Sri Lanka stocks close down 1-pct

June 25, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed down 1.03 percent Tuesday with the heavy index stocks continuing to slide while an equities research house forecasted the stock market to gain from mid 2012.

In the banking sector, Sampath Bank closed at 202.70 rupees up 20 cents and Commercial Bank of Ceylon lost 2.00 rupees with over 500,000 shares changing hands. Hatton National Bank closed at 160.00 rupees down 2.30 rupees.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 63.16 points lower at 6,086.22 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 39.24 points lower at 3,433.06 down 1.13 percent.

Turnover was 455 million rupees up from 77 million on Monday.

Foreigners brought 83 million rupees worth shares while selling 122 million rupees in a day that 49 stocks advanced and 133 stocks declined.

Commercial Leasing and Finance contributed most to the index closing at 4.20 rupees up 0.20 rupees, The Lions Brewery closed at400.00 rupees up by 7.70 rupees. Distilleries Company closed at 188.30 rupees down 4.50 rupees.

Negative contributors included John Keells Holding losing 5.00 rupees to close at 259.00 rupees, Ceylon Tobacco Company closed at 977.30 rupees down by 22.70 rupees. Nestle Lanka closed at 1,949.60 rupees down 50.20 rupees.

NBDS Stockbrokers Research, an equities research house said in a report it forecasted the stock market to gain from mid 2012.

The market has risen about 25 percent so far. In 2013, gains have been higher than expected, the report said.

“Therefore, the current correction in share prices was anticipated,” the report said.

“Once the economy and the corporates benefit from lower interest rates in 2013H2 (second half of 2013) we expect the equities to rebound strongly.”

The report expects corporate profits to move up 20 percent in 2014.

Sri Lanka Telecom lost 50 cents to close at 39.50 while Dialog Axtia lost 10 cents to close at 8.50 rupees.