Sri Lanka shares becalmed

Feb 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed almost flat Thursday as many investors chose to hold and not trade with parliamentary elections due in April, brokers said. “The first full-year, post-war results would be comping out after the elections and the first quarter results.”

There were two private off-the-floor deals, one involving 252,100 National Development Bank shares at 220 rupees a share and the other Nawaloka Hospitals at 2.60 rupees.

NDB closed flat at 220 rupees with 541,000 shares traded.

Nawaloka Hospitals closed at 3.60 rupees, up 10 cents, with almost 10 million shares traded.

To receive instant alerts from LBO on your Dialog mobile type ‘lbo’ and send to 678

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,782.25, up 0.18 percent (6.74 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.35 percent (15.29 points) to close at 4,347.27.

Turnover was 856 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, said sentiment among investors remained positive but that activity levels had fallen.

“Most investors have adopted a wait-and-see approach. Some investors who bought do not want to put in more and are holding on with elections around the corner again.”

The government has called parliamentary polls on April 8.

Perera said company earnings coming after the polls should reveal how they performed with the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.