Sri Lankan stocks end weaker

Feb 27, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended weaker Friday with several Ceylinco group company share prices falling after news of the chairman’s arrest although Seylan Bank ended up, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index eased 0.26 percent (4.46 points) to end at 1,694.14 while the more liquid Milanka fell 0.32 percent (5.61 points) to close at 1,773.93.

Turnover was 307 million rupees.

Several listed firms of the Ceylinco conglomerate lost value after group chairman Lalith Kotelawala was remanded over allegations of fraud at unlisted subsidiary Golden Key Credit Card Company.

Seylan Bank, in which Kotelawala has promised to sell his stake to pay off Golden Key depositors, ended up two percent or 75 cents at 36.75 rupees.

But Seylan Merchant Bank and oher Ceylinco listed firms ended weaker.

Ceylinco Insurance fell 1.81 percent or three rupees to 163 rupees with over 1.4 million shares changing hands.

Brokers said there had been foreign selling during the week, especially on Thursday.

Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said the net foreign outflow was 52.5 million rupees for this week.

Lanka Securities said the negative outlook for corporate earnings dampened investor sentiment despite positive developments on the northern battle front.

Government intervention to reduce interest rates and to pump liquidity to the banking system did not have a positive impact on the Colombo bourse, they said.