Sri Lanka shares end lower, Dankotuwa in demand

June 28, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed weaker Monday as investor ardour cooled off, with Dankotuwa Porcelain in demand after it struck a deal saving it from closure, brokers said. “While continuing to see value in select stocks, we feel some of the ‘over-bought’ shares could bring down the sentiment over the short-run.”

Sri Lankan shares had hit record highs in recent weeks with the end of a 30-year war and a recovery in company earnings boosting investor enthusiasm.

Two million shares of John Keells Holdings changed hands in a private deal at 206 rupees a share. It closed at 205, up 50 cents with 2.3 million shares traded

Sampath Bank’s stock dividend made the share rise 6.75 rupees to close at 365 rupees. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,574.29, down 0.59 percent (27.26 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.62 percent (32.64 points) to close at 5,257.53.

Turnover was 2.5 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Tableware exporter Dankotuwa Porcelain was the most actively traded share and the day’s highest gainer.

It closed up 18.50 rupees or 88 percent at 39.50 rupees with over 19.5 million shares traded.

The firm has struck a deal with a consortium consisting of Environmental Resources Investments and Ceylon Leather Products that will help the loss-making firm to turnaround.

“Dankotuwa Porcelain was the highlight of the day as almost 20 million shares traded amounting to 670 million rupees of the total turnover,’ said Nikita Tissera, head of research at SC Securities.

“The market seems to be taking a breather after the heated activity we witnessed. The market historical PER (price-to-earnings ratio) has risen to 24 times over last week.