Sri Lanka shares close down 0.21-pct

Mar 30, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed lower Wednesday, with the benchmark index dipping below 7,200 points despite a late rally, and sustained interest in debutant Union Bank of Colombo which continued to weaken, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,192.72, down 0.21 percent (15.14 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.08 percent (5.62 points) to close at 6,811.78, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover fell to 1.18 billion rupees.

Union Bank of Colombo, which debuted Tuesday, was again the most actively traded stock, but continued to weaken, closing at 35.70 rupees, down 2.70, with 3.3 million shares traded.

The stock, which had an IPO of 15 million shares in February at 25 rupees each, had opened trading Tuesday at 45 rupees. Some trades were done at 40 rupees Wednesday.

Central Finance was among the top gainers of the day, closing at 1,204 rupees, up 74.10.

Hatton National Bank non-voting shares closed at 209.20, down 40 cents, with three crossings of 500,000 shares all at 205 rupees each. Royal Ceramic Lanka was also actively traded, ending at 156.20, down 80 cents