Sri Lanka shares end down in thin trade

Jan 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended weaker Tuesday in thin trade, ignoring more military gains against Tamil Tiger rebels, brokers said. Ceylinco Insurance closed up 8.57 percent or 15 rupees at 190 rupees although share prices of most other listed members of the Ceylinco group weakened or remained flat.

The Ceylinco Group has been hit by the collapse of an unlisted deposit taking firm.

The share market rallied briefly on thin volumes Friday on news the army had seized a key northern town held by the Tigers but further military gains Tuesday failed to rally prices.

Brokers said corporate profitability would be hit by the global economic downturn and its effects on the domestic economy.

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The All Share Price Index down 0.74 percent (11,50 points) at 1,549.47 while the more liquid Milanka lost 0.83 percent (13.93 points) to end at 1,654.35.

Turnover was 53 million rupees.

Environmental Resources Investment, which has announced a one for one rights issue, was the most actively traded stock with 282,400 shares changing hands.

The stock ended unchanged at 20 rupees after sinking to 18 during the day.

The company said it planned to raise 347 million rupees by issuing 17,386,080 shares at 20 rupees each.

The funds would go for “various investment opportunities that meet with the company’s objectives and risk control thresholds,” it said in a stock exchange filing.

The firm has a current stated capital of 35 million rupees.