Business Times

Better share prices this week as debate on Expolanka mounts

Stock Market Review
By Elton R.Ebert

An interesting scenario at present is how the stock broking fraternity is dealing with the Expolanka IPO. The general belief is that it would be fully subscribed with support from foreign funds and some high networth individuals. But the starting price when it commences trading, and the price the following day is what many are looking forward to.

These deliberations are due to the discomfort created by the recent large scale sell-down cum private placement. The outcome will be the reflection of the future IPOs now in the pipeline. Another financial institution, Swarnamahal Financial Services Ltd, intends to offer by way of an introduction 25 million voting shares on the Diri Savi Board, in keeping with the Central Bank ruling for registered financial institutions.

The market made a slight recovery from the depression it was in for the past few days. On Thursday and Friday the institutions moved into action which created an air of confidence to the bourse but lacked sufficient venom, as depicted by the close of trading on Friday.

Royal Ceramics came out with encouraging quarterly growth numbers, and it also proved lucky for an entrepreneur who purchased a million shares on May 4 at Rs 150 and sold it off within minutes when an institution made purchases close to Rs 165! Activity was fairly spread with hotels shares like Miramar Beach making vast strides, although it shrank a bit to end at Rs 438. Piramal Glass, Free Lanka Capital, Nation Finance Lanka, and Laugfs gas were in the demand list. Lankem Developments Rights commenced trading on Friday with fair interest. From the cluster of illiquid stocks Paragon was up to Rs 2100, E.B. Creasy to Rs 2631 and the recent entrant Singa Lanka Standard Chemicals which closed at Rs 1385. Meanwhile Colombo Pharnacy eased off at Rs 2901, Eastern Merchants to Rs 1050, and Gestetner to Rs 398.

The All Share Price Index ended 37.82 points or 0.05% lower at 7319.15 while the Milanka Index was 85.89 points or 0.01% lower at 6736.88. The turnover for the 4-day week of Rs 10.8 billion was better than last week when it registered Rs 8.2 billion.

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