Sri Lanka stocks close down despite Light House deal

Mar 30, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Monday despite large crossings of Lighthouse Hotels Limited (LHL) which went through during the last minutes of trading at a premium, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.23 percent (3.85 points) to end at 1,644.59 while the more liquid Milanka slid 0.23 percent (3.99 points) to close at 1,753.75.

Turnover was 283.7 million rupees.

Chemanex Limited made a strategic divestment of 2.83 million shares of LHL at 60.50 rupees, brokers said.

Sakuvi Investment Trust Private Limited sold 530,000 shares at 60.50 rupees. LHL shares gained 6.50 rupees to close at 57.50.

Brokers said there was speculation that another hotel group or a high net worth investor with interests in hotels had bought into Light House.

“Apart for the two large LHL blocks, the market was dominated by retail trading,” said Thakshila Hulangamuwa, senior vice president at Asha Phillip Securities.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings which has business interest in the transport, financial, retail, property development and food sectors closed flat at 64.50.

Fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom was down 75 cents to close at 33, while Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 4.90 rupees.