ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up at close to a three-month high on Thursday as the market continued to run on positive macroeconomics over the International Monetary Fund’s extended loan facility, dealers said.
“The market was volatile during the first half of the day, and shares were down due to profit-taking,” an analyst said.
“The financial indexes are taking a breather because of profit-taking, which was seen as the financial sector was running on the International Monetary Fund assurances.”
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 0.58 percent, or 55.62 points higher, at 9,703.48.
“The turnover generated is interesting because it was split across the board, meaning more than one sector is pushing the market.”
The loan from the IMF was originally expected in December of last year.
As creditors of the island nation, India and the Paris Club have given specific assurances to restructure Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt of external borrowing, while China only gave a two-year moratorium and promised to restructure debt.
However, Sri Lanka has sought a more specific assurance in line with the IMF deal.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday, said the letter of intent was sent on Monday, the same day as the assurance from China came in, for the board’s approval of the land program.
“We expect Board Approval in the third or fourth week of March,” Wickremesinghe told parliament.
The market saw a net foreign inflow of 21.1 million rupees. So far in 2023, the market has recorded a total net foreign inflow of 3.4 billion rupees.
The most liquid index, S&P SL20, closed 0.5 percent, or 14.39 points, up at 2,865.93.
The market saw a turnover of 2.4 billion rupees on Thursday, higher than this year’s daily average of 1.9 billion rupees.
The top gainers were Royal Ceramic Lanka, John Keells Holdings, and Vallibel One. (Colombo/Mar 09/2023)