Sri Lanka stocks end down

Apr 29, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Friday with heavy trading in the banking and finance sector, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 7,356.97, down 0.28 percent (20.68 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.20 percent (13.56 points) to close at 6,822.77, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.95 billion rupees.

Pan Asia Bank was the most actively traded stock, closing at 56.50 rupees, down 2.60 with over 1.5 million shares done.

Pan Asia Bank said Thursday that March 2011 quarter net profit shot up 190 percent to 196 million rupees from a year ago with sharp gains in both interest and non-interest income.

Commercial Bank was also heavily traded, closing at 270.10 rupees, up 2.10 with over 2.6 million shares traded.

There were several crossings in Commercial Bank, which accounted for a big chunk of the day’s turnover.

Two million shares of Commercial Bank changed hands in three deals at 270 rupees each and 500,000 shares went at 268 rupees each in three deals.

Commercial Bank reported that March 2011 quarter net profit rose 86 percent to 2,064 million rupees from a year ago as it benefited from higher interest margins and lower taxation.

Colombo Dockyard was also heavily traded. It closed flat at 260 rupees.

Lanka Securities said “weak market sentiments” prevailed during the week with little buying pressure building on indices.

The benchmark ASI dropped almost 100 points during the week while the more sensitive MPI lost 124.34 points.

Foreign participation increased slightly to 18.57 percent of the overall market activity and at the end of the week foreign selling outweighed foreign buying by 721.4 million rupees, the brokers said.