Sri Lanka shares close 0.35-pct down, more deals in Lighthouse

Mar 18, 2010 (LB0) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Thursday as investors continued taking profits ahead of elections, while there was more heavy trading in The Lighthouse Hotel, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 3,755.19, down 13.10 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid shares dipped 0.18 percent (7.86 points) to close at 4,319.59.

Turnover was 1.74 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

The day’s trading volumes and turnover were dominated by The Lighthouse Hotel, John Keells Holdings and Seylan Bank non-voting (N/V), broker said.

The Lighthouse Hotel closed at 62.50 rupees, up 1.75, with 6.43 million shares changing hands in 10 separate off-the-floor privately negotiated deals at 63.00 rupees per share, brokers said. A total of 7.1 million Lighthouse Hotel shares were traded, Thursday.

On Wednesday the EmployeesProvident Fund, the country’s largest retirement fund, bought 4.6 million shares of Lighthouse Hotel.

Lighthouse Hotel was sold at a big premium, brokers said.

JKH closed at 170.00 rupees, up 1.00 with almost 4.00 million shares traded, Hayleys closed at 223.00 rupees, down 8.50 and Hemas Holdings closed at 121.00 rupees, down 50 cents.

Seylan Bank N/V closed at 25.25 rupees, up 75 cents with 4.3 million shares traded, Commercial Bank closed at 192.00 rupees, down 75 cents, Hatton National Bank closed at 178.50 rupees, down 2.50 and Nations Trust Bank closed at 36.25 rupees, down 25 cents.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, an alcohol producer, and a unit of unlisted tea company Stassens controlled by Harry Jayawardena closed at 114.50 rupees, down 50 cents.

Environmental Resources Investments ordinary voting shares closed at 254.75 rupees, down 3.75. Its 0000 warrants closed at 155.50 rupees, down 3.00, and 0001 warrants closed at 155.50 rupees, down 3.00.

Sri Lanka Telecom, a fixed line operator closed at 36.50 rupees, down 25 cents, and Dialog Telekom, a celco closed flat at 7.00 rupees.

Retailer favorites Lanka Cement closed at 27.00 rupees, down 50 cents, and Touchwood Investment closed at 104.00 rupees, down 1.00.