Sri Lankan shares up 0.19 percent

May 15, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan share prices crept up on Tuesday, pepped-up by investor interest in selected bluechip counters, but the overall market sentiment remained subdued, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index gained 9.98 points or 0.19 percent to close at 5,126.29 while the more liquid Milanka Price Index added 10.94 points or 0.23 percent to end at 4,619.90, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures.

Monday’s turnover was a modest 402.52 million with conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC dominating trading in terms of sales.

John Keells, with diversified interest ranging from financial services to food manufacturing, gained 1.10 rupees to 198.10 rupees on volumes of 754,716 shares.

Brokers said a parcel of 440,855 JKH shares crossed during early trade at 199.00 rupees (up 2.00 rupees).

Commercial Bank of (Ceylon) PLC, one of the island’s most profitable banks, came close second on trades of 336,380, but the counter closed flat at 105.00 rupees.

The Distilleries group, with investments in financial services, plantations and IT, also dominated trading on 209,240 shares. The counter closed down 40-cents to 135.00 rupees.

During early trade, a large parcel of 148,000 Distilleries shares crossed at 136.00 rupees.