupees.