By Hiran H. Senviratne
CSE trading was seen as negative throughout yesterday as last week, the quarterly results of Expolanka Holdings, a stock market company with a large market capitalization, did not meet the expected levels.
Stock market analysts said this dampened investor sentiment significantly.
The government and its creditors, which include India, China, Japan and some private bondholders, will soon discuss in detail the restructuring of the country’s debt in their meeting. But market analysts said the delay in IMF bailout arrangements had negatively affected investor sentiment.
Market analysts added that given these gloomy external and internal environmental factors, selling pressure was seen in most of the blue-chip companies.
Expolanca Holdings and Lanka IOC were among the blue-chip companies that depressed the market. Both indices moved downwards. The All Share Price Index declined by 126 points and the S and P SL2O declined by 51.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.08 billion without a single crossing.
The top seven companies in the retail market that primarily contributed to the business; Expolanca Holdings Rs 369 million (2.4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 147 million (789,000 shares traded).
Browns Investments Rs 57.7 million (9.5 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 32.4 million (4.7 million shares traded), Hams Holdings Rs 31.6 million (575,000 shares traded), Lanka Volatiles Rs 24.1 million (397,000 shares traded) and JK 2 million Rs. (167,000 shares traded). Volume of 42.8 million shares changed hands in 13,000 transactions during the day.
Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, buying shares worth Rs 141.6 million, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading stocks worth Rs 1 billion, as reported last Friday.
Meanwhile, the exclusive LMD-Nielsen IQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) provides a glimpse of relief. It rose 13 basis points to 89 in October from 76 in September, business magazine LMD reported in its latest edition.
‘Little comfort though we must admit that today two out of five households are reportedly undernourished. Market analysts said this would create some positive sentiment for listed companies.
Yesterday, the Central Bank announced that the buying rate of the US dollar was Rs 360.65 and the selling rate was Rs 371.21.