Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.9-pct

Dec 02, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed lower Friday, losing most of Thursday’s gains with some profit-taking seen, brokers said. Share prices have been gyrating in recent days as influential investors and stock brokers sought government intervention to prop up the market by forcing out regulators who probed insider dealing and fraud and pressing for looser credit and price rules.

The market has been in the doldrums in recent weeks after hitting record highs for two successive years following the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war in 2009 that raised fears of a bubble. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.94 percent (56.81 points) to 6,087.86, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 1.08 percent (57.18 points) to close at 5,246.58, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees.

Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings fell 1.70 rupees to close at 168.20 rupees, after hitting 174.50 during the day, with 214,100 shares traded.

Debutant Entrust Securities saw heavy trading, generating the second highest turnover, and closing at 70.70 rupees, down 20 cents, after hitting a day’s high of 81, with over two million shares traded.

Trade Finance & Invetsment Ltd. was actively traded, closing at 22.40 rupees, up 2.80, with 3.9 million shares done, including one crossing or off-market private deal of 750,000 shares at 27 rupees each. The stock hit a high of 29.40.

The Lanka Hospital Corporation was also actively traded, closing 3.70 rupees lower at 54.60 rupees, with over 1.7 million shares done. It hit a high of 60 rupees.