Sri Lanka stocks close 0.34-pct up

Aug 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed slightly higher Wednesday after rising sharply in early trade with some interest seen in financial sector shares, brokers said. Ceylon Leather Products, an ERI group firm, closed at 233.60 rupees, down 22.90 or 8.93 percent. The All Share Price Index closed at 5,582.87, up 0.34 percent (18.88 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.27 percent (15.72 points) to close at 5,876.38, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.9 billion rupees.

“The market picked up sharply in the initial stages and then gradually settled down,” said Sahani De Silva, research analyst at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

“There was a combination of both retail and institutional buying but more towards the retail side.”

There was a foreign outflow of 93.7 million rupees.

Interest was seen in financial sector stocks, particularly DFCC and LOLC, the day’s highest gainers, as well as Ceylon Grain Elevators.

DFCC Bank closed at 325.60 rupees, up 29.60 or the maximum 10 percent allowed under a recently imposed price band.

Lanka Orix Leasing Company closed at 784.70 rupees, up 71.30 rupees or 9.99 percent.

Ceylon Grain Elevators was the most actively traded stock, closing at 42 rupees, up 3.80 rupees or 9.95 percent with almost 2.5 million shares traded.

Among the biggest losers were shares and warrants of Environmental Resources Investments.