Sri Lanka stocks barely changed, rupee extends gains

Dec 04, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed marginally lower Tuesday and the rupee extended gains to close at 128.35/45 levels against the spot US dollar, brokers and dealers said. The Central Bank’s Treasury bill stock rose to 217 billion rupees on Monday, pointing either to state loan settlements outside the domestic monetary system (which does not weaken the rupee peg), unsterilized dollar sales or an expansion of the monetary base.

Dealers say there have been no petroleum bills being settled off the market and year end remittance flows are also coming in. In December exporters convert dollars to pay bonuses to workers.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed at 5,331.45 points down 6.26 points or 0.12 percent and the S&P SL 20 Index closed at 2,932.17 up 0.77 points or 0.03 percent higher.

Turnover was 505 million rupees.

Hotel Services (Ceylon) Plc, which owns Ceylon Continental Hotel which is being given a British colonial style facelift said its name has been changed to ‘The Kingsbury’.

The firm said Otto Stohl, a 33-year old Austrian national who had experience at Ritz Carlton, Rennaissance, Marriot International and Hilton chains has been appointed as its chief executive.

Sanasa Development Bank said M T Galgamuwa, has been appointed general manager.

He was earlier with Melstacorp, an investment unit of Distilleries Corporation of Ceylon Ltd, and had been head of Treasury at several banks including ANZ Grindlays, Mashreq Bank and National Trust Bank.

In forex market the spot US dollar closed at 128.35/45 rupee after opening at 129.40/60 levels. The rupee also strengthened Monday.

Interbank money markets were short by 4.2 billion rupees, up from 3.9 billion rupees on Monday.