Sri Lankan stocks close down 0.39-pct

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

July 29, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed lower after hitting fresh highs in intra-day trade Thursday, as investors continued to buy amidst some profit taking, while retail investors chased after ‘penny’ stocks, brokers said. Hemas Holdings closed at 42.00 rupees, up 2.00 with 3.32 million shares traded, Aitken Spence closed flat at 1,900.00 rupees, Hayleys closed at 318.00 rupees, down 1.75 and John Keells Holdings closed at 246.00 rupees, down 3.50.

Retail investors chased behind penny stocks, brokers said.

Muller and Phipps closed flat at 1.30 with over 153 million shares traded, SMB Leasing also closed at flat at 1.70 rupees with 10 million shares changing hands, brokers said.

Piramal Glass Ceylon closed flat at 3.20 rupees with nearly five million shares traded, Hotel Reefcomber closed at 4.00 rupees, down 10 cents with four million shares traded and Amana Takaful closed flat at 3.50 rupees with 1.7 million shares traded.

Dialog Axiata closed flat at 9.50 rupees, and Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 37.50 rupees, up 25 cents, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at
5,119.10, down 19.83 points, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.40 percent (23.33 points) to close at 5,805.40.

Turnover was 3.25 billion rupees, according to stock exchange figures.

At the end of trade there were 70 gainers and 92 losers, brokers said.

“On relatively subdued trading Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) and its variants accounted for the highest market turnover,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities said.

“It is evident that the market is expecting a good June quarter.”

Brokers said price increases on a few index heavy high value shares had pushed the market up during the day.

Environmental Resources Investments closed at 126.25 rupees, up 13.25 with 2.85 million shares traded. Its W0001 warrant closed at 112.25 rupees, up 27.75, W0002 closed at 50.00 rupees, up 5.25, W0003 closed at 46.25 rupees, up 4.50 and W0006 closed at 46.25 rupees, up 4.25.