Sri Lankan stocks close down 0.17-pct

July 22, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed lower Thursday as investors took profits from an overheating market, while nearly 44 percent of Hotel Reefcomber divested by Amaya Leisure was mostly picked up by retail investors, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,849.17, down 8.40 points while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.05 percent (3.01 points), to close at 5,500.27.

Turnover was 2.38 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Amaya Leisure, headed by businessman Dhammika Perera sold out 44 percent of Hotel Reefcomber which was mostly picked up by retail investors. The share traded between 4.20 to 5.25 rupees to close at 4.20 rupees, down 80 cents with 146 million shares changing hands, brokers said.

Price appreciations on index heavy John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) and its subsequent warrants issues helped prevent the market from coming down even further, brokers said.

ERI closed at 103.50 rupees, up 4.50 with 1.14 million shares traded, while its W0001 warrants closed at 76.00 rupees, up 3.50, W0002 closed at 43.00 rupees, up 1.75, W0003 closed at 41.25 rupees, up 2.75 and W0006 closed at 41.25 rupees, up 2.00.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,650.00 rupees, down 25 cents, Hayleys closed at 303.00 rupees, up 6.75, Hemas Holdings closed at 37.00 rupees, up 1.00 and JKH closed at 228.25 rupees, up 1.25.