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Sri Lanka stocks slump 1.4-pct, Rs42bn wiped out

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stock market slide deepened Tuesday, falling by more than one percent to almost a five-week low amid heavy foreign selling and panic selling by local investors for month-end settlements wiping out 42 billion rupees from stock values.

Over the past two days stocks have lost 59.5 billion rupees in value.

The All Share Price Index lost 99.51 points or 1.36 percent to close at 7,231.58 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, fell 70.71 points (1.74 percent) to end at 3,982.96.

Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees with crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals in Commercial Bank, Aitken Spence and Anilana Hotels & Properties.

Tuesday’s fall was led by price depreciations in ‘big cap’ stocks like John Keells Holding, Nestle and Ceylon Tobacco Company, First Capital Equities said.

The slump reduced the market capitalization of the Colombo bourse by 42.26 billion rupees. The benchmark index has fallen 3.2 percent in the last two sessions, mainly because of the global stocks sell-off.

The bearish turn came amid the steady weakening of the rupee against the US dollar and delays in forming a ‘national government’ made up of the two main parties in this month’s parliamentary polls owing to bickering over portfolios.

 “Foreign investors continued to off-load shares for the third consecutive session with a net foreign outflow of 200 million rupees,” stockbrokers Lanka Securities said.

“Foreign participation was 29 percent. Net foreign outflow were seen in John Keells Holdings, Sierra Cables and Commercial Bank while net foreign inflows were mainly seen in Laugfs Gas voting and non-voting.” (Colombo/August 25 2015)
 

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