Sri Lanka shares close up 0.5-pct

Mar 31, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher Thursday with interest in the banking and finance sector and Union Bank of Colombo the most actively traded and closing stronger, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,226.12, up 0.46 percent (33.40 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.92 percent (62.96 points) to close at 6,874.74, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 2.19 billion rupees.

Union Bank of Colombo, which debuted Tuesday, was again the most actively traded stock, with 2.5 million shares changing hands. It closed at 35.80 rupees, up 10 cents.

Guardian Capital Partners was also heavily traded, closing at 290.60 rupees, up 26.40, and Ceylon Grain Elevators, which closed at 168.10, down 2.90 rupees.

There were five crossings or private deals of Sampath Bank of 2,140,000 shares at 290 rupees each. The stock closed at 288.30 rupees, up 2.10.

Central Finance ended at 1,273.70 rupees, up 69.70.