ASPI up 1%, MPI down a fraction of a point
Turnover on the Colombo Bourse yesterday slumped to Rs.508.4 million, down from turnovers of over a billion earlier in the week, largely on account of a new trading system implemented on the CSE with brokers and internet traders unfamiliar with the mechanism.
While the All Share Price Index was up 58.70 points (1.07%), and the Milanka edged down a fraction of a point (0.82 or 0.02%), the market closed with 117 gainers ahead of 89 losers.
Brokers said that the new trading system had been pending since December but had been put off with the Exchange deciding on commissioning it on a Friday as any wrinkles that arose could be ironed out over the weekend.
"Brokers and internet traders were unfamiliar about the order placing mechanism slowing down order entry," a broker said. "Although turnover was low, the indices did not crash or anything like that.’’
Among the most traded stock yesterday was PC Pharma where 2.8 million shares were done at five trades between Rs.40 and Rs.50 closing Rs.8 down at Rs.40.
Commercial Bank too continued to attract interest with over 0.5 million shares done between Rs.99.90 and Rs.100.50 closing 60 cents down at Rs.100.
John Keells Holdings was thinly traded with 21,302 shares traded between Rs.175 and Rs.177 in 59 trades closing Rs.1.10 down at Rs.176.10.
Sampath Bank was up Rs.2.40 to close at Rs.190 on over 0.1 million shares done between Rs.176.50 and Rs.193.50.
Nations Trust Bank announced a first and final dividend of Rs.2.10 per share XD from April 2 and with payment on April 11 after shareholder approval at a March 30 AGM.
Union Assurance announced a first and final dividend of Rs.5 per share for 2011/12 XD from March 5 and with payment on March 15 while Ceylon Tobacco announced a special dividend of Rs.1.55 per share for 2012 XD from March 5 and with payment on March 15.