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Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka stocks closed weaker on Friday for the third straight session while the turnover slumped to its lowest in four months amid negative market sentiments as investors took a waiting stance till proper directions after the 2023 budget scheduled for Nov. 14, brokers said.

The market saw a turnover of 817 million rupees, its lowest since July 8 and lower than this year’s average turnover of 3.1 billion rupees.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed weaker at 0.2 percent or 17.18 points to close at 8,491.8, its lowest close since August 08.

“We will continue to see the bearish market for some time until the budget gives some directions. However, we believe it will go until next January before we see another bullish sentiment in the market,” a market analyst said.

Analysts said investors are concerned over the impact of local debt restructuring on risky assets as the market is  waiting for debt restructuring decision between the government and its creditors ahead of an IMF loan approval.

The market is taking a wait and see approach after the tax proposals were published. The corporate tax rates are expected to be increased to 30 percent.

The market saw net foreign inflows of 2.5 million rupees. The total net foreign inflow so far for this year is 18.7 billion rupees.

The more liquid index S&P SL20 closed 0.07 percent or 1.68 points up at 2,585.43.

The ASPI has fallen 1 percent in so far in November after losing 13.4 percent in October. It has lost 30.5 percent year-to-date after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

The companies have shown reasonable profits in their third quarter of the year, however analysts said the disposable income of the general public and the investor’s reduction due to rapid inflation in the country and the proposed tax hikes is the main reason for the negative expectations over the December earnings.

Browns Investments, leading the index fall, closed 3.3 percent lower at 5.9 rupees a share.

LOLC holdings fell 1.4 percent to 394.2 rupees a share while Hayleys closed 1.8 percent weaker at 75.1 rupees a share. (Colombo/Nov04/2022)

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