Sri Lanka shares end down 0.8-pct

Feb 28, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan share prices fell Tuesday for the second day after a seven-day rally, with turnover boosted by large deals in Aitken Spence, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed down 0.82 percent (44.92 points) at 5,431.67, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.71 percent (33.96 points) to close at 4,719.43.

Turnover was 5.86 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Most of the turnover came from two large deals in Aitken Spence at 115 rupees a share.

Melstacorp Limited, a unit of Distilleries Corporation, bought a 10.8 percent stake in Aitken Spence from state-run Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, sources familiar with the deal said.

Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation’s General Fund sold 26,032,575 shares or a 6.41 percnt stake and its Life Fund sold 18,000,000 shares or a 4.43 percent stake in two crossings or private off-market deals.

They were the fourth and fifth largest shareholders in Aitken Spence.

Distilleries Company closed at 133 rupees, up 90 cents. Aitken Spence closed at 115.50 rupees, down 10 cents.

PC House was the most actively traded stock, closing flat at 10.90 rupees with 5.2 million shares done.

Brokers said 1.6 million shares of Ascot Holdings changed hands at 225 rupees, up 47.20 rupees. The share closed at 206.40, up 28.60 rupees.

Acme Printing & Packaging was also heavily traded, closing at 27.10 rupees, up 50 cents.