Sri Lankan stocks close down

Aug 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down Monday as investors became defensive, hoping the market to pick-up in the medium term, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed down 0.54 percent (13.55 points) to end at 2,512.15 Monday, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.61 percent (17.41 points) to close at 2,820.95, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 204.1 million rupees.

On Monday there were net foreign inflows worth 0.5 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 16.7 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 17.3 million rupees, brokers said.

“Most investor, apart from the Nations Trust Bank (NTB) deal took defensive positions today,” Nirodha Bohingamuwa, research analyst at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“The negative sentiment might continue in the short term unless there is some heavy foreign participation.”

Brokers said 1.48 million NTB shares changed hands at 31.00 rupees each in three off-the-floor transactions.

Nations Trust Bank, a unit of conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH), closed at 31.75 rupees, up 50 cents, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 143.50 rupees, down 1.50.

Sampath Bank closed today at 126.25 rupees, up 3.00, while JKH closed at 133.00 rupees, down 2.75.

National Development Bank closed at 161.25 rupees, down 4.00 rupees.

Brokers said 827,000 Dialog shares changed hands today.

Dialog Telekom a unit of Telekom Malaysia, closed at 5.75 rupees, down 25 cents, while fixed line operator Sri Lankan Telecom closed at 47.25 rupees, down 25 cents.

Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corporation, closed at 17.00 rupees, up 25 cents, while Lanka Cement, a favorite amongst retail investors, closed at 33.75 rupees, down 1.25.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 87.00 rupees, while Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco closed at 133.00 rupees, up 4.75.