Sri Lanka stocks slump 2.5-pct led by JKH

EconomyNext – Sri Lankan stock extended losses Monday, led by John Keells Holdings, dumped by foreign investors after the government refused permission for its new casino project and slammed a slew of one-off taxes on big companies.

JKH fell 13.30 rupees or 6.22 percent to 200.40 rupees, adding 561 million to the day’s turnover of 1.3 billion rupees.

The benchmark All Share Price Index fell 179.99 points or 2.51 percent to 7,000.06 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, slumped 137.26 points or 3.46 percent to close at 3,824.98.

Monday’s slump followed Friday’s rout where the ASPI lost 196.46 points, the benchmark’s biggest daily fall since the 14 February 2011 plunge of 204 points.

"The market came down mainly because of the rapid fall in JKH," said Reshan Wediwardana, research analyst at First Capital Equities. "That affected the ASPI with an almost 35 points decline."

Monday’s fall erased 77 billion rupees in share values on the Colombo bourse.

"The market capitalisation has come down by almost 160 billion rupees since the budget was announced," Wediwardana said. The market cap fell below three trillion rupees to 2.97 trillion rupees.

The budget last Thursday imposed a 25 percent ‘super gain’ tax on firms earning over two billion rupees along with other one-taxes on telecom and liquor companies.

Foreigners turned net sellers with a net outflow of 180 million rupees. Of the 622 million rupees worth of foreign selling, 404 million came from JKH.

Stockbrokers Lanka Securities the main index has slipped by 5.1 percent (376 points) while the S&P SL20 index declined by 7.5 percent (310 points) since the budget was presented last Thursday.

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Cable maker Sierra Cables hit a high of 4.70 rupees and closed at 4.50, up 2.3 percent after it reported a hefty increase in profit for the December quarter.

But fabric maker Hayleys MGT, despite the favorable results released in the December quarter, fell 3.3 percent to 17.50 rupees.
 

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