Sri Lankan stocks becalmed

Aug 23, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed flat Monday, as investors adjusting to the 10 percent trade margin took defensive positions looking for shares that offered bargains, while punters continued to chase after ‘penny’ stocks, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,563.99, up 0.02 percent (0.99 points) while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks fell 0.04 percent (2.34 points) to close at 5,860.66, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees.

“We feel investors are getting used to trading with the price corridor in operation,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

On August 05, market regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) slapped a daily 10 percent upward and downward price band on all listed securities on suspicion of price manipulation.

There was sizable trading on selected midcap stocks, Monday, brokers said.

Asian Alliance Insurance closed at 65.70 rupees, up 3.30 (5.29 percent) with 1.3 million shares traded, and Ceylon Grain Elevators closed at 38.20 rupees, up 3.40 (9.77 percent) with almost 1.5 million shares changing hands.

Dunamis Capital closed at 12.60 rupees, up 90 cents (7.69 percent) with nearly 2.1 million shares traded, and Touchwood Investment closed at 35.10 rupees, down 1.60 (4.36 percent) with 1.3 million shares changing hands, brokers said.

Punters continued to actively trade in penny stocks, brokers said.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide closed at 6.30 rupees, up 50 cents (8.62 percent), while its non-voting shares closed at 3.30 rupees, up 30 cents (10 percent) with almost 3.5 million shares traded.

Hotel Reefcomber, another active penny stock closed at 4.50 rupees, up 10 cents (2.27 percent) on over 4.5 million shares changing hands.

SMB Leasing closed at 2.20 rupees, up 20 cents (10 percent) on 2.26 million shares traded, while its non-voting shares closed at 1.90 rupees, up 10 cents (5.56 percent), brokers said.