Sri Lankan shares close up 0.24-pct

July 13, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday as retailers cautiously re-entered the market focusing on selected hotel and banking stocks, while institutional and high net-worth individual investors stayed away, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index rose 0.24 percent (5.78 points) to end at 2,368.87 while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks closed flat at 2,640.79, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 201.3 million rupees.

“Investor sentiment improved given the increasing possibility of the International Monetary Fund loan coming through,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at Sampath Securities said.

NDB shares closed at 156.00 rupees, up 1.00, while Sampath Bank closed at 107.00 rupees, up 1.00.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 127.75 rupees, up 75 cents.

Brokers said 1.04 million Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) shares changed hands. PABC closed at 14.25 rupees, up 75 cents.

DFCC Bank closed at 130.25 rupees, up 25 cents, while Hatton National Bank closed at 116.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

“Some hotel stocks also benefited from today’s positive sentiment,” Tissera said.

Brokers said 1.37 million Taj Lanka Hotel shares changed hands between 15.75 and 16.75 rupees. Taj closed at 16.75 rupees, up 1.00.

Lighthouse Hotel closed at 75.00 rupees, up 3.00, while Aitken Spence Hotels closed at 140.00 rupees, up 2.00 on low volume trading.

John Keells Holdings closed at 130.00 rupees, up 2.00.

Index heavy celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 5.25 rupees, up 25 cents, while fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 45.75 rupees, up 25 cents.

Hayleys closed at 130.00 rupees, down 1.00, while United Motors closed at 58.75 rupees, down 1.00.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 84.00 rupees, down 1.00.