Sri Lanka stocks end down one-pct

Nov 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares fell further Friday, following Thursday’s crash below the 6,000 point mark, with a trading halt caused by an error trade jolting investors already unnerved by uncertainty and margin calls, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 1.04 percent (60.99 points) to 5,805.76, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 1.80 percent (92.58 points) to close at 5,052.91, according to stock exchange figures.

Turnover was just over a billion rupees.

Distilleries Company, a large cap stock in which an error trade triggered a trading halt after it caused the Milanka price index to plunge over five percent, closed at 144 rupees, down 5.60, with 67,700 shares done.

The trading halt was imposed after a broker quoted a parcel of Distilleries shares at 100 rupees.

Stocks have been falling amid uncertainty among investors about government policy after the takeover of businesses and a snap devaluation of the rupee announced in the budget last week.

Interest rates have also begun to rise making it expensive for investors to trade on borrowed money.

People’s Leasing Company, which began trading Thursday, remained below its IPO price of 18 rupees, sliding further to close at 17.30, down 60 cents or three percent, with 180,500 shares traded. The stock hit a low of 17.20 rupees.

Most plantations stocks that traded closed weaker with Talawakelle Tea Estates the biggest loser of the day, ending at 24.20 rupees, down 4.80 rupees on just two trades of 700 shares.

Lanka Ashok Leyland was another big loser, closing at 2,325 rupees, down 375 rupees, with 2.7 million shares traded.

HVA Foods, the most actively traded stock, slipped further to close at 32.20 rupees, doen 50 cents, with 1.45 million shares done, and hitting a lot of 27.70 rupees.

Transactions in The Bukit Darah accounted for the largest turnover. The share closed flat at 1,025 rupees. There was a crossing or off-market private deal of 180,500 shares at 1,025 rupees.

Piramal Glass closed up 10 cents at 7.80 rupees with over 12 million shares changing hands, including a crossing of 10 million at 7.80.

John Keells Holdings closed at 174.10 rupees, down 90 cents with 205,400 shares done.