ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares gained for the sixth session on Friday closing on positive sentiments due to expectations of easing market interest rates and generated the highest turnover in two months, brokers said.
The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 0.61 percent or 65.94 points higher at 8,769.73, the highest index gain since October 27.
The market witnessed a turnover of 4 billion rupees, higher than this year’s daily average turnover of 3 billion rupees. This is the highest turnover generated since September 27.
The market saw a foreign inflow of 1 billion rupees, the highest inflow since September 27. The total net foreign inflow stood at 20.2 billion rupees so far for this year.
“Most of the treasury counters gained today with the speculation for interest rates to ease with the inflation therefore treasury shares gained,” a market analyst said.
Analysts said Lanka IOC gained with the government keeping the fuel prices unchanged while global prices fell.
Former Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said in a forum on Monday that the government is in discussions with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank to get loans of 1.9 billion US dollars after a reform program with the International Monetary Fund is approved.
A policy loan now being discussed with the World Bank may bring around 700 million US dollars, Coomaraswamy told a business forum organized by CT CLSA Securities, a Colombo-based brokerage.
The Asian Development Bank may also give around 1.2 billion US dollars most of which will be budget support, he said.
In the last few sessions market gained after the Central bank governor said market rates should eventually ease despite the fears of a domestic debt restructuring as inflation falls, increased liquidity in dollar markets, and the inter-bank liquidity improves.
In the past sessions, the index continued to fall on the speculation of a local debt restructuring although no proper decision has been taken so far.
The more liquid index S&P SL20 closed 1.27 percent or 34.86 points higher at 2,774.60.
So far in December ASPI gained 1.3 percent.
The ASPI gained 0.5 percent in November after losing 13.4 percent in October.
It has lost 28.2 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.
Sampath Bank pushed the index up to close at 10.8 percent to 39.9 rupees.
Other top gainers were Lanka IOC gained 6.2 percent to close at 206.8 rupees and Commercial Bank gained 1.8 percent to close at 51 rupees. (Colombo/Dec02/2022)