Sri Lankan stocks close flat, low activity

Oct 30, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed flat Friday, with retail buyers awaiting positive news on earnings and political developments, while selected financial stocks took a beating, brokers said. The All Share Index closed at 2,976.93 points down 0.23 points while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks closed down 0.34 percent (11.30 points) at 3,333.84 points according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange data.

Turnover stood at 325.6 million rupees.

“The market is expected to remain sluggish and we cannot expect a dramatic run as seen in the recent past,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at stock brokering house, Asha Phillip Securities said.

“Earnings have not been up to the expectations of the investors and obvious slowdown is the result.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 142.00 rupees, up 75 cents, after it reported profits down 43 percent, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 96.00 rupees, down 1.00.

Fixed line heavy weight Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 43.75 rupees, down 25 cents, and Dialog Telekom, a celco, closed at 7.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

“The rate cut proposed by the government has not benefited market at the expected rate as rumors of possible elections have dampened investor sentiment,” Hulangamuwa said.

“The next quarter of bank earnings maybe not as flashy as expected.”

In banking, Commercial Bank closed at 176.25 rupees down 1.25, Commercial Bank non-voting 120.00, down 2.25, Hatton National Bank 163.75, up 75 cents, DFCC Bank flat 150.00 and NDB 184.00, up 25 cents, and Sampath Bank 185.00, down 1.00.

NAMAL Acuity Value Fund closed at 47.75 rupees, down 2.00, it was issued at 50.00 rupees per unit.

In hotels, Asian Hotels flat 75.00 rupees, Eden Hotel Lanka 25.50 rupees, up 25 cents, Hotel Developers Lanka 112.00 rupees, up 2.00, Sigiriya Village Hotel 39.25, up 75 cents, and Tangerine Beach Hotel 66.00, up 2.00.