Year to date Bourse turnover tops Rs. 500 b

Thursday, 4 November 2010 07:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Colombo stock market’s turnover yesterday crossed the Rs. 500 billion mark, according to CSE officials.

They said that with yesterday’s figure of Rs. 2.67 billion, the year to date turnover amounted to Rs. 501.12 billion.

The stock market is having its dream year with already having surpassed the combined turnover of past four years.

Whilst turnover remain strong, investor sentiments could be much better especially given the impressive earnings being released by companies so far in addition to positive macro factors.

Yesterday however the benchmark ASPI fell marginally whilst MPI gained as investors focused on selected stocks. The mixed performance of the indices prompted NDB Stockbrokers to say it reflects the “volatility of the investor sentiment.”

Reuters said ASPI fell for a second session as investors booked profits on large cap shares to raise cash for an initial public offering later this week.

ASPI fell 35.73 points or 0.53 percent to 6674.91. It is Asia’s best performer in 2010 with a 97.2 percent gain, and of late has seen retail investors snap up IPOs hungrily.

Local gas distributor Laugfs is offering 75 million ordinary shares at Rs. 23 each and 52 million non-voting shares at Rs.15 each, and the offer closes on Thursday.

The bourse is trading at the highest forward price-to-earnings ratio in Asia and global emerging markets at 20.1 times, compared with 13.5 and 12.8 respectively, Thomson Reuters StarMine data shows. The CSE’s 14-day relative strength index is at 54.3, more towards the upper neutral limit 70.

Local investors are bullish as September quarterly earnings released by 56 listed firms so far have shown growth of 374.6 percent year-on-year.

However, foreign investors have been net sellers throughout the year with 26 billion rupees so far this year, but on Wednesday bought a net 439.5 million rupees worth of shares.

Asia Securities said market continued to move on a slow pace in the initial trading hours till the change in strategic stake of Kotmale Holdings took place. However, it still closed in the red today.

It said heavyweight John Keells Holdings witnessed high net worth and retail participation during the day. Retail interest continued in Piramal Glass whilst foreign selling was evident in Aitken Spence. Buying interest continued in Commercial Bank with Distilleries grabbing institutional attention.

The rupee closed flat at 111.69/70 a dollar as importer dollar demand was offset by a state bank selling.