And Counting….

The Lanka IOC issue had attracted more than Rs. 24 bn, or more than 1 percent of GDP, even before all the postal and regional stock exchange applications were counted.

Foreign applications had topped US $ 95 mn.

“We are very encouraged by the foreign investor response,” says Vajira Kulathilaka, Head of NDB Investment Bank, the issue manager.

“Some of the applications are from investors who had sold out of the country earlier. If we can keep the momentum of good new issues, we should be able to bring more investors in.”

The Finance Ministry is planning to unload shares in several city hotels, though no word has so far come about selling down stakes in Sri Lanka Telecom or Sri Lankan Airlines.

By late Tuesday, Lanka IOC issue had attracted about 37,000 applications, and counting.

The issue was widely regarded to be under priced at Rs. 27, with profits next year projected to top Rs. 2 bn.

Sri Lanka’s stock market had been doing well, with inflation running at 13-14 percent and companies getting loans at negative rates.

Prime lending rates are less than 10 percent, feeding what some analysts call an asset inflation bubble.

Anal