Sri Lankan stocks close down 3.99-pct

Aug 09, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks continued to slide and fell below the 5,000 points mark Monday, on panic selling by retail investors unable to meet margin-calls, while heavy interest on Commercial Bank boosted turnover past a billion rupees, brokers said. Most high value blue chip stocks held their value despite the market volatility, brokers said.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,803.00 rupees, down 72.00 (3.84 percent), Hayleys closed at 296.80 rupees, down 5.30 (1.75 percent), Hemas Holdings closed at 37.30 rupees, down 1.70 (4.36 percent) and John Keells Holdings, an index heavy stock closed at 251.60 rupees, down 5.70 (2.22 percent), brokers said.

Despite heavy interest, banking sector shares have taken a beating, brokers said.

Commercial Bank closed at 182.80 rupees, down 7.20 (3.79 percent) with 1.65 million shares traded, brokers said. Hatton National Bank closed at 284.00 rupees, down 4.10 (1.42 percent), and Nations Trust Bank closed at 59.00 rupees, down 3.60 (5.75).

Sampath Bank closed at 351.50 rupees, down 11.50 (3.17 percent), and Seylan Bank close at 69.00 rupees, down 5.30 (7.13 percent), brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 4,862.86, down 202.21 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks dived 3.65 percent (210.30 points) to close at 5,549.15, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees, according to provisional statistics on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) website.

Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) and its subsidiaries were amongst the worst hit shares after the price band came into play last week. ERI shares and warrants lost about 10 percent of value on Thursday and went down a further 9.77 percent on Friday, brokers said.

ERI normal shares closed at 93.50 rupees, down 10.30 (9.92 percent), while its Warrants 0001 closed at 78.30 rupees, down 8.70 (10 percent) and W0002 closed at 52.20 rupees, down 5.80 (10 percent).

ERI’s W0003 closed at 49.60 rupees, down 5.50 (9.98 percent) and W0006 closed at 49.90 rupees, down 5.50 (9.93 percent), brokers said.

Dankotuwa Porcelain closed at 90.30 rupees, down 10.00 (9.97 percent), while Ceylon Leather Products closed at 199.20 rupees, down 22.10 (9.99 percent).

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide, a former unit of Ceylinco group closed at 7.30 rupees, down 80 cents (9.98 percent), while its non-voting shares closed at 3.70 rupees, down 40 cents (9.76 percent), brokers said.