Sri Lankan shares down 0.27-pct

Aug 10, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan share prices fell Monday, dragged down by index heavy blue chips as investors stayed away, waiting for corporate earnings, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed down 0.27 percent (6.76 points) to end at 2,522.77 Monday, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.37 percent (10.68 points) to close at 2,880.11, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 354.8 million rupees.

On Monday there were net foreign inflows worth 13 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 39.3 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 26.6 million rupees, brokers said.

“Investors are waiting for corporate earnings, which will determine the future direction of the market,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities said.

“The overall direction of the market should be up in the medium to long term.”

Index heavy blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 133.50 rupees, down 1.25, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens Group closed at 85.25 rupees, down 1.00.

National Development Bank closed at 166.00 rupees, down 75 cents, while Hatton National Bank closed at 129.00 rupees, down 1.25.

Brokers said 728,100 Pelwatte Sugar shares changed hands. Pelwatte Sugar closed at 23.75 rupees, up 1.25, while 1.32 million Hotel Services shares changed hands between 17.50 and 18.75 rupees.

Hotel Services closed at 18.50 rupees, up 1.25.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 6.00 rupees, while the dominant fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 45.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

Retailer favorite Lanka Cement closed at 32.00 rupees, up 50 cents with 190,300 shares traded.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed flat at 144.00 rupees, while Chevron Lubricants Lanka, a unit of U S based petroleum multinational Chevron closed at 131.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Another retailer favorite Touchwood Investments closed at 75.75 rupees, up 6.25.