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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Market activities drop due to New Year holiday mood

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly review indicated that the indices fell, as investor momentum dampened ahead of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. They showed some volatility during the 4 day trading week with the indices picking up towards the latter part of the week whilst remaining thin in terms of activity levels except for the strategic sale on Wednesday. Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell by 10.3 points or 0.39 percent to stand at 2614.6 points while the more liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) shed 24.9 points or 0.76 percent to close at 3275.7 points at week’s close.

Leading turnover for the week came from Hotel Services (Ceylon) Ltd due to a 9.4 million share deal on Wednesday. It’s former owner U.K Sharma who held 97.3 percent of the company sold the 53.5 percent strategic stake to Green Care International Ltd at a price of Rs.138/= a share, contributing to the turnover by approximately Rs.1.3 billion. Meanwhile the total contribution by the counter during the week amounted to Rs.1.36 billion and the total number of shares traded amounted to 9.8 million. Although the counter emerged as the biggest contributor for the week the share price declined 6.7 percent to close at Rs.140 per share on Friday.

Interest on the Telecom counter SLT continued with the counter managing to generate a contribution of Rs.511.4 million by trading a total of closer to 10.4 million shares for the week. The continued interest on the counter was particularly reflected during the early part of the week where the stock emerged as the largest contributor during the first two trading days of the week. SLT, before closing at Rs.48.75 per share traded between a price range of Rs.48.00 & Rs.49.50 per share.

Contributing Rs.35.4 million to the total market turnover was the blue chip, Distilleries. Distilleries, which traded a volume of 0.4 million shares closed, unchanged at Rs.105 per share for the week. During the week the share touched a highest price of Rs.105 and a lowest of Rs.104.25 per share.

The week also saw 1.5 million of Dialog shares getting traded within a price range of Rs.16.25 & Rs.16.75 per share. The counter was the 4th highest contributor towards the weekly turnover, contributing Rs.25.3 million. The share slipped 1.49 percent WoW to close Rs.0.25 lower at Rs.16.50.

Weekly turnover this week stood at Rs.2.24 billion, helped largely by the Hotel Services trade on Wednesday. Comparable to last week (excluding the SLT deal) the activity levels witnessed a 29 percent drop. And the average daily turnover stood at Rs.560.55 million, down by 11.4 percent for the week. Leaving out the Rs.1.3 billion trade which took place this Wednesday, the daily activity levels remained rather low largely due to the upcoming holidays.

Foreign investors were net buyers this week amounting to Rs.402.7 million with a foreign participation level of 71.5 percent of total activity. Foreign purchases for the week amounted to Rs.1.8 billion while foreign sales totaled to Rs.1.4 billion for the week. The highly traded stocks during the week were SLT, hotel Services, Vallibel and Dialog.

In the meantime HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly point of view indicated that market activity levels dried out towards the latter part of the week as market was heading for Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays. Meanwhile profit taking continued in the market place causing indices to slide marginally during the 4-day week.

Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI) lost 10.4 points while liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) declined by 25 points compared to last week.

In the week ahead HNB Stockbrokers do not expect a major change in the market behavior as it will be going in for another holiday-shortened week. The activity levels are likely to be low with little volatility expected in indices. However they expect bargain-hunting opportunities to exist thus we advice investors to closely monitor the market in order to capitalize on these.

- Asian Tribune -

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