Sri Lanka’s Dhammika Perera sells Lanka Ceramic stake to Ceylon Theatres

July 15, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan businessman Dhammika Perera sold his 26 percent stake in Lanka Ceramics to its parent firm Ceylon Theatres towards the end of trading on the Colombo bourse Tuesday. “We sold at 47 rupees a share. It was bought by the Ceylon Theatres group,” said Nimal Perera, Dhammika Perera’s investment advisor. “Our average cost was 38 rupees.”

Just over 7.3 million shares changed hands in four transactions at 47 rupees adding 343.1 million rupees to the day’s turnover.

Lanka Ceramics ended down three rupees at 47.

Perera said they exited Lanka Ceramics as they felt it was no longer relevant to their business and because they wanted to use the funds for other investments.

Dhammika Perera has also been appointed to the board of the Hayleys conglomerate in which he now has a 17 percent stake, Nimal Perera told LBO.

He said they had asked for two board seats and expected a second one when a vacancy arose.

Hayleys said in a statement that it believes Dhammika Perera’s appointment as a non-excutive director “will provide input and value to further enhance the company’s performance.”

Dhammika Perera’s sale of Lanka Ceramics shares helped push up market turnover to 503 million rupees but the indices were dragged down by losses in heavyweights Sri Lanka Telecom, John Keells Holdings and also Aitken Spence.

The All Share Price Index closed down 0.19 percent (4.71 points) at 2,440.15 while the Milanka lost 0.29 percent (8.55 points) to end at 2,936.29.

SLT fell 50 cents to 44.75 rupees, JKH was down a rupee at 107 and Aitken Spence shed 15 rupees to close at 510.

Dialog closed flat at 14 rupees.

Ceylon Glass Company, which has revealed it plans to sell its prime property in Ratmalana where it had its factory, gained 10 cents to end at 2.30 rupees with 638, 900 shares traded.

Updated