ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks edge down on Friday (16) from a 5-1/2-month high, dragged down by John Keells Holdings and banking shares due to profit taking after gaining throughout the week amid strong foreign inflow, brokers said.
The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 1.7 billion rupees on Friday. The net foreign inflow so far this year is 7.53 billion rupees after 8.9 billion rupees of net offshore buying in the last 24 consecutive sessions amid positive sentiment over an IMF deal.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.11% or 11.29 points to close at 10,061.38, sliding from its highest since March 28.
Analysts said on Thursday that the market was pushed up with the President Ranil Wckremesinghe approving new issuing casino licenses.
The market saw a turnover of 5.3 billion rupees, the highest turnover in the last 8-sessions. The day’s turnover is also higher than this year’s average turnover of 3.21 billion rupees.
The market has been on a rising trend since IMF early this month announced that it reached a staff-level agreement with Sri Lanka with a possible 48-month 2.9 billion dollars in Extended Fund Facility (EFF) once the debt restructuring is done.
Sri Lanka also submitted a reform-oriented interim budget for 2022 on August 30 which was seen as market positive.
The budget is aimed at almost doubling the tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent by 2025 from 8.2 percent at the end of 2021.
Sri Lanka is in the process of coming out of the sovereign debt default declared on April 12 which deepened its economic crisis and turned into a political crisis. The island nation is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independence era. The economy is expected to contract more than 8 percent this year.
The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 0.46% or 14.92 points down at 3,237.32.
The main index ASPI has gained 10.9 percent in September so far after gaining 17.3 percent in August.
The index has lost 17.6 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.
Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.
John Keells dragged the index down, closing 2.7percent down at 147 rupees a share.
Sampath Bank closed 2.5 percent down at 39.7 rupees and Commercial Bank ended 2.1 percent down at 57.3 rupees a share. (Colombo/Sept16/2022)