Friday, May 17, 2013

Retailers join foreigners as Bourse remain on the up

Market cap surpasses Rs. 2.4 trillion level

The Colombo stock market yesterday saw a continuous uptrend driven by the large cap counters regaining institutional, high net worth and foreign interest.

The Bourse’s value rose by Rs. 30 billion yesterday which saw market capitalisation surpassing the Rs. 2.4 trillion level, up 11% year-to-date, a growth mirrored by the ASI as well.

 Softlogic Stockbrokers said the surge in the index was heavily weighted upon John Keells Holdings, Ceylon Tobacco Company, Lanka Orix Leasing, Commercial Bank and Hatton National Bank. 146 counters contributed positively for the index as against 65 that contributed negatively. The gain S&P SL20 index was just under 1.0% while turnover for the day was Rs. 1.8 billion.

 Aitken Spence, a conglomerate with heavy exposure to the leisure sector, recorded two large crossings accounting for 7.1 million shares dealt at Rs. 132.6 each. The transactions contributed 50% to the day’s turnover.

 During the same time period the counter recorded two on-board blocks of 208,000 and 102,000 shares at a similar price. The counter closed the day on a negative note at Rs. 133.0 (-1.4%). The day saw 10 crossings in total with two crossings in Commercial Bank, three in Piramal Glass and one in Dialog.

 Softlogic said retailers were slow to enter the market as most remained on the sidelines. However, retail interest was noted in Janashakthi Insurance, Sanasa Development Bank and Regnis.

 Lanka Securities said the stock market rose on Thursday, lifted by stronger-than-expected earnings and low interest rates. It noted that the cash map was 55%.

 It said Janashakthi Insurance (Rs.14.10,+12.8%) and Overseas Realty (Rs.17.00,+6%) reached 52 week high on better-than-expected earnings. JINS quarter profits increased by almost seven times compared to the same quarter last year.

 Reuters said the Bourse rose to hit a 1-1/2 year high, with foreigners dominating trading, while retail investors also bought after a fall in interest rates.

“Foreigners keep picking up blue chips on valuations, while low interest rates helps local retail activity,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

 Yields in Treasury bills fell in the range of 29 basis points to 45 bps on Wednesday after the Central Bank cut key policy rates by 50 bps last Friday, following some of its regional peers, to boost economic growth amid subdued demand.

 Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 1.39% to Rs. 278, their all-time closing high.
 Market turnover was Rs. 1.88 billion on Thursday, well above this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.04 billion.

 The rupee ended firmer at 125.80/85 from Wednesday’s close of 125.90/126.10, helped by bank dollar sales on tighter rupee liquidity and equity inflows, currency dealers said.
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