The Colombo bourse yesterday posted a turnover of Rs.1.35 billion, up from the previous day’s Rs.759.6 million, although the All Share Price Index saw a sharp 54.34 point (0.93%) fall while S&P SL20 lost just 1.45 points (0.05%) as a result of blue chips largely holding their ground.
Foreign purchases amounted to Rs. 865.73 million, leading to a net inflow of Rs. 830.64 million.
Brokers said that turnover was supported by crossings in JKH, Sampath and LOLC with Sampath seeing 1.4 million shares crossed in five parcels – three at Rs.218.50 and two at Rs.220 in deals worth Rs.306.9 million.
"Turnover was excellent but the market was down mainly on profit taking on speculative shares," a broker said.
"The ASPI ended sharply lower, mainly on the back of strong declines in several large cap counters. Turnover crossed the Rs. 1bn mark, supported by block trades on JKH, SAMP, and LOLC, which accounted for over 60% of turnover," John Keells Stockbrokers said.
One hundred and sixty two losers sharply outpaced 43 gainers while 47 counters closed flat with brokers saying that there were few blue chips among the losers.
JKH saw 1.2 million shares crossed, all at a price of Rs.226, contributing Rs.271.2 million to turnover while LOLC saw 3.5 million shares crossed in two parcels at Rs.72.50 in deals worth Rs.253.8 million.
Brokers said that Sampath and JKH also saw volume on the trading floor with Sampath closing Rs.5.80 up at Rs.220 on nearly 0.6 million shares done between Rs.212.50 and Rs.221.80 contributing Rs.121.2 million to turnover.
JKH closed one rupee up at Rs.226 on the floor with over 0.5 million shares traded between Rs.224.60 and Rs.226 contributing Rs.120 million to turnover.
Brokers said there was buying interest in blue chips with CT Holdings closing Rs.5.40 up at Rs.145 on 0.1 million shares done between Rs.139 and Rs.145 generating a business volume of Rs.15 million.
LOLC was another gainer among the most traded stocks closing Rs.2.30 up at Rs.69.90 on nearly 0.2 million shares done between Rs.67.70 and Rs.70.50.
Commercial Bank which had announced a second interim dividend of Re.1 per voting and non-voting share for 2012 closed 20 cents down at Rs.104.80 on 68,209 shares. The stock will trade XD from Feb. 7 with payment on Feb. 18.
Most traded losers included Royal Ceramics, down Rs.2.90 to close at Rs.99.10 on nearly 0.2 million shares, ERI down 40 cents to close at Rs.17.60 on over 0.8 million shares, Colombo Fort Land and Buildings down Rs.1.60 to close at Rs.32.40 on 0.3 million shares and Expolanka down 10 cents to close at Rs.6.80 on nearly 1.2 million shares. Lanka Hospitals also lost 20 cents to close at Rs.38.40 on nearly 0.2 million shares.
Vallibel Power Erathna announced an interim tax-free dividend of 25 cents per share for 2012/13, XD from Feb. 8 and with payment on Feb. 19.