Sri Lankan shares flat; Dockyard, Lanka Cement draw interest

April 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed virtually flat Wednesday with some interest in Colombo Dockyard and Lanka Cement, brokers said. The All Share Price Index was barely changed, up just 1.95 points (0.07 percent) to 2,632.96 while the more liquid Milanka index fell 2.35 points (0.07 percent) to 3,237.28. Turnover was 212 million rupees.

Colombo Dockyard closed unchanged at 64.75 rupees with 591,600 shares traded between 64 and 65.

The yard has a full order book and has reported strong earnings growth.

Lanka Cement closed up 25 cents to 14. The share opened at 13.75 and hit 14.75 during the day’s trading with 459,300 shares changing hands.

Brokers said investor interest was generated by continued interest in the company’s defunct cement plant in northern Jaffna by India’s Birla group.

Minister of Construction and Engineering Services Rajitha Senaratne said the defence ministry had approved a visit to northern Jaffna by Birla officials to assess the state of the Lanka Cement plant there.

Heavyweight Dialog Telekom closed unchanged at 15.75 with 79,700 shares traded.

Distilleries topped turnover and ended up 50 cents at 107 with 162,300 shares traded between 106 – 107. .