Sri Lankan stocks close 0.36-pct down

Jan 21, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed lower Thursday as small investors took profits on high value stocks and bought low value counters, while next week’s presidential polls loomed large on the horizon, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 3,519.71, down 12.70 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks slipped 0.74 percent (30.18 points) to close at 4,040.90.

Turnover was 727.2 million rupees.

“Profit taking and pre-election concerns kept trading and the indices lower than the past few weeks performance,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

“We may not see as much activity in the market until the elections are over.”

Brokers said 1.25 million shares of First Capital Holdings changed hands. It closed at 41.00 rupees, up 12.75.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 174.50 rupees, down 50 cents, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 115.00 rupees, down 1.00.

Commercial Bank closed at 188.75 rupees, down 25 cents, Hatton National Bank closed flat at 172.00 rupees, Nations Trust Bank closed at 38.25 rupees, down 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 219.75 rupees, up 5.50 and Seylan Bank closed at 38.00 rupees, down 75 cents. National Development Bank closed at 202.00 rupees, down 25 cents, and DFCC Bank closed at 168.00 rupees.

Colombo Dockyard closed at 284.00 rupees, down 2.00, and Chevron Lubricants closed at 149.25 rupees, down 75 cents.

Celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 6.75 rupees, down 25 cents, and fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 42.00 rupees, down 1.00.