Sri Lanka stocks close higher; Dialog, AMW draw interest

April 22, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares edged higher with heavy trading in Dialog Telekom driving turnover past the billion rupee mark and vehicle agency Associated Motorways (AMW) rising sharply on speculative buying, brokers said. All Share price Index went up 10.08 points (0.38 percent) to 2,673.01 while the more liquid Milanka index fell 9.36 points (0.28 percent) to 3,307.21. Turnover was 1,194 million rupees.

Almost 52.7 million shares of Dialog Telekom were traded between 16.50 and 17 rupees, adding 869 million rupees to the day’s turnover. The stock closed down 25 cents at 16.50.

Srimal Liyanage, an analyst at Lanka Securities said the transactions were foreign crossings.

AMW, which imports and distributes vehicles, was the day’s second highest gainer, shooting up 13 rupees or 8.09 percent to 173 rupees with 306,200 shares traded.

The company made a big capital gain by trading in Sri Lanka Telecom shares.

The share, whose previous close was 160.75, traded in a range of 164-186 rupees.

Greencare International Ltd, a new shareholder of Hotel Services (Ceylon) which owns the Ceylon Continental city hotel, has made an offer to buyout other shareholders under stock exchange rules.

Trading was halted in the share which has been heavily traded in recent days with its ownership changing hands with businessman Nahil Wijesuriya buying into the hotel.

Market heavyweight Sri Lanka Telecom closed down 75 cents at 48.50 with 715,000 shares traded. Global Telecommunication Holdings (GTH) NV, a unit of through which Malaysia’s UT group is trying to take control of Sri Lanka Telecom, has raised its stake even further in the telco.

It bought 12.8 million shares Monday at between 49 and 49.50 rupees per share, CT Smith Stockbrokers, which did the deal told the Colombo Stock Exchange.

GTH bought a 35 percent stake in SLT on April 1 and has been buying up chunks of SLT shares in recent days ahead of the closure of a general offer at 50.50 rupees.

Updated