Sri Lanka stocks retreat for fifth day on Distilleries, banks

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.21 percent lower on Monday, while banking equities recorded a fall following a moratorium on small and medium scale loans, provisional data showed.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 12.92 points down at 6,031.81.

The ASPI was volatile throughout the day, reaching a daily high of 6,048.30 in the opening minutes and closing at the daily low.

The S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks closed 0.55 percent or 16.09 points down at 2,929.80.

Market turnover was 388.7 million rupees, while 49 stocks gained and 68 fell.

Multiple negotiated trades (crossings) in John Keells Holdings generated 166 million rupees in turnover, and the share ended 10 cents up at 164.60 rupees a share.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed 40 cents down at 18 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI fall.

Banking and finance sector index closed 0.36 percent down on Monday, after the government announced a moratorium on SMEs repaying bank loans below 300 million rupees.

The move is expected to hit the cash flow of banks, which are suffering from high bad loans. (Colombo/Dec23/2019)

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