Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.24-pct

Feb 05, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer Friday with a few deals in financial stocks boosting trading turnover and investors anticipating profit-taking ahead as prices are at record highs, brokers said. “We tell investors to pick and chose fundamentally good stocks,” Perera said. “Even if there’s volatility, that’s good as it give opportunities to someone who has not got the chance to enter the market – you get trading opportunities.”

In Friday’s trading, two large blocks of Hatton National Bank shares, totaling 560,000 shares, changed hands at 173 rupees. The stock closed flat at 176.25 rupees.

Brokers said 32.98 million shares of Asia Capital – a 29.9 percent stake – were traded at 10 rupees each in an off-the-floor deal. The stock closed at 10.25, up 0.75.

Asia Capital said in a stock exchange filing that the stake had been bought by V Vijayaratnam from K S Tiong with Vijayaratnam raising his shareholding in the firm to about 58 percent.

There was also heavy trading in Seylan Merchant Bank voting and non-voting shares and Environmental Resources Investments shares and warrants.

Environmental Resources Investments share price closed at 179 rupees, up 30.25.

Seylan Merchant Bank closed at 15 rupees, up 1.25, and Seylan Merchant Bank non-voting shares closed at 1.30, up 0.10.

Ceylon Leather Products, which has had to re-state its accounts last year after being found by the accounting watchdog to have understated losses, closed at 85 rupees, down 7.25 or 7.86 percent.

Updated

To receive instant alerts from LBO on your Dialog mobile type ‘lbo’ and send to 678

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,706.72, up 0.24 percent (8.92 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.70 percent (29.61 points) to close at 4,269.18.

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, said the market started off weaker following last week’s profit-taking, but then shifted direction to end higher.

“Much of the activity was on blue chips and mid cap stocks,” he said.

Brokers said sentiment was still positive but that with the market looking heated up some investors expect profit-taking.

Perera said there were still stocks that looked under-valued compared with their peers in different sectors that investors were advised to watch out for and buy.

Higher December quarter earnings being reported, especially by tourist hotels recovering from the effects of the ethnic war that ended last year, also buoyed investor sentiment.