Sri Lanka stocks slip 0.4-pct, turnover dips

Nov 26, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.4 percent lower Monday while turnover dipped to 115 million rupees, levels not seen for three years, amid weak demand, brokers said. On Monday People’s Finance rose 2.60 to close at 33.80 rupees. The firm is due to be merged with its larger parent People’s Leasing and Finance. Brokers said the stock moved up on expectations of a mandatory offer to buy out minority shareholders.

Aitken Spence fell 3.60 rupees to 119.20, Bairaha Farms fell 5.20 to 141.00 rupees, Chevron Lubricants fell 2.50 to 189.50 rupees and Tokyo Cement rose 80 cents to close at 27.90 rupees.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed at 5,384.8, down 22.2 points and the S&P SL20 Index closed at 2,960.01 down 7.3 points of 0.25 percent.

Turnover was 115.9 million rupees.

Turnover was at these levels in the first half of 2009, when the country was in the middle of a balance of payments crisis and in the last stages of a 30-year war. Turnover fell to 80 million rupees on April 30, 2009.

Sri Lanka is now again recovering from a balance of payments crisis, triggered by large volumes of credit taken by state enterprises to manipulate energy prices and the market is going through a correction.

There are also concerns over rule of law and property rights.