Sri Lankan shares dip 0.11-pct on retail profit taking

Dec 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Friday as retail investors took profits from gains made during the week, while volumes dropped owing to lack of foreign participation, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,056.64 down 0.11 percent (3.37 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,478.62, up 0.15 percent (5.06 points).

Turnover was 317.6 million rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“Retail investors who had taken margin calls were seen taking profits,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm, SC Securities said.

There was heavy retail selling pressure on Coco Lanka shares, brokers said. Coco Lanka closed at 48.25 rupees, down 8.00 with over 720,000 shares changing hands.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 155.00 rupees, up 1.00, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 99.00 rupees.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 175.25 rupees, down 25 cents, DFCC Bank closed at 152.00 rupees, up 25 cents, Hatton National Bank closed at 165.00 rupees, down 1.00 and Sampath Bank closed at 188.75 rupees, down 1.25.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 7.00 rupee, and the largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 43.50 rupees.

Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said foreign investors were more skewed towards selling side during the week with a net outflow of 851.4 million.

“We expect the market to gather momentum in the coming week owing to increased liquidity primarily from refunds of the Renuka Agri IPO and the increasing investor demand over hotel and plantation sector counters,” the brokers said in a report.

Both sectors were gaining momentum owing to improved tourist arrivals and increasing tea and rubber prices on the back of increasing demand.