- Post-budget profit-taking cited as main reason
Sri Lanka shares posted a sluggish performance yesterday, despite the investor-friendly budget presented on Tuesday, which contained specific measures to boost the country’s capital markets.
The All Share Price Index (ASPI) of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was down by 0.71 points to 6,108.22, while more liquid S&P SL20 Index stocks gained 1.55 points to 2,397.26.
However, the market turnover was above Rs.2.4 billion, with the turnover exceeding the Rs.1 billion mark for the 50th consecutive day. The food, beverage and tobacco sector was the top contributor to the market turnover, due to high interest in Ceylon Cold Stores and Melstacorp. The share price of Ceylon Cold Stores, which saw high-net-worth and institutional investor participation, edged down by Rs.0.10, to close at Rs.635.00, while the share price of Melstacorp appreciated by Rs.0.90, to close at Rs.35.50.
The ASPI edged down mainly due to the price declines in counters such as Carson Cumberbatch, Richard Pieris & Company and Sri Lanka Telecom.
The government on Tuesday announced several measures to boost the activities in the CSE, including tax concessions to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and income tax discounts for new listings.According to stockbrokers, post-budget profit-taking was the main reason for the sluggish performance yesterday. On the contrary, Sri Lanka’s dollar-denominated ISBs made gains on Tuesday, after the government announced ambitious plans to cut the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio to 4 percent by 2025. The foreign participation in the Colombo bourse however remained at subdued levels, with foreigners closing as net sellers, with Rs.521 million in net foreign flows. The net foreign outflows from the equities topped Rs.2.5 billion so far during the month.