Sri Lanka shares end weaker

March 24, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker Tuesday with a single Sampath Bank block of 744,155 shares traded at 65.75 rupees accounting for almost half the day’s turnover, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index edged down 0.15 percent (2.43 points) to end at 1,625.48 while the more liquid Milanka went up 0.24 percent (4.04 points) to close at 1,696.71.

Turnover was 104 million rupees.

Sampath Bank closed the day at 69.25, up 25 cents from the previous close.

Commercial Bank was the most actively traded stock of the day, ending up 25 cents at 78 rupees.

Seylan Merchant Leasing, whose share price has risen sharply in recent weeks on takeover talk, ended up almost five percent or 75 cents at 18.25 rupees

Seylan Merchant Leasing is part of the troubled Ceylinco group which is selling off subsidiaries to raise funds to repay depositors of a collapsed unlisted subsidiary, Golden Key.

Sri Lanka’s largest leasing company People’s Leasing Company, a unit of state-run People’s Bank, is in talks to buy Seylan Merchant Leasing.

Most other listed firms of the Ceylinco group ended weaker or flat.