May 17, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Monday as investors took profits to re-invest in those that offer higher value, while trading volumes were hit as retail investors stayed away owing to heavy rain which caused floods in the capital, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,242.49, down 9.95 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks dipped 0.30 percent (14.29 points) to close at 4,784.58.
Turnover was 984 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.
“The market saw a bit of selling pressure due to profit-talking,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.
“However, despite the selling investors were seen buying into stocks that offered single-digit price to earnings (P/E) values.”
Investor participation at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) was much lower than normal days. This may be due to the parts of Colombo being submerged by heavy pre-monsoon rains which disrupted vehicular traffic, brokers said.
At the end of trade there were 82 gainers and 70 losers, brokers said.
In a private off-the-floor deal, 1.6 million shares of John Keells Holdings, a conglomerate with business interest in transport, leisure, food processing, financial services and retail business changed hands at 184 rupees per share. It closed at 182.50 rupees, down 2.25.
Aitken Spence closed at 1,55.75, down 1.75, Hayleys closed at 285.00 rupees, up 4.00 and Hemas Holdings closed at 142.00 rupees, up 1.25.
Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 246.00 rupees, up 4.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 234.25 rupees, up 1.25, Sampath Bank closed at 283.25 rupees, down 1.25 and Seylan Bank closed flat at 57.00 rupees.
Sri Lanka Telecom, a fixed line operator close at 38.00 rupees, up 1.00, and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Axiata Malaysia closed flat at 8.75 rupees.