Sri Lanka stocks close lower, rupee steady

Dec 14, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks slid 0.2 percent lower Friday in wafer-thin trading ahead of a crucial budget vote and the rupee was steady against the greenback at 109.98/109.00, dealers said. The All Share Index lost 5.96 points while the Milanka index of liquid stocks fell back 0.34 percent amidst thin trading of only 82 million rupees as traders kept a close watch on a tightly fought budget vote later in the day.

There was renewed interest in stocks connected to the Janashakthi group.

Firms in the financial sector and fast moving consumer goods have been interested in the group after a change of directorate at Kshatriya Holdings. A source close to the group said some units of the group may be for sale at the right price.

The Kshatriya share closed up 50 cents at 11.25 rupees. Kelsey Development that had seen heavy trading in recent weeks gained 1.00 rupee to close at 20.00.

Kotmale Holdings, another connected firm, closed flat at 11.75 rupees. First Capital Holdings closed down at 0.50 cents at 11.00 rupees.

In other developments, Coco Lanka completed a capital raising exercise with its rights being oversubscribed, the company said.

Dialog closed down 25 cents at 20.25, Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 31.25, Singer Sri Lanka down 4.50 at 65.00 and John Keells Holdings up 50 cents at 126.50

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