Sri Lankan shares close flat

Feb 23, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed flat Tuesday as investors took profits in afternoon trade, while heavy buying interest on selected insurance companies pushed turnover up, brokers said. Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 197.75 rupees, up 4.00, Hatton National Bank closed flat at 176.00, Sampath Bank closed at 231.00 rupees, up 2.50 and Seylan Bank closed flat at 43.00 rupees.

Environmental Resources Investments shares whose prices fluctuated last week, closed at 233.50 rupees, down 5.75. Its 0000 warrants closed at 144.50 rupees, down 2.00, and 0001 warrants closed at 142.75 rupees, down 2.50.

Diversified Hayleys closed flat at 205.00 rupees, down 4.00, Aitken Spence closed at 1,270.00 rupees, down 29.75, and Hemas Holdings closed flat at 121.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Sri Lanka Telecom, a fixed line provider closed flat at 40.00 rupees, and Dialog Telekom, a celco closed flat at 7.00 rupees.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,770.40, down 0.08 percent (3.15 points), while the Milanka index of more liquid shares lost 0.38 percent (16.31 points) to close at 4,315.20.

Turnover was 800 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The market is taking a breather and has pushed investors to realize profits,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at stock brokering firm Asha Phillip Securities said.

“We expect this to continue for few more days. Investors are watching interest rates that have been nudging up slowly in the last few weeks.”

Brokers said 3.41 million Janashakthi Insurance shares changed hands. It closed at 12.25 rupees, up 1.00, and HNB Assurance closed at 51.00 rupees, up 1.25 with almost 4.0 million shares traded.

Ceylinco Insurance closed at 248.00 rupees, up 3.00, Asian Alliance closed flat at 60.00 rupees and Aviva NDB Insurance closed at 220.00 rupees, up 10.25.

John Keells Holdings, a conglomerate closed at 168.75 rupees, down 50 cents, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, an alcohol producer closed at 115.00 rupees, down 2.00.