Rupee at two-year high; bourse edges up

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s rupee currency closed flat on Monday at a two-year high as thin volumes of dollar sales by exporters offset importer buying, while the bourse edged up with turnover hitting near a seven-week high.

The rupee closed at 110.90/92 a dollar, its highest since 11 December 2008, from Friday’s 110.90/94. It has risen around three per cent in 2010.

The main share index gained 4.07 points or 0.06 percent to 6,436.82, snapping a five-session fall from its lowest close since 30 November.

Asia’s best performer in 2010 has risen 90.1 per cent, ahead of second-ranked Indonesia’s 45.7 percent. It has fallen 10.7 per cent since hitting a record high on 4 October, mainly on a liquidity shortage.

But on Monday, a block sale of Sampath Bank boosted turnover to Rs. 7.9 billion ($71.6 million), over 13 times the 2009 daily average of Rs. 593.6 million. Foreign investors have sold a net Rs. 25.3 billion in shares this year and on Monday sold a net Rs. 283 million.

The bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19.9, the highest in Asia, compared with all-Asia’s 12.6 and global emerging markets’ 11.6, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.

The CSE’s 14-day relative strength index is at 44.6, between the lower and upper neutral limit of 30 and 70.

Trading volume in shares hit 107.5 million on Monday, against an average volume of 59.7 million and 52.6 million in the past five and 30 days respectively. The 90-day average volume is 69.7 million.

Dhammika Perera transfers Sampath stake

Business leader Dhammika Perera yesterday transferred his 15% stake comprising of 23,217,600 shares in Sampath Bank at Rs. 300 per share to Vallibel Finance. Sources noted that this was part of institutionalising some of Perera’s shareholdings held under his personal name.

Previous transfers include holdings in LB Finance and Royal Ceramics. The expectation is that he will take Vallibel One, which will have interests in leisure and renewable energy public next year.

A block sale of Sampath Bank boosted turnover to Rs. 7.9 billion. The last traded price was noted at Rs. 260.90, a change of Rs.6.10 and an increase of 2.39%.

Earlier the Board of Directors of Vallibel Finance Plc decided to propose to shareholders a sub division of its ordinary shares. The basis of sub division is one share in to two shares without a change to the stated capital of the company.

Its current shares in issue are 20,775,300 and post sub division will increase to 41,550,600. The move is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.