Sri Lanka stocks recover

Mar 22, 2011(LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed 0.89 percent higher Tuesday following Monday’s losses with gains in selective stocks, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,220.26, up 0.89 percent (63.93 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 6,696.79, up 0.93 percent (62.01 points), according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 3.6 billion rupees. There were 130 gainers and 62 losers.

“Active interest was seen in the banking and finance sector stocks,” Vajirapani Bandaranayake of Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

Senkadagala Finance, a closely-held registered finance company, was allowed to start trading Tuesday but there were no deals despite offers going up to ten times its net asset value.

The company has a public holding of 10.08 percent and 19 shareholders but none was willing to sell, although there were buyers at 120 rupees.

Ceylinco Insurance closed at 724.40, up 82.60 rupees on market speculation that an individual was trying to increase a 15 percent stake in the firm to 25 percent, a market source said.

Over 2.3 million shares of the company traded, Tuesday. There were 11 crossing; one at 615.00 rupees and the rest were done at 750.00 rupees.

Pelwatte Sugar was heavily traded with the stock closing at 38.50, up 2.80 rupees and over 5.88 million shares changing hands.

“We believe a takeover plan is in motion here,” an analyst said.