Sri Lanka shares slide, trading thin

Nov 26, 2008 (LBO) – The slide in Sri Lankan stocks picked up momentum slightly Wednesday, although volumes remained thin with the indices dragged down by losses in high value shares, brokers said. The market has also been affected by lower corporate profitability which is seen continuing given the current economic downturn.

Fears of currency devaluation were also affecting investor sentiment.

To receive instant alerts from LBO on your Dialog mobile type ‘lbo’ and send to 678

The All Share Price Index fell 3.32 percent (53.96 points) to end at 1,571.29 while the more liquid Milanka was down 3.10 percent (56.44 points) to 1,764.08. Turnover was 87 million rupees.

Brokers said most of the volume came from trading in Distilleries Company which fell 1.50 to 51.25 with 460,700 shares done.

Commercial Bank was the most actively traded stock followed by Lanka Cement.

Commercial Bank ended three rupees lower at 76 rupees while Lanka Cement gained 25 cents to close at 6.75.

Dialog Telekom shed 25 cents to end at six rupees, Sri Lanka Telecom fell 75 cents to 32.25 and John Keells Holdings lost 1.50 to close at 62.25.

Brokers said share trading had virtually dried up with investors preferring debt instruments where yields are higher with interest rates and inflation remaining high.