The Colombo stock market began a fresh week on a positive note but more importantly foreigners have become net buyers to the tune of over Rs. 2.6 billion so far in May.Analysts said the latter development was significant given the successive net outflow until May. Thanks to the net inflow in the first five market days of May, the year to date outflow has been reduced to below Rs. 6 billion.
“Foreign interest has returned to the market and net inflow though coming in smaller doses is very encouraging,” analysts said. Yesterday the inflow was Rs. 53 million, whilst during the 4-day trading of last week the net inflow was nearly Rs. 2.577 billion.
Improved investor sentiments saw the benchmark ASI yesterday gain by nearly 1% whilst Milanka Index also moved up. “Buying interest dominated by local retail participation led the indices higher with activity dominated by trades on finance, manufacturing, diversified and trading sector counters,” John Keells Stock Brokers said.
“Indices remained in green amidst investors reacting well to positive interim results. The bullish momentum witnessed towards the end of the last week may continue this week as well. Renewed interest was witnessed in some blue chip stocks also,” NDB Stockbrokers said. “However, low turnover levels remain a concern,” it added. Turnover was Rs. 1.6 billion slightly less than Rs. 1.7 billion on Friday.
Premier blue chip JKH gained by Rs. 7.20 to close at Rs. 289.90 whilst its intra-day high was Rs. 291. Volume traded was 308,300 shares.
Brown and Co. was the main contributor (Rs. 154 million) to the market turnover. The share price increased by Rs. 3.10 (1.25%) and closed at Rs. 363.50. Brown & Co. has gained 44% since mid-March.
The Manufacturing sector also contributed to the market turnover (sector index increasing 0.74%) mainly due to Bogala Graphite. The share price increased by Rs. 22.80 (38.30%) and topped the list of gainers percentagewise with 1.15 million shares traded for Rs. 89 million. Sathosa Motors which has reported an impressive 300% rise in 2010/11 earnings to Rs. 110 million rose by 20% or Rs. 45 to close at Rs. 275.
Hemas Holdings saw a crossing of 1.07 million shares at Rs. 47 per share generating over Rs. 53 million in turnover.
The Bank, Finance & Insurance sector was the main contributor to the market turnover (mainly due to Nation Lanka Finance) with the sector index decreasing 0.31%. Nation Lanka Finance has gained 63% since March end.
Morgan Stanley, other foreign fund managers in town
Colombo is literally crowded with foreign fund managers this week providing the country a chance to boost its investment profile.
Over 10 foreign fund managers are attending a two-day engagement with Lankan companies and capital markets and other officials under an initiative by CT Capital and CT Smith Stockbrokers whilst two executives from global financial services firm Morgan Stanley are in town as well.
The latter’s visit is coordinated by John Keells Holdings.
A few months ago the latter was also involved in bringing 10 top fund managers to Colombo under partnership with Credit Suisse.
At yesterday’s CT forum Central Bank Govenor Nivard Cabraal kicked off the event attended by nearly 20 representatives from foreign funds and mangers including Europe based ones operating out of Hong Kong and Singapore. Apart from a comprehensive presentation by Cabraal, the foreign delegates were enriched with presentations from JKH, Dialog, Aitken Spence, Distilleries, Commercial Bank, HNB and Sampath Bank. Today’s engagement also involves several company presentations.
A unique feature of the CT Forum was the participation of several top local fund managers such as EPF, ETF, NSB, Ceybank, Aviva NDB.