Sri Lanka stocks flat amid estate, poultry sell-off

Aug 15, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed flat on Monday a sell-off of plantations and poultry firms which have reported weak earnings, though some index heavy stocks gained, brokers said. Colombo’s benchmark All Share Price Index close up 0.05 percent or 3.47points at 6,836.53 while the Milanka Index of liquid stocks closed up 0.21percent (12.88 points) at 6,199.59, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees.

Balangoda Plantations closed at 43.40 rupees down, 1.00 rupee, Elpitiya closed at 25.60 down 0.50 cents, Hapugastenne closed at 68.00 rupees down 2.00, Horana Plantations closed at 54.40 down 3.10, and Kotagala Plantations closed at 118.0 rupees down 6.70 rupees.

Kegalle Plantations which has substantial rubber also closed at 160.40 down 7.40 rupees. Profits at firms with labour intensive tea production took a hit after a wage hike effective from April though rubber prices are strong.

Kelani Valley Plantations closed up 6.40 at 138.90 rupees.

Capital Trust Securities said in a note to clients that some stocks which have fallen steeply in recent months be take-over targets.

Three Acre Farms, a poultry stock fell 2.80 to 124.20 rupees after reporting weak results. Its parent Ceylon Grain Elevators also fell 3.40 to 126.40 rupees.

Bairaha Farms fell 8.50 to 266.50 rupees. Some of the large investors in poultry stocks had already exited the firms, brokers said.

Commerical Bank which reported strong earnings after markets closed Friday rose 3.20 rupees to close at 223.0 rupees. Hatton National Bank which saw profits rising marginally 3.70 rupees to 216 rupees.

Colonial Motors closed at 347 rupees up 49.80 rupees or 16.62 percent with 548,000 shares were traded for 186 million rupees. This includes high net worth investor buying of 100,000 shares at 290.00 rupee per share, brokers said.

PC House closed at 19 rupees up 60 cents or 3.26 percent with 5.2 million shares changing hands for 100 million rupees.

Index heavy John Keels Holdings closed at 203 rupees up 1.60 rupees with 380,000 shares traded (including 200,000 share privately negotiated deal at 201.40 rupees per share) for 76 million rupees.

Confifi Hotel closed at 281.90 rupees up 55.90 rupees or 27.73 percent. Aitken Spence Hotel saw an off-market deal for 775,000 shares at 75 rupee.