Sri Lankan stocks becalmed

June 08, 2010 (LBO) - Sri Lankan stocks closed almost flat Tuesday as investors took profits from selected shares seen as over-priced and re-invested in those with potential for short-term gains, while foreign investors were net sellers, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,427.27, down 4.05 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks fell 0.35 percent (18.05 points) to close at 5,085.86.

Turnover was 2.66 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.
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"The market took a slight breather today after the strong post-tax relief run," Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

"The banking sector still accounted for the bulk of transactions along with John Keells Holdings (JKH).
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Foreign investors are continuing to sell out of their investment portfolios on the Colombo Stock Exchange, brokers said.

Foreign investors bought 165 million rupees worth of shares Tuesday, and sold 452 million, with a net outflow of 287 million rupees.

On Monday there was a net foreign outflow of 370 million rupees, while on Friday the net outflow was 559 million rupees.

Investors took profits from high value stocks like banks and conglomerates, brokers said.

Commercial Bank closed at 272.00 rupees, down 25 cents, Hatton National Bank closed at 287.00 rupees, up 5.00, Nations Trust Bank closed at 46.00 rupees, down 1.50, Sampath Bank closed at 351.00 rupees, down 50 cents and Seylan Bank closed at 64.50 rupees, up 1.50.

National Development Bank closed at 245.00 rupees, down 4.50, and DFCC Bank closed at 250.25 rupees, down 4.75.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,555.75 rupees, up 75 cents, Hayleys closed at 304.75 rupees, up 2.75, Hemas Holdings closed at 151.75 rupees, up 1.75 and index heavy JKH 197.75 rupees, down 25 cents.

Another index heavy stock Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, an alcohol producer closed at 123.00 rupees, down 2.25.

LB Finance closed at 114.25 rupees, down 1.75, Nation Lanka Finance closed at 14.25 rupees, down 25 cents, People's Merchant Bank closed at 24.75 rupees, down 75 cents and Sinhaputhra Finance 90.00 rupees, down 16.00.

Touchwood Investments closed at 74.00 rupees, down 5.25, while NAMAL Acuity Value Fund closed at 69.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Nestle Lanka, a unit of Swiss based food company Nestle closed at 662.00 rupees, down 8.25, while Ceylon Tobacco Company, the Sri Lankan unit of British American Tobacco (BAT) closed at 297.00 rupees, down 7.00.

Brokers said over 14 million Dialog Telekom shares changed hands, Tuesday. It closed at 8.75 rupees, down 25 cents, while fixed line operator Sri Lankan Telecom closed flat at 37.00.

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