Sri Lankan stocks close 0.94-pct down, retailers sell

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 23, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks fell below 4,600 points Wednesday, as retail investors with weak holding capacity sold to minimize losses, while losses in selected index heavy shares also dragged down the market, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,591.17, down 43.56 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks fell 0.79 percent (42.07 points) to close at 5,261.75.

Turnover was 3.1 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

At the end of trading there were 48 gainers and 138 losers, brokers said.

“We witnessed a profit taking and we could expect the market to bounce back with investors capitalizing on the weakness,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“Investors should look at stocks that are currently trading at low multiples.”

Midcap stocks were the most hit.

Abans Electricals closed at 210.00 rupees, down 2.00, Asian Alliance Insurance closed at 61.25 rupees, down 3.50, Asian Hotels and Properties closed at 159.00 rupees, down 2.25, Cargills (Ceylon) closed at 125.00 rupees, down 3.00 and Hotel Developers closed at 148.00 rupees, down 4.25.

Lanka Tiles closed at 105.25 rupees, down 4.25, Renuka City Hotel closed at 247.00 rupees, down 16.00, Singer Sri Lanka closed at 117.50 rupees, down 3.50, Touchwood Investment closed at 87.25 rupees, down 3.75 and United Motors closed at 125.00 rupees, down 5.00.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,620.00 rupees, down 23.25, Hayleys closed at 308.00 rupees, up 2.50, Hemas Holdings closed flat at 175.00 rupees and index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 203.25 rupees, down 2.00.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 125.00 rupees.

Commercial Bank closed at 186.25 rupees, down 6.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 289.50 rupees, down 50 cents, Nations Trust Bank closed at 51.75 rupees, up 2.50, Seylan Bank closed at 89.50 rupees, up 5.25.