Sri Lanka shares maintain upward swing, trading thin

Nov 04, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares maintained their upward momentum, Tuesday, but the low volume of trading raised doubts whether the upswing would last as the earnings outlook remained bleak, brokers said. The upswing began last week after the Colombo bourse slumped to a three and a half year low.

Associated Motorways has asked the stock exchange to delist the firm and trading in the firm’s shares were suspended Monday.

Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Engineering, which acquired control of AMW in August, has bought up nearly all remaining shares in its mandatory which ended on October 7, 2008.

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The All Share Price Index went up 2.98 percent (55.77 points) to 1,928.68 while the more liquid Milanka rose 3.94 percent (82.17 points) to 2,168.89. Turnover was 114 million rupees.

“Limited trading come back to the market and pushed the indices up,” said Mohan Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities. “However, trading remained thin.”

John Keells Holdings rose 6.25 percent (four rupees) to 68 rupees, albeit on small volumes.

Sri Lanka Telecom gained 3.12 percent (1.25 rupees) to 41.25 rupees with 100,700 shares traded.

Dialog Telekom edged up 25 cents to 7.25 rupees – 202,800 shares changing hands

Brokers said it was not clear how long the upswing would last as the company earnings outlook was gloomy given the slowdown in the domestic and global economy.