* Shaw Wallace to sell 264.65 perches of prime land for Rs.1.85 bn to Avic International Hotels
The Colombo bourse was unable to sustain Thursday’s gains yesterday with all three indices down on a turnover of Rs.308.4 million, down from the previous day’s Rs.754.5 million, with 84 gainers outpaced by 116 losers and 105 counters closing flat.
Brokers attributed the downturn to retail profit taking "after a very long time" but said that "the blue chips seemed to be holding’’ with the exception of Carsons and Bukit Darah where there had been a sharp loss of profitability in the June quarter.
The All Share Price Index closed 38.58 points (0.58%) down, the Milanka declined 14.91 points (0.34%) and S&P lost 25.41 points (0.91%) but brokers were optimistic for the coming week with five trading days.
"The ASPI reversed a four day upward trend, ending slightly lower amid subdued activity levels dominated by large trades on JKH and COMB, which collectively accounted for over 30% of turnover," John Keells Stock Brokers said in a market report.
There were block trades in Commercial Bank (voting) with 511,000 shares crossed at Rs.98 contributing Rs.50.1 million to turnover and JKH with 294,390 shares crossed at Rs.185 generating a turnover of Rs.54.5 million.
"These block trades accounted for almost a third of the day’s turnover," a broker said.
Apart from these block trades, Ceylon Tobacco, MTD Walkers, Shaw Wallace and Hemas Holdings were the major turnover generators on trading floor transactions.
Ceylon Tobacco which had seen some heavy trading recently closed Rs.4.50 up at Rsd.699.90 with 41,949 shares done between Rs.699 and Rs.700 contributing Rs.29.4 million to turnover and topping the turnover league on the trading floor.
MTD Walkers closed Rs.2 down at Rs.26.10 on nearly 0.8 million shares done between Rs.25.90 and Rs.29.40 contributing Rs.21.1 million to turnover while Shaw Wallace gained Rs.24 to close at Rs.298 on 38,216 shares done between Rs.280 and Rs.304.50 generating a turnover of Rs.111.3 million.
Shaw Wallace Thursday announced entering a sales agreement to sell 264.65 perches of prime Kollupitiya land at a consideration of Rs.1.85 billion for the construction of a new hotel to Avic International Hotels Lanka Limited.
Funds raised by this transaction which is subject to shareholder approval will help finance the ongoing 30-storey development project undertaken by Shaw Wallace in the adjoining land where the piling and superstructure work has been completed, the company announced in a Stock Exchange filing.
Hemas Holdings was 50 cents up to close at Rs.22.50 on 0.5 million shares done between Rs.22.10 and Rs.22.50 contributing Rs.11.3 million to turnover.
Sampath Bank closing flat at Rs.154 on 61,711 shares and JKH closing 10 cents down at Rs.184.90 on 45,371 shares also contributed to turnover.
Among blue chips closing flat and traded in some quantity were Aitken Spence at Rs.110 and Distilleries at Rs.120.
Carsons and Bukit Darah said in a Stock Exchange filing that although there was a sharp fall in profitability in the June quarter due to a fall in palm oil prices and crop due to weather conditions "the strong and diversified core business fundamentals of the group had not been eroded in anyway."
Bukit Darah is a major shareholder of Carsons.