Sri Lankan stocks down on profit taking

June 25, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed 0.7 percent lower Thursday as investors continued to take profits from last three weeks bull-run, despite retail interest, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed down 0.72 percent (17.57 points) to end at 2,422.37 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks fell 0.73 percent (19.72 points) to close at 2,696.57, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 686.6 million rupees.

“Despite desperate attempts by the retailers to keep the indices green, the natural fall of the market on technical grounds has wiped-out their hopes,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa said.

“We can expect the profit taking to extend towards the end of the week.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings, which has interests in transport, property development, finance, food processing and retail sectors, closed at 133.25 rupees, down 1.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 134.00 rupees, down 2.25, while National Development Bank closed at 147.00 rupees, down 3.00.

“The policy rate cut would attract medium term investors to take new positions in the market along with the profit taking,” said Hulangamuwa.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 5.25 rupees.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens Group, closed at 86.00 rupees, up 1.00.

A Stock Exchange release said, First Capital Holdings has acquired 9.4 million shares (29.94-pct) Kotmale Holdings at 22.00 rupees per share.

Brokers said 11.7 million shares of dairy farm, Kotmale Holdings changed hands today. Kotmale closed at 13.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

Aitken Spence Hotels closed at 145.00 rupees, down 4.00 rupees, on razor thin volumes.