Sri Lanka rubber plantations shares in demand

Apr 26, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks edged higher Monday as investors bought selected blue chips and midcap stocks, as well as rubber plantation shares seen as doing well with the rise in rubber prices, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,136.05, up 0.35 percent (14.41 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.16 percent (7.73 points) to close at 4,703.56.

Turnover was 1.6 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Brokers said there were 95 gainers and 57 losers at end of trade.

“Last week’s upward trend continued today as well with investors going after hotels and plantations stocks that had a heavy exposure to rubber,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“With some of the companies releasing their March results investors should look at companies which have not factored in forward earnings to share prices.”

Brokers said low inventory levels worldwide and the high cost of producing synthetic rubber had pushed up prices of natural rubber.

Balangoda Plantations closed at 40.25 rupees, up 3.00, Kegalle Plantations closed at 73.00 rupees, up 5.50, Elpitiya Plantations closed at 36.25 rupees, up 1.25 and Kelani Valley Plantations closed at 69.50 rupees, up 4.50.

Among hotel stocks, Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings closed at 447.50 rupees, down 14.25, John Keells Hotels closed at 20.50 rupees, down 25 cents, Hotel Reefcomber closed at 3.90 rupees, up 20 cents with almost 4.4 million shares traded and Galadari Hotels closed at 36.00 rupees, up 5.50.

Conglomerates Aitken Spence closed at 1,494.25 rupees, up 44.25, John Keells Holdings closed at 185.00 rupees, down 25 cents, Hayleys closed at 280.00 rupees, up 1.00 and Hemas Holdings closed at 132.00 rupees, down 2.50.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 245.00 rupees, down 3.50, Hatton National Bank closed at 224.75 rupees, up 2.75 and Nations Trust Bank closed flat at 37.75 rupees,

Sampath Bank closed at 285.00 rupees, up 75 cents and Seylan Bank closed at 31.50 rupees, down 1.00.

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal, 1,050,000 shares of National Development Bank changed hands between 220 to 221 rupees, brokers said. It closed at 220.25 rupees, down 1.50. DFCC Bank closed at 206.75 rupees, up 3.75.