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Sri Lanka stocks fall, selling in LOLC, banks

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks fell 0.72 percent on Tuesday, extending a two-day retreat with selling in banking and finance stock, provisional data showed.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 43.84 points down at 6,026.09.

The ASPI fell throughout the day to reach a daily-low of 6,022.35 in the last half hour of trading, before recovering four points.

Meanwhile, S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks fell 1.05 percent or 30.45 points to 2,863.34.

The market turnover was 1.44 billion rupees while 19 stocks gained and 131 fell.

The banking and finance stock index closed 1 percent lower.

The central bank on Monday called on banks to change their lending practices to boost growth through small and medium-sized businesses, and said it will set up a task force to introduce cost reflective benchmark interest rate to price loans.

LOLC Holdings closed 4.10 rupees down at 164.90 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI fall.

There was heavy retail selling on LOLC Holdings after buying during market open, despite the firm last evening confirming its sale of the Cambodian microfinance arm PRASAC to Korea’s Kookmin Bank for 603 million US dollars.

LOLC’s share has been falling since December 30, when it peaked at 179 rupees, after rising from 113 rupees before the deal was announced in early-December.

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Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka ended 40 cents down at 17.50 rupees a share, also contributing to the ASPI fall.

There was a 904 million rupee negotiated trade (crossing) in Sampath Bank at 159 rupees a share, and the stock closed at 155.20 rupees a share, 4.40 rupees down from open.

The telco Dialog Axiata contributed 24.32 million rupees in a negotiated trade at 12.80 rupees a share, and closed 10 cents down at 12.80 rupees a share. (Colombo/Jan07/2020)

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