Sri Lanka stocks close 1.4-pct higher on pre-budget rally

Nov 18, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed up 1.43 percent Thursday in a pre-budget rally which saw index heavy and illiquid stocks regaining recent losses. Aitken Spence, a conglomerate with heavy interest in the leisure sector closed at 178.00, up 1.00 rupee. The All Share Price Index closed at 6,565.00, up 1.43 percent (92.58 points) while the Milanka index of liquid stocks rose 1.89 percent (132.00 points) to close at 7,115.43, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees.

“The market bounced back on a hopeful budget,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at Asha Phillip Securities said.

Among banks Sampath closed at 271.70, up 6.40 rupees, Commercial Bank closed at 265.50, up 0.20 and DFCC closed 205.50, up 5.00. Banks are expected to get a tax cut in the budget.

John Keells Holdings, an index heavy stock that has interests in transport, closed at 300.00, up 7.20 rupees.