Sri Lankan shares becalmed

Feb 13, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares barely budged Friday with the Lanka Indian Oil Corp., the local unit of Indian Oil, and forestry firm Touchwood among the most actively traded, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index ended down 0.07 percent (1.25 points) at 1,748.14 while the more liquid Milanka gained 0.48 percent (8.92) to close at 1,866.77.

Turnover was 61.2 million rupees.

Trading in Touchwood Investments, LIOC and John Keells Holdings (JKH) boosted the Milanka Index, while market heavyweight Sri Lanka Telecom dragged the ASPI down, said brokers.

SLT was down two percent or 75 cents to close at 35 rupees.

“SLT is not in the Milanka but, being the number one company on the market cap, a two percent drop in the price has a significant impact on the ASPI and has no impact on the Milanka Index,” said Angelo Ranasinghe of Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

“Overall, today buying interest was also on counters such as Nestle, Overseas Realty and Ceylinco Seylan Development.”

He said trading was mainly by small investors with institutional investors still on the sidelines.