Sri Lankan markets close up 1.2-pct

Jan 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed up 1.25 percent Thursday driven by renewed retail confidence on expectations of a quick end to the military conflict in the north, brokers said. Foreign buying was at 13.80 million rupees, while foreign selling was at 24.57 million rupees.

The military said they found abandoned Tamil Tiger submarine-type craft and a buried 152 artillery piece. Fighting is now confined to a small

The All Share Price Index gained 22.73 points to close at 1,834.94, while the Milanka Index of liquid stocks was up 0.10 percent (2.10 points) and closed at 2,012.18 points.

Cargills Ceylon, which runs a retail chain, closed up 75 cents at 28.50 rupees, with shares valued at 18 million rupees being traded.

Overseas Reality closed one rupee at 10.25 rupees with 1.7 million shares traded, while Lanka Cement notched up 75 cents, to close at 13.0 rupees with 2.3 million shares being traded.

“There is renewed interest on land and property sector, which might help the market to sustain at these levels,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa of Asha Phillips Securities said.

Tokyo non-voting closed 12.25 rupees, up 1.50 on 495,000 shares traded.

Markets heavyweights Sri Lanka Telecom was up one rupee to close at 38, Dialog Telekom was flat at 5.75 rupees, Commercial Bank was flat at 96.0 rupees, John Keells Holdings closed down 25 cents, at 68.75.