Sri Lanka stocks fall on blue chip losses

Sept 17, 2008 (LBO) – Share prices fell in Wednesday’s trading with the indices dragged down by falls in blue chips and confusion in the market over the pricing of Brown and Company after a share split and ‘bonus’ issue.

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The All Share Price Index fell 1.76 percent (40.91 points) to 2,280.25 while the more liquid Milanka lost 1.95 percent (51.45 points) to close at 2,581.73.

Turnover was 304 million rupees.

Browns was the most actively traded stock but it had a wild ride, with its price swinging between 41 and 85 rupees, with an early reference price indicated on the stock exchange system being higher than that expected by market participants.

The difference came due to the treatment of share splits and ‘bonuses’ under a new company law.

An early reference price on the stock exchange was listed at 70 rupees but the share later came down to 42 rupees when it traded at diluted values.

In Wednesday’s trading, Browns ended at 42 rupees, down 40 percent or 28 rupees and 25 cents from the opening reference price of 70 rupees.

Among the blue chips which tumbled were Dialog Telekom, which ended 50 cents lower at 10.25 rupees with 359,000 shares traded, and Sri Lanka Telecom, which lost 25 cents to end at 43.25 on small volumes.

Distilleries Company fell 2.25 rupees to close at 72.75 while John Keells Holdings fell 1.75 to close at 83.25 rupees.