Sri Lankan stocks down 0.6-pct on profit taking

July 01, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down 0.6 percent Wednesday, as retailers took profit, while institutional, high net worth and foreign investors stayed in the sidelines, brokers said.

National Development Bank closed at 153.50 rupees, up 1.00.

Brokers said 1.58 million Lanka Cement shares changed hands today, while 1.22 million Piramal Glass shares traded mostly at 1.80 rupees, per share.

John Keells Holdings, which has interests in transport, property development, financial services, food processing and retail, closed flat at 136.25 rupees.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 134.50 rupees, up 50 cents, while the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of the Stassens group, controlled by businessman Harry Jayawardena, closed at 88.75 rupees, up 1.00.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees, while index heavy fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 48.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.95/115.00 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed down 0.69 percent (16.81 points) to end at 2,415.34, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.35 percent (9.50 points) to close at 2,712.14, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 304.2 million rupees.

There was net foreign buying of 39.5 million rupees, with overseas investors buying 60.7 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 21.2 million rupees, brokers said.

“Today it was a purely retail driven market and institutional and foreign investors stayed out,” Mohandas V Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities said.

“Turnover will remain at these levels till foreign buying takes-off.”

DFCC bank closed at 131.00 rupees, down 4.25, while diversified Hayleys closed at 131.00 rupees, down 1.00.