Sri Lanka shares end down 0.7-pct

Mar 20, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed weaker Tuesday with turnover also falling sharply after some big deals the previous two days where foreign investors bought into two conglomerates, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.65 percent (35.44 points) to 5,414.02, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.27 percent (13.16) to close at 4,875.92.

Turnover was 627 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed flat at 200 rupees while Aitken Spence ended at 115.60 rupees, down 40 cents.

A foreign investor bought a five percent stake in Aitken Spence, Monday, while on Friday Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhard bought into John Keells Holdings.

Namunukula Plantations, which announced an interim dividend of 7.50 rupees a share and is part of the Richard Pieris group, was the second highest gainer Tuesday, ending at 58 rupees, up 5.60 rupees or over 10 percent.

Kegalle Plantations, which announced a dividend of 7.50 rupees and is also in the Richard Pieris group, gained two rupees to close at 96.90 rupees.

Environmental Resources Investments was the most actively traded stock, closing at 15 rupees, down 90 cents.