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Sri Lankan shares edge up; beverage, telecoms lead


Sri Lankan shares closed slightly firmer on Monday, after posting a more than three-week closing low in the previous session, with beverage and telecom stocks driving the gains.

However, investor sentiment continued to remain low amid concerns about rising interest rates.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.26 percent at 6,117.19, after posting its lowest close since Feb. 9 on Friday. It shed 0.6 percent last week in its second straight weekly decline.

Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth 384.7 million rupees ($2.55 million) on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 1.35 billion rupees worth of equities.

Turnover was 711.9 million rupees, more than this year’s daily average of 680.1 million rupees.

“Some crossings boosted the turnover. The good sign is we are seeing continued foreign buying these days,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

“Local investors are on the sidelines, mainly because of the high interest rates and economic uncertainty.”

Shares in Ceylon Cold Stores Plc jumped 6.12 percent, Lion brewery (Ceylon) Plc rose 6.27 percent, Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc gained 0.71 percent, and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc climbed 2.41 percent.

Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more than four-year high since October, while the central bank has kept key policy rates on hold.

($1 = 151.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; 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.