President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s inaugural policy statement made yesterday which took a pro-Western stance, uplifted Bourse turnover to a 78-day high. The Bourse made a Rs 2.68 billion turnover yesterday, the highest since 17 May when it made a Rs 2.75 billion turnover.
Wickremesinghe in his speech said they would restart negotiations with the IMF this month, leading to a staff level agreement, whilst virtually and simultaneously delivering Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring programme to the Fund with the aid of international consultants who have the technical expertise to advise on such works, which boosted the Bourse. At the same time talks with international creditors will continue, the President said.
He also said that cooking gas shortage will soon be a thing of the past, food security and fertiliser are ensured, though with reference to the fuel problem, that; however will continue till the year end, with exports having to foot in the fuel import bill.
The President said the focus on the economy will be exports and investments and not the accumulation of commercial debt.
Consequently, the ASPI hit a 65-day high of 8,080.14 points and the S&P SL 20 Index a 61-day high of 2,586.05 points, respectively, yesterday. The ASPI last hit a higher value than this was on 30 May with a figure of 8,231.33 points and the S&P SL 20 Index, 2,647.67 points on 3 June, respectively.
The number of shares that changed hands yesterday was 123.48 million. However, the Bourse suffered net foreign outflows (NFOs) for the second consecutive market day to yesterday, with yesterday’s figure alone being Rs 4.15 million. Subsequently, the Bourse, in the calendar year to yesterday, has suffered an NFO of Rs 466.8 million.
‘Spot’ unchanged 23rd day
In other developments, the benchmark, albeit administered market ‘spot’ closed unchanged for the 23rd consecutive market day at Rs 360/364 to the US dollar in two way quotes to yesterday , market sources told ‘Finance Today’.
Yesterday, the administered market ‘spot’ was down by between 78.22-79.31 per cent (Rs 158-161) year-on-year; thereby causing cost push inflationary pressure as Sri Lanka is an import dependent economy, they said.
By Paneetha Ameresekere