Colombo stocks ended with solid gains, one week ahead of the 15th Parliamentary Election. The market inclined sharply today, breaking the 7,400 resistance level and the All Share Price Index (ASPI) reached a nearly seven month high of 7,458.92 with a gain of 80.98 index points or 1.1%. 20-script S&P SL index advanced to a seven month high of 4,154.15, with a gain of 49.79 points (+1.12%).

Market momentum was led by primary blue chips namely John Keells Holdings (closed at LKR 195.00, +2.1%), Distilleries (closed at LKR 312.00, +4.1%) and Sri Lanka Telecom (closed at LKR 48.00, +2.1%). Warrants of John Keells Holdings, Warrant 0022 (closed at LKR 31.00, +4%) and Warrant 0023 (closed at LKR 41.50, +3.5%) also advanced during the session.

Meanwhile, high capitalized banks such as Sampath Bank (+3.8%), Hatton National Bank (+1.8%), National Development (+0.4%) and Commercial Bank (+0.1%) advanced today while poultry sector counters such as Bairaha Farms (+3.5%), Three Acre Farms (+4.1%) and Ceylon Grain Elevators (+1.3%) continued the positive momentum.

Daily market turnover reached a two week high of LKR 2.6bn underpinned by several negotiated deals recorded in Tokyo Cement non-voting (2.3mn shares at LKR 44.00 per share), Commercial Bank (1.7mn shares at LKR 173.00 per share), Commercial Bank non-voting (2.0mn shares at LKR 136.00 per share), Hemas Holdings (0.9mn shares at LKR 95.00 per share) and Access Engineering (1.0mn shares at LKR 27.10 per share). Total crossings accounted for 30% of the market turnover.

Commercial Bank non-voting positioned at the top of the turnover list with LKR 349mn followed by Commercial Bank voting (LKR 339mn), Tokyo Cement non-voting (LKR 127mn) and Chevron Lubricants (LKR 113mn).

Gainers surpassed the losers 173 to 46 while 46 counters remained unchanged. Cash map inclined to 59% from 53%. 27 counters advanced to fresh 52wk high prices while Malwatta Plantations (LKR 3.60) and Adam Investments (LKR 2.60) recorded 52wk low prices.

Further, shares of Textured Jersey, Brown & Company, Abans Electricals and Access Engineering witnessed heavy investor interest during the session. Abans Electricals recorded a 52wk high price of LKR 163.50, +11.6% but closed at LKR 157.20, +7.3% subsequent to the LKR 2.50 per share dividend declared yesterday.

Several companies released their June quarter results today where Aitken Spence and its subsidiary Aitken Spence Hotels recorded drop in profits of 44% and 31% respectively. Subsequent to the unfavorable earnings, Aitken Spence declined to LKR 98.10, -3.6% but recovered to close at LKR 99.50, -2.3%. Despite the decline in profit, Aitken Spence Hotels advanced today to LKR 82.00,+5% but closed at LKR 79.20, +1.4%. Further, subsequent to the positive earnings reports, Access Engineering (closed at LKR 27.40, +2.6%) and Hayleys (closed at LKR 360.00, +2.9%) advanced today.

Foreign investors remained as net sellers for the 8th consecutive session, selling shares worth LKR 296mn during the session. Foreign participation was 22%.  Net foreign outflows were seen in Commercial Bank (LKR 145mn), Chevron Lubricants (LKR 110mn) and Sampath Bank (LKR 78mn) while net inflow was mainly seen in Tokyo Cement (LKR 18mn).

(Courtesy: Lanka Securities Research)