February 25, 2014, 12:00 pm
The slump on the Colombo bourse continued for the ninth day running yesterday on a low turnover of Rs. 426.9 million, down from the previous day’s Rs. 499.4 million, with 122 losers way ahead of 63 gainers while 122 counters closed flat.
The one bright spot in an otherwise gloomy scenario was the announcement of a very modest scrip dividend by the Commercial Bank which, in addition to a final cash dividend of Rs. 2 per share will give shareholders one new voting share for every 63.611111 shares held and one non-voting share for every 52.611111 shares held.
“It’s a very small bonus,’’ noted a broker. “It won’t mean much to the big shareholders while a retailer with a few hundred shares will hardly get anything. Yet we’ve seen a scrip dividend after quite some time.’’
The dates for these dividends were unannounced and are to be notified.
SLT also announced a first and final dividend of 85 cents a share following shareholder approval at an AGM on Apr. 9 with the share trading XD from Apr. 10 and with payment on Apr. 23 while Dockyard announced a first and final dividend of Rs. 4 per share for 2013 XD on Mar. 6 and with payment on Mar. 17.
The CSE is now at its lowest level since Dec. 27 last year and all gains made this year have been wiped out as the foreign sell-off continued, brokers said.
There was a single crossing of JKH, the counter which carried the market on its upward run, with 158,160 shares done at Rs. 209 contributing Rs. 33.1 million to the day’s turnover. JKH was also the most traded stock on the floor, with nearly 0.3 million shares done between Rs. 206 and Rs. 209, closing two rupees down at Rs. 207 contributing Rs. 60 million to turnover.
“The various projections made on the technical charts about at what point the fall in the JKH price would be arrested has gone wrong,’’ a broker said. “We’re yet to come to that point with various prices for available big blocks being talked off.’’
The big sellers are mainly foreign with high net worth locals and institutional interest on getting what is available at the best possible price, brokers said.
JKH warrants W0023 closed 10 cents down at Rs. 61 on nearly 0.4 million while DFCC closed 80 cents down at Rs. 141.20 on over 0.1 million shares.