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Sri Lankan stocks hit over 8-mth closing low; lenders fall


DECEMBER 19, 2017

COLOMBO, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell for a third straight session on Tuesday to their lowest close in more than eight months as investors offloaded banking and diversified stocks.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.33 percent weaker at 6,325.46, its lowest close since April 11. The index was down 0.4 percent last week, its sixth consecutive weekly decline.


“Today we are seeing some selling in Sampath Bank after it announced a second rights issue for the year on top of the debenture issue,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, senior research analyst at First Capital Holdings PLC.

“With holidays ahead, we think this dull period will continue.”

Samapath Bank Plc, in a filing to the Colombo stock exchange, said it will issue 50.1 million new shares. The bank will issue three shares for every thirteen existing shares held, to increase its tier 1 capital to comply with Basel III requirements.

The bank added it would also issue 50 million five-year debentures at an issue price of 100 rupees apiece.

Sampath Bank Plc fell 4.9 percent while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.7 percent lower and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc lost 1.2 percent.

Turnover was 357.6 million rupees ($2.34 million), well below this year’s daily average of 933.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 26.7 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday, extending their year-to-date net equity purchases to 18.4 billion rupees.

Plantation stocks came under pressure after the Russian agricultural safety watchdog said on Thursday that the country will place temporary restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18.

Analysts said the Russian restrictions on tea could pose a threat to long-term tea prices and it could impact the earnings of plantation companies. ($1 = 153.0500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan)


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.