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Mar 22, 2011

Dull trend continues at Colombo Stock Exchange




After some volatility in early trading on Monday the 21 March 2011, market became stagnant to close the indices on red, reflecting the continued negative momentum. Volume levels remained low amidst dull investor sentiment. Turnover was boosted by the change of hands of a substantial stake of Central Finance (CFIN).

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 7,156.33 points, dipped 0.40% by 28.61 points and Milanka Price Index (MPI) dropped 0.85% through 56.82 points closing at 6,634.78 points, during the day. Total turnover was at Rs.2.65 billion ( rose 6.95%) and a total volume of 28.97 million shares changed hands (decreased 72.16%). Foreign purchases dipped 61.91% to Rs.56.1 million and foreign sales further fell 14.2% to Rs.352.63 million. Price to forward Earnings Ratio (PER) declined 1.65% to 25.6 times.

Banking, Finance and Insurance sector contributed significantly to the market turnover with sector index decreasing 0.12%. Contribution from the sector accounted for around 66% of the total turnover during the day. This was mainly due to the negotiated deal including 1.6 million shares at Rs.800 of Central Finance (CFIN) which was sold by Sri Lanka Insurance (SLIC) to Arjun Aloysius led Perpetual Capital. The share price of the company increased by Rs.125 (15.55%) and closed at Rs.934.

Diversified sector also contributed to the market turnover mostly due to Hayleys (HAYL). The sector index decreased by 0.36%.

Laugfs Gas (LGL) announced an interim dividend of Rs 1.50 per share while Ceylon Grain Elevators (GRAN) announced an interim dividend of Rs.1 per share. Namunukula Plantations (NAMU) and Kegalle Plantations (KGAL) also announced interim dividends of Rs.1.00 per share and Rs.2.50 per share respectively.

Investors’ reaction to the dividends announcements was comparatively negligible except for someresponse for Laugfs Gas (LGL) according to brokers.

Another three crossings were completed during the day including 268,712 shares of HAyleys (HAYL) at Rs.390 per share, 1,906,600 shares of Pan Asia Bank (PABC) at Rs.50 per share, 74,200 shares of Bukit Darah via two crossings at Rs.1,250 per share.

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