Market Vote

It was the ninth day of February and the Colombo
bourse gave to many investors a heart burn as they watched their portfolios swoop
to new lows.

Industry watchers say they were hoping not to
see a third general election within a span of less than four years.

Monday’s backlash was seen as a vote from
Colombo investors, indicating their displeasure with the Madam President’s decision
to dissolve parliament and call for snap polls in early April.

Since the last trading day on Friday, the market
has dropped about Rs. 30 billion with the ASP Index losing 10% of its gains to close
at 1058.3.

Analysts expect the market condition to deteriorate
further with the run up to elections in April, despite some stocks posting healthy
financial results and are poised to record further growth in the next quarter.

Major casualties in Monday’s carnage included
conglomerate John Keells Holdings, shedding Rs. 20.50 on the floor to close at Rs.
95.00 on 1.2 million shares trading.

Sri Lanka Telecom stocks closed at Rs. 17.00,
down Rs. 3.50, trading 2.38 million shares.

National Development Bank stocks closed Rs. 24.25
lower at Rs. 131.00 trading 121,100 shares.

Other big price drops were posted by DFCC losing
Rs. 50.00 to close at Rs. 200.00 and hotel sector giant Aitken Spence shedding Rs.
31.00 closing at Rs. 241.00.
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What does the President think we will gain if this election gives the same result
as the last one (which is what is going to happen anyway)?

Market Vote