Sri Lanka shares weaken

June 01, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended weaker Monday as investors took profits after last week’s sharp rise on euphoria that followed a military victory over the Tamil Tigers, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index fell 0.29 percent (6.44 points) to end at 2,209.52 while the more liquid Milanka fell 0.60 percent (15.01 points) to close at 2,504.78, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover fell to 431 million rupees from the almost a billion a day seen last week as excitement waned over the military defeat of the Tigers which is seen as paving the way for the revival of the economy and corporate earnings.

John Keells Holdings lost 1.08 percent or 1.25 rupees to end at 114 while Commercial Bank slipped 1.77 percent or 2.25 rupees to 125.

Brokers said the market is likely to resume its upward trend with occasional profit taking and the focus on stocks with fundemantal value and high earnings potential.

In last week’s sharp rise in the market, where blue chips, hotels and banks were the most popular picks, foreigners were net sellers with a net foreign outflow of 341 million rupees.

In Monday’s trade, Renuka Holdings was among the most actively traded stocks and the day’s highest gainer, ending up 11.5 percent or 7.50 rupees at 72.75.

Distilleries Company also drew attention with anticipation that a supreme court verdict on its acquisition of the state-owned insurance company, Sri Lanka Insurance, was to be made Monday.

Lawyers later said the ruling was not made and a fresh date not known yet.

Distilleries ended up 2.20 percent or two rupees at 92.75.

Lanka Cement was also heavily traded, closing up 1.47 percent (25 cents) at 16.25.