Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4-pct

Feb 29, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stock closed up 0.49 percent Wednesday, with turnover boosted by the change of control of motor dealers, though market participants are still getting used to a new trading system, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Index rose 0.49 percent to 5,458.09 points up 26.42 points while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks rose 0.54 percent to 4,744.84 points.

Turnover rose to 1.6 billion rupees with a Sri Lanka’s Access Engineering buying a 60 percent stake in Sathosa Motors from Japan’s Itochu Corp for 846 million rupees paying 235 rupees a share.

Brokers said they were still getting used to a new automated trading system upgrade at the Colombo Stock Exchange which was keeping transaction volumes down.

With the so-called ‘odd lots’ board no longer in place and all stocks going through the main board single shares were being traded at high prices.

Ceylon Tea Services rose 58.10 rupees to 599.0 rupees and EB Creasy and Company rose 249.40 rupees to 1,000 rupees.

However a stock exchange spokesman said trades below 100 shares were not included in the index. Under the earlier system odd lots used to trade to a discount to the main board.

Commercial Bank rose 10 cents to 100.10 rupees, Hatton National Bank was flat at 150 rupees, and Sampath rose 0.91 cents to close at 185.91 rupees.

Many banks have reported higher profits largely on lower tax charges but their core banking profits were squeezed on rising interest rates.

Bukit Darah, an index heavy stock rose 28.80 rupees to close at 980.00 rupees Sri Lanka Telecom rose 70 cents to 45.80 rupees.