A Mauritius-based fund named Milford Ceylon Pvt Ltd., yesterday bought a 19% stake in Softlogic Life Insurance PLC for Rs. 2.6 billion.
The stake amounting to 71.25 million shares was acquired at Rs. 37 each. The seller was DEG or State Street Munich C/o SSBT-DEG-Deutsche Investitions-UND Entwicklungsgesellschaf MBH.
Analysts said that by name it appears the buyer is a dedicated fund for investing in Sri Lanka and it was the first investment.
The deal accounted for 93% of the days turnover of Rs. 2.8 billion. Softlogic Life closed unchanged at Rs. 37.30.
Despite this positive development, the Colombo stock market remained negative.
Acuity Stockbrokers said the Bourse ended on a negative note as the ASPI decreased by 0.46% or 27.64 points to close at 5,940.99 points, while the S&P SL20 Index also decreased by 0.80% or 22.74 points to close at 2,807.22.
Foreign investors recorded a net inflow of Rs. 6 million over the day compared to a net outflow of Rs.
29.9 million recorded last Tuesday. Wednesday was a market holiday.
NDB Equities said the ASPI closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as John Keells Holdings, Distilleries and Ceylon Tobacco Company. A similar behaviour was witnessed in the S&P SL20.
Mixed interest was observed in Browns Investments whilst retail interest was noted in Chevron Lubricants and Tokyo Cement Company nonvoting. Furthermore, foreigners remained active closing as net buyers. Total foreign purchases accounted for 93.5% of the turnover. Banks, Finance and Insurance sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Softlogic Life Insurance, Ceylinco Insurance and Sampath Bank) whilst the sector index lost 0.32%. The share price of Softlogic Life Insurance closed flat at Rs 37.90. The share price of Ceylinco Insurance recorded a gain of Rs 38.50 (2.07%) to close at Rs 1,900.00. The share price of Sampath Bank declined by Rs 0.90 (0.59%) to close at Rs 152.10. Health Care sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Singhe Hospitals) whilst the sector index edged down by 0.09%. The share price of Singhe Hospitals lost Rs 0.10 (6.25%) to close at Rs 1.50. Browns Investments was also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Browns Investments moved down by Rs 0.10 (1.82%) to close at Rs 5.40.