Sri Lanka Seylan Bank up sharply on takeover expectations

Dec 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks continued to weaken Tuesday but Seylan Bank shares shot up almost 29 percent on anticipation of a takeover after it was placed under a state-owned bank when depositors began withdrawing funds.

The All Share Price Index eased 0.79 percent (11.85 points) to 1,484.53 while the Milanka lost 1.50 percent (24.51 points) to end at 1,612.03. Turnover was 97 million rupees.

Seylan Bank closed at 20.25, up 4.50 rupees, according to the volume weighted average.
Analysts said the share price probably move up on anticipation its biggest shareholder, the Ceylinco group controlled by tycoon Lalith Kotelawela, would sell out.

Kotelawala has said he wants to sell his stake in Seylan Bank to raise funds to repay depositors in a troubled Ceylinco group firm, Golden Key Credit Card Company which has stopped paying depositors.

The Central Bank Monday dissolved the board of directors of Seylan Bank, named new directors and put it under state-run Bank of Ceylon.


In Tuesday’s share trading on the Colombo bourse foreigners were on the selling side with a net outflow of 31 million rupees.

The indices were dragged down large by HNB, which was down 5.25 rupees to close at 69.75 rupees, and DFCC which fell 4.50 to close at 52 rupees.

There were two crossing of Distilleries each of 400,000 shares at 50 rupees each, with the stock closing at 51.50 down 25 cents.