Sri Lankan stocks end the week steady as foreign investor interest returns
Sri Lanka, Aug 24 (Insights Equity) – Sri Lankan stocks remained steady after four consecutive weeks of losses, as foreign investors became net buyers for the first time over the holiday-shortened week after back-to-back weeks of net foreign outflows.
Recording its only gain since the week ending July 26, 2018, the All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up marginally, gaining nearly 2 points over the week to reach 6052.69 at the close of the week, while more liquid S&P SL20 index dropped more than 25 points to stand at 3,212.86, 0.8 percent lower than the previous week’s close.
The weekly turnover declined by 13 percent from the previous week to LKR1.9 bn (USD12.0 mn), well below the year-to-date average weekly turnover of LKR3.9 bn (USD24.2 mn) as off-board negotiated trades during the week declined to 22 percent of weekly turnover, from 40 percent recorded in the previous week. The volume of shares transacted during the week stood at 57.7 mn shares, well below the average weekly volume of 123.4 mn.
Meanwhile, foreign investors became net buyers for the first time since the week ending July 26, 2018 as they bought shares worth a net LKR55.0 mn (USD0.3 mn), contracting the year-to-date net foreign outflow to LKR3.5 bn (USD21.7 mn).
John Keells Holdings and Melstacorp spearheaded the weekly turnover generation Contributing 27 percent and 15 percent of weekly turnover respectively, as both stocks witnessed foreign interest, each gaining nearly 1 percent in value over the week. Foreign selling centred on Hemas Holding as stock plunged nearly 5 percent in value, contributing 9 percent of weekly turnover. Hence, Diversified sector made the highest turnover contribution of 55 percent followed by Banks, Finance and Insurance which made up 19 percent.