Sri Lanka shares close up 0.13-pct

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Mar 24, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher Thursday with the sale of a controlling stake in a sugar plantations firm boosting turnover and dominating the day’s trade, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,216.75, up 0.13 percent (9.65 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.26 percent (17.72 points) to close at 6,793.59, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was boosted to 2.8 billion rupees by the sale of a controlling stake in Pelwatte Sugar Industries by Ariyaseela Wickramanayake to Harry Jayawardena’s Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka.

Distilleries Company said in a stock exchange filing its full-owned subsidiary Melstacorp (Private) Ltd bought 31,966,000 shares of Pelwatte or a 47 percent stake at 27.50 rupees a share for 879 million rupees.

Pelwatte Sugar Industries closed at 35 rupees, down 1.70 rupees with a total of 38.75 million shares traded, adding about 1.1 billion rupees to the day’s turnover.

Distilleries closed at 182.50 rupees, up 1.70 with 585,100 shares traded.

Guardian Capital Partners was the most actively traded stock and the day’s highest gainer, after being the biggest loser the day before.

It closed at 312.60 rupees, up 76.70 rupees or 32.51 percent with 1.3 million shares changing hands.

Guardian Capital Partners had lost 83.15 percent or 1,164.10 rupees to close at 235 rupees on Wednesday after shares in a rights issue were listed.