Sri Lanka shares end down 1.5-pct

Apr 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares tumbled for the fifth straight day Monday with motor shares taking a hit and heavy trading continuing in Lankem Developments, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,345.48, down 1.49 percent (111.34 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 1.32 percent (91.84 points) to close at 6,855.27, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees.

Motor stocks suffered a steep fall after the government said it was raising effective import tax rates on certain types of cars.

The motor sector index itself fell 4.14 percent while prices of most shares of companies dealing in motor vehicles fell sharply.

Lankem Developments, which is making a 15 for one rights issue at 25 rupees each to raise almost 2.6 billion rupees, continued to be actively traded.

It closed at 32.40 rupees, up four, after hitting a day’s high of 38 rupees, with over 1.87 million shares traded.

Central Finance, another stock which had drawn interest in recent days, was also actively traded, closing at 1,443.10 rupees, up 38.50. There were two crossings of 14,700 and 26,300 shares at 1,430 rupees a share.

Index heavy John Keells Holdings closed at 290.50, down 4.50, while National Development Bank also fell, closing at 168 rupees, down 4.20 with a private deal of 200,000 shares at 165 rupees each.