Sri Lanka’s China-backed Hambantota Port enters bonded fertilizer business

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed steady on Tuesday after slipping two straight sessions, but the trading was choppy as investors were awaiting directions from 2023 budget scheduled for Oct. 14, brokers said.

The market saw a turnover of 1.2 billion rupees, higher than the previous day’s 1 billion turnover. But it is lower than this year’s average turnover of 3.1 billion rupees.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed steady at 0.04 percent or 3.69 points to close at 8,605.85.

“Bourse closed flat amidst improvement in investor sentiment on the back of deflated CCPI and possible rate revisions which is expected during the first half of next year,” First Capital Market Research said in its daily note.

“Index moved with a sharp volatility during today’s session while investor interest predominantly revitalized on EXPO following rumours on a possible resumption of share buy-backs by the parent company SG Holdings which is assumed to take place in the coming weeks.”

The inflation eaed to 66 percent in October from over 70 percent in the previous month.

The market in general is moving on a wait and see approach as it is expecting the interest rates to adjust downward, brokers said.

The market saw net foreign inflows of 60 million rupees. The total net foreign inflow so far for this year is 18.5 billion rupees.

The more liquid index S&P SL20 closed 0.77 percent or 19.99 points higher at 2,610.60.

The index has lost 13.4 percent in October and 29.6 percent year-to-date after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

Even though the companies have shown reasonable profits in the second and third quarters of the year investors are concerned over December-quarter earnings.

Analysts said, the disposable income of the general public and the investors reducing due to rapid inflation in the country and the proposed tax hikes is the main reason for the negative expectations over the December earnings.

Expolanka, leading the index gain, closed 11.5 percent firmer at 172 rupees a share.

Lanka Hospital Corporation rose 4.7 percent to 100.5 rupees a share while Royal Ceramics closed 1.3 percent firmer at 31.40 rupees a share. (Colombo/Nov01/2022)

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