Blue chips lead free-fall in Colombo stocks
2008-10-23 17:24:54

Turnover was reasonably good at the close of the Colombo bourse on Thursday but for the wrong reasons with JKH among others - leading the free-fall in share prices, stock market analysts said.

The bourse was gingerly closing on another negative – the blue-chip Milanka index falling before the 2000-level, previously recorded in 2004. On Thursday, the Milanka eased by 93.14 points to 2,034.03 and is most likely to fall below 2,000 tomorrow while the All Share Index fell by 85.40 points to 1,815.17. Turnover was Rs 236 million.

Among trades, JKH – bracing itself against a continuous flow of negative sentiment following the July LMSL judgment and latest speculation of a fundamental rights action over its South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) privatisation - saw the share fall to Rs 64.50, down Rs 0.50, which however was marginally a lower fall than seen in the past few days. The stock in fact gained earlier in the day after the company, late on Wednesday, assured investors that the announced share repurchase option at Rs 90 was still on.

There were just four positive (price-gain) trades as against163 trades where share prices fell. Among the big parcels that were traded – all at lower than Wednesday’s levels – were Ceylinco Insurance (505,200 shares), Lanka IOC (311,900), CIC (220,700), Distilleries (169,800) and JKH (152,300).

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