Monday, October 25, 2010

Sri Lanka stx edge down ahead of IPOs; rupee up

 * Bourse slips as investors cash in for IPOs

 * Foreign investors sell over 1 bln rupees in shares

 * Rupee up as cenbank lowers trading band by 10 cents

 COLOMBO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's benchmark share index edged down 0.8 percent on Monday, as investors cashed in to raise money for upcoming initial public offerings and foreign investors sold over 1 billion rupees' worth of shares,
analysts said.

 Sri Lanka's main share index .CSE fell 52.66 points or 0.79 percent to 6633.33. It is still Asia's best performer in 2010 with a 95.9 percent gain as the island's economy rebuilds after the end of a civil war in May 2009.

 It has shed 7.2 percent since hitting an all-time high of 7,207.75 on Oct 4.

 Despite the performance, foreign investors have so far this year sold a net 23 billion rupees' worth of shares and sold 1 billion on Monday.

 The bourse is trading at the highest forward price-to-earnings ratio in Asia and global emerging markets at
20.3 times, compared with 13.5 and 12.7 respectively, Thomson Reuters data shows.  The CSE's 14-day relative strength index is at 53.3, between the neutral limits of 30 and 70.

 The banking sector index led the fall with top listed lender Commercial Bank COMB.CM shedding 2.18 percent to 265.10 rupees and Sampath Bank SAMP.CM losing 1.1 percent to
close at 295.10.

 Turnover was 8 billion rupees ($71.6 million), more than 13 times the 2009 daily average and well above this year's daily average of 2.4 billion.

 The rupee LKR= closed firmer at 111.70/72 a dollar from Thursday's 111.76/78 as central bank lowered the trading band by 10 cents to 111.30/70. The markets were closed on Friday for a Buddhist religious holiday.

  • Whether commercial banks will cut lending rates as the central bank kept policy rates steady at multi-year  lows
  •  Whether state funds will continue pushing up the index
  •  Performance shown in September quarter earnings
source -

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