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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2644

Peace hopes push the Share Market up while prices remain volatile

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 08 October, ( Upbeat sentiments on the peace talks between the government and the LTTE led to the market cruising along, gathering positive momentum during this week, HNB Stockbrokers indicated.

On Monday the market crossed the 2400 point mark for the first time this year, with the All share Price Index (ASPI) closing at 2400.9 points. Both the ASPI and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) managed record an encouraging improvement this week. The ASPI was up by 71.9 points or 3.02 percent compared to last week to close at 2455.3 points, while the MPI was up by 109 points or 3.63 percent to 3115.2 points.

The higher growth witnessed in the more sensitive MPI was mainly driven by high market cap counters such as Dialog, JKH and Commercial bank showing a notable improvement in their share price.It should be noted that the week was limited to 4 trading days this week, with Friday being a Poya holiday.

JKH was the main contributor towards turnover this week, contributing Rs.365.3 million. Approximately 2.6 million share of JKH traded this week amid renewed foreign interest being witnessed. The major part of 1.2 million of JKH shares traded on Thursday alone with the counter being the major contributor towards the day’s foreign activity. During the week the share price rose by 5.6 percent compared to last week to close at Rs.142.50 per share.

Speculative counter Touchwood took the limelight this week, with rumors of a bonus resulting in the share price shooting up by 24.5 percent this week. The counter managed to become the second highest contributor towards turnover, contributing Rs.171.4 million, while 1.3 million shares traded for the week. During the week the counter traded between a wide range of Rs.138 and Rs.110 per share, while closing the week at Rs.136 per share.

Distilleries was another counter which saw increased interest this week with 2.3 million shares trading for the week. The share price of the counter moved up by Rs.3.25 per share or 6.2 percent Week on Week (WoW) to close at Rs.55.25 per share. Contribution towards weekly turnover amounted to Rs.124.3 million, with the share price reaching a high of Rs.56 and low of Rs.51.50 per share for the week.

LIOC lost some of the momentum witnessed last week with the share price showing a mere 0.8 percent growth this week, compared to a 17.9 percent growth witnessed last week. The number of shares traded this week was also significantly lower than what was witnessed last week amounting to 2.6 million shares, compared to 8.3 million shares traded last week. The counter closed the week at Rs.31.50 per share, while trading within a high of Rs.32.25 per share and a low of Rs.31 per share.

Among the top gainers this week were Central Securities which saw its share price rise in the back of a 4:1 rights issue at par value being announced by the company on Tuesday. The share price rose by a substantial 51.9 percent to close the week at Rs.49.75 per share. On Thursday it managed to hit a peak of Rs.50 per share for the week.

Speculative counter Riverina, which comes under the Confiffi Group also managed to witnessed a significant rise in its share price this week, appreciating by 17.2 percent to close at Rs.61.25 per share. During the week the counter had traded at a high of Rs.65 per share.

Total market activity for the week amounted to Rs.1.8 billion this week. With market being restricted to 4 trading days a direct comparison cannot be carried out comparing last week’s activity in the market. Thus comparing the average daily turnover of this week of Rs.453.6 million with last week’s daily turnover, a 32.2 percent decline can be witnessed. However it should be noted that last week the turnover was higher than usual due to a one off strategic trade on the Ceylon Oxygen counter.

Foreign investors remained net buyers this week amounting to Rs.211.6 million, with foreign buying this week totaling Rs.476.8 million and foreign sales amounting to Rs.265.2 million.
Foreign participation fell moderately from last week standing at 20.4 percent compared to 30.0 percent posted last week.

Heavily traded stocks for the week, in terms of volume were Nawaloka, SLT, Vallibel, LIOC, JKH and Distilleries.

- Asian Tribune -

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