Colombo bourse closed with negative returns on Wednesday ahead of the voting on 02nd reading of the budget and extended the losing streak for the sixth consecutive day. Benchmark index advanced to 6,906 mark in the opening hours but failed to continue the momentum to close at 6,862.79, down by 32.40 index points or 0.47%. 20-scrip S&P SL index shed 13.59 index points (0.37%) to end at 3,637.75.

Price depreciation in blue-chip namely John Keells Holdings (closed at LKR 180.00, -0.9%), Ceylinco Insurance (closed at LKR 1,400.00, -6.1%) and Commercial Leasing & Finance (closed at LKR 4.10, -2.4%) drove the index to the red zone.

Daily market turnover crossed LKR 1bn to record a 14 day high of LKR 1.7bn supported by two crossings which accounted for 78%. Premier blue-chip emerged as the top contributor to the turnover with LKR 1.3bn underpinned by single crossing of 7.0mn shares at LKR 181.00. Dipped Products (LKR 45mn), Asiri Hospital Holdings (LKR 39mn) and Hatton National Bank (LKR 39mn) were next best contributors to the turnover. Single crossing was recorded in Anilana Hotel Properties (4.7mn shares at LKR 4.30).

Losers outweighed the gainers, 115 scripts to 63 scripts while 60 scripts remained unchanged. Cash map declined from 41% to 34%. Asiri Hospital Holdings advanced to 52wk high price of LKR 25.50 following to the dividend announcement. Sigiriya Village (LKR 71.00) increased to 52wk high price while 32 counters declined to 52wk low price levels.

High retail investor activity witnessed in Lanka IOC, Textured Jersey, People’s Leasing & Finance and Access Engineering. Most of the banking sector counters such as National Development Bank (LKR 188.00), DFCC Bank (LKR 160.50) and Commercial Bank (LKR 140.00) declined to 52wk low prices.

Foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of LKR 22mn. Foreign participation was 83%. Net foreign inflows were seen in Asiri Hospital Holdings (LKR 38mn), Asia Asset Finance (LKR 26mn) and John Keells Holdings (LKR 7mn) while net foreign outflow was mainly seen in Commercial Bank (LKR 32mn).

Meanwhile, at today’s Treasury bill auction, Treasury yields slid for the seventh consecutive week where one year T-bill yields declined by 6bps from 6.92% to 6.86% while 6 months yields slipped by 10bps from 6.40% to 6.50%. 3 months treasury bills declined by 38bps to 6.06%. CBSL offered LKR 6bn worth of Treasury bills today and the auction was oversubscribed by 7.2 times with bids received amounting to LKR 42.9bn. It was decided to accept LKR 10.0bn worth of bills.

(Lanka Securities Research)