Sri Lanka stocks close 0.2-pct lower, rupee stronger

Dec 03, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.2 percent lower Monday amid thin trading, with some large cap stocks losing ground, while the rupee gained against the dollar, brokers and dealers said. The rupee opened at around 129.80/130.00 against the US dollar in the spot market and closed around 129.30/40 levels, after trading as strong as 129.00/20 levels, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index slipped 13 points to close at 5,337.7 points and the S&P SL20 Index closed at 2,931.40 falling 10.62 points or 0.36 percent.

Turnover was 173 million rupees.

Trading in John Keells Holdings brought the biggest turnover for the day at 24.7 million, Pan Asia Bank 20.8 million, 12 million DFCC and 9.3 million and Metropolitan Resource Holdings.

John Keells closed at 297.10 down 1.40 rupees, Cargills closed at 140.00 down 4.00 rupees.

Commercial Leasing and Finance rose 30 cents to close at 3.60 rupees, People’s Leasing closed at 12.00 up 50 cents, LOLC closed at 50 rupees up 90 cents and Aitken Spence closed at 118.20 up 60 cents.

Brokers say some stocks are getting fundamentally strong amid falling prices and some earnings growth, but price earnings multiples are weak due to macro issues giving opportunities for long term buyers, unlike buyers exposed to credit.

Foreign investors who sold out at high multiples during a stock and credit market bubble are now coming back.

Update II