Sri Lanka stocks down 0.5-pct, rupee weaker

July 17, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks fell 0.5 percent Tuesday, with large cap stocks including banks losing ground, in a day which a billion US dollar bond was launched in international capital markets, brokers said. Analysts say if the bond proceeds are bought by the Central Bank and large volumes of rupees dumped into the interbank market the rupee could come under more pressure.

The Colombo All Share Price Index 27 points to 4,853 and the S&P20 Index of large cap stocks fell 0.7 percent (19.3 points) to 2,755.7.

Turnover was 255 million rupees.

Aitken Spence Plc fell 3.80 to 111.0 rupees, John Keells Holdings fell 1.70 rupees to 178.20 and Distilleries Corporation fell 1.10 to 125.0 rupees.

Commercial Bank fell 80 cents to 97.20, Hatton National Bank fell 40 cents to 139.90 rupees.

In forex markets the rupee weakened as much as 133.95 to the US dollar before recovering to around 133.85/90 levels dealers said.

Though the central bank sold down small volumes of bills last week, its T-bill stocks was seen climbing again to 220 billion rupees.

On Tuesday a billion US dollar bond was launched in international markets and for which demand was strong sources familiar with the sale said.