Sri Lanka stocks extend losses

Nov 16, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks extended losses falling 1.14 percent in thin trading Wednesday amid continuing negative sentiment over an expropriation law and margin sales, brokers said.

Brokers said motor stocks were being sold due a hike in car taxes expected in the next budget, but some firms which had reported good profits were being sold with sentiment weak due to asset seizures by the state, through a secretly written law.

A day earlier, the Supreme Court refused to hear four cases related to the expropriation of an unlisted company.

Trading in two listed companies, Pelwatte Sugar and Hotel Developers were suspended after being expropriated.

Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka fell 90 cents to 149.70 despite reporting profit growth of 44 percent. Aitken Spence fell 4.90 to 120.00 rupees.

Hatton National Bank fell 12.20 rupees to 167.80, Commercial Bank fell 2.10 rupees to 100.00.

Index heavy Dialog Axiata closed 20 cents down at 7.60 rupees after initially opening 30 cents higher.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Index fell 69.42 points to 6,022.88 nearing a psychological 6,000 points, which was crossed on September 08, 2010.

The Milanka Index of liquid stocks fell 2.3 percent (124.04) points to 5,272.9 points.

Turnover was only 590 million rupees.

Diesel and Motor Engineering fell 8.90 rupees to 1,252, United Motors fell 2.00 rupees to 144.10 and Sathosa Motors was flat at 222.50 rupees.