Investment in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka shares hit 1-week closing high after govt drops tax plan

FIRST CAPITAL’S HEAD OF RESEARCH DIMANTHA MATHEW SPEAKS TO REUTERS

AUGUST 28, 2017

COLOMBO, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended slightly firmer on Monday, recovering from a more-than-four-month closing low hit last week, as investors bought battered shares after the government’s decision to drop a proposed tax on profits from share trading.

However, the day’s turnover touched its lowest in more than five months. It was 210.3 million rupees ($1.38 million), lowest since March 13, and well below this year’s daily average of around 859.2 million rupees.

Junior finance minister on Thursday said Sri Lanka will not go ahead with a proposed tax on profits from share trading that was planned as part of a major tax reform bill.

The bill is expected to be presented in the parliament on Sept. 6.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.05 percent higher at 6,412.37, its highest since Aug. 21.

The index fell 0.42 percent last week recording its sixth weekly fall.

It shed 4.3 percent since July 27 through Thursday, and has fallen in 18 of 20 sessions on lacklustre corporate earnings in the June quarter and speculation that the new reform bill may impose a tax on stock trading.

“Sentiment is improving though the turnover is low. We see an improvement in the buying interest,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“The positive sentiment has returned after the minister cleared doubts over the taxes and also due to longer-than-expected correction.”

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 42.1 million rupees ($275,433) on Monday, extending their year-to-date net inflows to 28 billion rupees.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.3 percent higher, while Commercial Leasing & Fiance Plc closed 3.6 percent higher and Union Bank Plc ended 4.2 percent firmer.

The comments on this report are provided by the Capital Markets Research Unit of First Capital Holdings PLC an investment bank in Sri Lanka.

The company operates in the capital markets of Sri Lanka in government securities – treasury bills and bonds, stock brokering and share market investments, asset management, private wealth management,  retirement planning, personal financial planning, unit trust, margin trading, capital market research, trustee services, corporate finance advisory services including corporate debt structuring (debentures, trust certificates, commercial papers), valuations, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and project advisory. 

The First Capital Group consists of First Capital Treasuries PLC, First Capital Limited, First Capital Markets Limited, First Capital Asset Management Limited and First Capital Equities (Private) Limited covering Colombo, Negombo, Matara, Kandy and Kurunegala.<