Sri Lankan shares hit new 28 month high, up 84.9% in 2009

Sept 09, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up 2.3 percent Wednesday hitting a new 28-month high as retail investors pushed up the market, though expectations of profit-taking are emerging, brokers said. The benchmark had gained 84.9 percent from the beginning of the year while the Milanka was up 91.7 percent, the Colombo Stock Exchange said.

The ASPI was up 2.32 percent (63.21 points) to close at 2,787.50 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 2.08 percent (63.80 points) to close at 3,132.92, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees.

“Investors are buying across the board,” Mohandas V Thangarajah of First Guardian Securities said.

John Keells Holdings closed at 142.50 rupees, up 2.75. Two parcels of 175,000 JKH shares traded at 141.00 and 142.00, brokers said.

Diversified Aitken Spence closed at 700.00 rupees, up 1.50.

“The hotel sector might slow down on an expectation of profit taking,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president of stock brokering house, Asha Phillip Securities said.

“There could be a shift from the hotel sector to land and property in the coming weeks.”

Amaya Leisure closed at 48.75 rupees, down 1.25, while Confifi Hotel closed at 140.00 rupees, down 2.00 on slim volumes.

Royal Palms Beach closed at 67.00 rupees, down 2.25, while Mahaweli Reach Hotel closed at 20.50 rupees, down 50 cents.

Aitken Spence Hotels closed at 199.00 rupees, up 4.25, while John Keells Hotels closed at 18.75 rupees, up 50 cents on 872,600 shares traded.

Brokers said 5.5 million Colombo Land and Development Company shares changed hands between 5.00 and 6.00 rupees, to close at 5.75 rupees, up 85 cents.

C T Land Development closed at 24.00 rupees, up 2.25 on 2.2 million shares traded.

Ceylon Investment closed at 165.00 rupees, up 25.75 on 179,400 shares traded.

Sampath Bank closed at 172.50 rupees, up 9.25, while Sri Lanka’s largest listed bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 160.25 rupees, up 3.50.

Index heavy Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 82.00 rupees, up 1.50, while Ceylon Tobacco Company closed at 174.25 rupees, up 2.00.

National Development Bank closed at 179.00 rupees, up 7.00, while Chevron Lubricants Lanka, a unit of US-based petroleum giant Chevron closed at 152.75, rupees, up 2.75.

Colombo Dockyard closed at 160.00 rupees, up 10.75.

Over one million shares of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s largest celco, traded, closing flat at 6.00 rupees, while Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 44.00 rupees, up 25 cents.

Update