Sri Lankan shares close up 0.91-pct

Sep 02, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up on Wednesday as retail investors chased after small and medium sized stocks on a highly speculative market, brokers said.

Ceylinco Insurance non-voting shares closed at 135.25 rupees, up 10.25, while Ceylon Grain Elevators closed at 14.25 rupees, up 2.00.

Warrats Environmental Resources Investments formerly Walker & Grieg) was heavily traded. Warrant 001 closed at 29.00 rupees, up 1.00 with 571,700 traded. Warrant 002 closed at 28.25 rupees, up 1.00 with 728,000 traded.

Environmental Resources Investments ordinary shares closed at 41.25 rupees, down 1.75 with 386,000 shares traded.

Lanka Ventures closed at 13.00 rupees, up 1.00 with 1.3 million shares traded.

Over 1.0 million Janashakthi Insurance shares changed hands, closing at 8.00 rupees, down 25 cents. The Finance Company, a unit troubled Ceylinco Group closed at 29.00 rupees, up 1.00 with 2.85 million shares trading.

Celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Axiata closed at 5.75 rupees, up 25 cents with over 2.0 million shares changing hands, while fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 41.00 rupees.

Index heavy John Keells Holdings closed at 135.50 rupees, down 50 cents, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 82.25 rupees.

Sri Lanka’s largest listed bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 151.00 rupees, up 1.00, while National Development Bank closed at 171.00 rupees, up 3.00 on think volumes.

Sampath Bank closed at 143.00 rupees, down 1.00 with 160,000 shares traded.

Tangerine Beach Hotel closed at 70.75 rupees, down 3.00. Kelani valley Plantations closed at 50.00 rupees, down 3.00 on thin trading volumes.

Up dated

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) was up 0.91 percent (23.63 points) to close at 2,627.00 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.80 percent (23.57 points) to close at 2,987.78, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 969.7 million rupees.

On Wednesday there were net foreign inflows worth 44.41 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 154.0 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 109.59 million rupees, brokers said

“Euphoric retail investors were making hay on a speculative market today,” Nikita Tissera, manager research at SC Securities said.

“There was significant interest in Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) and Seylan Bank non-voting.”

Seylan Bank non-voting closed at 12.00 rupees, up 3.00 on 6.56 million shares traded.

MBSL, a unit of state-run Bank of Ceylon closed at 28.00 rupees, up 4.50 with 6.23 million shares changing hands today. Brokers said a tranche of 500,000 MBSL shares changed hands at 28.50 rupee.