Sri Lanka shares close down 0.18-pct

Mar 23, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended mixed in choppy trade, with the indices going in different directions and Guardian Capital Partners dropping 83.15 percent, brokers said. Tea Smallholder Factories was the day’s top gainer, closing at 224.50 rupees, up 54.50 rupees or 32 percent although only 200 shares were traded.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in the stock market with sales of 478 million rupees and purchases of109 million rupees Wednesday.

“Foreigners continued to be in the selling mood,” SC Securities said in a report for the trading period ending March 22.

“Foreigners ended the five-day period as net sellers with 2.11 billion rupees sales against 0.63 billion rupees foreign purchases resulting in a net foreign out flow of 1.48 billion rupees.” The All Share Price Index closed at 7,207.10, down 0.18 percent (13.16 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.18 percent (79.08 points) to close at 6,775.87, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 2.98 billion rupees.

Guardian Capital Partners was the biggest loser of the day, dropping 83.15 percent or 1,164.10 rupees to close at 235 rupees with 467,600 shares traded.

The company said in a stock exchange filing that 25,162,800 ordinary shares were listed Wednesday after a 75:2 Rights Issue.

There was keen interest in finance sector stocks, brokers said.

Vallibel Finance was the most actively traded stock, closing at 52 rupees, down 80 cents with over 3.7 million shares changing hands.

Central Finance closed at 1,104.80 rupees, down 10.10 rupees.

LB Finance closed at 189.10 rupees, up 19.50 rupees with over 2.2 million shares traded

Senkadagala Finance, which was allowed to trade on CSE on Tuesday, still saw no trades again although there was a bid for up to 210 rupees.

Lankem Developments was also actively traded, closing at 84.60 rupees, up 50 cents.