Sri Lanka shares end weaker, Bogala Graphite swings again

Sept 02, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker Tuesday with Bogala Graphite swinging wildly on speculative trading by small investors and a large foreign sale of Sri Lanka Telecom the main activity, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index fell 0.33 percent (7.84 points) to 2,400.34 while the Milanka ended down 0.55 percent (15.38 points) at 2,769.29.

Turnover was 191 million rupees.

“The main contribution to trading was the foreign sale of 875,000 shares of SLT, most of which went at 46 rupees,” said Sujeeva Peiris of Bartleet Mallory Stock Brokers.

SLT ended down 50 cents at 46 rupees.

“There was a speculative run on Bogala Graphite,” said Peiris.

“It was pushed up in the morning to a peak of 30 rupees for no apparent reason and then plunged back to 26 at the close. Around 390,000 shares were traded between 26-30 rupees.”

Bogala Graphite was the most actively traded stock and ended up 25 cents at 26.50 rupees.

“I think the present conditions in the market will continue as most investors are fully invested,” said Peiris. “We need new funds to get the market activated.

“High net-worth investors are holding on to what stocks they have and not selling, so liquidity has dried up.”

About 115,000 shares of Associated Motorways were done at 174.50 rupees with shareholders probably not waiting for the mandatory offer by the Dubai firm which took control of the company recently.

The indices weakened largely because of falls in heavyweight stocks.

Dialog Telekom was down 25 cents to 11 rupees with 374,500 shares done while The Bukit Darah fell 3.55 percent or 57.75 to 1,567.25 rupees on just 200 shares.