Sri Lanka shares slump, Sunshine Holdings trading props up turnover

Nov 10, 2008 (LBO) - Sri Lankan shares ended lower Monday, despite opening firmly in the morning, as investors stayed away from trading owing to uncertainty about the economy and company profits, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index fell 1.77 percent (33.54 points) to 1,856.82 while the Milanka was down 2.42 percent (51.35 points) to 2,073.36.

The turnover of 176 million rupees was propped up by transactions of 1.03 million shares of Sunshine Holdings at 125 rupees.

The rest of the day's trading contributed only 45.

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8 million rupees to turnover.

"Trading activity was low," said Chinthana Hatangala of Lanka Securities.

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"We did not see any significant transactions except for Sunshine Holdings which was probably between local investors, as foreign participation was very low."

Active trading was seen in Nawaloka Hospitals as well as Dialog Telekom and Vallibel Power Erathna.

Dialog Telekom dropped 25 cents to seven rupees while Sri Lanka Telecom fell 3.77 percent (1.50 rupees) to 38.25.

Commercial Bank fell 4.26 percent (four rupees) to 90 rupees.
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Union Assurance suffered the second highest fall in the day's trading after it reported a sharp fall in September quarter profits with the stock dropping almost 11 percent (6.50 rupees) to 53.25 rupees.

Brokers said investors were cautious even though some shares appeared to be cheap based on past performance.

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