Sri Lanka stocks down 25-pct from peak

Dec 19, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.5 percent lower Monday down 25 percent from a peak earlier in the year with steep corrections in several illiquid stocks, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Index shed 31.7 points to close at 5,860.9, down 0.54 percent and the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks fell 29.7 points (0.57 percent) to close at 5,105.4 points.

Turnover was 537 million rupees.

The benchmark is index was down 25 percent from a peak reached of 7,811.8 points reached on February 14 and is down 11.7 percent from December 2010.

Stock values have fallen 464 billion from a peak of 2.6 trillion rupees.

Colombo stocks were driven up amid a credit bubble with illiquid stocks being pushed up by punters, even after more liquid stocks stopped their headlong rush around October 2010.

High credit growth has also put pressure on a dollar peg and interest rates have over the past five months.

On Monday, Industrial Asphalts fell 111.60 to 503.40, Union Chemicals fell 88.00 to 710.00 and Colombo Pharmacy fell 51.40 to 1,042.00.

Ceylon Tobacco closed up 10.20 at 472.90 with 100 shares traded and Ceylinco Insurance fell 15.50 to 311.50 with 1,800 shares traded.

John Keells Holdings fell 3.30 to 170.10, Sri Lanka telecom rose 10 cents to 45.10, Dialog Axiata was flat at 7.90, Commercial Bank rose 1.00 rupee to 100 rupees and Hatton National Bank fell 4.50 to 141.00.