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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2964

Sri Lanka: Share market volatile on thin volumes

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

The HNB Stockbrokers weekly review report indicated that the roadside bomb attacks during the early part of the week further added to the market uncertainty, which continued from last week, causing even the fundamentally sound stocks to lose ground. However buying power exerted by the retail investors towards the latter part of the week enabled the market to recover somewhat.

Overall this week market fell with All Share Price Index (ASPI) closing down 64 points or 2.55 percent at 2446.4 points while the liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) slipped 99.9 points or 3.10 percent to close at 3120.3 points.

Cargills topped this week in terms of activity with a turnover level of Rs.212.8 million. The stock with approximately 0.2 million shares traded, closed notably high at Rs.1100, while it traded within a range of Rs.900 to Rs.1150. The Counter was also the top gainer for the week with a substantial price improvement of 23.7 percent.

Ceylon Theaters lost 3.12 percent Week on Week during this week’s trading to close at Rs.3200 per share. Counter, which traded a volume of 35,700 shares, contributing Rs.106.7 million to the weekly turnover emerging as the second largest contributor for the week. During the week’s trading the share value of the counter fluctuated within a price band of Rs.2900 and Rs.3100 per share.

Renewed interest was seen on Singer Sri Lanka, which saw nearly 1 million shares been traded between Rs.64 and Rs.67.25 per share, ending flat at Rs.64.5 with the counter accountable for a turnover of Rs.68.7 million. The major portion of the turnover came on Tuesday, which accounted for 98 percent of the total turnover made by the counter for the week.

In the fourth place this week was Tokyo Cement (Non Voting) generating a turnover of Rs.65.2 million, representing 5.5 percent of total turnover. Tokyo Cement share closed this week’s trading at Rs.18 per share up by 50 cents

Though trading volumes improved from last week it still remained modest with a total weekly turnover of Rs.1.18 billion, up by 52.2 percent compared to Rs.0.78 billion of last week, which consisted of just 4 days of trading. Increasing macro economic concerns coupled with the after effects of the withdrawal from the ceasefire agreement seems to hamper trading levels. Average daily turnover meanwhile stood at Rs.237.3 million, up 21.8 percent for the week.

Foreign purchases stood at Rs.423.1 million for the week, while foreign sales stood at Rs.79.8 million. The resultant net foreign inflow amounted to Rs.343.3 million showing a 73.7 percent increase on a WoW basis. Foreign participation for the week was low at 21.2 percent compared to 41 percent of last week.

Heavily traded stocks during the week were Tokyo Cement( Non Voting), Dialog, Vallibel & Ceylinco Seylan.

Meanwhile, HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly point of view indicated that the week ahead is crucial and as expected by them the market indices continued to fluctuate in a wide range with an overall negative trend. The activity levels also remained modest with investors continuing to take a cautious approach. Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 64 points while the liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) shed 99.9 points compared to last weeks closing levels.

The week ahead will be crucial for the market as well as for the country with the ceasefire agreement (CFA) signed between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE in February 2002 officially coming to an end on Wednesday. With the abolition of the CFA, HNB Stockbrokers believe the events that unfold in the next couple of months will to a large extent determine the market direction this year and thus they advise investors to assess these developments and to take a cautiously optimistic approach in the coming weeks.

- Asian Tribune -

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