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Sri Lanka shares end down 3.4-pct

Feb 14, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lankan shares plunged again Tuesday with the main All Share Price Index crashing below 5,000 points in a widespread sell-off before recovering somewhat, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed down 3.35 percent (173.94 points) at 5,026.04, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 3.33 percent (150.49 points) to close at 4,373.68.

Turnover was 2.4 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

At one point the ASI was down four percent or 215 points at 4,984.22 in early afternoon trade with fundamentally weak shares among the biggest losers.
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Brokers said some state-connected funds were seen on the buy side.

Stocks have been falling for nine consecutive trading days now spurred by margin calls and with investors unnerved by a big fuel price hike, rising interest rates and the depreciation of the rupee.

Lanka Securities said market capitalisation fell by 69 billion rupees Tuesday but there was net foreign buying.

Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 159.60 rupees, down 70 cents, with almost two million shares changing hands.

Commercial Bank closed at 99.50 rupees, down one, with almost 11.2 million shares traded.

There were four off-the-floor private deals of 10.5 million shares at 100 rupees each.

Panasian Power, which was actively traded, plunged below its initial public offer price of three rupees to end at 2.50 rupees, down almost 17 percent, with 4.
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6 million shares traded.

Palm Garden Hotel was the biggest loser, closing at 134.40 rupees, down 97.40, on just three trades of 1,200 shares.

Environmental Resources Investments W0003 warrants was another big loser, closing at 3.80 rupees, down two, while its W0006 warrants fell 1.90 rupees to close at 4.10.

ERI shares were the most actively traded, closing at 15.10 rupees, down 5.10.

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