Sri Lanka shares end up 2-pct

April 19, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed sharply higher Thursday after regulators lifted price restrictions imposed to curb speculation, brokers said. SMB Leasing non-voting shares were the top gainer closing at 50 cents, up 10 cents with over 1.2 million shares done.

Kuruwita Textile Mills was the next highest gainer, ending at 26.90 rupees, up 4.70, followed by Ceylon Tea Brokers, which closed at 5.80 rupees, up 90 cents. The main All Share Price Index rose 2.06 percent (111.25 points) to 5,518.72, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.89 percent (43.79) to close at 4,950.94.

Turnover improved to 359 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“Colombo bourse recovered strongly today with the price appreciations in index heavy high dividend payers and due to the lifting of the 10 percent price band regulation,” brokers Lanka Securities said in a report.

The Securities and Exchange said it was lifting a ‘price band’ imposed on volatile stocks but would continue to monitor the market and re-impose it if needed.

Commercial Bank was the most actively traded stock, closing at 105.10 rupees, up 3.30 rupees, followed by the bank’s non-voting shares which ended at 84.10 rupees, up 4.10.

Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 205 rupees, down 3.50.

Lanka Securities said foreign participation was at 30 percent of total market activity and at the end of the day foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of 49.2 million rupees.
“Even though the low volumes were recorded, strong price appreciations in high dividend payers such as Ceylon Tobacco and Nestle Lanka contributed positively to the market performances,” they said.