Sri Lanka stocks up 0.9-pct

July 15, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks continued the upward momentum for the second straight day with gains by index heavy John Keels Holdings and speculative buying pushing up recently listed financial stocks, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 6,777.03, up 0.91 percent (61.36 points) while the more liquid Milanka Index went up 1.95 percent (120.85 points) to close at 6,311.13, according to stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 1.9 billion rupees.

“Stocks are at absolute bargains but the vast majority of retail investors do not have money or margins to buy them,“ Capital Trust Securities which manages a large number of retail inverters said in a research note.

“Well endowed high net worth players are having the capacity to buy but they are just patiently collecting what is dumped during forced selling of hapless retail client positions. “

John Keells Holdings went up 11.70 rupees or 5.80 percent to close at 213.30 rupees while Distilleries closed at 180.80 rupees, up 1.40 or 0.78 percent.

Softlogic Holdings was the highest contributor to turnover, closing at 27.10 rupees, ) up 2.30 rupees or 9.27 percent but still below the IPO price of 29 rupees.

More than 9.6 million Softlogic Holdings shares were traded generating 530 million rupees.

Central Finance was the second highest contributor for the day’s turnover with a solitary crossing or off-market deal of 135,400 shares at 1400 rupees. A total of 231,000 Central Finance shares were traded generating 324 million rupees.

Abans Financial was the highest percentage gainer for the day and closed at 83.20 rupees, up 22 rupees or 39.64 percent. Swarnamahal Financial was the second highest gainer for the day and it closed at 125.60 rupees, up 19.40 rupees or 18.53 percent. Bimputh Lanka closed at 70 rupees, up 10.10 rupees or 18.70 percent.

Ceylon Cold stores was the biggest loser for the day. It closed at 62 rupees, down 139.80 rupees or 65.54 percent.