Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.9-pct

Mar 16, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.96 percent higher Friday with notable gains seen in both indices, and foreign buying into conglomerate John Keells Holdings boosting turnover, analysts said. Institutional investors dominated the market, with all sectors except oil palms and motor sector recording gains.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed up 51.85 points (0.96 percent) at 5,449.05 points and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks gained 0.63 percent (30.57 points) to close at 4,864.25 points.

Turnover was nearly 15.7 billion rupees, the highest level recorded since April 2008, with a volume of 113.4 million shares traded.

JKH closed at 195.10 rupees, down 20 cents. The share accounted for nearly 95 percent of the day’s turnover, recording 29 crossings or off-the-floor transactions totalling 74 million shares at 194.00 rupees each.

Commercial Bank closed flat at 100.00 rupees while HNB ended on 154.50 rupees, up 4.50 rupees.

Telco Dialog ended on 7.20 rupees, with no change from its previous day’s close. SLT closed at 48.80 rupees, up 1.80 rupees.

Aitken Spence closed 20 cents higher at 115.50 rupees.

Heavily traded speculative counters include ERI which closed at 16.50, up 80 cents, HVA Foods at 17.00 rupees, up 1.10 rupees, Blue Diamonds voting at 6.00 rupees, up 30 cents, and Blue Diamonds non-voting at 2.80 rupees, also up 30 cents.