Business Times

Short week at the Colombo bourse sees dull trades, no lustre

Stock Market Review
By Elton P. Ebert

Tobacco, poultry and hotel stocks were impressive during the shortened, 4-day week of trading at the Colombo bourse owing to the Independence Day holiday on Friday but overall there was no excitement, no controversies in the market.

Ceylon Tobacco was generous to the state, saying this week it paid a massive Rs 56.1 billion as various taxes in 2010, and to the shareholders a final dividend of Rs 7.22 per share making a total of Rs 27.17 per share for the year.

Three Acre Farms and Grain Elevators were hotly chased, with peak levels being Rs 242 and Rs 265 for the current week. Anticipated demand for chicken especially from the hotel trade may be the reason for this mood.

Hotels stocks like Citrus Leisure, formerly Reefcomber, and Keells Hotels which reported almost 200% growth for the nine months ending 31st December 2010 found support. Citrus, now majority owned by Triad Advertising founders – Dilith Jayaweera and Varuni Amunugama-Fernando through a subsidiary - announced that the final date for acceptance of it mandatory offer is February 18 and not March 4 as stated earlier.Colombo Fort Land and E.B. Creasy group were also visiting fresh territory. E.B. Creasy, a high-priced stock, was at Rs 3300 per share at one stage while Lankem reached Rs 434 on February 3. The duo – which comes under the same ownership as the Lankem Group, has substantial property in many areas including Colombo. Their exposure to the rubber industry, agrochemicals and tourism is more pronounced.

CIC Holdings, which until last week was known as CIC before the name change, was also on the upside, probably in expectation of very good earnings and a substantial build up of reserves. The voting shares reached Rs 210 mid day on February 3. Some negative news came from Hayleys MGT which reported a loss of Rs.626 million in the quarter ending December 2010 due to making a provision after an audit query into a fraud. Over 75,000 shares were traded on February 2 to close at Rs 31.90.

(Elton, our regular columnist on the stockmarket could be reached at


Union Bank will offer 15 million shares at Rs 25 on February 24 with the applications forms available from February 10.

Price bands

Lanka Aluminium and Alufab were captured by the price bands effective February 1 to 24 while it was lifted on Laugfs Non Voting and Citrus Warrants. MTD Walkers, which is under the price band was on a gradual ascent, reaching Rs 75.90 at mid-session on Thursday.


Ranjit Page and Sunil Mendis were appointed to the board of Lanka Floor Tiles while Deepal Manik de Silva Wijeyeratne was appointed to the board of Commercial Development during the week.


Ceylon Tobacco - Rs 7.22 per share: Final Dividend payable 7th April 2011
Heavily traded stocks
Laugfs: Voting - 23.8 million were traded
PC House - 10.46 million were sold.
The All Share Index closed at 7346.81, a gain of 154 points or 2.15% over last week while the Milanka ended – after topsy, turvy developments - at 7180.49, a gain of 15 points or 0.21%.
Turnover for the week was Rs 15 billion down from Rs 19 billion last week mainly due to a shorter week of trading.

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