Sri Lankan shares up 0.15-pct during week

Aug 07, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed marginally down Friday as investors waited for foreign investors to enter the market and showed no reaction to the capture of a wanted Tamil Tiger leader, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed flat to end at 2,529.53, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.48 percent (13.93 points) to close at 2,890.79, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 452.24 million rupees.

During the week the ASPI was up 0.15 percent, while the Milanka index gained 1.85 percent.

On Friday there were net foreign outflows worth 103.0 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 57.0 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 160 million rupees, brokers said.

“The market sentiment remains positive but needs substantial foreign buying to move further,” Mohandas Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities said.

Kshathriya Holdings said in a stock exchange filing that the firm’s net assets were half the value of the stated capital of the company.

Under the new company law its board was required to prepare a report on the losses and call for an extraordinary general meeting to inform shareholders.

Broker said 8.58 million Hotel Services shares changed hands Friday. Hotel Services closed at 17.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

Index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 134.25 rupees, down 75 cents, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 86.00 rupees, down 1.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 143.50 rupees, down 1.25, while National Development Bank closed at 167.00 rupees, up 1.25.

Retail favorite Lanka Cement closed at 31.50 rupees, down 50 cents, while Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation, closed flat at 17.00 rupees.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom closed flat at 6.00 rupees, while fixed line operator Sri Lankan Telecom closed at 45.75 rupees, up 25 cents.

Colombo Dockyard closed at 120.00 rupees, up 3.50, while Chevron Lubricants Lanka, a unit of U S based petroleum multinational Chevron closed at 130.50 rupees, up 1.00.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

Analysts said Thursday’s arrest of Kumaran Pathmanathan, also known as ‘KP’, the new head of the Tamil Tigers and their chief arms smuggler, had no impact on the market, which had shot up in May when the rebels were defeated.

“We were not expecting the market to react to ‘KP’s arrest,” Charuka Suchendra, an analyst from Asha Phillip Securities said.

Pathmanathan, one of the most wanted Tiger leaders who had evaded capture for decades, was arrested in Malaysia, foreign news agencies said.

The Sri Lankan government said he was captured in a joint operation with foreign intelligence agencies and was now being questioned in Sri Lanka.