Stock market closes on the up but ends 2015 with 5.5% dip

Friday, 1 January 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s main share index fell 5.5% this year, but ended firmer at a more than one-month high on Thursday in thin trading due to the holiday and investors awaiting the impact of a hike in commercial banks’ statutory reserve ratio (SRR).

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank on Wednesday raised the SRR by 150 basis points to 7.50%, to stabilise a rupee hovering near record lows and slow private sector credit growth.

The main stock index recouped early losses to end 0.35% firmer at 6,894.50, its highest close since 30 November. 

The index fell 5.5% in 2015, Thomson Reuters data showed. In terms of U.S. dollar value, Sri Lanka’s market capitalisation fell 13.9%, still performing better than the other stock index in Asia like Malaysia, Thailand , Indonesia and Singapore.

Stockbrokers said many investors are on year-end leave and some are waiting to see the impact of the Central Bank ‘s first step in monetary tightening.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 49.1 million ($340,617) worth of equities, but the market saw a net foreign outflow of Rs. 4.43 billion in 2015, compared to a net foreign inflow of Rs. 22.07 billion  last year.

Turnover stood at Rs. 326.4 million, less than a third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.06 billion. Last year’s daily average was Rs. 1.42 billion.

Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence, which led the overall index gain, rose 5.1%, while development lender DFCC Bank gained 3.3%.