Sri Lanka’s Dhammika Perera buys bigger chunk of Hayleys

June 24, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Vallibel group controlled by businessman Dhammika Perera bought another chunk of Hayleys Tuesday, raising its stake in the conglomerate to over 11 percent. “Today we crossed the 10 percent mark,” Dhammika Perera’s investment advisor Nimal Perera told LBO. “Now we have 11.09 percent of Hayleys.”

He said they bought the shares at 130 rupees a share.

Hayleys, a diversified group with interests in rubber gloves, activated carbon, transportation, agri-business and textiles, ended up 25 cents at 132 rupees.

The overall market was barely changed with the All Share Price Index up 0.07 percent (1.80 points) to end at 2,481.33 while the more liquid Milanka edged up 0.61 percent (18.13 points) to 3,004.63. Turnover was 691 million rupees.

Harsha Fernando, chief executive of SC Securities, said the market was likely to see-saw at current levels with a few big deals in between.

“We don’t see retailers coming back to the market in a big way. They have not yet got the SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom) money. Also, the Janashakthi and Ceylinco issue have further mopped up liquidity.”

Brokers have said market activity could pick up when SLT shareholders who accepted the mandatory offer receive their money.

One of the reasons for stocks to fall in recent days was the draining away of funds by the initial public offers of Janashakthi Insurance, which was oversubscribed, and the Ceylinco Insurance non-voting shares.

Ceylinco Insurance said it was raising 1.4 billion rupees by selling non-voting shares to boost regulatory capital, expand its foreign presence and launch a new health insurance policy.

It is issuing 8.5 million new shares to existing and new shareholders.

Registrars to the issue, International Consultancy and Corporate Services, said in a statement to the stock exchange they had got 422 applications for just over a million shares amounting to 191 million rupees, Monday.