Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.7-pct

Sept 20, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Tuesday with a sharp increase in the price of an insurer control of which changed hands recently and continued trading in shares that had drawn speculators, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.72 percent (49.23 points) to 6,821.69, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.83 percent (51.34 points) to close at 6,157.90, according to stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees.

On Monday, there was no trading after the Colombo Stock Exchange cancelled all orders and trades following a technical problem that halted transactions soon after the opening.

Asian Alliance Insurance was Tuesday’s highest gainer and also generated the highest turnover. It closed at 187.30 rupees, up 49 percent or 62 rupees, with over 1.8 million shares traded. It hit a high of 187.90.

There were two crossing or off-market private deals of 750,000 Asian Alliance shares each, both at 121 rupees a share.

Softlogic Holdings group last month acquired control of the insurer by buying a 73.5 percent stake for 3.3 billion rupees at 120 rupees per share.

Softlogic said in a stock exchange filing a mandatory offer to buy out remaining shareholders had ended Monday and that the group and related parties now held 98.59 percent of Asian Alliance.

East West Properties was the most actively traded stock, closing at 40,20 rupees, down 40 cents with over 4.4 million shares done.

There was also heavy trading in Commercial Credit with over two million shares changing hands.

The stock closed at 32.30 rupees, up one, after it announced a three-year growth plan that included aims to send its share price up sharply after posting a big increase in profit.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide voting and non-voting shares were again among the most actively traded shares, closing flat at 9.80 rupees and 4.40.

Trading in HVA Foods generated the third highest turnover with the stock falling almost five percent or 2.90 rupees to close at 55.80 and over 1.4 million shares done.

There were two crossings of HVA Foods one of 370,700 shares and the other of 630,000 shares both at 60 rupees a share.