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Sri Lanka Equity Forum » Stock Market News » Stock market dips to 11-week low on retrospective tax concern

Stock market dips to 11-week low on retrospective tax concern

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Melissa Pereira

Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Shares ended near 11-week lows on Monday led by diversified and banking shares on concerns of a retrospective tax on corporates, brokers said.

The main stock index closed down 0.45% at 7,078.64, its lowest close since 15 July.
“The index fell because of the government’s move to impose a retrospective tax on corporates that had earned more than Rs. 2 billion in profit last year,” said a stockbroker on condition of anonymity.

“But the turnover is high because some investors are gradually taking positions.”
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week tabled finance bills to raise Rs. 80 billion in revenues, including from a super gain tax to be paid by corporates that earned more than Rs. 2 billion in the last financial year.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 0.58%, while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc dropped 0.91%.

Turnover was Rs. 1.88 billion ($ 13.34 million), the highest since 26 August and more than the daily average of Rs. 1.12 billion. The turnover has been roughly half of this year’s daily average since 31 August, stock exchange data showed.

On Monday, the central bank chief said he would not rule out a possible rate hike if credit grew faster.

Analysts said investors were waiting to see how the government would bridge the budget deficit and where the revenue would come from, in its November budget.
The IMF on 18 September said the fiscal deficit is likely to range between 5.5% and 6% in 2015, much higher than an official target of 4.4%, due to falling Government revenues.
Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs. 630 million worth of shares on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs. 3.12 billion.

[size=30]Rupee hits new record closing low[/size]

Reuters: The rupee closed at a fresh record low on Monday as dollar selling by exporters helped the currency recover from a record intra-day low, offsetting demand for the greenback by importers, dealers said.
Earlier, the spot currency fell 0.3% to touch a record low of 141.40, surpassing its all-time low of 141.00 hit last Tuesday.

The rupee closed at 141.25/30 on Monday.
“The rupee is still under pressure due to import demand and no real dollar inflows,” said a currency dealer, asking not to be named.

Dealers said regulations were needed to make exporters convert their export proceeds.
Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said on Monday he expected the rupee to stabilise only after a rate increase by the US Fed, likely by year-end.

“Rupee fairly valued,” the governor said. “It is left to market forces to determine where it should be. That’s the whole message.”

The rupee has fallen 4.7% since the Central Bank effectively floated it on 4 September.
The rupee float has won a thumbs-up from rating agencies and economists, but more reforms will be needed to support the currency and conserve the central bank’s modest reserves.
The Central Bank on 15 September imposed a 70% limit on loans and advances for vehicles, a move seen aimed at curbing demand for credit and stemming dollar outflows.
 Courtesy: Daily Financial Times 29 September 2015

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