Sri Lanka’s stock market gained on Monday, despite many counts of violence that were reported from around the country.
The All Share Price Index gained 1.20% or 89.15 points to close at 7,515.63 points, while the S&P SL20 gained 14.9% or 35.66 to close at 2,436.87 points.
The Market gained after slipping for three consecutive sessions, as investors stayed on the sidelines due to the prevailing political and economic crisis in the country.
Shares gained following much speculation regarding Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resignation on Monday. However, Rajapaksa supporters after attending an event at Temple Trees hosted by PM Rajapaksa at Temple Trees, resorted to acts of violence and attacked unarmed protestors near Temple Trees and the Presidential Secretariat.
Following the clashes in Colombo, many clashes erupted around the country, killing at least five and injuring over 160. Later in the evening, at least 15 houses belonging ruling party legislators were set on fire. Condemning the clashes were trade unions, who announced an indefinite strike.
“The market closed before the violence took place, and there was strong speculation that the Prime Minister would step down today,” a market analyst told Economy Next. “The violence is going to disrupt the corporates,” he said.
Expolanka, LOLC and Browns Investment pushed the index up on Monday with Expolanka gaining 6.9% to clost at 158.75LKR a share, LOLC gaining 9.8% to close at 441LKR a share and Browns Investments gaining 13.2% to close at 6LKR a share.
Protests and clashes took place in an environment where Sri Lankan stocks have already fallen 38.5% this year despite being one of the best stock markets in the world with over 80% returns. The rupee has lost over 80% of its value after being allowed flexibility on March 7. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced the suspension of upcoming foreign currency debt, in order to prioritize the imports of essential items such as food, fuel and medicines.
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