Sri Lanka shares end higher as funds return

Feb 12, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended higher Tuesday with brokers saying there was interest across a range of sectors with institutional buying evident. The All Share Price Index went up 0.36 percent or 9.07 points to 2,494.84 while the more liquid Milanka index ended up 0.52 percent or 16.01 points at 3,123.31 with turnover 432.5 million rupees.

There was interest in JKH, Seylan Bank non-voting shares, Colombo Dockyard and DFCC Bank which pushed up turnover.

Dockyard ended up 1.25 at 65.50.

Heavily traded stocks were a mix of not only blue chips but mid cap stocks as well as low value counters.

“That’s a good sign,” said Angelo Ranasinghe, head of research at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

Over the next few days he expects investors to selectively pick shares of firm likely to report higher earnings.

“Overall activity today was fairly strong and turnover fairly healthy,” said Ranasinghe. “There was activity across many sectors and also in some stocks that had come down drastically in the recent past.

“Institutional buying was evident today, mainly foreign. Local institutional participation had not been that active recently but now we see they are selectively looking at the market. If they come in in a bigger way we can maintain these healthy levels of turnover.”

A large parcel of John Keells was traded at 115 rupees, most likely a foreign to foreign transaction that boosted turnover.

Investors also showed interest in telecom shares driving Sri Lanka Telecom up one rupee to 33 rupees with 600,700 shares traded after yesterday’s interest in Dialog Telekom

Environmental Resources Investment plc, formerly Walker and Grieg, was the day’s second highest gainer, going up 30 percent or 5.75 rupees to 26.50 with over a million shares traded. .