Sri Lanka stocks fall for third straight session; net foreign inflow hits over 3-yr high

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks fell on Tuesday (20) for the third consecutive session dragged down on profit-taking while foreign buying in market heavyweight Expolanka helped the bourse to see net foreign inflow of more than three-year high, data showed.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 2.4 billion rupees on Tuesday, its highest since July 15, 2019. The net foreign inflow so far this year is 9.9 billion rupees after 11.3 billion rupees of net offshore buying in the last 26 consecutive sessions amid positive sentiment over an IMF deal.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 1.24% or 124.27 points to close at 9,901.13, sliding further away from its 5-1/2 month highest hit on Thursday (15).

“The market continued to slip on profit-taking in counters that are moving down in value,” 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 6 billion rupees, twice this year’s average turnover of 3.24 billion rupees.

Analyst said Expolanka contributed mostly to the foreign inflow and the market turnover following 30 crossings priced at 228 rupees a share.

The market had 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 1% or 32.15 points down at 3,185.59.

The main index ASPI has gained 9.1 percent in September so far after gaining 17.3 percent in August.

The index has lost 19 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.

Sampath Bank dragged the index down, closing 3.8 percent down at 37.5 rupees a share.

LOLC Holdings closed 3.3 percent down at 505.7 rupees and Richard Pieris slipped 3.2 percent to 30.4 rupees a share.

Expolanka, bucking the trend, gained 0.7 percent to 224.75 rupees a share. (Colombo/Sept20/2022)

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