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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2619

Share Market pushes up on Peace hopes

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 17 September, ( Positive news from the political and peace front put the market towards an upward trend this week reports the HNB Stockbrokers. A significant improvement in the indices came through on Wednesday amid reports of probable peace talks between the government and the LTTE, somewhere in October.

On Wednesday the All Share Price Index (ASPI) rose by 61 points, while the MPI Milanka Price Index (MPI) rose by 81.9 points. The indices rose substantially on Wednesday as an initial reaction to the positive news on the peace front. The same growth momentum could not be maintained with both Thursday and Friday showing only modest improvements in the indices.

Investor concerns over whether the peace talks would actually go through in October as proposed and concerns over the continuance of the peace talks might, have led to the loss of momentum witnessed.

For the week the ASPI experienced a 91.6 point increase compared to last week, to close at 2331.3 points while the MPI closed at 2912 points moving up significantly by 103.4 points.

In the spotlight this week was Apollo counters, amid the mandatory offer presented by Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Limited (SLI), to the Apollo shareholders ending on Thursday.

Amid much hullabaloo created subsequent to SLI increasing its stake in Apollo to a controlling holding just last month, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. -India sold off its 32.6 percent stake in the hospital, taking up the mandatory offer at the offer price of Rs.28 per share on Thursday. According to news reports SLI now holds over 80 percent of the share capital of Apollo.

Retail investors were active in the market this week, with a notable part of the contributions towards turnover for the week coming from speculative counters. Speculative counter Colombo Fort land and Building Company Ltd (CFLB), was the highest contributor towards turnover this week, contributing Rs.143.4 million. During the week 6.7 million of CFLB shares traded, with the counter trading at a high of Rs.24 and a low of Rs.14.75 per share for the week. Comparing Week on Week (WoW) a substantial improvement was witnessed in its share price rising by 43.3 percent to close on Friday at Rs.21.50 per share.

Banking sector counter Nations Trust bank (NTB) saw renewed interest this week with 3 million of its counters trading for the week. The counter was the second highest contributor towards turnover weekly contributing Rs.81.4 million. The major portion of 2.8 million of NTB shares traded on Wednesday, while within the week the counter managed to trade between a price range of Rs.28 and Rs.25 per share.

Distilleries counters witnessed a notable price movement this week, with its share price moving in the back of the company gaining an indirect holding in Apollo (through SLI) and strong earnings being posted by the company for the 1st quarter. The Distilleries quarterly results released this week showed a substantial 84.2 percent growth in earnings for the 1st quarter.

Approximately 1.5 million of Distilleries shares traded this week, contributing Rs.72.4 million towards weekly turnover. The share price appreciated by 12 percent to close at Rs.51.50 per share this week, while reaching a high of Rs.52.75 per share and a low of Rs.45.75 per share for the week.

Last week’s highest contributor towards turnover, Touchwood saw reduced interest this week with a mere 0.3 million shares trading. The share price showed modest movement closing at Rs.105 per share on Friday, moving up by just Rs.0.25 per share compared to last week. The counter managed to contribute Rs.39.3 million towards total turnover for this week, while trading between a range of Rs.108.75 and Rs.104 per share for the week.

Total turnover stood at Rs.1.7 billion, with the average daily turnover for the week amounting to Rs.346.5 million. Comparing daily turnover levels WoW, this week showed a significant 124.3 percent rise in turnover, with last week’s average turnover amounting to a low Rs.154.5 million.

Foreign participation fell further this week to amount to 7.4 percent of total activity, while foreign investors remained net sellers amounting to Rs.99.8 million. Foreign purchases for the week totaled Rs.78.8 million, with foreign sales for the week standing at Rs.178.6 million. Tess Agro, Vallibel, Sierra Cables, Ceylinco Seylan and Blue Diamonds (Non Voting) were amongst the most traded stock this week.

- Asian Tribune -

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