Sri Lanka shares end up 0.48-pct

Mar 05, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed closed firmer Friday with investors buying into hotels which are seen doing well given the upturn in tourist arrivals, but foreigners remained net sellers for the week, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index closed at 3,824.17, up 0.48 percent (18.32 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.58 percent (25.40 points) to close at 4,387.63.

Turnover was almost 1.09 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“There was some interest in the hotel sector. All hotel stocks moved up,” said Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

There was particular interest in Asian Hotels & Properties with a private deal of 325,000 shares done at 133 rupees. The stock closed at 133.75, up 4.75.

Eden Hotel Lanka closed at 31.25 rupees, up 2.50 and Taj Lanka Hotels closed at 39 rupees, up 4.25, with just over a million shares traded.

There were also three private off-the floor-deals in National Development Bank of 440,000 shares at 220 rupees. The stock closed at 221.50 rupees, up 1.50.

Foreign investors remained net sellers during the week buying 856.8 million rupees worth of shares, accounting for 13.2 percent of weekly turnover, and selling 1,379.3 million rupees worth of shares (21.4 percent of weekly turnover), with a net outflow of 522.5 million rupees.