East-West Properties’ intended share sale revives bourse

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

East West Properties PLC signed a letter of intent for the sale of 72 percent of its shareholding in Weligama Hotel Properties to HPL Hotel and Resorts Limited of Singapore. Consequently, East West Properties share price moved up by 30 percent in the Colombo Stock Exchange yesterday. The prospective transaction helped in reviving the share market to a degree, after the current violence in parts of the country affected its fortunes over the past few days.

East-West Properties announced the sale of one of their five star hotels in Weligama which is known as Weligama Bay Hotel, which is a subsidiary of East-West Properties. The price of the property is yet to be announced, market sources said..

There was  a lot of interest among both local and foreign investors in Weligama Bay Hotel, whose share price started at Rs. 15.80 and at the end of the day moved up to Rs. 21.90 per share. Therefore, East-West Properties was the highest contributor to the retail market segment. Due to these developments, coupled with some political stability, both indices moved up, ie, All Share Price Index by 17.38 points and S and P SL20 by 11.98 points.

The day's turnover stood at Rs. 733.46 million with two crossings. Those crossings were: NTB two million shares crossed for Rs. 160 million, per share value Rs. 80, and JKH 239,000 shares crossed for Rs. 38.45 million at a per share value of Rs. 161.50.

In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the day's turnover were: East West Properties PLC Rs 118.7 million (5.9 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 66.7 million  (410,000 shares traded) and Union Assurance Rs. 42.9 million (266,000 shares traded). During the day 24.24 million share volumes changed hands in 6903 transactions.

The telecom regulator on Wednesday blocked social media networks, such as, Facebook Inc, Viber and WhatsApp across the country for three days to prevent the spread of violence, officials said. "Investors are really worried about the continued violence," said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

"The market thought the violence was under control yesterday. But it continued today as well. Investors will wait until there is a peaceful situation, stock market analysts said.

Meanwhile, JKSB reports -

ASPI: 6,523.17 (+19.31 pts; +0.30%); Val T/O: Rs. 733mn (US$4.73mn); Vol T/O: 24.2mn; Trades: 6,903

Advance/decline ratio: 128/63; Top gainer: PCP.N (+100.00%) ; Top loser: SWAD.N (-18.05%)


• The ASPI ended higher amid improved turnover levels. NTB, EAST, and JKH led market activity including crossings with trading in NTB amounting to 25% of total turnover.

• Banks, Finance, & Insurance was the most actively traded sector (+0.04%)

• Power & Energy was the best performing sector (+1.63%), supported by gains on LGL (+17.19%)

• Trading was the worst performing sector (-3.16%), dragged down by declines on EMER (-1.72%)

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