Sri Lankan shares close up 0.86-pct

Dec 30, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended an eventful 2009 at a record high of 3,385.55 points, up 0.86 percent (28.96 points) Wednesday, and up 128 percent for the year, outperforming all other exchanges except Russia, brokers said. Hatton National Bank closed at 170.25 rupees, up 2.25, Sampath Bank closed at 204.25 rupees, up 3.25 and Seylan Bank closed at 37.00 rupees, up 25 cents.

National Development Bank closed at 206.00 rupees, up 50 cents, and DFCC Bank closed at 167.00 rupees, up 1.00.

The more liquid Milanka closed at 3,849.38 points, up 0.75 percent (28.81 points), according to provisional stock market data.

Turnover was 765.4 million rupees.

The performance made the Colombo Stock Exchange Asia’s best performing bourse, and the world’s second best behind Russia, according to a ranking by Bloomberg news wires.

“Selected blue chips with adequate free float liquidity and good earnings in the September quarter continued to be preferred by investors ahead of the New Year,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

“We expected more foreign fund inflows after the presidential elections next year.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings, one of the star performers of the year, gained almost 175 percent for the year. It closed at 171.50 rupees, up 1.00 Wednesday.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, an alcohol manufacturer, closed at 105.25 rupees, down 25 cents.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon gained 174 percent for the year. It closed at 189.50 rupees, down 50 cents Wednesday.