Sri Lankan shares close flat

Nov 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed flat Monday as investors remained cautious and trading sluggish, while selected high value counters made small gains, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 2,931.07, down 0.08 percent (2.27 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,345.00, up 0.34 percent (11.44 points).

Turnover was 254.1 million rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“The market is holding onto narrow gains with thin turnover,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president of stock brokering house Asha Phillip Securities said.

“I expect the market sentiments to be dull and sluggish in the coming week.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 142.00 rupees, down 1.00, and Sri Lanka Distilleries Company, a unit of the unlisted Stassens group, closed at 92.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Commercial Bank closed at 176.00 rupees, up 25 cents, Hatton National Bank at 166.75 rupees, down 1.75, National Development Bank at 182.50 rupees, up 2.50, and DFCC Bank at 147.50 rupees, down 50 cents. Sampath Bank closed flat at 180.00 rupees.

Brokers said retail investors were being cautious after making losses in doing margin trading on borrowed funds when the market fell.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco closed at 172.00 rupees, up 1.75, and Nestle Lanka closed at 365.00 rupees, down 46.00 on 100 shares traded.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 41.75 rupees, up 50 cents, and celco Dialog Telekom closed at 7.25 rupees, up 25 cents.

Eagle Insurance closed at 166.25 rupees, up 1.00, Asian Alliance at 50.00 rupees, up 3.25, Amana Takaful at 12.25 rupees, down 25 cents, and Janashakthi Insurance at 10.00 rupees, up 50 cents.