Tumble at Bourse worsens; year-to-date negative return now 15%

Friday, 11 May 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Colombo stock market fell sharply yesterday, increasing its year-to-date negative return to 15%.

SC Securities said the performance of the Colombo Bourse worsened, ending in the red for the eighth day running.

The benchmark index, All Share Price Index (ASPI) lost 1.77% (92.85 points) whilst the more liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) too shed 1.48% (69.85 points).

Market turnover at Rs. 403 million slightly declined over Wednesday’s level.  The top turnover generators for the day were John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC (AHUN), Colombo Land & Development Company PLC (CLND), Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC (COMB), and Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC). The top five turnover generators accounted for circa 40% of the market turnover of the day.

Arrenga Capital said the stagnant slow phase of the Bourse has been taken over by a nose-dive force as the market slashed down 92.9 points yesterday with 14 of the 25 counters of the Milanka index reaching 52-week lows.

“The tumbling down effect has increased the worries of investors as they see their asset values eroding faster leaving questions of when the market would bottom out and recover. This is anyway the typical direction that most equity markets take in a high interest rate environment,” Arrenga added.

It said price performance of Ceylon Tobacco Company stagnated after its dip of 2% on Wednesday following its 33% appreciation over the past two months. The counter was found among the top turnover list after a 20,000 share block was taken on board at Rs. 690 but continued to report very thin volumes.

Colombo Land & Development proved to be active during the day as the counter saw a total of 568.100 shares being traded whilst it closed with a gain of 2.8% at Rs. 36.

Another index heavy, John Keells Holdings, too was among investor interest as two trades taking up a total 98,900 shares at Rs. 198 and Rs. 198.50 were seen picked on board. Two on-board transactions totalling 400,000 shares at Rs. 70 on Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings led the counter to the top turnover list towards the latter hours of trading.

Among the day’s active banking counters were DFCC Bank (-0.3%), Commercial Bank [Voting & Non-Voting](0.0%, -1.9%), Seylan Bank (-1.1%), Hatton National Bank [Non-Voting] (-0.3%) and National Development Bank [-0.3%].

Sampath Bank hit a 52-week low of Rs. 165 after the controversial talks of its involvement in the NSB- TFC transaction.