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Sri Lankan stocks hit near 8-month closing low on foreign investor selling

DIMANTHA MATHEW, HEAD OF RESEARCH AT FIRST CAPITAL HOLDINGS PLC, SPEAKS TO REUTERS

DECEMBER 11, 2017

COLOMBO, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares extended falls into a second session on Monday, closing at their lowest in nearly eight months, as foreign investors sold blue chips such as conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc.

The Colombo Stock Index dropped 0.28 percent to 6,357.41, its lowest close since April 17. It fell 0.6 percent last week in its fifth consecutive weekly drop but has gained 2 percent so far this year.

“Market is coming down on foreign selling on blue chips… maybe foreigners are moving away from equities ahead of the U.S. Fed rate announcement and moving into fixed income (investments),” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

“Local investors are not active and are on holiday mood,” he added.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells fell 1.8 percent, Lanka ORIX Leasing Co Plc dropped 0.8 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc declined 1.7 percent.

Turnover was 282.2 million rupees ($1.84 million), well below this year’s daily average of 941 million rupees.

Worries over a delay in local council polls and a lack of clarity over the budget and two other key policy measures weighed on sentiment, analysts said.

The Election Commission said on Dec. 4 that the council polls would be held before Feb. 17, amid concerns over political stability as coalition partners in President Maithripala Sirisena’s government had decided to contest separately in the council polls. ($1 = 153.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

 

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.

First Capital is an investment bank providing a full range of financial advisory and services. The Company’s research deliver heightened perspective in fundamental research aiding Share Market Investment in Sri Lanka. The Company’s best-in-class research team provide dynamic reports including economic reviews and proprietary research, encompassing fundamental, quantitative and technical analysis. With fundamental research coverage of 62 listed securities (reflecting approximately 65% market capitalization) across 15 sectors in Share Market Investment in Sri Lanka