Sri Lanka shares end down 0.2-pct

Jan 31, 2011(LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Monday dragged lower by index heavy stocks and some stocks in the banking sector, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,174.87, down 0.24 percent (17.62 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 7,134.27, down 0.43 percent (31.05 points) according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 3.1 billion rupees.

Thakshila Hulangamuwa of Asha Phillips Securities said retail investors were dominant in the day’s trading.

Commercial Bank closed at 278.00, up 1.50 rupees and Sampath Bank closed at 295.40, down 4.90 rupees.

John Keells Holdings closed at 293.60, up 0.50 cents and Dialog Axaita closed flat at 11.60 rupees.

Sunshine Holdings closed at 50.30, up 1.70 rupees.

The group said it was expanding into tourism and energy, converting tea estate bungalows into boutique hotels and making use of hill-country water ways to generate power.

The group also said December 2010 quarter net profit fell 16 percent to 93 million rupees while sales rose seven percent to 2.9 billion rupees from a year ago.

There were two crossings of Royal Ceramic shares at 160.00 and the stock closed at 160.20, down 2.70 rupees.

Watawala Plantations closed at 30.10, down 1.60 rupees. The company’s December 2010 quarter profit rose three percent to 189 million rupees from a year ago with group sales stagnant at 1.7 billion rupees, a stock exchange filing said.