Sri Lanka investors take profit after hotel share rally

Sept 10, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks ended marginally up Thursday as investors took profits on a hotel share rally but trading volumes remained above a billion rupees for the third straight day, brokers said. “Profit taking was seen in stocks like Sampath Bank and the hotel sector.”

HDFC Bank closed at 170.50 rupees, up 34.75 while Seylan Merchant Bank ended at 5.50, up 0.90.

Sampath Bank closed at 169 rupees, down 5.75.

Prices of most hotel shares fell.

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The All Share Price Index rose 0.42 percent (11.56 points) to end at 2,791.44 while the more liquid Milanka rose 0.06 percent (1.86 points) to close at 3,129.50, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was almost 1.29 billion rupees.

Charith Kamaladasa of Lanka Securities said there was active trading by retail investors whose buying pushed up the market to a 28-month high Wednesday.

The benchmark ASI has now risen about 85 percent so far in 2009 while the Milanka was up about 91 percent.

“The most actively traded stocks were HDFC Bank and Seylan Merchant Bank voting and non-voting shares,” Kamaladasa said.