Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.97-pct

Sept 30, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares edged higher Thursday, near the 7,000 point mark on the benchmark index once again, as falling interest rates pushed more money into shares, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 6,997.22, up 0.97 percent (67.31 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 2.79 percent (204.92) to close at 7,552.70, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 5.27 billion rupees.

“It was a day of strong activity on some of the fundamental stocks, mainly the banking sector,” said Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.
“We expect the momentum to continue with the low interst rate regime.”

Retailers and institutions were both active with strong retail buying interst was seen across-the-board.

Perera said they were advising investors to realise gains wherever possible and move in to stocks trading at attractive price-to-earnings ratios.

There was strong buying of banking sector stocks, driven by a one-for-one bonus offer by DFCC Bank.

Several off-the-floor deals of Browns, John Keells Holdings, Asian Hotels and Properties, Lion Brewery, Tangerine Beach Hotels, and Tokyo Cement took place.

There was also buying interst in manufacturing stocks, food and beverage and the land and property sector.