After a break on Thursday, the Colombo stock market gained yesterday with improved investor sentiment, amidst the exit of the Head of the SEC, though activity remained relatively low.
Lanka Securities said the benchmark ASI gained 18.41 points (+0.4%) to close at 4,927.13 while MPI closed at 4,550.02, up 28.70 points (+0.6%). S&P SL 20 Index gained 16.51 index points to close at 2,795.39. For the week, the ASPI ended up by 1.50% while the MPI gained 4.10%.
Biggest contributors to the movement of ASI were COMB, Hayleys, HNB, LOLC and SLT.
Hayleys saw renewed interest in its share and ended the day with a gain of around 5.2%.
NDB Stockbrokers said the market commenced in the red with John Keells Holdings seeing a slight dip in its share price. However, the indices moved back into the green with John Keells Holdings regaining its lost ground by the end of the day. Despite moving on thin volumes, heavyweight John Keells Holdings, extended interest as the counter edged up marginally to close at Rs. 195.10.
Market turnover stood at Rs. 216.8 million whilst foreigners ended the busy week with a net inflow of Rs. 40 million yesterday, bringing the total to nearly Rs. 800 million during the past five days.
Commercial Bank non-voting (Rs. 53.05 million), Ascot Holdings (Rs. 25.6 million) and Commercial Bank voting (Rs. 12.7 million) topped the turnover list for the day. Heavily traded stocks were Swarnamahal Financial Services, Pan Asia Bank and HVA Foods.
Softlogic Stockbrokers said despite showing some volatility, indices remained in the green throughout the day’s trading as the broader index touched a high of 4,932.5 points (up 23.8 points) before closing at 4,927.1 points.
“It is encouraging to note that the recent run in the Bourse has led fundamentals to take the lead with sound gains in steady stocks including John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank of Ceylon (voting and non-voting), Hatton National Bank (voting and non-voting), Distilleries, Hayles, Nestle Lanka, Sampath Bank and National Development Bank,” Sotflogic said.
“The momentum in the steady players has built up as the foreigners spearheaded picking on the attractively-priced companies with expected sustainable earnings growth potential. Nevertheless, the local players are still falling behind, lost amidst the prevalent short-term economic uncertainties,” it added.
Detailing the market’s activity, Softlogic said non-voting and voting shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon stole the limelight as the shares occupied the first and third positions of the day’s turnover list respectively. A number of large transactions in the non-voting share including a 157,500 share parcel at Rs. 80 were seen taken on board.
The voting share also proved to be equally active as they collectively added around 30.3% to the day’s turnover. Both the shares currently attractively trading at 6.8x & 8.7x 2012E PER, advanced 1.6% and 1.8% to close at Rs. 102.1 and Rs. 80 respectively, Softlogic Stockbrokers said.
Further, voting and non-voting shares of Hatton National Bank also continued interest as they advanced by 2.7% and 1.3% at their close of Rs. 134 and Rs. 96 respectively.
Ascot Holdings appeared in the crossings board as a block of 125,000 shares was traded at Rs. 205. Renewed play was evident in Lanka Orix Leasing as it saw several large trades taken on board including 100,100 and 114,800 share blocks. Similar interest was also visible in Brown & Company as it closed at Rs. 110 with a 0.9% gain.
Renewed participation was also witnessed in Overseas Realty, Tess Agro and Vallibel Finance. Buying interest emerged in Vallibel One (trading below its book value) as it encountered few large on-board deals to close with a marginal 0.7% advance at Rs. 14.8. Hotel sector players John Keells Hotels and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings grabbed attention, where the latter advanced 2.5% at its close of Rs. 69.7.