Sri Lanka stocks edge down on profit taking after gaining rally

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks fell on Monday (19) for the second consecutive session dragged down by index heavy weights on profit-taking, brokers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.35% or 35.69 points to close at 10,025.40, sliding further away from its 5-1/2 month highest hit on Thursday (15).

“The Market dip came from LOLC and Expolanka mainly because these shares had a good run in the previous week. Therefore now a lot of selling pressure has built-up,” a market analyst said.

Analysts previously said that the market has been witnessing a pattern of short-runs with short-lived buying and selling pressures around active shares.

The market saw a turnover of 3.3 billion rupees, slightly higher this year’s average turnover of 3.23 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 37 million rupees on Monday. The net foreign inflow so far this year is 7.55 billion rupees after 8.9 billion rupees of net offshore buying in the last 25 consecutive sessions amid positive sentiment over an IMF deal.

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. It aims at almost doubling the tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent by 2025 from 8.2 percent at the end of 2021.

The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 0.60% or 19.57 points down at 3,217.74.

The main index ASPI has gained 10.5 percent in September so far after gaining 17.3 percent in August.

The index has lost 17.9 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 2.6 percent down at 143.3 rupees a share.

Commercial Bank closed 2.3 percent down at 56.0 rupees, Expolanka slipped 1.5 percent to 223.25 rupees, and LOLC Holdings ended 2.6 percent down at 522.7 rupees a share. (Colombo/Sept19/2022)

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