Sri Lankan shares close up

Mar 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday, pushed up by price gains on low volume transactions on high value shares and large negotiated transactions in Nations Trust Bank (NTB) and Commercial Bank, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.38 percent (6.10 points) to end at 1,62.91 while the more liquid Milanka gained 1.21 percent (20.26 points) to close at 1,692.67.

Turnover was 389.5 million rupees.

“Market turnover got a boost from banking stocks,” said Mohandas Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities.

A crossing (an off-the floor negotiated deal) consisting 9.5 million of NTB shares changed hands at 23.25 rupees, while 1.3 million shares of Commercial Bank shares crossed at 79.

Dialog Telekom, Hatton National Bank (HNB), John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Richard Peiris shares gained on slim volumes, analysts said.

Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia, was up 10 cents to close at 4.70 rupees.

Conglomerate JKH was up one rupee to close at 58.75.

Sri Lanka’s second largest privately owned commercial bank, HNB, was up two rupees to close at 80, while the diversified Richard Pieris was up 2.50 rupees to close at 27.50.