Sri Lanka shares recover

Apr 29, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks recovered Thursday with widespread buying and a big chunk of shares in property firm Overseas Realty changing hands amid expecations of a real estate recovery, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,155.00, up 0.50 percent (20.54 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.01 percent (0.41 points) to close at 4,695.39.

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

“The market bounced back after after a profit-taking glitch last Tuesday,” said Nikita Tissera, manager – research at SC Securities. Gains were seen across the board and the investor optimism continues.

“Investors look forward to the March quarter earnings to get some much-needed direction to the market. We continue to believe that the overall market multiples will hold given the improved forward earnings outlook.”

Brokers and analysts said 20 million shares of Overseas Realty (Ceylon), a unit of Singapore’s Shing Kwan group, changed hands at 16.75 rupees a share in a private off-the-floor deal worth 335 million rupees.

The block amounted to 3.6 percent of the firm with the buyer local and seller seen connected to the parent firm. Another block of 600,000 Overseas Realty shares was done at 17 rupees a share.

Overseas Realty (Ceylon) closed at 17.50 rupees, up 75 cents, with over 23 million shares changing hands.

The property firm owns the twin tower World Trade Center high-rise of offices in Colombo and is building a new high-rise residential property known as Havelock City.

It has reported apartment sales and occupancy is picking up after a slump last year.

Shares of the newly listed Raigam Wayamba Salterns began trading Thursday with the stock opening at 4.70 and closing at 4.20, after hitting a high of 5.25 rupees.

Raigam Wayamba Salterns’ initial public offer of 80 million shares at 2.50 rupees a share was oversubscribed on the opening day 23 March, 2010.