Late rally on bank stocks propels bourse to positive territory

Wednesday, 24 May 2023 00:40 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A late rally on banking sector stock yesterday propelled the Colombo bourse to positive territory with improved turnover.

Until the last 20 minutes of trading the Colombo Stock Exchange was continuing on the negative trend experienced in the past three sessions. A sudden spike in interest on banking sector stocks saw the active S&P SL20 close with a 0.6% gain and the benchmark ASPI by 0.3% increase. 

Turnover was Rs. 727.5 million on a thin volume of 31.5 million shares.

The market also saw net foreign outflow of Rs. 155.8 million.

Asia Securities said the indices returned to positive territory supported by price increases in HNBN (+1.7%), AHUN (+2.0%), WATA (+2.4%), ELPL (+2.2%), SUN (+1.2%), CICX (+3.0%), SAMP (+2.3%), COMBN (+3.5%), and CCS (+1.8%).

On the other hand, LIOC (-0.6%), ACL (-2.2%), EXPO (-0.4%), SCAP (-1.3%), TJL (-6.1%), and HELA (-6.1%) closed lower. COMBN (+14 points), SAMPN (+10 points), and MELS (+7 points) came in as the biggest index movers for the day.

The breadth of the market was negative with 75 price gainers and 92 decliners. 

Turnover was led by HNBN (Rs. 121 million), AHUN (Rs. 60 million), and LIOC (Rs. 60 million). HNBN saw net foreign selling of Rs. 119 million) whilst buying topped in CCS.N at Rs. 9.5 million.

First Capital said the Bourse took a reversal note as ASPI closed the day in the green zone, breaking the 3-day negative sentiment amidst the reactivated interest on the banking sector counters (mainly COMB, SAMP and HNB) expecting clear direction on the DDO process by the end of May 2023.

“As investors expected interest rates to continue to ease down at the weekly T-Bill auction, investor sentiment gradually improved on Treasury counters,” it added.

Although the index plunged further until mid-day, sizable volatility was observed as active collection was reactivated on Banks towards the end of the trading after being heavily beaten down during the past few days.

NDB Securities said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Hatton National Bank, Standard Capital, and Windforce. Mixed interest was observed in Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, Lanka IOC and Expolanka Holdings whilst retail interest was noted in Industrial Asphalts, Browns Investments and SMB Leasing nonvoting.

The Banking sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Hatton National Bank) whilst the sector index gained 1.85%. The share price of Hatton National Bank increased by Rs. 2 to Rs. 120.

The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover whilst the sector index increased by 0.41%.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, Lanka IOC, Standard Capital and Expolanka Holdings were also included among the top turnover contributors. The share price of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings gained Rs. 1.10 to Rs. 57.50. The share price of Lanka IOC moved down by 75 cents to Rs. 130.

The share price of Standard Capital recorded a loss of 40 cents to Rs. 35.30. The share price of Expolanka Holdings declined by 50 cents to Rs. 136.

Separately John Keells Holdings announced its final dividend of 50 cents per share.