Sri Lankan stocks down on travel warning, profit taking

June 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down on Monday partly owing to the customary month-end profit taking by retailers, while a US government travel warning dampened investor spirits, brokers said. Mahaweli Reach Hotel closed at 19.00 rupees, down 1.00, while The Light House closed at 66.00 rupees, down 2.00.

Trans Asia Hotel closed at 109.00 rupees, down 1.00.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 136.00 rupees, down 25 cents, while National Development Bank closed at 151.50 rupees, up 25 cents.

Index heavy Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 49.50 rupees, up 50 cents.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed down 0.50 percent (12.14 points) to end at 2,439.87, Monday while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.72 percent (19.67 points) to close at 2,707.79, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 563.4 million rupees.

“This is part of the month-end profit taking mainly by retailers,” Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

On Monday there was net foreign selling worth 25.9 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 203.0 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 228.9 million rupees, brokers said.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco, Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, closed at 5.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 137.00 rupees, up 1.00.

“Hotels sector stocks were under pressure amidst the US travel warning,” Balasuriya said.

“However towards the beginning of the month we can expect a recovery.”

The United States on Sunday issued a warning for its nationals travelling to or in Sri Lanka about the risk of possible terror attacks despite the recent crushing of Tamil Tiger separatists.

Aitken Spence Hotels closed at 149.75 rupees, down 25 cents, while Confifi Hotels closed at 110.25 rupees, down 2.75, on slim volumes.

Eden Hotels closed at 22.00 rupees, down 50 cents, while city hotel, Galadari closed at 12.75 rupees, down 50 cents.