- Bourse up as retail investors buy midcap share
- Foreign investors exit for 11th straight session
- Rupee up on cenbank reducing dlr trading band
Reuters:Sri Lanka’s stock market edged up on Thursday on retail buying, but foreign investors continued to exit amid worries the impact of the Middle East/North Africa crisis could dent economic growth and company profits. Analysts said investors are concerned on higher oil prices, possible job cuts for Sri Lankans working in the Gulf and a likely hit on tea exports due to crisis in Middle East and North Africa. Investors globally have been scaling down exposure, as oil prices have surged with the string of popular revolts.
The island’s main share index rose 0.46 percent or 34.56 points to 7,583.42
It hit a record closing high of 7,811.82 on 14 February. Foreign investors were net sellers for the 11th straight session, selling a net 270.9 million rupees on Thursday, extending the total net foreign outflow to 7 billion rupees in 2011, after selling a record net 26.4 billion in 2010. The bourse has still been Asia’s best performer with a 14.3 percent gain in 2011 after being in the region’s top spot with a 96 percent return last year. Turnover was 2.9 billion rupees ($26.1 million), more than last year’s average of 2.4 billion rupees, but less than this year’s daily average of 3.7 billion rupees. Traded share volume was 70.8 million, against a five-day average of 55.6 million. The 30-day and 90-day average trading volumes were 133.1 million and 67.6 million respectively. Last year’s daily average volume was 67.9 million. The bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 16.4, one of the highest among emerging markets, compared with 12.8 in Asian markets and 11.8 in global emerging markets, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. The rupee closed firmer at 110.76/78 a dollar from Wednesday’s close of 110.87/110.89, as the Central Bank lowered the dollar trading band by 10 cents to 110.20/80, dealers said.