Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.8-pct

Nov 26, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.82 percent lower with Index heavy John Keells Holdings and Nestle Lanka losing ground, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 59.64 points lower at 7,179.72, down 0.82 percent.

The S&P SL20 closed 21.02 points lower at 4,024.70, down 0.52 percent.

Turnover was 1.70 billion rupees, up from 1.08 billion rupees a day earlier with 41 stocks closed positive against 164 negative.

John Keells Holdings closed 2.60 rupees lower at 242.00 rupees with three off market transactions of 292.31 million rupees changing hands at 244.00 rupees per share contributing 17 percent of the turnover.

Three directors of John Keells Holdings have sold a quantity of shares in JKH while exercising employee share options on Wednesday, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Dialog Axiata closed 40 cents higher at 13.10 rupees with five off market transactions of 239.48 million rupees changing hands at 13.10 rupees per share contributing 14 percent of the turnover.

The aggregate value of all off-the-floor deals represented 42 percent of the daily turnover.

Foreign investors bought 547.02 million rupees worth shares while selling 146.34 million rupees worth shares.

Lanka Cement closed 3.70 rupees lower at 5.30 rupees, attracting most number of trades during the day.

Defence ministry is to acquire 104 acres of land and buildings located at Kankesanthurai factory premises of Lanka Cement, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

The entire staff will be retired under the government sponsored voluntary retirement scheme, the statement said.

“We have requested compensation for land and buildings from the ministry of defence,” the company further said.

Index heavy John Keells Holdings contributed most to the index drop.

Nestle Lanka closed 47.40 rupees lower at 2,110.10 rupees and Bukit Darah closed 20.00 rupees lower at 705.00 rupees.

Carson Cumberbatch closed 22.90 rupees higher at 448.00 rupees and Ceylon Tobacco Company closed 19.00 rupees higher at 1,095.20 rupees.