Financial Times

Foreigners sell JKH due to global crisis, company performance


John Keells Holdings (JKH) Plc share buy back offer which closed on Tuesday, saw some foreigners clamouring to sell their shares back to the company with stock market analysts saying it might not be due to the global financial crisis but JKH’s dismal performance.

"There are foreigners who wanted to exit because of the global crisis, but there was an equal number - if not more who want to sell due to the ‘poor’ performance by the company," one analyst noted. The company said in September it would re-purchase 25.5 million of its ordinary shares at Rs. 90 each on a pro rata basis of one-for-every-25 shares held, which is a 1:25 ratio.

Analysts said that the share buy back saw roughly 60 million foreign-held shares being offered for sale. "Before the offer closed on Tuesday, foreigners held 316 million shares. After the offer it was at 256 million," the analyst said. The company's total number of shares is 636 million as at 31st March 2008 of which 49.9 % is owned by non-residents.

As at Friday’s stock market close the company’s share was at Rs 64.25.

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