Sri Lanka stocks up 2.28 percent

July 28, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up for the third straight day, boosted by better banking sector earnings and expectations of relaxed broker credit rules despite profit taking on recently listed finance companies, brokers said. Lankem Developments said it had bought a 61.88 stake in Agarapatana Plantations for 1185 million rupees.

Swarnamahal Financial was the main contributor to the day’s turnover, closing at 112.00 rupees down 13.10 rupees or 10.46 percent amid profit taking. Around 1.1 million shares worth 13.9 million rupees changed hands.

Watapota closed at 198.40 rupees up 36.50 rupees or 23 percent. More than 552,700 million Watapota One shares were traded for 102.8 million rupees.

The benchmark All Share Price Index ended up 2.28 percent or 148.01 points at 6,653.57, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks closed up 2.26 percent (134.22 points) at 6,078.13, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.49 billion rupees.

John Keells Holdings, which reported 35 percent quarterly growth in profits closed up 1.34 percent at 189 rupees and Samapath Bank, which reported 52 percent growth in earnings closed up 4.74 percent at 240.90 rupees.

Seylan Bank which reported a 303 million loss for the quarter due to a one-off voluntary retirement charge closed at 62.90 rupees, up 30 cents.