Sri Lanka shares close up 1.5-pct

Feb 10, 2011(LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed 1.5 percent higher Thursday helped by gains in the banking stocks, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,493.62, up 1.57 percent (116.18 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 7,230.35, up 0.37 percent (26.60 points) according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was five billion rupees.

Commercial Bank closed at 278.00, up 0.90 cents with over 2.3 million shares done and Hatton National Bank closed at 399.60, up 9.60 rupees. Sampath Bank closed at 295.00, up 3.60 rupees.

The banking shares have been trading actively in anticipation of good earnings report, a broker said.

Dankotuwa Porcelain closed at 73.30, down 2.40 rupees.

The company returned to profits in the December 2010 quarter with a 19 million-rupee net profit compared with a loss of 43 million rupees the year before.

Lanka Walltile closed at 163.90, up 8.70 rupees. The tile maker recorded a net profit of 227 million in the December 2010 quarter, an increase of 44 percent compared with the same period last year.