|Institutions sell, to realize year end profits
Bank of Ceylon (BOC) sold part of their portfolio in Caltex Lubricants to a high networth individual at Thursdays trading in order to realise profits for their year end accounts which close on December 31, sources said.
The quantity involved in this transaction was 378,900 shares valued at Rs. 27.3 million. These shares were mainly traded at Rs. 72. Caltex closed the day at Rs. 72.50, Rs. 2.50 less than the previous days closing price of Rs. 75.
They further alleged that institutions such as Seylan Bank, National Savings Bank (NSB) and the BOC have been shedding a part of their portfolio during the past few days in order to realise year end profits.
However, with only three more active working days-today and next Thursday and Friday only remaining for the year, these institutions are unlikely to shed any more of their portfolio for the year, the sources said.
The market will be closed for the season from Saturday to Wednesday and though the market will be open for business on December 31, institutions are not expected to be active on that day due to them having to make settlements before the year end.
Meanwhile, the market which was on a retreat earlier this week, losing as much as a total of 40 points on the benchmark all share price index (ASPI) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays trading, bounced backed yesterday, to gain 10.8 points on the ASPI and 29.1 points on the blue-chip MILANKA price index (MPI), data on a CSE release showed.
Sources attributed these gains to investors welcoming the unconditional ceasefire announced by the LTTE effective for one month beginning on Christmas eve and the governments positive reciprocity in this regard.
The ASPI closed at 591 points and the MPI at 974.8 points on a turnover of Rs. 91.2 million at the end of yesterdays trading. Some of the other major contributors to the days trading were John Keells Holdings (JKH) Rs. 19.4 million on a share volume of 350,800; mainly traded at Rs. 55 a share.
JKH closed at Rs. 55, up by Rs. 3 over the previous days closing price. The sources further said that that there were foreign purchases amounting to Rs. 12.3 million made on JKH on Thursday. It was speculated that this purchase was allegedly made by a high networth individual holding a foreign account. The seller was believed to be Seylan Bank.
Other contributors were National Development Bank, Rs. 11.7 million on 176,000 shares, with the main seller in this trade also believed to be Seylan Bank. Commercial Bank, Rs. 5.9 million on a volume of 51,200 shares. Commercial Bank closed at Rs. 116, Rs. 6 more than the previous days closing price.
The sources further alleged that on Wednesday, BOC parted with 200,000 shares of Commercial Bank, which resulted in Commercial Bank losing by Rs. 6 to close at Rs. 110 on Wednesday.
Asia Capital, Rs. 4.3 million on a volume of 545,100 shares, sold by Investor Access Asia. Asia Capital closed at Rs. 7.75, making no gain nor loss over the previous days closing price.
Dankotuwa Porcelain Rs. 2.7 million on 213,000 shares. Dankotuwa closed at Rs. 12.75, 75 cents more than the previous days closing price. Nations Trust Bank (NTB) Rs. 1.4 million on a volume of 100,400 shares. NTB closed at Rs. 14.50, 50 cents more than the previous days closing price and Distilleries, Rs. 1.2 million on 144,000 shares. Distilleries closed at Rs. 7.75, 25 cents more than the previous days closing price.
Meanwhile, Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said that the downward momentum prevailing during the past few days was stalled on Thursday as investors sought out selected stocks. Price advances outnumbered declines by a margin of 51 to 17.
Sectorally, gains were seen in as many as 12 sector indices with the services; banks, finance and insurance; construction and engineering and the beverage, food and tobacco sectors leading the way. The investment trust; land and property and the footwear and textile sector indices were the only sectors to decline on Thursday. - (PA)
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