By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading started on a negative note but shares edged- up in mid- day trade yesterday, after positive responses from President Ranil Wickremesignhe in parliament.
President Wickremesinghe said that the government is negotiating debt restructuring with all creditors. The only other way is to get support from the International Monetary Fund, based on negotiations.
“We have now reached the final stage of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. We were able to reach a basic agreement last September and now there is the debt sustainability program, Wickremesinghe said in Parliament.
Apart from that, investor sentiment improved to a greater extent yesterday due to the Paris Club announcing its stance on the debt restructuring plan. The Chinese government’s credit assurance is awaited, stock market analysts said.
The All- Share Price Index went up by 11.59 points and S and P SL20 declined by 1.73 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.19 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in TJ Lanka, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 36.5 million, its shares traded at Rs 36.50.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, JKH, Rs 189 million (1.3 million shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Non- Voting) Rs 97.5 million (2.9 million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 72.4 million (596,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 71.9 million (382,000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 63.9 million (326,000 shares traded), Aitken Spence Rs 63.3 million (422,000 shares traded) and Browns Investments Rs 52 million (8.84 million shares traded). During the day 43.2 million share volumes changed hands in 13000 transactions.
‘Any domestic debt restructuring will be part of a negotiation process with creditors, which will take place after a program with the International Monetary Fund is in place, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said.
‘Sri Lanka is expecting to conclude debt restructuring in about six months, Governor Weerasinghe said.
The market has been seeing considerable foreign interest for JKH following an announcement on Cinnamon Life opening in 2025.The market generated a revenue of RS 586 million within the first hour of trade.
It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Lanka Tiles, JKH and Hatton National Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Aitken Spence and Softlogic Life Insurance, while retail interest was noted in Softlogic Capital, Browns Investments and Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons.
The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to JKH and Aitken Spence) while the sector index lost 0.54 per cent. The share price of JKH closed flat at Rs. 145.50. The share price of Aitken Spence closed flat at Rs. 150.
The Materials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover, while the sector index decreased by 0.31 per cent. Expolanka Holdings, Softlogic Capital and Browns Investments were also among the top turnover contributors.
Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.47 and selling rate Rs 370.35.