Sri Lankan shares close up, rupee gains

May 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares gained on Wednesday supported by institutional and high net worth interest on blue chip stocks, while the rupee gained against the US dollar mid weak import buying, dealers said. A parcel of 276,000 of Ceylon Tobacco Company changed hands at 116.00 rupees. CTC, a subsidiary of global tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) closed flat at 120.00.

“Overall market was on a positive tone and we expect it to continue with the positive sentiment in the northern conflict,” said Hulangamuwa.

“The rate cuts are also positively reacting in the market attracting blue chips.”

Sri Lanka largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees, while index heavy fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) gained 25 cents to close at 39.75.

Nestle Lanka, gained 4.75 to close at 305 rupees on thin trade.

The spot dollar opened just under 120.00 rupees and strengthened to 18.40/50 levels in late afternoon trade.

In stock markets the All Share Price Index closed up 0.84 percent (15.72 points) to end at 1,884.37 while the Milanka index liquid stocks, closed up 0.90 percent (18.11 points) to end at 2,027.33, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 380 million rupees.

“There was some solid activity in the market with institutional and high net worth individuals in the market concentrating on blue chip counters,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa of Asha Phillip Securities said.

“The general trading was supported by active retail participation.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings (JKH), which has interests in finance, transport, property development, food processing and retail sectors contributed 40 percent to the day’s turnover.

JKH gained 1.50 rupees to close at 77.00, extending gains made in recent days.