Sri Lanka stock trading buoyed by Carson deal

March 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer Friday with trading volumes boosted by large transfers of shares within the Carson Cymberbatch conglomerate, brokers said. Seylan Merchant Leasing rose 16 percent or 1.25 to end at 9.25 rupees while Seylan Merchant Bank rose eight percent or 20 cents to end at 2.70.

Seylan Merchant Bank said it is in talks with People’s Leasing Company, a unit of state-run People’s Bank, to sell a controlling stake in Seylan Merchant Leasing.

Property firm Kelsey Developments said in a stock exchange filing that it plans to take over Nexthomes.

Kelsey said it will buy 250,000 shares of Nexthomes Limited, which is 100 percent of the voting rights, at 100 rupees a share.

The transaction is expected to be concluded in the next few days, it said.

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The All Share Price Index edged up 0.72 percent (11.64 points) to end at 1,627.70 while the more liquid Milanka was up 0.43 percent (7.25 points) to close at 1,675.29.

Turnover was 4.1 billion rupees, most of it generated by the Carson transactions in which the group transferred control of Malaysian palm oil firms to a subsidiary in Singapore called Goodhope Asia Holdings.

Carsons sold controlling stakes in Indo Malay, Good Hope, Selinsing and Shalimar (Malay) in return for shares as part of a restructuring execise to better focus on the south east Asian palm oil industry.

There was heavy trading in The Finance Company, part of the troubled Ceylinco group, which the central bank said is in for a management shake as part of efforts to strengthen finance firms.

The Finance rose 22 percent or five rupees to close at 27.25 rupees.

Two other Ceylinco group firms also rose after they revealed plans for a change of ownership.