Sri Lankan shares down 0.33-pct on profit taking

July 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks fell Wednesday as retail investors took profits, while there was heavy trading in Dialog Telekom for the fourth day running, brokers said. Brokers said 10.04 million Dialog Telekom shares changed hands Wednesday, while 1.64 million shares of Janashakthi Insurance and 1.12 million shares of Lanka Cement also changed hands.

In the last four trading days, almost 50 million Dialog shares have changed hands.

Lanka Cement closed at 32.25 rupees, down 1.50, while Janashakthi Insurance closed unchanged at 7.25 rupees.

Index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 138.25 rupees, down 2.25, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of Stassens Group closed flat at 88.00 rupees.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 144.00 rupees, down 1.00, while National Development Bank closed at 164.75 rupees, up 1.75.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of multinational British American Tobacco closed at 125.00 rupees, up 4.25, while Chevron Lubricants Lanka, the Sri Lankan unit of Chevron, closed at 131.25 rupees, up 2.75.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed down 0.33 percent (8.41 points) to end at 2,511.70 Wednesday, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.46 percent (13.05 points) to close at 2,844.27, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 361.5 million rupees.

On Wednesday there were net foreign outflows worth 48.9 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 97.7 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 146.6 million rupees, brokers said.

“After healthy gains over the last few weeks retail investors were seen taking profits,” Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

“Blue chip stocks continued to drive market turnover today.”

In most instances at the end of the month retail investors take profits to settle their dues, brokers said.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, one of the most heavily traded shares in the past few days closed flat at 6.00 rupees, while Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 47.50 rupees.