Sri Lankan shares edge down, Sanasa Bank dividend triggers buying

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s benchmark share index continued its slide Tuesday with interest mainly in the banking sector and foreigners remaining net buyers amid rising interest rates and news of a probe into stock market irregularities.

The All Share Price Index shed 6.28 points (0.09 percent) to close at 7130.05 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, gained 2.99 points (0.07 percent) to close at 4087.67.

Turnover was 586 million rupees, the second lowest for the year, with crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals of 446,000 shares of John Keells Holdings at 205.00 rupees.

First Capital Equities said foreign participation remained at 40 percent with a net foreign inflow to the market.

Sanasa Development Bank attracted heavy investor interest after it announced a cash dividend of 2.50 rupees per share coupled with a scrip dividend, giving a dividend yield of 8.8 percent, Lanka Securities said.

The stock reached to 52-week high of 124.40 and closed lower at 124.00, up three percent.

"Bargain hunting was seen in stocks such as First Capital Holdings, Entrust Securities, Lanka IOC and Tokyo Cement non-voting."

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