Over 5 million SLT close at Rs. 40.25
Ceylon Theatres and Cargills announce hefty share splits

Ceylon Theatres and its subsidiary Cargills yesterday announced hefty share splits with one Ceylon Theatres share divided into 70 and one Cargills share divided into 40 driving up their share prices to dizzy heights.

Analysts said that the share splits – similar to bonus share issues under the old company law – will make the shares of both closely-held companies, dominated by the Page family, more liquid.

Ceylon Theatres traded yesterday between Rs.4,500 and Rs.5,300 with a total of 3,400 shares done closing at Rs.4,500 – up Rs.1,400 on the previous close.

The Cargills share behaved similarly gaining Rs.644 on the previous close on 8,600 shares done between Rs.1,625 and Rs.2,000 closing at Rs.1,970.

The two indices closed in opposite directions with the All Share up 19.74 points (0.78%) while the Milanka was down 8.01 points (0.25%) on a turnover of Rs.544.5 million, up from the previous day’s Rs.313.7 million.

SLT continued to be the most traded share with 5.5 million shares transacted between Rs.40 and Rs.40.50. The counter lost 25 cents to close at Rs.40.25.

Brokers said that there was still no clear word on when the 35.2% stake in the company held by Japan’s NTT would be sold either wholly or in part and stock market punters continued to speculate on this share.

SLT’s annual general meeting is due to be held this Friday and there may be some disclosure on NTT’s plans during that occasion, analysts believe.

There was also interest in Ceylinco Insurance where over 0.5 million shares were traded flat at Rs.205. The counter closed at that price gaining Rs.2.50 and contributing Rs.105.8 million to turnover against Rs.225 million by SLT.

Haycarb was the other stock transacted in volume with nearly 0.7 million shares done between Rs.59 and Rs.60. The counter closed at Rs.59 gaining Rs.4 on the previous close.

Other counters that showed volume included Dockyard (0.2 million shares) and Lanka Cement (0.7 million shares). Distilleries with slightly under 0.1 million shares traded gaining a rupee to close at Rs.98 and Commercial Bank closed flat at Rs.142 on 61,800 shares.

Cargills has announced an interim dividend of Rs.7.50 a share.

Both share splits of Ceylon Theatres and Cargills are dependent on shareholder approval at extraordinary general meetings.

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