By Hiran H. Senewiratne
The CSE started February on a low note with both indices down, despite a healthy level of turnover. The stock market started its daily trading on a negative note yesterday and this trend continued through the end of the day with massive profit taking seen in blue chip companies, especially the group of companies Softlogic and Expolanka holdings, market analysts said.
According to market analysts, after a moderate spread of 79 points, the ASPI reversed its course due to lower heavy index counter prices and traded negative for the rest of the session to close with a loss. Along the same lines, the more liquid S&P SL20 index also trended lower on lower prices.
The All-Share Price Index fell 338 points and S and P SL20 fell 151 points. The turnover stood at Rs 8.9 billion with four crossings. These crosses were reported in Ceylinco Insurance, which crossed 100,000 shares at Rs 145 million and its shares traded at Rs 1,450, Melstacorp 500,000 shares crossed at Rs 29.5 million, its shares traded at Rs 59, LOLC Finance 800,000 shares crossed for an amount of Rs 22.4 million, its shares fetching Rs 28 and Softlogic Life Insurance 120,000 shares crossed for Rs 21.6 million, its shares trading at Rs 180.
In the retail market, the top seven companies which mainly contributed to the turnover were Expolanka Holdings Rs 2.2 billion (6.9 million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 854 million (5.2 million exchanged shares), LOLC Finance Rs 564 million (20.3 million exchanged shares). ), Browns Investments Rs 420 million (35.3 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 407 million (23.3 million shares traded), Renuka Agri Foods Rs 342 million (44.5 million shares traded) and Melstacorp Rs 338 million (5.7 million shares traded.
During the day, price writedowns were reported in the Softlogic group of companies, which led to other blue chip companies coming under heavy selling pressure. Softlogic Life Insurance share price depreciated by Rs 41.50 or 23%. Its share price fell to Rs 141.50 from Rs 183, Softlogic Capital share price depreciated by 15% or Rs 2.80. Its share price fell to Rs 15.80 from Rs 18.60 and Softlogic Holdings share price fell by Rs 4 or 5%. Its shares started trading at Rs 70.10 and at the end of the day, they rose to Rs 66.10.
The stock company with the highest market capitalization, Expolanka Holdings share price depreciated by Rs 30.50 or 9%. Its share price fell to 314.50 from 345 rupees. Shares of LOLC also saw a drop in price. Its share price fell by Rs 75 or six percent. Its share price depreciated to 1118.50 from Rs 1193.50. During the day, 262 million volumes of shares changed hands in 67,000 transactions.
It is said that high net worth and participation of institutional investors have been noted in Vallibel One, Softlogic Holdings and JAT Holdings. Mixed interest was seen from Softlogic Life Insurance, Expolanka Holdings and Lanka IOC, while retail interest was noted from Softlogic Capital, Renuka Agri Foods and Browns Investments.
The insurance sector was the largest contributor to market revenue (thanks to Softlogic Life Insurance), while the sector index lost 2.55%. Shares of Softlogic Life Insurance fell Rs. 41.50 to close at Rs. 183. The food, beverage and tobacco sector was the second largest contributor to market revenue, while the sector index fell by 1.44%.
Yesterday, the US dollar was quoted at 202.45, which was the price controlled by the Central Bank. The actual market price is over 250 rupees, market sources said.