Sri Lanka stocks fall almost one percent

Jan 09, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks fell for the fifth consecutive trading day Monday, with shares and warrants of a firm which has delayed conversion for the second time coming under selling pressure, brokers said.

Commercial Bank, in which foreign investors have been selling out, accounted for the biggest turnover of the day, closing at 99.90 rupees, down 10 cents with 1.4 million shares changing hands.

There were three crossings or off-market private deals of Commercial Bank of 500,000, 600,000 and 230,000 shares, all at 100 rupees each.

Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings came next with 568,000 shares traded and closing at 167 rupees, down 80 cents, with one crossing of 250,000 shares at 167 rupees each. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.97 percent (57.58 points) to 5,872.94, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 1.23 percent (62.72 points) to 5,020.43.

Turnover was 435 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Shares of Environmental Resources Investments, which last week said it was delaying conversion of warrants, were the most actively traded and closed at 29.90 rupees, down 2.10 with 712,700 shares done.

ERI’s W0002 warrants were also heavily traded, closing a rupee lower at 14 while its W0006 warrants fell 80 cents to close at 14.30.

The company, which was fined last year for providing misleading information, has said it wants to extend the cut off date of its 2012 warrants from February 03, 2012 to September 6, 2013.

It also recommended extending the expiration date of the warrants from February 24, 2012 to September 26, 2013.

Stock market analysts said the company was trying to buy time with the share price sinking below the February 2012 warrants conversion price of 33 rupees amid speculation its controlling shareholder Lionhart Investments had not taken up its full subscription of warrants.