Sri Lanka central bank officers concerned over controversial draft monetary law

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up at the close on Tuesday, recovering from a two-day low as the discussions over the International Monetary Fund’s loan facility neared their end, brokers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 0.63 percent, or 59.66 points, at 9,550.70.

“Profit taking was seen in the construction indexes, because the government has been settling construction debts through bonds issued and this repayment by the government has prompted some confidence for investors and we are seeing an up boost in the construction index,” the analyst said.

During mid day trade, analysts pointed out that profit taking was coming to an end and that the market is on recovery mode on the IMF, however since construction indexes were on mute and are now seeing renewed interests, investors are greedy on profit making, the analyst said.

After receiving China’s assurance on debt restructuring and sending the Letter of Intent for the IMF Executive Board’s approval, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday that it is expected to receive the Executive Board’s approval in the third or fourth week of March.

The market saw a net foreign inflow of 139 million rupees.

So far in 2023, the market has recorded a total net foreign inflow of 3.2 billion rupees.

The most liquid index, S&P SL20, closed 0.13 percent, or 3.50 points, down at 2,791.33.

Power and Energy Counters have been loosing ever since Education Minister Susil Premajayantha signaled possible price cuts in fuel and electricity as low fuel demands have been seen, resulting on investors to speculate on lower revenues and returns pushing the index down.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees on Tuesday, lower than this year’s daily average of 1.9 billion rupees.

“Banking indexes were of high interest because the assumptions on the IMF are hardening and being brought closer to light and many anticipate economic recovery and stability to curb the crisis,” the analyst said.

The top gainers were Hatton National Bank, Sampath Bank, and National Development Bank. (Colombo/Mar 14/2023)

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