Loan moratorium request to India seen as bringing down bourse

By Hiran. H. Senewiratne

Prime Minister Mahinda Ranjapaksa's  loan moratorium  request to the  Indian government during his recent visit to India  has resulted in CSE investors, especially foreign investors, losing confidence in investing locally. This loan moratorium request to India is an  indication of the  government's inability to settle its loans raised for different infrastructure projects in the recent past,  stock market analysts said.     Further, stocks closed 0.35 percent lower yesterday  dragged down by Commercial Bank, LOLC Holdings and JKH, these sources said.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell for the fourth consecutive day, closing 20.62 points down at 5,878.44. The ASPI fell throughout the day, reaching a low of 5,878.02 in the afternoon before recovering marginally. The S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks closed 0.61 percent or 17.02 points down at 2,784.83.

The market turnover yesterday was Rs.  597.66 million with 44 stocks gaining and 89 falling. During the day two arranged or crossings took place. A Rs.   62 million crossing was witnessed as Dialog Axiata PLC 5 million shares changed hands at  Rs. 12.40 each. The Dialog share closed at Rs. 12.50, up 20 cents from a day earlier. Other crossings were recorded from Central Finance, which crossed 418,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 43.9 million; its per share value traded at Rs. 105.

In the retail market the top five companies that contributed to the day's turnover were; Nestle Rs. 129.2 million (99400 shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs. 77.1 million (482,000 shares traded), JKH Rs. 61 million (388,000 shares traded), Access Engineering Rs. 43.9 million (2.1 million shares traded) and HNB Assurance Rs. 25.9 million (173,000 shares traded). During the day 16.7 million share volumes changed hands in 3850 transactions. 

Commercial Bank stocks closed Rs. 3.10 or 3.37 percent down at 89.90 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI’s fall.

LOLC Holdings closed  Rs. 2.00  or 1.37 percent lower at Rs. 144.10 a share. JKH's stocks fell 70 cents or 0.44 percent to close at Rs. 156.90 a share; also contributing to the ASPI’s decline.

The food beverage and tobacco industry index, which was the most active, fell 0.28 percent. The banking index, also highly active for the day, closed 0.92 percent lower.

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