Sri Lanka shares up 1.75-pct

May 19, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares rose strongly Thursday following a widely anticipated announcement by the markets regulator that the margin trading credit settlement period had been extended again, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 7,487.61, up 1.75 percent (128.92 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.19 percent (80.79 points) to close at 6,897.01, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 3.0 billion rupees.

The Securities and Exchange Commossion said it has extended a deadline to clear broker credit to the end of the year from an earlier June date.

The SEC said brokers will have till Sept 30 to clear 25 percent of remaining credit and the balance 25 percent in December.

The SEC has extended the deadline twice following requests from market participants.

Asiri Hospital Holdings shares were heavily traded Thursday with 20 million shares changing hands including two crossings of 16.25 million shares at 8.50 rupees a share. The stock closed at 8.60, up 50 cents.

There were also two deals in Hatton National Bank of 411,500 and 588,500 shares, both at 230 rupees each. HNB closed flat at 229.90.

John Keells Holdings was among the most traded stocks, closing at 299 rupees, up 2.90 with over 800,000 shares done

Diesel & Motor Engineering, agents for Mercedes Benz and Tata, was among the top gainers, rising 65.60 rupees to close at 1,566.40.

DIMO has reported phenomenal increases in March 2011 quarter and full-year profits after Sri Lanka’s vehicles sales rocketed following a tax cut last year.