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Sri Lanka shares end at new over 5-month peak in high turnover helped by Expolanka 

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed at a fresh over five month high on Thursday (08) on positive retail investor sentiments pushed by the market heavyweight Expolanka, brokers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 1.61% or 152.05 points to 9,599.32, its highest since March 29.

The market saw a turnover of 5 billion rupees, higher than this year’s average turnover of 3.17 billion rupees.

“The market moved on Expolanka crossings continued from yesterday and we also saw buying coming into plantation and fertilizer companies,” a market analyst said.

The market has also gained due to some positive sentiments from investors on the hopes of macroeconomic stability.

On Thursday, Expolanka had 19 crossings and in the previous session, it had 53 crossings. The shares in the market heavyweight gained 3 percent to 231 rupees.

The market saw a net foreign inflow of 399 million rupees on Thursday.

The net foreign inflow so far this year is 4.44 billion rupees after the bourse saw 5.83 billion rupees of net foreign buying in the last 18 consecutive sessions amid positive sentiment over an IMF deal.

The IMF announced that it reached a staff-level agreement with Sri Lanka on Thursday (01), with a possible 48-month 2.9 billion dollars in Extended Fund Facility (EFF) once the debt restructuring is done.

Sri Lanka also submitted a reform-oriented interim budget for 2022 on August 30 which was seen as market positive.

The budget is aimed at almost doubling the tax-to-GDP ratio to 15 percent by 2025 from 8.2 percent at
the end of 2021.

Sri Lanka is in the process of coming out of sovereign debt default declared on April 12 which deepened its economic crisis and turned into a political crisis. Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independence era. The economy is expected to contract more than 8 percent this year.

The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 1.69% or 51.06 points up at 3,069.03.

The main index ASPI has gained 5.8 percent in September so far after gaining 17.3 percent in August.

The index has lost 21.5 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an
80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.

Richard Pieris pushed the index up, closing 14.7 percent higher at 32.2 rupees a share.

Royal Ceramics closed 9.9 percent up at 35.5 rupees a share. (Colombo/Sept08/2022)

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