Colombo equities continued the optimistic momentum to close with positive returns on Wednesday amid the drop in treasury yields for the fifth consecutive week. Benchmark index declined to 6,975 mark during the session but managed to closed higher at 6,981.97, up by 4.02 index points (+0.06%) while 20-scrip S&P SL index witnessed marginal increase of 1.36 index points (+0.04%) to close at 3,764.66.

Price inclines in Lion Brewery (closed at LKR 640.00, +2.4%), Sampath Bank (closed at LKR 258.10, +1.7%) and People’s Leasing & Finance (closed at 21.60, +1.9%) drove the index performance to green zone.

Daily market turnover was LKR 535mn. Textured Jersey managed to top the turnover list with LKR 82mn supported by a single crossing of 0.6mn shares at LKR 35.00. John Keells Holdings (LKR 67mn), Hayleys (LKR 40mn) and Hatton National Bank (LKR 39mn) were next best contributors to the turnover.

A single off-the-floor deal was recorded in Hayleys where 0.1mn shares changed hands at LKR 320.00. Aggregate value of crossings represented 10% of the total turnover.

Regardless of the mixed investor sentiments, market breath was positive where 94 scripts advanced, 77 scripts declined while 56 remained unchanged. Cash map increased from 40% to 62%. 34 counters touched 52wk low prices while only Textured Jersey (LKR 35.10) and Asiri Hospital Holdings (LKR 25.30) advanced to 52wk high price levels.

As per the announcement, Asiri Hospital Holdings has purchased 20.4mn shares at LKR 41.42 per share from Actis Investment Holdings for a total consideration of LKR 845.7mn. Stock closed at LKR 25.00 with flat returns.

Textured Jersey, Access Engineering and Ceylon Grain Elevators were among heavily traded counters. Moreover, rights of Dankotuwa Porcelain commenced trading today and witnessed heavy investor activity. Counter advanced to LKR 0.90 in the opening hours but closed at LKR 0.40, down by -55.6%. Voting share of the Dankotuwa Porcelain continued to decline and touched a fresh 52wk low price of LKR 8.70.

In spite the investor anticipation of low dividend, John Keells Holdings declared an interim dividend of LKR 4.50 per share regardless of the Super gain tax payment of LKR 1.34bn. However, John Keells Holdings closed lower at LKR 183.00, -0.5%. Further, Sathosa Motors declared interim dividend of LKR 5.00 per share.

Foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of LKR 56mn. Foreign participation was 32%. Net foreign inflows were seen in Textured Jersey (LKR 19mn), Hatton National Bank (LKR 15mn), Asiri Hospital Holdings (LKR 15mn) while net foreign outflow was mainly seen in National Development Bank (LKR 12mn).

(Lanka Securities Research)