Sri Lanka shares end up 0.96-pct

Apr 22, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stock market edged higher in record territory Thursday with interest in hotels extending to banks and the finance sector amid high investor confidence, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,077.55, up 0.96 percent (38.66 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.24 percent (57.30 points) to close at 4,676.78.

Turnover was 2.3 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The banking and finance sector continued to attract institutional interest,” said Nikita Tissera, Manager – Research at SC Securities.

“Investor sentiment is at an all-time high. Despite having investor interest spread across the board we did see some concentration in the hotels and tourism sector.

“We feel that conglomerates and the banking sector will continue to shine in the short to medium-term.”

Hotel Services (Ceylon), John Keells Hotels, Chevron Lubricants Lanka and Hemas Holdings were the most actively traded shares.

Hotel Services (Ceylon) closed at 31.50 rupees, up one rupee, with 27.6 million shares traded, mostly in negotiated private block deals between 31 rupees and 31.50 a share.

John Keells Hotels closed at 21 rupees, down 50 cents with almost 2.5 million shares done.

Hemas Holdings closed at 130 rupees, up three, with 675,500 shares traded.

Chevron Lubricants Lanka closed at 174 rupees, up three, with over 2.2 million shares changing hands.