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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2523

Market holds ground as violence escalates

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Colombo, 18 June, (Asiantribune.com): Investor confidence took a beating this week as acts of violence against civilians escalated and investor fear also heightening with the peace process again at stand still indicates the Research Report of the HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd analyzing the All Share Price Index (ASPI) for the previous week.

The recent claymore attack on Thursday, which killed at least 64 civilians, was to date the gravest attack being witnessed after the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 2002. Overall the market was showing a declining trend this week, as investors opted to remain on the sidelines, however the fall in indices was more prominent on Thursday subsequent to the claymore attack.

On Thursday the ASPI witnessed a 63.7 point decline, while the Milanka Price Index (MPI) slid by a sizable 97.1 points. However bargain hunting managed to prop up the market on Friday, with both the indices showing a modest growth. Comparing Week on Week (WoW) the ASPI closed the week at 2130.2 points down by 90.8 points or 4.1 percent compared to last week, while the MPI fell by 131.9 points or 4.6 percent to close at 2710.7 points.

Touchwood shares, which remained the hot pick of last week, saw interest dwindle this week as the CSE halted trading for two days. Trading recommenced in the afternoon hours of Wednesday after the company replied, to the concerns put forth by the CSE, with regard to the company’s accounting of profits. A mere 2.4 million of Touchwood shares traded this week compared to 8.9 million shares traded during last week. However the counter remained the highest contributor towards weekly turnover contributing Rs.275.4 million.

The share price witnessed only a slight improvement during the week, moving up by a mere 0.4 percent WoW, to close at Rs.112.75 per share.

LIOC was the second highest contributor towards turnover this week amounting to Rs.176.9 million. Investors remained cautious on the stock amid concerns over the government proposal to settle dues owed to LIOC, with the share price falling by 8.2percent WoW to close on Friday at Rs.28 per share. During the week the counter was seen trading at a low of Rs.26.50 per share and a high of Rs.35 per share. Approximately 5.5 million of LIOC counters traded this week.

Telecom sector counters SLT and Dialog both observed a decline in share prices this week. SLT prices slid by 1.4 percent WoW, to close at Rs.17.75 per share on Friday. Foreign buying was seen in SLT shares this week, with around 9.6 million shares trading, contributing Rs.175 million towards weekly turnover. During the week the counter traded between Rs.18.50 and Rs.17.50 per share. Mobile giant Dialog saw its share price decline by a notable 6.3 percent compared to last week to close at Rs.19.75 per share this week. The share prices fluctuated between the range of Rs.21.25 and Rs.19.25 per share, while 7.1 million of Dialog shares traded during the week. The counter managed to contribute Rs.138.8 million towards total turnover for the week.

Market heavy weight JKH, observed a decline in share price this week with the counter trading ex-bonus on Wednesday. JKH announced a 1 for 7 bonus, with the allotment of shares expected to come through at the end of the month. The counter close at Rs.124.50 per share, while low volumes amounting to 0.6 million shares traded for the week, compared to around 2 million shares traded last week. Contribution towards total turnover for the week amounted to a modest Rs.93.9 million.

Activity remained low this week in the absence of large trades in the likes of what was witnessed during last week. Turnover totaled Rs.1.5 billion showing a significant 105.3 percent decline for the week, while the average daily turnover amounted to Rs.307.9 million. The turnover was lowest on Friday standing at Rs.169.7 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers for this week, amounting to Rs.44.1 million, while foreign participation picked up this week to stand at 20.8 percent of total activity compared to 13.6 percent posted during last week. Foreign purchases were slightly above last week to total Rs.340.6 million this week. Meanwhile foreign sales observed a sizable 75.8 percent decline compared to last week, to amount to Rs.298.5 million for the week.

Vanik Incorporated Ltd., SLT, Asiri Surgical, Dialog and SLT were amongst the highest traded stocks the week.

- Asian Tribune -

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