Sri Lanka stock buyers push up Royal Ceramics

Jan 28, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed higher Monday with investors pushing up the tile maker Royal Ceramics after it announced higher profits for the December quarter. The rupee traded around 108.02/10 earlier in the day and overnight money was around 15-16 percent, dealer said. The All Share Index ended up 14 points or 0.58 percent at 2,447.50 while the liquid Milanka index closed up 8.45 points or 0.27 percent at 3,133.70.

Turnover was just 71.6 million rupees.

Brokers said investors were chasing low-end shares on speculation.

Royal Ceramics rose 7.58 percent or 2.50 rupees to 35.50 with 159,600 shares traded.

It reported net profit for the December 2007 quarter increased by 58 percent year-on-year to 168 million rupees.

Lanka Cement continued to be the subject of speculative trading with investors fired by report of a deal with India’s Birla group pushing the stock up 75 cents or 6.67 percent to 12 rupees on a volume of just over a million shares.

“Overall it was a dull day,” said R. Muralidaran, Managing Director of Bartleet Mallory Stock Brokers. “Investors will start looking only when earnings are reported.”

Buyers remained on the sidelines with sellers not wanting to come down and sell.