Proving doom and gloom casters wrong, foreign portfolio investment into listed companies via the Colombo stock market yesterday crossed the Rs. 20 billion mark year-to-date, though sentiments of locals remain indifferent.
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) saw a fresh net infusion of Rs. 390 million of foreign investments, bringing the total year-to-date to Rs. 20.3 billion. The healthy inflows are on top of record Rs. 39 billion enjoyed last year.
Robust and persistent inflows of Rs. 59 billion (between 2012 and 1 October 2013) are greater than the Rs. 45 billion outflow the CSE suffered in 2010 (Rs. 26.3 billion) and 2011 (Rs. 19 billion).
Most analysts expect foreign portfolio investment to remain resilient as discerning foreign funds continue to see value in select Lankan equities. Favourite of foreign funds JKH saw net buying of Rs. 178 million whilst eChannelling attracted Rs. 152 million). Distilleries and Textured Jersey saw an infusion of Rs. 15 million and Rs. 14 million respectively.
Last week Sampath Bank saw net foreign buying of Rs. 216 million and JKH’s draw was Rs. 215.5 million, whilst Commercial Bank attracted Rs. 181 million along with Rs. 61 million by HNB.
Whilst foreigners remain bullish, local investor sentiments remain lacklustre. The ASI dipped by 22 points and S&P SL 20 Index marginally by four points. Year-to-date ASI’s return is 2.4% whilst that of S&P SL 20 is 4%.
Apart from deals on JKH and eChanneling, local buying on Sampath Bank boosted turnover to Rs. 1.28 billion. Sampath Bank saw 3.28 million of its shares traded for Rs. 558.5 million including five crossings worth 2.5 million shares at Rs. 170 each. The counter closed at Rs. 172, up by 1.2%. NDB Stockbrokers said indices came down primarily due to price losses seen in Nestle Lanka and Asian Hotels & Properties.
(Daily FT 02nd October 2013)