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Mar 18, 2011

Colombo Stocks go for a temporary push




Sri Lanka stocks closed fairly positive on Thursday the 17 March 2011 and a demand seems to be created to negate the negative sentiment that prevailed over the last few weeks. However, low turnover suggests the trend may be temporary in Colombo Stock Exchange.

“Accumulation of blue chips was witnessed to a certain extent with marginal institutional or high networth investor participation.” Brokers said.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 7,269.59 points, topped 2.16% by 153.97 points and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) closed at 6,775.14 points, rose 1.98% by 131.40 points. Total turnover was at Rs.1.5 billion (rose 67.42%) and a total volume of 37.94 million shares changed hands (rose 13.03%). Foreign purchases rose 56.48% Rs.176.84 million and foreign sales rose 40.31% to Rs.217.84 million. Price to forward Earnings Ratio rose 2.22% to 27.6 times.

Diversified sector was the highest contributor to the market turnover as investor interest was witnessed in John Keells Holdings (JKH) which has declined almost 10% over the last two

weeks, Colombo Fort Land (CFLB) and Richard Pieris (RICH).The sector index increased by 2.10%.

Several crossings recorded including John Keells Holdings (JKH) 86,500 shares at Rs.265, Aitken Spence Hotels (AHUN) 600,000 at Rs.96, Aitken Spence & Co. (SPEN) 150,000 shares at Rs.163.00, Ceylon Investment (CINV) 250,000 shares at Rs.149.70, Lanka Walltile (LWL) 120,000 shares at Rs.174.90 per share.

Manufacturing sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover with interest seen in Ceylon Grain Elevators (GRAN). The sector index increased by 2.95%. The share price of Ceylon Grain Elevators increased by Rs.16.60 (9.98%) and closed at Rs.187. At this price the share is trading at a P/E of 22 times compared to the market P/E of 20 times (based on Financial Year 2010 results).

Hotel Sigiriya (HSIG) announced an interim dividend of Rs 1.50, which attracted investors marginally.

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