Bourse edges lower; turnover up on foreign trades

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares edged down on Tuesday for a second straight session, their ninth session of losses in ten, but turnover was up on heavy trading by foreign investors.

The Colombo Stock index ended 0.05% weaker at 6,418.05.

Colombo Cold Stores Plc dropped 3.2%, while Ceylinco Insurance Company Plc declined 1.1%. Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 1.8%.

The index has shed around 2% in the past ten sessions. It dropped around 0.5% last week, the second straight fall on week.

“Foreigners are buying because they are looking at a time horizon of 3-5 years. But local institutional investors are staying away due to political uncertainties,” said Jaliya Wijeratne, CEO at First Capital Equities.

Turnover stood at Rs. 1.5 billion ($ 9.73 million), with foreign trading accounting for around 85% of the day’s turnover, which was well above last year’s daily average of Rs. 915.3 million.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 226.1 million worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs. 3.1 billion worth equities.

Foreign investors bought equities worth Rs. 18.5 billion last year, and Rs. 633.5 million in 2016.

President Maithripala Sirisena said over the weekend that he would handle the economy from this year, taking over from the government’s main coalition partner, led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The comments have sparked uncertainty over the future of the coalition government, analysts said.