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MARKET UPDATE ON ADA DERANA ENGLISH NEWS – 2017.01.09

Ada Derana - Dimantha

FC Head of Research Dimantha Mathew with the market update – between 13.34 mins to 14.10 mins

Sri Lankan shares end flat as policy uncertainty continues to weigh

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

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Sri Lankan shares were little changed on Monday after hitting a nine-month low last week as uncertainty over the government’s monetary and budget policies continued to weigh on the market.

But foreign investors were net buyers on Monday for a second session after five straight sessions of net-selling through Thursday.

They bought a net 152.7 million rupees ($1.02 million) worth of equities on Monday, the highest since Dec. 8. However, foreign investors have been net sellers to the tune of 817.03 million rupees so far this year.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.04 percent up at 6,155.52, slightly above the lowest since April hit on Thursday. Last week the index fell 0.64 percent and was down 9.7 percent for 2016, its second straight annual decline.   The day’s turnover was at 843.6 million rupees.

“Net foreign inflow is a good sign and it will help regain the lost confidence,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Yields on treasury bill auctions rose 5-6 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday, a day after the central bank governor signalled reduced intervention to defend the currency.

Shares in Hemas Holdings Plc rose 1.9 percent, while Teejay Lanka Plc gained 3.69 percent and Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc added 0.33 percent.

($1 = 149.6000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

Sri Lankan shares rise on bargain hunting, snap 5-day losing streak

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

Sri Lankan shares edged higher on Friday, ending a five-day losing streak and recovering from a nine-month low hit in the prior session as investors picked up battered down shares.

People walk past an electronic board displaying various Asian countries' stock price index and world major index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Foreign investors turned net buyers on Friday after offloading shares for five straight sessions.

The bourse hit a nine-month low on Thursday as foreign investors sold close to one billion rupees worth of stocks in the first four sessions of 2017 amid worries over a weakening rupee and rising interest rates hurt sentiment.

Foreign investors bought a net 26.95 million rupees ($180,026.72) worth of equities on Friday. They have been net sellers to the tune of 969.69 million rupees so far this year.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.09 percent up at 6,153.02, edging up from its lowest close since April 4 hit on Thursday. It fell 0.64 percent for the week and was down 9.7 percent in 2016, its second straight annual decline.

The index has been trading in the oversold territory since Tuesday with the 14-day relative strength index breaking below 30, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level between 30 and 70 indicates the market is neutral.  The day’s turnover was at 273.7 million rupees.

“Market edged up in thin volumes despite continued selling pressure,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts said interest rate volatility and policy uncertainties are also hurting investor sentiment.

Yields on treasury bill auctions rose 5-6 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday, a day after the central bank governor signalled less intervention to defend the currency as market has braced for a depreciation.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 1.17 percent while Colombo Cold Stores Plc rose 1.26 percent and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.95 percent.

Shares in biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 0.42 percent while Conglomerate John Keells ended 0.43 percent up.  Talks of a high net worth foreign investor exiting from Keells has triggered panic selling, dealers said.

($1 = 149.7000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Strong growth predicted for Lankan oil palm industry

FC Research quoted by Mirror Business 

By Chandeepa Wettasinghe

Sri Lanka’s oil palm plantation operators can expect strong growth in the industry for the foreseeable future due to the global palm oil demand, the research arm of a Colombo-based equity brokerage said in a report.

“This growth is on the back of global palm oil prices moving upward due to the expectations of global shortages in supply matching demand,” First Capital Research (FC Research) said.

It noted that due to the El-Nino weather conditions, the reducing rain fall in the major oil palm cultivating countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in 2015, the supply from those markets are expected to drop by six million tonnes.

“It is expected that the supply of palm oil will not meet the demand in coming years, pushing up the price as forecasted. Global price increase will push up the local palm oil price in correlation,” FC Research said.

It added that within three months, the palm oil prices, which were US $ 583.19 per tonne increased to US $ 692.41 per tonne last September and that the prices would move up to US $ 713 per tonne by 2020, according to the World Bank estimates.

Palm oil is used as a raw material in making vegetable oil and biodiesel—which is gaining demand due to the world moving towards less crude oil consumption—and the combined manufacturing of both are expected to grow by 7.9 percent annually until 2025, according to FC Research.

In Sri Lanka, Watawala Plantations PLC was the country’s first and currently the largest oil palm cultivator with around 3,157 hectares under cultivation under a diversification effort that began over a decade ago, which allowed it to remain profitable during hard times for tea and rubber recently.

