The Colombo stock market yesterday saw a welcome return of foreign investors and more importantly ending the 31 March, 2011 financial year on a positive note.
Foreign investors purchased Rs. 794 million worth of shares, mainly on Sampath Bank, and selling amounted to only Rs. 101.3 million resulting in a net inflow of Rs. 693 million.
The benchmark ASI gained by 0.46% and Milanka Index more sharply by 0.9% whilst turnover was a respectable Rs. 2.19 billion. Yesterday’s gain ended three consecutive days of dips.
The net foreign inflow yesterday was the first in 12 sessions hence investors and brokers were upbeat. Year to date however foreigners have been net sellers to the tune of Rs. 7.1 billion on top of a record Rs. 26.4 billion in 2010.
Colombo remains Asia’s best performer in 2011 with an 8.9 percent gain, after bringing in the region’s best return of 96 percent last year.
NDB Stockbrokers headlined its report saying “Financial year ends in green” and noted that as expected, blue chip counters recorded gains pushing the MPI up.
“However, the momentum may slow down with the end of financial year. Illiquid small and mid cap counters might get attention with the end of the deadline to reduce credit at broking houses,” NDB Stockbrokers added.
Bank, Finance & Insurance sector was the main contributor to the market turnover (due to Sampath Bank, Central Finance, Union Bank & HDFC Bank) with the sector index increasing 1.21%.
Diversified sector also contributed to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings), with the sector index increasing 0.74%. Profit taking was witnessed in Ceylon Cold Stores to a certain extent after making substantial gains over the last couple of days.
Analysts said a foreign fund was scouting for quantities of JKH which saw its share price move up by Rs. 5.70 to close at Rs. 285.60 after peaking to an intra-day high of Rs. 287. Some of the other blue chips to gain were Aitken Spence, Hemas, HNB, Cargills, SLT and Dockyard.
Despite Wednesday’s fiasco at the AGM, Commercial Bank peaked to a high of Rs. 268 (voting) but closed down by Rs. 1 to Rs. 265.80.
Meanwhile the rupee closed firmer at 110.38/40 a dollar from Wednesday’s close of 110.35/37 on importer dollar demand, dealers said.
Indra Silva sells Sampath stake for profit
High networth investor and Indra Traders-fame Indra Silva yesterday sold a small stake in Sampath Bank to book profit.
Around 1.5% stake of Sampath Bank amounting to 2.37 million shares traded for Rs. 687.4 million. Of the quantities traded there were five crossings involving 2.14 million shares at Rs. 290 each. Sampath’s share price rose by Rs. 2.10 (0.73%) and closed at Rs. 287.
Buyer was foreign as non-national holding of Sampath rose by 2.3 million shares. As at 31 December, 2010, Indra Silva had around 7% stake amounting to 10.8 million shares in Sampath Bank.