Sri Lanka share trading pumped up by JKH, Distilleries

Dec 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan share trading picked up Tuesday with sizeable transactions in conglomerates John Keells Holdings and Distilleries pumping up volumes, although the indices still ended marginally lower, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index eased down 0.22 percent (3.32 points) to close at 1,524.19 while the more liquid Milanka was down 0.16 percent (2.71 points) to end at 1,685.24.
Turnover was 152 million rupees.

Nikita Tissera of SC Securities said these levels of turnover were seen on the Colombo bourse after a long time but largely came from the JKH and Distilleries trades.

John Keells Holdings, the most active in terms of volumes, fell 50 cents to 57.75 rupees with over 1.5 million shares changing hands, most in crossings at 58.25 rupees a share.

The transactions added almost 92 million rupees to the day’s turnover.

Distilleries Company ended 75 cents firmer at 52.75 rupees with over 800,000 shares traded which brokers said was also a crossing, one block at 52 and the other at 53 rupees a share.

The transactions added 42 million rupees to turnover.

Without these two transactions, trading volumes were at the usually low levels that have prevailed in recent weeks.

The stock exchange said foreign purchases amounted to 105.6 million rupees and sales 47.3 million rupees, indicating a net inflow of foreign funds.

“Because of high interest rates, investment funds remaining for equities are moving away to fixed income securities where yields are higher,” said Tissera of SC Securities.