07 October 2009

Colombo Stock Exchange : Market Capitalization a Record Rs. 1 Trillion

06th October 2009, www.lbo.lk

Sri Lankan stock values topped the 1000 billion rupee mark (8.76 billion US dollars) Tuesday, while the benchmark index rose 1.4 percent in the first half hour of trading to a new record high.

Stock values started the year at 448.5 billion rupees with the end of a 30-year war with Tamil Tiger separatists in sight.

The Colombo is now the world's second best performing market up 109.88 percent from the beginning of the year, just behind the Lima General Index in Peru, which is up 110.73 percent up so far this year, according to Bloomberg Newswires data.

In third place is Russian RTS Index, up 94.21 percent, with Ukraine in fourth place, up 92.46 percent.

Bombay's Sensex is up 75.9 percent.

Financial markets have been climbing on the back of monetary loosening after a severe battering in 2008.

US loosening has also increased the risk appetite of hedge funds, which have renewed purchases of Sri Lankan Treasuries, after credibility in a dollar peg was restored following a float of the currency.

Stocks are now climbing with 12-month inflation below 1.0 percent, but with excess liquidity in interbank markets and lower than usual interest rates.

Short term rates at around 9.0 percent are high by global standards, but are down from 19.0 percent at the beginning of the year.

Equity markets themselves have seen little foreign interest.

Net buying by foreign investors were down to 530.7 million by Monday up down from around 750 million at the end of September, according to Stock Exchange Data.

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