Sri Lanka stocks recover slightly

July 23, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Wednesday, ending several days of losses, on thin turnover with brokers saying sentiment remained weak over worries high inflation and interest rates would hit corporate earnings. The All Share Price Index closed up 0.77 percent (17.90 points) at 2,356.53 while the more liquid Milanka gained 0.81 percent (22.37 points) to 2,800.10. Turnover was 120 million rupees.

The indices were pushed higher by gains in Sri Lanka Telecom, Distilleries, AEC, Tokyo Cement and Cargills.

John Keells Holdings, which fell over the past two days after a supreme court ruling against its profitable bunker business, ended up 25 cents at 98.50.

Debutant Janashakthi Insurance, the most actively traded share, was flat at 9.75.

SLT ended up 3.59 percent at 43.25 while Dialog Telekom closed flat at 13.25 rupees.

Distilleries was up 3.57 percent at 87 rupees despite concerns over an impending supreme court decision on its subsidiary, Sri Lanka Insurance, which it acquired in a privatization transaction that has been challenged.

Associated Electrical Corp led the gains in Wednesday’s trading, closing up 17.60 percent at 1,647 rupees while Tokyo Cement was up 13.07 percent at 248.75 rupees.

Cargills gained 3.40 percent to end at 38 rupees