Sri Lankan stocks fall 2.8-pct

June 5, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan share prices fell nearly three-percent on Tuesday, as the new trading restrictions for large blocks of shares came into effect, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index dropped 2.79 percent or 136.58 points to end at 4,748.60, while the liquid Milanka Price Index fell 3.12 percent or 135.68 points to close at 4,207.80, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures.

Tuesday’s turnover was a modest 286.74 million rupees, largely driven by trades in a few selected blue chip stocks.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC, which has investments in transport, leisure and financial services, fell 10.40 rupees to 177.70 rupees on trades of 547,223 shares.

NDB Bank, fell 6.40 rupees to 99.90 rupees on trades of 171,665 shares.

Commercial Leasing PLC, fell 2.00 rupees to 3.00 rupees on trades of 3.71 million shares.

Sri Lanka’s securities regulator this month brought in deadlines to implement crossing and share transactions of stockbrokers, to mitigate future trading risks.

From June 5, the Colombo Stock Exchange will introduce a ceiling of 20 percent on a stock price, when the transaction is carried out on the crossings board.

From June 1, executive directors, staff, their spouses and their nominees of all licensed stockbrokers and stock dealers are banned from selling their quoted stocks bought on the secondary market for six-months from the date of purchase.

The rule change comes after National Savings Bank bought a 13 percent stake in the loss-making The Finance Company at 60 percent above the market price on April 27.

The controversial deal was aborted on the instructions of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, after the state-bank’s unions brought it to his attention.

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