Sri Lanka stocks rise on small investor enthusiasm

Jan 19, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares rose almost across the board Monday in a minor rally driven by small investors speculating that military gains against Tamil Tiger rebels and lower interest rates might revive the economy, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index rose 5.48 percent (90.46 points) to end at 1,740.41 while the more liquid Milanka shot up 8.35 percent (147.87 points) to close at 1,919.52.

Turnover was 264 million rupees.

Yadhavan Jayaram of Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said there was a lot of retail investors activity with many lower value shares going up but that most investment funds remained out of the market.

“Shares went up almost across the board. Especially there was interest in John Keells Holdings (JKH).”

JKH was the most actively traded stock and went up 8.40 percent or 5.50 rupees to 71 rupees.

Commercial Bank rose 18 percent or 13.50 rupees to 88 rupees, Dialog Telekom ended up five percent or 25 cents at 5.25 while Lanka Cement, the third most acticvely traded stock, rose over seven percent or 75 cents to end at 10.50.

Brokers said shares in the banking and hotel sector moved up and that the rally might last a couple of days when profit taking is anticipated.