COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan shares ended lower Thursday but turnover shot up as a large stake in Ceylinco Insurance changed hands, brokers said.
The All Share Price Index closed at 7,236.87, down 8.18 points (0.11%) while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, ended at 4,042.99, down 17.86 points (0.44%), according to provisional figures.
Turnover shot up to 5.3 billion rupees mainly owing to a large deal in Ceylinco Insurance with several other crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals done as well.
Oshan Dharmaratne, investment analyst at Lanka Securities, said almost 2.2 million Ceylinco Insurance shares changed hands at 1,602 rupees a share.
The share closed at 1,600.00 rupees, up 52.10 (3.37 percent) with a total of 2,198,123 shares done in 12 trades generating a turnover of 3.5 billion rupees.
Dharmaratne said there were other deals in John Keells Holdings, Cargills and United Motors.
Sanasa Development Bank, which was actively traded, reached a 52-week high of 136.60 rupees mainly because of higher earnings released Thursday.
Dimantha Mathew, Manager Research at First Capital Equities, said there was buying interest in selected shares, especially in the financial and manufacturing sectors
“Shares which had good earnings in the last quarter or are expected to do well are having a lot of buying interest,” he said. “There’s heavy interest in the banking and finance sector and manufacturing sector.”
Buying interest was seen in Lanka Walltiles, Softlogic Finance, Sanasa, Commercial Credit and Singer Finance.