Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.2-pct; Insufficient liquidity level

Feb 18, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down at 0.19 percent with mixed investor sentiment and active trading in some banking sector stocks on earning expectations, brokers said.

The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 11.93 points down at 6,208.89 down 0.19 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 21.47 points up at 3,257.90 up 0.66 percent.

Turnover was 534 million rupees, up from 425 million rupees Wednesday with 69 stocks closing positive against 88 negative.

“Liquidity levels in the market is not sufficient,” S C Securities said.

The main index was dragged down by losses in Nestle Lanka closing down at 1,993.90 rupees, down 30.20 rupees and Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 37.20 rupees, down 0.80 rupees.

Positive active trading was seen in some banking sector stocks following earning results with Sampath Bank closing at 234.00 rupees, up 1.00 with one off the floor trade of over 833,000 shares traded at 234.00. Hatton National Bank closed at 194.30 rupees, down 3.10 rupees withan off the floor trade of 299,000 shares at 195.00 rupees.

Net profits at Sampath Bank group rose 15 percent to 1.5 billion rupees in the December quarter from a year earlier, interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 8.91 rupees for the quarter against 7.74 rupees per share last year.

Top contributor to turnover with 58 million rupees John Keells Holdings closed at 157.10 rupees, up 0.10 rupees.