Sri Lankan stocks close down 0.23-pct

July 01, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down Thursday as investors took a wait-and-see approach on high value shares that in recent weeks had significantly moved up in price, while retail investors were seen chasing after ‘penny’ stocks, broker said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,601.63, down 0.23 percent (10.83 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.88 percent (46.51 points) to close at 5,231.84.

Turnover was 3.06 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“There was institutional and high net-worth participation on blue chip and midcap stocks,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“Retail participation was encouraging with interest seen on midcap and low value shares.”

Brokers said retail investors were seen chasing selected low value stocks.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide closed at 7.25 rupees, up 4.55 with 35.2 million shares traded, while its non-voting shares closed at 3.00 rupees, up 1.90 with 129.7 million shares changing hands.

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal 3.24 million Dipped Products shares changed hands at 125.00 rupees per share. It closed at 124.75 rupees, down 25 cents, broker said.

In another privately negotiated deal two million Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka shares changed hands at 130.00 rupees per share. It closed at 129.50 rupees, up 25 cents, brokers said.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,610.00 rupees, up 2.25, Hayleys closed at 300.00 rupees, down 5.00, Hemas Holdings closed at 190.00 rupees, up 5.75 and John Keells Holdings closed at 203.75 rupees, down 1.25.

Commercial Bank closed at 181.50 rupees, up 3.00, Hatton National Bank closed flat at 281.00, Nations Trust Bank closed at 55.25 rupees, down 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 358.00 rupees, down 1.25 and Seylan Bank closed at 80.00 rupees, down 1.75.

Dialog Telekom closed at 9.50 rupees, down 25 cents with three million shares changing hands at 9.75, while Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 36.75 rupees, down 25 cents.