Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Colombo Bourse remains active on Rs. 1.2 b turnover

The Colombo stock market ended yesterday in positive territory with marginal gains in both the main market indices, whilst turnover topped the Rs. 1 billion mark due to stepped up institutional and retail activity.

 The All Share Price Index (ASPI) rose by 0.10% (5.84 points) and the S&P SL 20 Index (S&P) closed up 0.13% or 4 points.

Turnover doubled over Monday’s level to Rs. 1.27 billion chiefly due to the high value off the market trades in Asiri Central Hospitals Plc (ASHA) and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

 The other high turnover generating counters were John Keells Holdings Plc (JKH), Lanka Orix Leasing Company Plc (LOLC), and Hatton National Bank Plc, according to SC Securities. The turnover generated from COMB and ASHA alone accounted for 62% of the total turnover of the day.

 ASHA generated the highest turnover for the day of Rs. 562.50 million on the back of a high value solitary crossing. The counter ended the day at Rs. 248, rising by 9.73% or Rs. 22 over the previous close.

 The banking counter, COMB generated a turnover of Rs. 254.15 million over a volume of 2.43 million shares. COMB witnessed a volume of 2.19 million shares transact through five off the floor trades at a uniform price of Rs. 104.50.

 Crossings were also seen in JKH, LOLC and HNB.

 Foreigners ended the day as net sellers with foreign sales worth of Rs. 885.34 million against purchases worth Rs. 476.02 million, resulting in a net outflow of Rs. 409.32 million.

 NDB Stockbrokers said continued accumulation in banking sector was seen in Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank, and National Development Bank.

“Foreign investors remained bullish with index heavy John Keells Holdings as its foreign holding further increased. Continuing retail interest was seen in Pan Asian Power whilst renewed interest was witnessed in Muller & Phipps,” NDBS added.

 Softlogic Stockbrokers said the bourse reversed its descending trajectory at the end of trading whilst intensified foreign and institutional interest edged to the limelight as a number of large deals defined the day’s market story contributing 73% to the turnover.

 It said S&P calibre players Chevron Lubricants and CT Holdings encountered some interest, with each touching Rs. 216.8 (+2.2%) and Rs. 129.9 (+2.4%). The former slipped 1.0% at its close of Rs. 210 while the latter closed with a gain of 0.9% at Rs. 128. Asian Hotels and Properties gathered some focus with three on-board blocks accumulating to around 400,000 shares being transacted at Rs. 74.

 Ceylon Beverage Holdings touched a new 52-week high at Rs. 500 while Distilleries and Lion Brewery continued to trade at their 52-week high levels. Further, Ceylon Cold Stores saw renewed interest with a few trades being transacted around Rs. 132 and Rs. 133 levels.

 Reuters described yesterday’s closing of ASI as at 13-week high and viewed the net foreign outflow as “foreign investors left what they see as an overbought market”.

However, Reuters said the ASI has risen 4.27 per cent in the last nine sessions, which analysts have attributed to declining yields in Government securities after the Central Bank cut its policy rates last month.

“The market has gone up only on some select blue chips,” said a broker who declined to be identified.

“We still expect the market to go up with other stocks which local retailers trade heavily. They have not risen sharply and with interest rates coming down, I think the market will go up further.”

Reuters said the gains have pushed the market to an over-bought region with the 14-day relative strength index shooting up to 74.234 on Tuesday, well above the upper neutral range of 70.

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