Sri Lanka stocks close down 1.31-pct

Oct 26, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed down, dragged down by index heavy stocks like John Keells Holdings and Aitken Spence, brokers said. JKH closed at 295.90 rupees, down 6.10 (2.02 percent) while Aitken Spence closed at 182.20 rupees, down 0.50 (0.27 percent).

Corrected – Sampath Bank share price

There were 33 gainers and 166 losers, today.

The Colombo All Share Index fell 1.31 percent (87.17 points) to 6,546.16 points, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks dipped 1.33 percent (96.25 points) to 7,113.88 according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange data.

Turnover was 11.2 billion rupees, largely owing to the transfer of a big stake in Royal Ceramics controlled by Dhammika Perera who is transferring his stake in listed firms into a holding company.

“Yet again interest was seen in the banking and finance sector,” Thilini Yatawara of Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

Sampath Bank closed at 290.90 rupees, down 4.20 (1.42 percent) while Hatton National Bank closed at 407.60 rupees, up 0.60 (0.15 percent) with 1.3 million shares changing hands.

Royal Ceramics Lanka closed at 324.60 rupees, down 5.10 (1.55 percent) with 28.3 million shares changing hands, of which 28.2 million shares was a crossing at 325 rupees a share.

The transfer added 9.18 billion rupees to the day’s trading turnover.

Controlling shareholder of Royal Ceramics Dhammika Perera owned 28.2 million shares of the firm’s 55.4 million shares in issue.

Perera is transferring his stakes in listed firms to a new company, Vallibel One.