Sri Lankan stocks close 0.32-pct down on profit taking

May 04, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Tuesday as retail investors took profits ahead of a possible short term correction, while Horana Plantations, Nawaloka Hospitals and debutant Vallibel Finance were heavily traded, brokers said. Nawaloka Hospitals closed at 5.50 rupees, up 60 cents with over 25 million shares traded, brokers said.

Conglomerates Hayleys closed at 280.00 rupees, down 4.50, Hemas Holdings closed at 133.75 rupees, up 75 cents and John Keells Holdings closed at 191.75 rupees, up 75 cents.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 239.00 rupees, down 1.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 240.00 rupees, down 2.50, Sampath Bank closed at 286.75 rupees, down 3.25 and Seylan Bank closed at 53.50 rupees, up 50 cents.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 125.75 rupees, up 75 cents.

At the end of trade, Tuesday, there were 58 gainers and 106 losers, brokers said.

Updated The All Share Price Index closed at 4,205.51, down 13.71 points while the Milanka index of more liquid shares dipped 0.08 percent (3.63 points) to close at 4,748.60.

Turnover was 1.46 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Foreigners bought 248 million rupees worth of shares and sold 137 million rupees, resulting in a net inflow of 111 million rupees, brokers said.

“The market is heading towards a technical correction,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“Based on the forward earnings (the price-to-earnings) multiples are still attractive.”

Vallibel Finance, whose shares began trading Tuesday, closed at 30.25 rupees, up 8.25 with 4.3 million shares traded.

Horana Plantations closed at 31.50 rupees, down 2.25 with over 8.0 million shares changing hands, brokers said.