|Market continues to fall
Yaddehiges objective of accumulating 50% of Richard Pieris shares in doubt
The market continued with its downward trend yesterday as well, with the Colombo Stock Exchanges (CSEs) All Share Price Index (ASPI) falling by 2.4 points to close at 608.8 points and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) by 3.4 points to close at 985.8 points on a turnover of Rs. 20.2 million.
"There is no buying interest. The market, generally sees activity, immediately before and after an event such as an election," sources, describing the performance of the market on Tuesday said. It may either make marginal gains or marginal losses at todays trading, they added.
"The ASPI was slightly up during the day, by a marginal 0.88 points, But due to selling in stocks such as John Keells Holdings (JKH), DFCC Bank and Sampath Bank later during the day, released the pressure on the indices, which saw them fall," the sources, describing Tuesdays trading said.
JKH saw its price falling from the Rs. 57 levels to, close at Rs. 56. JKHs total contribution to the days turnover was Rs. 2.5 million on a share volume of 45,100. JKH closed at Rs. 56; 75 cents less than the previous days closing price.
DFCC was down by Rs. 2 on a share volume of 4,700 to close at Rs. 108 and Sampath Bank fell by Rs. 1 to close at Rs. 57 on a share volume of 300. The second biggest contributor to the days turnover was Richard Pieris with Rs. 3.1 million on a share volume of 34,600 [the first was National Development Bank (NDB)].
Richard Pieris closed at Rs. 90, the same price it closed the previous day. Among the trades involving Richard Pieris shares, there were foreign purchases amounting to Rs. three million in the company shares, with the sellers believed to have been retailers.
"These foreign purchases, done at Rs. 90 a share, and involving a 0.1% stake in Richard Pieris issued share capital, are believed to have been made by a party connected to Dr. Sena Yaddehige, the Sri Lankan born industrialist domiciled in the UK who bought a 27% stake in the company a few days ago.
Yaddelige purchased JKHs stake in the company at Rs. 90 a share (comprising some 6.3 million shares). This purchase was recorded as a foreign purchase. It is believed that Mondays foreign purchase of a 1% stake in Richard Pieris comprising some 219,200 shares, was also done by a party connected to Yaddehige.
Currently, Richard Pieris four biggest shareholders (If, Yaddehige, together with the two parties acting in concert with him are considered as one) are Yaddehige (28.1%), Asia Capital (21%) and Sohli Captain and connected parties (18%) and the Richard Pieris family, 15%.
Captains son Rusi Captain is a director of Asia Capital. There are rumours to say that Yaddehige, together with the parties acting in concert with him, were aiming to get a 50% stake in Richard Pieris.
But, with the other shareholders of Richard Pieris seemingly reluctant to part with their stakes in the company, sources said that it was unlikely that Yaddehige would achieve his objective.
Earlier, it was believed that Yaddehige, was trying to accumulate more shares in Richard Pieris by offering to buy them at Rs. 100 a share from the other stakeholders of the company, while prospective sellers were pitching for a price of between Rs. 110 and Rs. 120 a share.
"But sources said that the ground situation had since changed, with it being different to what it was at the time Yaddehige made his purchase of a 27% stake in Richard Pieris. Meanwhile, total foreign purchases for the day amounted to Rs. 3.6 million and foreign sales, Rs. 2.9 million. The biggest contributor to the days turnover was NDB with Rs. 4.9 million on a share volume of 75,400. NDB closed at Rs. 65, the same price it closed the previous day. NDB was subject to foreign sales amounting to Rs. 2.8 million, with those sales being executed at Rs. 65 a share.
Meanwhile, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake of Master Divers who bought over a 53% stake in Pelwatte Sugar a few days ago, on Tuesday made a mandatory offer to the other shareholders of the company to buy their shares at Rs. 8.25 a share, the highest price he paid to buy Pelwattes shares recently and which triggered the mergers code.
Pelwatte Sugar contributed Rs. 1.4 million to the days turnover on a share volume of 180,100 due to retail activity. It closed at Rs. 7.75, the same price it closed the previous day. Among the other contributors to the days turnover were Colombo Land Rs. 380,000 on a share volume of 190,100. Colombo Land closed at Rs. 2.25; 25 cents more than the previous days closing price. Asian Hotels, Rs. 510,000 on a share volume of 85,000. Asian Hotels closed at Rs. 6; 25 cents less than the previous days closing price. Balangoda, Rs. 930,000 on a share volume of 40,500. Balangoda closed at Rs. 23.50 cents more than the previous days closing price.
Among some of the gainers on Tuesday were Hunas Falls, up by Rs. 2 to close at Rs. 10.75 on a share volume of 600. Commercial Leasing, up by Rs. 2 to close at Rs. 24 on a share volume of 200. Commercial Leasing on Tuesday announced a 20% dividend payment with excluding dividend (XD) date fixed for April 11. This caused the companys shares to make gains at Tuesdays trading, the sources said.
Lanka Tiles, up by Rs. 1.75 to close at Rs. 37 on a share volume of 200. Ceylon Tobacco, up by Rs. 1 on a share volume of 2,500 to close at Rs. 31. And among the losers, Good Hope Company, down by Rs. 80 to close at Rs. 120 on a share volume of 100.
Seylan Bank debentures (15% interest earning and of Rs. 100 par value), down by Rs. 3 on a volume of 1,500 to close at Rs. 87. CIC (Non-Voting), down by Rs. 2.75 on a share volume of 700 to close at Rs. 47.25. DFCC, down by Rs. 2 on a share volume of 4,700 to close at Rs. 108. Mercantile Leasing, down by Rs. 1.50 to close at Rs. 11.50 on a share volume of 4,800. (PA)
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