Sentiments gain strength in bourse, low turnover a concern

Friday, 18 March 2011 02:14 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

THE Colombo stock market yesterday gained further momentum yesterday with market capitalisation improving by Rs. 51 billion, higher in comparison to the Rs. 29 billion value increase on Wednesday, though low turnover remains a concern.

The All Share Index rose by over 2%, highest in recent weeks, whilst the MPI saw a near 2% rise.

Yesterday’s gain helped the year to date ASI’s gain to 9.55%, higher from 6% on Tuesday but still lower in comparison to 17% on 14 February. The two days of gain also helped to reduce the loss in value to Rs. 175 billion from a high Rs. 255.5 billion between 14 February and Tuesday.

“A demand seems to be created to negate the negative sentiment that prevailed over the last few weeks. However, low turnover suggests the trend may be temporary. Accumulation of blue chips was witnessed to a certain extent with marginal institutional or high net worth investor participation,” NDB Stockbrokers said.

Diversified sector was the highest contributor to the market turnover as investor interest was witnessed in John Keells Holdings (which has declined almost 10% over the last two weeks), Colombo Fort Land and Richard Pieris. The sector index increased by 2.10%. Manufacturing sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover with interest seen in Ceylon Grain Elevators. The sector index increased by 2.95%. The share price of Ceylon Grain Elevators increased by Rs. 16.60 (9.98%) and closed at Rs. 187. At this price the share is trading at a P/E of 22 times compared to the market P/E of 20 times (based on FY10 results).

Hotel Sigiriya announced an interim dividend of Rs. 1.50, which attracted investors marginally.