Sri Lanka stocks snap six day retreat on LOLC Holdings

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.65 percent higher Thursday, gaining on LOLC Holdings which was planning on the sale of a Cambodia unit, provisional data showed.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 39.46 points higher at 6,099.66, ending a six day retreat.

The index opened at the daily low, and reached an intra-day high of 6,115.55 in the morning session, before gradually moving downwards.

The more liquid stocks in the S&P SL20 Index closed 0.54 or 15.76 points higher at 2,961.00.

Market turnover was 440.90 million rupees with 86 stock prices gaining and 38 falling.

LOLC Holdings closed 13.70 rupees down at 127.70 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI gain.

LOLC on Thursday said it was looking to sell one of its two Cambodian subsidiaries, Prasac Microfinance, which has a 2.2 billion US dollar balance sheet and is the South East Asian nation’s largest micro-lender.

LOLC, which is also Sri Lanka’s largest non-bank financial conglomerate, said it is waiting for a sale agreement to finalize, which would also require regulatory approval from the National Bank of Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Asiri Hospitals closed 1.30 rupees up at 21.60 rupees a share and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka ended trading 20 cents up at 18.60 rupees a share, also contributing the ASPI gain.

A negotiated trade (crossing) of 4.1 million Dialog Axiata shares at 12.80 rupees a share contributed 53 million rupees to the daily turnover, and Dialog closed trading 10 cents up at 12.90 rupees a share.

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Retail investor interest was highest on LOLC Holdings, followed by Commercial Bank of Ceylon, which generated the highest turnover for the day at 130.9 million rupees, and CM Holdings. (Colombo/Dec12/2019)

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