The Colombo bourse continued its depressing downward course yesterday with the All Share Price Index down 23.15 points (1.20%) while the Milanka lost 26.93 points (1.34%) with turnover looking up Rs. 344.6 million, up from Tuesday’s Rs. 268.2 million, thanks to business generated by the Associated Electrical Corporation buy-back and the sale of 7.5% of the Dhammika Perera controlled LB Finance.
``Trades in AEC and LB Finance helped turnover but the downward movement was not arrested,’’ Prashan Fernando of DFCC Stockbrokers said.
Mr. Eshana de Silva of the Sherman Sons Group, who is a director of the BOI which Dhammika Perera chairs and also sits on the Pan Asia Bank’s board (also a Dhammika Perera company), was the buyer of the LB stake at a price of Rs. 21.75. Pramuka Bank was the seller.
The LB deal netted a turnover of Rs.50.8 million overshadowed by AEC which bought back 79,200 of its own shares at a price of Rs. 1,800 each generating a Rs. 142.7 million turnover. This counter closed flat at Rs. 1,800.
LB traded within a range of Rs. 18.50 to Rs. 21.75 gaining 50 cents to close at Rs. 19.50 on the CSE’s volume weighted average.
Dialog held its eight rupee price line closing flat at that price on a trading range of Rs. 7.75 to Rs. 8 with nearly 6.3 million shares done contributing Rs.50.3 million to the day’s turnover.
JKH lost more ground yesterday with the blue chip share hitting a low of Rs. 63 on a trading range of Rs. 63 to Rs. 67.50 on 0.25 million shares done losing two rupees to close at Rs. 65.25 generating Rs. 16.7 million turnover.
Cargills too saw some trading volume with nearly 0.6 million shares done between Rs. 25 and Rs. 27 losing 75 cents on the VWA to close at Rs. 25.50 clocking a turnover of Rs. 14.2 million.
Distilleries also saw some trading with slightly over 01 million one-rupee shares done between Rs. 53.25 and Rs. 55 closing flat at Rs. 55.
``It’s difficult to predict the bottom of the market,’’ an analyst said. ``Obviously events in markets abroad does influence us to some extent.’’ He noted that the All Share Index was hovering just a fraction of a point over 1,900 having breached the 2,000 floor last week.