Sri Lanka shares end up 0.5-pct

Apr 08, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher with interest in a new conglomerate and associatd firm and poultry companies although trading volmes were lower than usual in the run-up to a holiday break, brokers said. The stock market will be closed for the latter part of next week owing to the traditional new year holidays. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,413.87, up 0.48 percent (35.14 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.17 percent (11.89 points) to close at 7,021.22, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.6 billion rupees.

Brokers said over 1.1 million shares of Ascot Holdings changed hands.

The stock opened at 116.10 rupees and closed at 125 rupees, up 8.90, after hitting a high of 133.50.

A stock exchange filing said businessman Nimal Perera had raised his stake in Ascot Holdings to 13 percent by buying 551,000 shares Friday.

Lanka Orix Leasing Company, which said it has got central benk approval to become a holding company for the group, was actively traded with 760,100 shares done and the stock closing at 123.10 rupees, up six rupees.

Brown & Company, controlled by LOLC, was also actively traded, closing at 328.90, up 18.10.

Union Bank of Colombo, which debuted last week, was again heavily traded, closing at 33.20 rupees, up 10 cents.

Brokers said there was also some interest in the propery sector with over 2.3 million shares of Colombo Land & Development Company traded. The stock closed at 21.20, down a rupee.

There was renewed inteerst in poultry firms with 253,600 shares of Bairaha Farms done and the stock closing at 486.70, up 12.20 while Ceylon Grain Elevators ended 1.10 rupees lower at 169.70 with 196,700 shares traded.