The Colombo stock market ended the final day of 2012 on the up, though on thin volume, and closed the year down by 7%, lower than the 8.5% negative return in 2011.
The ASI gained 36 points, whilst turnover was a low Rs. 289.3 million. Market capitalisation was Rs. 2.16 trillion, down by 2% from 2011.
The Milanka Index, which will be replaced by S&P SL20 index from 2013, however closed almost flat (down one point). The MPI finished 2012 down by 2%.
NDB Stockbrokers said both indices had gained 13.6% and 16.8% during the second half of 2012. Softlogic Stockbrokers said the market was on a positive sentiment as it ended in the green for the sixth consecutive day, reaching the highest point since 19 October 2012.
“The year-to-date drop in the All Share Price Index is approximately 7.1%, which is relatively better than the previous year’s drop. The year ahead should hold better fortune as falling interest rates coupled with improving global macro-economic environment will encourage participation in the equity markets,” Lanka Securities said.
Other analysts said the all-time high Rs. 39.2 billion net foreign inflow was an emphatic achievement of the Colombo Bourse. Yesterday the net inflow was Rs. 106 million. Asia Wealth Management said: “Reflecting the positive prospects for 2013,” continued institutional and high net worth participation extended during trading, with a block trade on Nestlé Lanka for 40,000 shares at Rs. 1, 575.
Similar interest seen on Sampath Bank, John Keells Holdings, Textured Jersey Lanka and Commercial Bank of Ceylon also strengthened the activities for the day. The retail investor contribution for the day’s activities however remained minimal, owing to the festive season.
Nestlé (the biggest contributor to turnover with Rs. 67.2 million) and Ceylon Tobacco Company touched all-time highs, said Lanka Securities, which added: “Activity was dominated by blue-chip counters although retail push was seen on selected counters, especially in penny stocks.
“Sampath Bank saw Rs. 45.2 million in turnover and John Keells Holdings (Rs. 32.3 million). Most active counters for the day were Asia Asset Finance, Amana Takaful, and Capital Alliance Finance. Notable gainers for the day were Infrastructure Developments up by 28.6% to close at Rs. 180.00, Capital Alliance Finance up by 27.2% to close at Rs. 24.80, and Ceylon Leather Products warrant-13 up by 23.8% to close at Rs. 7.80.
Notable losers for the day were Singalanka Chemicals down by 5.8% to close at Rs. 97, Renuka Holdings down by 3.3% to close at Rs. 35.60, and Marawila Resorts down by 1.4% to close at Rs. 7.30.