Sri Lankan shares end lower; turnover hits 16-mth high on block deal

COLOMBO, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares closed lower for a fifth straight session on Thursday, led by beverage and diversified shares, after a block deal in a key healthcare stock helped turnover hit a 16-month high, brokers said.

The main stock index ended down 0.26 percent at 6,823.91, its lowest close since March 31.

Turnover on the bourse hit the highest since Aug. 19, 2014 on a block trade in Asiri Hospital Holdings Plc.

TPG Growth III SF Pte. Ltd acquired 317.1 million ordinary shares or 27.87 percent stake in Asiri at 24 rupees a share, TPG Growth said in a stock exchange filing.

The block deal accounted for 94.2 percent of the day’s turnover of 8.08 billion rupees ($56.44 million), well above this year’s daily average turnover of 1.1 billion rupees.

Asiri closed 1.2 percent lower at 24.80 rupees a share.

"Select healthcare, construction, banking, and diversified counters led activity levels with additional crossings," JKH stock brokers said in a note to investors.

A crossing is a term market participants use to refer to a block deal.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has fallen for 11 out of the last 12 trading sessions, with investor sentiment subdued after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week warned of lower economic growth next year due to the global slowdown.

Foreign investors sold a net 112.1 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the year to date net foreign outflow to 3.35 billion rupees worth of equities.





Nestle Lanka Plc fell 3.43 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc was 0.61 percent lower at the close.

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