Profit-takings in blue chip counters put an end to bourse’s bullish run

- island.lk

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE turned negative yesterday having traded with a bullish run for 12 consecutive days due to profit- takings of many counters, especially blue-chip counters. This development could be considered as the market correction, stock market analysts said.

Sri Lanka’s shares fell over 1 per cent in mid-day trade, pulled down by retail shares after gaining for 13 sessions. The main All- Share Price Index fell 0.82 per cent or 75.55 points to 9,115.97 during the middle of the session.

“On selected shares there is profit- taking but overall the market rose about 2200 points in the last 12 sessions, so we were seeing investors shifting into energy and plantation sector shares from the usual Expolanka, Browns Investments, Browns, LOLC and LOLC Finance, a top analyst said.

In the past few weeks, Lanka IOC and plantation sector shares pushed the index up. Lanka IOC stocks became most sought after and owing to the acute fuel shortage they had enough sales and have recorded high profits, while plantation sector stocks increased due to the dollar appreciation against the rupee, market analysts said.

“There is also a reaction in the banking sector counters as well with the banks adjusting for the ISB restructuring and also higher impairments in the sector. Therefore, we are seeing a selloff in banking counters too, analysts said.

The indices however were a bit subdued due to profit- taking. The ASPI gained by 1.8 per cent and the S&P SL20 improved by 0.8 per cent. The All- Share Price Index went down by 105.2 points and S and P SL20 declined by 60.2 points. Turnover stood at Rs 5.4 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Hunas Falls, which crossed 1.4 million shares to the tune of Rs 54.7 million, its shares trading at Rs 40 and Hela Apparel 3.7 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 48.9 million, its shares traded at Rs 13.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 1.5 billion (4.8 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 665 million (three million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 459 million (52.1 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 320 million (4.2 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 141 million (230,000 shares traded), Hayleys Rs 117 million (1.1 million shares traded) and EML Consultants Rs 111 million (21 million shares traded). During the day 222 million share volumes changed hands in 42000 transactions.

It is said the market continued its run in the green; however, witnessed some profit- taking in active counters following several sessions of gains. Lanka-IOC, Expolanka and Hayleys, which have witnessed sharp gains recently, closed in the red.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Lanka IOC, Melstacorp and Royal Ceramics. Mixed interest was observed in Hayleys and Vallibel One, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing and Softlogic Capital.

The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Hayleys), while the sector index gained 2.86 per cent. The share price of Hayleys recorded a loss of Rs. 3.75 (3.18 per cent) to close at Rs. 114.25.

The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Browns Investments and Melstacorp) while the sector index increased by 3.39 per cent. The share price of Browns Investments gained 70 cents (8.54 per cent) to close at Rs. 8.90. The share price of Melstacorp appreciated by 80 cents to close at Rs. 55.60. Separately, Lee Hedges PLC announced a cash dividend of one rupee per share.

Yesterday the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 357.37 and the selling price Rs 368.68.

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