Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.2-pct

Dec 15, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks ended weaker Thursday with some deals seen in companies seen to have strong fundamentals although turnover remained thin, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.16 percent (9.67 points) to 5,941.32, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.72 percent (37.48 points) to close at 5,190.97.

Turnover was a low 469 million rupees, one of the lowest in recent months, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Dialog Axiata, a mobile phone operator which Wednesday said it would buy Suntel, a fixed access unit, rose 20 cents to close at eight rupees, with 1.17 million shares traded, and hitting a high of 8.10.

“The Colombo bourse contracted further today with deepening investor pessimism, deleveraging their positions,” Lanka Securities said in a report.

Several stocks which were listed recently and some high cap stocks hit 52-week lows during the day, they said.

“The announcement regarding Dialog Axiata’s share purchase agreement with Suntel Limited had a minor effect on the counter during the day.”

There was a crossing or off-market private deal of 440,700 shares of John Keells Holdings at 179 rupees each. The stock closed at 176.70, down 3.10.

There was also a crossing of 150,000 Distilleries Company shares at 150 rupees each. It closed 10 cents firmer at 150.

Acme Printing & Packaging, the most actively traded stock, was the third biggest loser of the day, falling 1.40 rupees to close at 21.20, with 1.76 million shares changing hands. It hit a high of 24.10 rupees.

HVA Foods sagged further to close at 34.10 rupees, down 1.50 rupees, after rising to 36.20 with 501,500 shares traded.

Colombo Land & Development Company firmed up 80 cents to close at 52.60 rupees. There was a crossing of 400,000 shares at 51.30 rupees each.