Sri Lankan stocks close flat

July 14, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed flat Tuesday as the absence of high net worth individuals, and institutional and foreign investors kept trade volumes low, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 0.01 percent (0.24 points) to end at 2,369.11, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.04 percent (0.97 points) to close at 2,639.82, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 168.4 million rupees.

There was net foreign buying of 7.1 million rupees, with overseas investors buying 26.4 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 19.3 million rupees, brokers said.

“Retail investors are still pushing market activity levels,” Shivnatha Meepage, research analyst at Acuity Stockbrokers said.

“Still the market sentiment is positive but it would need a foreign influx to boost market momentum.”

Brokers said retail interest on low capped banking stocks, Seylan Bank and Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) was high.

Seylan Bank non-voting closed flat at 6.75 rupees, while PABC closed at 14.75 rupees, up 50 cents.

National Development Bank closed at 157.00 rupees, up 1.00, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 130.00 rupees, up 2.25.

DFCC Bank closed at 131.00 rupees, up 75 cents, while Sampath Bank closed at 106.00 rupees, down 1.00.

Nations Trust Bank, which took an 800 million rupee foreign exchange loss in the June quarter but still made a profit owing to bond trading, closed flat at 31.00 rupees on low volumes.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees, while index heavy fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 45.75 rupees.

Diversified Hemas Holdings closed at 96.00 rupees, up 1.75 on razor thin trade volumes.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 83.50 rupees, down 50 cents, while Lanka Cement closed at 27.00 rupees, up 25 cents.

Index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 129.50 rupees, down 50 cents, while diversified Hayleys closed flat at 130.00 rupees.

Local subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation LIOC, closed at 15.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

Malwatte Valley Plantations closed at 28.50 rupees, up 50 cents, while Namunukula Plantations closed 23.50 rupees, down 25 cents.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.85/114.95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.