Colombo bourse welcomed the economic policy direction set by the Premier Wickramasinghe and closed in the positive territory on Thursday. Prime minister’s speech which was delivered near to the session close managed to lift the index from the 7,000 mark to close the day at 7,017.39 with a gain of 13.82 index points or 0.20%. S&P SL20 index bagged 9.50 index points (+0.25%) to end at 3,794.11. Though the investor reactions to policy speech can only be seen in full in the next session, it is expected that the positive policy reforms introduced to address economic issues would be well-received by the investors.

Today’s gains were mainly driven by high caps such as John Keells Holdings (closed at LKR 181.60, +1.5%), Hemas Holdings (closed at LKR 88.90, +7.1%) and Nestle Lanka (closed at LKR 2,050.00, +0.9%).

Daily market turnover was LKR 780mn supported by several off-the-floor dealings which accounted for 30% of the total turnover. Panasian Power emerged as the top contributor to the turnover with LKR 120mn supported by a single crossing of 10mn shares at LKR 3.80 per share.

John Keells Holdings (LKR 94mn), Seylan Bank non-voting (LKR 91mn) and Royal Ceramic (LKR 85mn) were next best contributors to the turnover. Several crossings were recorded in Access Engineering (1.9mn shares at LKR 22.80), Royal Ceramic (0.5mn shares at LKR 110.00), John Keells Holdings (0.2mn shares at LKR 179.80) and Nestle Lanka (0.03mn shares at LKR 2,050.00).

Market breadth was positive where out of 236 counters, 115 advanced, 68 declined while 53 remained unchanged. Cash map jumped from 45% to 56%. 22 counters touched 52wk low price levels while only 02 counters managed reach 52wk high prices.

Following the marginal profit growth of Alumex in 2QFY16, counter advanced to LKR 18.30 but closed lower at LKR 18.00 (+1.7%). Meanwhile, according to the announcement by Aitken Spence (SPEN), the company has entered to an agreement with Fiji National Provident Fund to acquire 59% holding in Fiji Ports Corporation Limited. SPEN will invest FJD 34.6mn (approx. LKR 2.3bn) to acquire 20% of the holding in Fiji Ports Corporation Limited. Stock closed at a 52wk low price of LKR 92.00, -0.5%.

Debenture issue of LKR 6bn of People’s Leasing Finance has been oversubscribed within few hours of opening and the issue was closed today.

Foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of LKR 17mn. Foreign participation was 20%. Net foreign inflows were seen in John Keells Holdings (LKR 50mn), Textured Jersey (LKR 16mn), Sampath Bank (LKR 5mn) while net foreign outflow was mainly seen in Access Engineering (LKR 48mn).

(Lanka Securities Research)