Namunukula Plantations PLC had an extent of 2,020 hectares of oil palm under cultivation, followed by Elpitiya Plantations PLC with 1,447 hectares and Agalawatte Plantations PLC with 1,294 hectares at the start of the current financial year.

Kegalle Plantations PLC is planning to plant 1,125 acres of oil palm in its current rubber fields, while Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC has also announced its intentions to plant 700 hectares of oil palm over the past year.

FC Research said that oil palm cultivation requires less labour, with just 0.1 workers required per hectare, compared to four workers for tea and one worker for rubber required for the same land extent under cultivation. Oil palm workers have also been noted to earn three times as much as a tea plucker.

Labour wage payment is a major issue in the tea and rubber-dominated plantation industry, which was only recently able to come to a compromise with the trade unions in increasing wages.

Sri Lanka shares fall; foreign selling inches close to 1 bln rupees

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

Sri Lankan shares fell for a fifth straight session and ended at a nine-month low on Thursday as foreign investors continued to sell shares, offloading close to one billion rupees worth of stocks in the first four sessions of the new year.

Foreign investors sold a net 181.7 million rupees ($1.22 million) worth of equities on Thursday, extending the net outflow in the first four trading sessions of the year to 996.6 million rupees.

Worries over a weakening rupee, rising interest rates and continued foreign selling in index heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc also weighed on the sentiment.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.09 percent down at 6,147.52, its lowest close since April 4. The bourse fell 9.7 percent in 2016, its second straight annual decline.

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The index has been trading in the oversold territory since Tuesday with 14-day relative strength index breaking below 30, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level between 30 and 70 indicates the market is neutral.

Conglomerate John Keells, which saw net foreign selling of 2.34 million shares that accounted for 62 percent of the day’s turnover of 802.4 million rupees, ended 0.14 percent lower.  Talks of a high net worth foreign investor exiting from Keells has triggered panic selling, dealers said.

“Foreign selling in Keells is still continuing and that has brought the market down,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.  Analysts said interest rate volatility and policy uncertainties are also hurting investor sentiment.

Yields on treasury bill auctions rose 5-6 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday, a day after the central bank governor signalled less intervention to defend the currency as market has braced for a depreciation.

Shares in Hemas Holdings Plc dropped 2.20 percent while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc lost 0.77 percent.

($1 = 149.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

Sri Lanka shares end near 9-mth low; foreign selling in Keells weighs

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FIRST CAPITAL’S SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, ATCHUTHAN SRIRANGAN, SPEAKS TO REUTERS.

Sri Lankan shares fell for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, to end at a near nine-month low, as investors sold large-cap shares on fears that continued foreign selling in John Keells Holdings could dampen market sentiment further.

Foreign investors sold a net 745 million rupees ($4.98 million) worth of equities on Wednesday, the highest in a day since Sept 22, 2016, extending the net outflow in the first three trading sessions of the year to 815 million rupees.   Worries over a weakening rupee and rising interest rates also weighed on the sentiment.

Investors still don’t have the confidence to buy the shares, said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst with First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Amid interest rate volatility and policy uncertainties, they are not willing to buy for long term. They will wait to see the long-term picture.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.1 percent down at 6,153.13, its lowest close since April 4. The bourse fell 9.7 percent in 2016, its second straight annual decline.

The index dipped into the oversold territory further on Wednesday with the 14-day relative strength index extending its fall to 28.569 points versus Tuesday’s 29.238, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level between 30 and 70 indicates the market is neutral.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which saw net foreign selling of 5.22 million shares that accounted for 82 percent of the day’s turnover, however ended 1.2 percent higher on the back of bargain hunting by domestic investors.

Talks of a high net worth foreign investor exiting from Keells has triggered panic selling, dealers said.  Yields on treasury bill auctions rose 5-6 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka’s central bank governor on Tuesday signalled less intervention to defend the currency and the market has braced for a depreciation in the currency.

The country’s failure to attract foreign direct investment and a lack of investor confidence due to a reversal in some 2016 budget policies weighed on the market and on the rupee, stockbrokers said. The currency lost 3.9 percent in 2016 and continues weaken.

Turnover stood at 958.3 million rupees ($6.41 million).  Shares in Ceylinco Insurance Plc dropped 18.1 percent while large cap Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc lost 1.6 percent.

($1 = 149.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)