Sri Lankan shares end up, more interest in Dockyard

Feb 07, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks edged up on thin trading Thursday with a big parcel of Distilleries propping up turnover but investors remained worried about the profitability of companies given high interest rates and inflation. The All Share Price Index went up 17.44 points to 2,454.89 while the liquid Milanka index closed 8.34 points higher at 3,092.12. Turnover was a low 139 million rupees.

Some 400,000 shares of Distilleries changed hands with the stock ending flat at 95.

Arjuna Dassanayake of DFCC Stockbrokers said there was also some speculative trading in Colombo Dockyard which has a full order book and is expected to report higher earnings.

The stock opened at 70 rupees on 200 shares and then fell to 67.50 – 68 rupees when some 60-70,000 shares changed hands and even dipped to 64 before closing at 64.75, down 1.25.

There was speculation that a big foreign buyer has been buying into the stock in recent days.

Brokers and analysts said many companies are likely to see a slowdown in sales and profit growth and higher finance costs with interest rates and inflation remaining high