Sri Lankan shares close flat, rupee rock steady

June 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks close flat on Wednesday as the market stabilized at current price levels, while the rupee continued to be steady against the greenback, brokers and dealers said.

The spot dollar was trading at 114.85/114.95 levels in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The Colombo All Share Price Index was down 0.03 percent (2.58 points) to end at 2,181.46, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks was up 0.01 percent (0.36 points) to close at 2,469.72, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 257.5 million rupees. Brokers said retail activity was high.

“The market is showing signs of stabilizing at the present price levels,” said Thakshila Hulangamuwa of stock brokering firm, Asha Phillip Securities.

Brokers said 54 million rupees worth of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka shares changed hands at 92, while a 52 million rupee parcel of Chemical Industries Colombo (CIC) changed hands at 48.

Distilleries gained 2.00 rupees to close at 94.00, while CIC was up 1.75 rupees to close at 49.75.

“The market is currently fairly valued looking at past performances where the economy was not doing at its best,” said Hulangamuwa.

“But with the war ending investors should look at a longer time horizon of at least one to two years.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings which has business interest in transport, food processing, retail, finance and property development sectors, lost 50 cents to close at 110.75.

Sri Lanka’s largest privately held bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon lost 75 cents to close at 123.00, while Hatton National Bank; another privately held bank lost 1.50 rupees to close at 108.25, on slim trading volumes

Ceylinco Insurance, a unit of troubled Ceylinco Group gained 3.00 rupees to close at 150 on razor thin volumes.

Celco heavyweight Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.50, with high volumes traded.

Foreign investors bought 57.0 million rupees of shares and sold shares worth 73.0 million, creating a net outflow of 17.0 million rupees, brokers said.

corrected JKH price