IFC selling COMBank shares

Saturday, 30 April 2011 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

One of the long-standing institutional shareholders, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the private sector investment arm of the World Bank – figured on the selling side of Commercial Bank deals, which dominated market turnover.

Slightly over 2.6 million shares of Commercial Bank traded yesterday for Rs. 704 million. Of the amount two million shares had been sold by IFC at Rs. 270 each.

As at 31 March, IFC held 33.8 million shares amounting to a 9.54% stake. Early in the week Commercial Bank’s other foreign shareholder, SBI of Japan, was also reported to be on the selling side.

Sources said that among buyers of Commercial Bank shares yesterday were institutions both local and foreign and not EPF, which was picking up available quantities early on the week.

Commercial voting share closed at Rs. 270.10, up by Rs. 2.10.

The bank on Thursday reported impressive results with profit before tax up 56% to Rs 2.96 billion for the three months ended 31 March and after tax profit up 87% to Rs. 2.06 billion. The Colombo stock market finished yet another week on a negative note. The ASI shed 20 points and MPI by 13 points yesterday. Turnover was Rs. 1.95 billion.

“Activity levels remained moderate amid some retail selling with foreign participation on COMB dominating the day’s turnover,” John Keells Stock Brokers said.

Other analysts said the Friday’s close proved Thursday’s overall good performance couldn’t be sustained. The best performing sector yesterday was Beverages, Food & Tobacco (+1.49%), whilst the worst was Motors (-3.68%), losing some of the high gains due to profit taking.