Business

Harry J and Captains up stakes in JKH

According to the latest financial statements of John Keells Holdings (JKH), shareholding in the company by business tycoon Harry Jayawardena and the Captain family had increased collectively by 8.8% year-on-year by the end of the December, 2018 quarter.

The shares owned by Jayawardena, which stood at 3.5% in December, 2017, had increased 4.9% to 8.4% in December 2018, while the Captains, who owned 16.3% of JKH shares in December, 2017, had increased it 3.9% to 20.2% by the end of 2018.

Harry Jayawardena had bought shares under his holding company Melstacorp PLC while Captains had bought shares under both their own names of R.S. Captain and S.E. Captain as well as their holding company Paints & General Industries Ltd.

Interestingly, R.S. Captain entered the twenty largest shareholders list only in the second quarter of FY 2018/19, and was not in the previous quarters’ lists.

S.E. Captain owned 10.1% of shares at the end of 2017 and his company Paints & General Industries Ltd., owned 6.2% of shares, which were respectively increased to 10.9% and 7.3% along with R.S. captain’s 2% of shares.

Foreign selling had been seen in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) throughout last year and the political crisis which erupted in late October exacerbated matters fuelling a rapid increase in foreign sales. This foreign outflow opened the door for many domestic investors to buy shares sold by foreigners during the last quarter, both during and before the crisis.

Melstacorp PLC is a diversified conglomerate and the home to 19 direct and indirect subsidiaries as well as two associate companies, which includes Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL).

On 1 January, Krishan Balendra, the son of illustrious former Chairman Ken Balendra, assumed duties as the new Chairman of JKH, following the retirement of Susantha Ratnayake.