Sri Lanka stocks end up 2.23-pct

Feb 08, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended higher Monday and turnover was pushed up by big transactions in blue chips with investor V Vijayaratnam raising his stake further in Asia Capital, brokers said. The day’s trading turnover was pushed up by large trades in Asia Capital and several blue chip stocks.

Asia Capital was the day’s highest gainer and second most actively traded share. It closed at 13.25 rupees, up 3.00 or 29.27 percent.

Asia Capital said in a stock exchange filing that shareholder V Vijayaratnam bought 35.9 million shares at 10 rupees each – a 29 percent stake – from A B Khalid, raising his stake in Asia Capital to 87 percent.

There were also several off-the-floor deals in John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank, Overseas Realty, Environmental Resources Investments, Chevron Lubricants, DFCC Bank and CIC.

Perera said last week’s rally in plantations stocks continued because of high commodity prices.

“Investors expect good result. But once results come out there could be a dip because prices would already have factored in the good result. Investors should look at the medium- to long-term time horizon.

“They should not buy in an upturn but wait for a correction and then buy.”

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The All Share Price Index closed at 3,789.37, up 2.23 percent (82.65 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 2.45 percent (104.57 points) to close at 4,373.75.

Turnover was 2.58 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, said sentiment among investors remained positive despite the high share prices which might result in a correction.

“Prices moved up across-the-board. Investors are looking at stocks posting good results.”

Perera said investors should look at different sectors in the market with growth potential and pick stocks that look under-valued compared with their peers.

“When the market is up this much there could be a correction and then it will be the ideal time for someone who has not entered the market to get in on fundamentally good stocks.”