Sri Lankan shares close 0.7-pct down

Nov 09, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Tuesday as investors stayed out expecting further falls in future following a ban on stock brokers extending credit beyond January 01, 2011, brokers said.

The Colombo All Share Index was down 0.72 percent (47.81 points) to 6,592.38 points, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks fell 0.56 percent (40.69 points) to 7,169.87 point according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange data.

Turnover was 1.0 billion rupees.

Price gains on a few selected shares such as Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, an index heavy stock, helped prevent the market from going down further, brokers said.

Distilleries closed at 174.00 rupees, up 4.00 (2.35 percent), while Central Finance Company closed at 723.60 rupees, up 11.80 (1.66 percent).

Ceylon Cold Stores closed at 475.00 rupees, up 65.00 (15.85 percent), Kegalle Plantations closed at 160.30 rupees, up 3.80 (2.43 percent) and Kotagala Plantations closed at 84.00 rupees, up 2.90 (3.6 percent).

The Colombo Stock Exchange is taking time to cool-off after the regulator banned all stock broking firms from providing credit to customers from January 01, 2011 in an effort to prevent excessive speculation, brokers said.

Investors, who are short on cash, seek credit from the 16 official margin providers and through banks on a personal or business loan.

John Keells Holdings closed at 298.40 rupees, down 1.50 (0.50 percent).

Aitken Spence closed at 178.00 rupees, down 60 cents (0.34 percent), Hemas Holdings closed at 45.00 rupees, down 1.10 (2.4 percent) with almost 2.2 million shares traded, brokers said.