Sri Lanka share trading zooms over Rs 1 bln on telecom, banking deals

Feb 27, 2008 (LBO) – Trading in Sri Lanka’s share market went over a billion rupees Wednesday following deals in telecom and bank shares which helped the market end marginally higher. The All Share Index climbed 6.5 points to end at 2,534.19 while the Milanka Index closed 13.07 points higher at 3,202.12.

Turnover reached 1.16 billion rupees when over 35.27 million Dialog Telekom shares held by foreign parties changed hands around mid-day, brokers said.

The share closed 25 cents lower at 18.25. The big block of shares traded added over 643.6 million rupees to total turnover.

The company has a market capitalization of over 146.58 billion rupees which is 17.81 of total capitalization of the Colombo share market.

State operator Sri Lanka Telecom shares ended 1.50 rupees higher at 34.75.

Over 1.72 million Sampath Bank shares changed hands with the share closing one rupee lower at 114.00 rupees.

Sampath Bank share transactions added over 196.5 million rupees to market turnover. Brokers say the trade was an internal transfer of shares by Dhammika Perera, a member of the bank’s board of directors.

Investor interest was also seen in Lanka Cement with 4.68 million shares traded during the day. The share closed flat at 15.25 rupees.

The stock price has shot up following a government announcement it would give a defunct cement plant in the northern Jaffna peninsula to India’s Birla group to operate.

The local unit of cement multinational Holcim on Tuesday said it too was interested in the Jaffna plant and limestone deposit.

Investors paid less attention to plantation counters Wednesday while the local ship builder, Colombo Dockyard, lost 25 cents to end at 65 rupees.

John Keells Holdings traded flat at 119.75 rupees.

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