Sri Lanka stocks rebound after Central Bank keeps rates steady


Sri Lanka stocks gained 1.31 per cent on Thursday, October 13, in lower trade, as the Central Bank’s decision to keep the key monetary policy rates steady boosted investor sentiment, brokers said.

The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index gained 124.16 points to close at 9,621.65.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks gained 1.16 per cent or 40.62 points to close at 3,547.53.

“The market was hoping for a policy rate change (hike). But with no changes being done the market reacted to it and hopefully it will continue to gain,” a broker said.

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank at their current levels of 5.00 per cent and 6.00 per cent, respectively.

Many analysts expected to see at least a 50 basis point hike in the key policy rates as the central bank has allowed the treasury bill rates to rise.

Foreign investors sold a net 6.1 million rupees’ worth of shares on Thursday. The market has suffered a net foreign outflow of over 44.4 billion rupees so far this year.

The day’s turnover was 2.6 billion rupees, below this year’s average daily turnover of over 4 billion rupees.

The gain was led by LOLC Holdings, Expolanka Holdings and Commercial Leasing and Finance.

Commercial Leasing and Finance gained 5.5 per cent to close at 32.60 rupees a share.

Expolanka Holdings, the market heavyweight which has a significant export component in its business, gained 2.79 per cent to close at 193.25 rupees a share.

LOLC Holdings gained 2.63 per cent to close at 605.00 rupees a share.

The bourse saw 139 stocks gaining against 42 falling on Thursday.

The most active Bank Industry index gained 0.79 per cent while Capital Goods Industry index rose 0.95 per cent.