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Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka stocks slipped on Wednesday for the second session on continued profit-taking in retail shares while investors sold banking stocks on speculation, dealers said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 0.66% or 60.29 points to 9,011.24, on August 24.

“We are seeing profit taking in heavy index shares that gained in the previous sessions,” a top market analyst said.

“Meanwhile we are seeing a lot of selling in the banking shares because the investors are speculating a domestic debt restoring to take place.”

Both the central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and the co-cabinet spokesperson have said that a local debt restructuring will not take place as it will collapse the already illiquid banking system.

The market generated 2.5 billion rupees in turnover, less than this year’s average daily turnover of 3.14 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka declared sovereign debt default on April 12 this year and failed to pay its first sovereign debt in May amid a deepening economic crisis which later turned into a political crisis and led to a change in the president, cabinet, and government.

The more liquid S&P SL20 index ended 1.51% or 45.28 points down at 2,944.50

Sri Lanka is facing its worst fuel and economic crisis in its post-independence era and the economy is expected to contract more than 8 percent this year.

The main ASPI gained 16.5 percent in August so far after gaining 5.3 percent in July. It lost 9.3 percent in June, 23 percent in April, and 14.5 percent in March.

The market index has lost 26.2 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

Net foreign inflow was 68 million rupees on Wednesday, but the total net foreign outflow so far this year is 899 billion rupees.

Investors are also concerned over the steep fall of the rupee from 203 to 370 levels so far in 2022.

Expolanka pushed the index down, closing 3.6 percent Weaker at 220.7 rupees a share.

LOLC Holdings closed 2.4 percent down at 589.3 rupees a share, and Hayleys fell 2.5 percent to 105.8 rupees. (Colombo/Aug24/2022)

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