Sri Lankan shares close 0.27-pct down on retail selling

Mar 19, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Friday as investors took profits from selected midcap stocks, while Sunshine Holdings, John Keells Hotels and First Capital were heavily traded, brokers said. Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 191.50. The All Share Price Index closed at 3,744.92, down 10.27 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid shares dipped 0.01 percent (0.37 points) to close at 4,319.22.

Turnover was 576 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The top three shares that contributed to the day’s turnover, Sunshine
Holdings, First Capital, John Keells Hotels had corporate actions performed
on them this week which increased their liquidity,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities said.

Sunshine Holdings and First Capital had a share split, while John Keells Holdings had traded on a rights issue of its hotel unit this week, reducing their stake by selling off a part of its entitlement to new shares.

Retailers had taken profits from selected midcap stocks, brokers said.

Keells Hotels closed at 18.50 rupees, down 25 cents with 1.67 million share traded, First Capital closed at 61.50 rupees, up 3.50 and Sunshine Holdings closed at 325.25 rupees, down 27.25.

Conglomerates John Keells Holdings closed at 172.00 rupees, up 2.00, Aitken Spence closed at 1,350.00 rupees, down 25.00, Hayleys closed at 230.00 rupees, up 7.00 and Hemas Holdings closed flat at 121.00 rupees.