Sri Lanka shares close flat

Dec 09, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed flat Wednesday as investors took profits from recent gains, while high volume trading on John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Nations Trust Bank helped to pushed turnover up, brokers said. The banking sector has been one of the best performers in the last few weeks, so profit taking was very much on the cards, brokers said.

Alcohol producer Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens group controlled by tycoon Harry Jayawardena closed at 96.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

Fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 43.00 rupees, down 25 cents, and celco Dialog Telekom closed flat at 7.00 rupees.

The All Share Price Index closed flat at 3,052.74 points, while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,469.89, down 0.34 percent (11.70 points).

Turnover was 715.6 million rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“The market was flat on retail profit taking and volumes were dominated by a 1.1 million off-the-floor deal on JKH shares at 156.00 rupees,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

Conglomerate JKH, which has business interests in transport, financial services, retail and food processing sectors, closed at 155.00 rupees, down 1.25 with 1.88 million shares in total changing hands.

Nations Trust Bank, a unit of JKH, closed flat at 35.75 rupees with 955,000 shares changing hands, brokers said.

Seylan Bank closed flat at 35.50, Commercial Bank closed at 176.50 rupees, down 50 cents, Hatton National Bank closed at 165.00 rupees, down 3.50 and Sampath Bank closed at 190.00 rupees, up 3.75.

National Development Bank closed at 183.25 rupees, up 2.75, and DFCC Bank closed at 151.00 rupees, down 1.00.