May 30, 2013 / 1:22 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sri Lankan stocks steady; Morison deal boosts turnover

(Adds J.L. Morison disclosure statement, paras 6-7)
    COLOMBO, May 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended flat in
an overbought market on Thursday, but turnover rose to its
highest in more than three weeks as conglomerate Hemas Holdings
PLC bought a majority stake in pharmaceutical firm J.L.
Morison Sons and Jones (Ceylon) PLC. 
    The main stock index ended barely changed, closing
0.01 percent, or 0.69 points, weaker at 6,455.12.
    Five dealers said Hemas Holdings bought 4.15 million shares,
or around 70 percent stake, in J.L Morison Sons and Jones
(Ceylon) at 366.50 rupees a share. Shares in Morison rose 10.71
percent to 346.20 rupees a share, while shares in Hemas rose 6
percent to 37.10 rupees. 
    The deal boosted the day's turnover to 2.56 billion rupees,
its highest since May 6 and well above this year's daily average
of 1.05 billion rupees.
    "The market is not moving as there is no market-moving news
and turnover was pushed by block deals in Morison," said a
stockbroker who declined to be identified.
    J.L Morison Sons and Jones (Ceylon) PLC in a disclosure
statement to the bourse said Hemas Manufacturing (Private)
Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Hemas Holdings PLC,
acquired 4,153,690 ordinary voting shares representing 71.51 of
the equity capital of the company. 
    It also said Hemas purchased a 50.06 percent stake in non
voting equity capital of the company. 
    The telecom sector index fell 0.99 percent with
top fixed-line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom PLC
 falling 1.38 percent and leading mobile phone operator
Dialog Axiata PLC sliding 1.06 percent. 
    Foreign investors were net buyers of 165 million rupees
($1.30 million) worth of shares, extending net foreign inflows
this year to 13.55 billion rupees.
    The market's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was still
in over-bought territory, at 78.252 on Thursday and has been
above the upper neutral level of 70 since April 16, Thomson
Reuters data showed.
    The rupee edged up at 126.45/50 per dollar, little
changed from Wednesday's close of 126.48/55 on thin volume of
exporter dollar sales, dealers said.
    ($1 = 126.5000 Sri Lanka rupees)

 (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil
Nair)

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