Sri Lankan shares close down 0.83-pct

Sep 24, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down on Thursday as investors took profits from hotel and banking sector stocks, although renewed confidence in the economy after a war is expected to drive shares back up, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index closed down 0.83 percent (24.21 points) to end at 2,888.67 while the more liquid Milanka lost 1.03 percent (33.78 points) to close at 3,248.11, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 419.0 million rupees.

“The market took a slight correction by means of profit taking on selected hotels and banking sector stocks,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering house SC Securities said.

“This is a short term correction as we feel the overall sentiment of the market to be bound north.”

Riverina Hotels closed at 66.00 rupees, down 1.00, while Hotel Sigiriya closed at 59.00 rupees, down 3.00.

Trans Asia Hotel, a unit of John Keells Holdings (JKH) recently rebranded as Cinnamon Lakeside View closed at 139.50 rupees, down 2.25.

Sampath Bank closed at 172.00 rupees, down 2.00, while Sri Lanka’s largest listed bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 170.50 rupees, down 1.75.

DFCC Bank closed at 153.25 rupees, down 1.50, while Hatton National Bank closed at 160.75 rupees, down 3.25.

National Development Bank closed at 188.75 rupees, down 2.00.

Brokers said 8.65 million Dialog Telekom shares changed hands. It closed flat at 6.25 rupees, while Sri Lanka’s largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 44.00 rupees.

Index heavy conglomerate JKH closed at 153.00 rupees, down 2.00, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 87.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

Shipbuilder Colombo Dockyard closed at 159.25 rupees, down 3.25, while retailer favourite Touchwood closed at 90.25 rupees, down 1.50.

Ceylinco Finance which changed its name to Nation Lanka Finance last week closed at 25.00 rupees, up 1.25, while Haycarb closed at 85.25 rupees, up 2.50 on 131,300 shares changing hands today.

On Thursday there was net foreign selling worth 0.7 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 80.5 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 81.2 million rupees, brokers said.

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