Sri Lankan shares close down

July 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed one percent lower Wednesday on losses in telco stocks and the John Keells Holdings conglomerate as sentiment remained weak, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed down 25.08 points at 2,415.07 while the Milanka lost 1.85 percent (54.43 points) to close at 2,881.86. Turnover was 200 million rupees.

Sri Lanka Telecom lost 3.91 percent (1.75 rupees) to end at 43 rupees with 53,500 shares done while Dialog Telekom slid 1.79 percent (25 cents) to 13.75 on 20,800 shares.

JKH lost two rupees to end at 105 with 584,300 shares changing hands while Hatton National Bank closed 4.75 rupees lower at 103 with 29,900 shares done.

Distilleries shed 2.50 rupees to end at 91.25

Lanka Cement accounted for the highest share volume with investors excited by news of a visit by India’s Birla group which has expressed interest in taking over the firm’s defunct plant in northern Jaffna.