Sri Lanka stocks close higher on selective foreign buying

Feb 06, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka shares closed marginally higher with turnover being driven to 224 million rupees through transactions on selective stocks picked by investors anticipating higher earnings for December quarter, brokers said. Colombo stock market’s All Share Index closed 3.41 points higher at 2,437.45 and the Milanka index was up 1.56 points at 3,083.78, Wednesday.

Investor interest was seen on selective stocks such as Asian Hotels and Properties Limited share, which closed two rupees higher at 41.

Colombo Dockyard was again sought after with higher profits forecast by analysts owing to the yard’s full order book for the coming year. Dockyard closed up four rupees at 66.

“Investors buy shares mainly on anticipated results for the December quarter as some companies expect to produce better results,” Vajira Premawardena of LOLC Securities told LBO.

“Foreign trading has been pretty active. They might be selectively buying into stocks that have decreased in price,” Premawardena said.

Foreign investors are pursuing stocks which are long term investments since they are aware that there are no short term benefits due to the conflict and economic situation in the island.

Foreign purchases had amounted to over 300 million rupees while sales were around 200 million during the week.

Sri Lanka Telecom stocks were also sought after with over 566,000 shares changing hands but the share ended flat at 30 rupees.

Activated carbon maker Haycarb closed up one rupee at 44.75 after it reported higher earnings for the nine months ending December 2007.

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