Sri Lankan share prices slump, trading dries up

Jan 25, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks weakened further Friday with trading drying up to just a trickle as investors stayed away from the market owing to political and economic uncertainty. The All Share Index fell 3.21 points to 2,433.50 while the liquid Milanka index closed hardly unchanged at 3,125.25.

Turnover slumped to 66 million rupees from 118 million rupees on Thursday.

Lanka Cement continued to draw interest owing to reports that India’s Birla group could take over its defunct cement plant in northern Jaffna.

The stock accounted for the day’s highest turnover at 8.3 million rupees with 760,200 shares changing hands. It ended 25 cents up at 11 rupees.

Ferntea, which is being wound up and is the subject of litigation, was the day’s highest gainer with 288,200 shares changing hands.

The stock ended up two rupees or 14 percent at 16.25. .