Sri Lankan shares close down

Mar 04, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan blue chips once again took a beating on Wednesday as investors continued to stay away from the market owing to jitters over poor company earnings and liquidity shortages, broker said.

The All Share Price Index lost 0.10 percent (1.62 points) to end at 1,637.85 while the more liquid Milanka shed 1.38 percent (23.68 points) to close at 1,686.32.

Turnover was 52.8 million rupees.

“The poor December quarter corporate earnings are continuing to hurt the market’s performance,” said Mohandas V. Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities.

“In addition to the bad corporate earnings, the market is affected further due to liquidity shortages.”

John Keells Holdings, a diversified blue chip company, was down 1.75 rupees to close at 55.25.

Sri Lanka’s largest private bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, was down two rupees to close at 82.

Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 4.70. Fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom was up 1.50 to close at 35.

Hayleys, a diversified company that has business interest in plantations, manufacturing, insurance, electronic consumables and transportation, was down 4.25 rupees, to close at 86.

Foreign buying was at 6.1 million rupees, while foreign selling amounted to 12.7 million, as the steady outflow of foreign funds continued.