Sri Lankan shares up 8.0-pct during week

Sep 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up Friday as retailers remained bullish and bet on stocks almost across the board, while high-net-worth investors eyed the banking and hotel sectors and conglomerate John Keells Holding (JKH), brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 1.75 percent (48.89 points) to end at 2,840.33, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 1.31 percent (41.06 points) to close at 3,170.56, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 1.18 billion rupees.

During the week the ASPI was up 8.0 percent, while the Milanka index gained 6.6 percent.

Varuna Singapulli, manager research at NDB Stockbrokers, said the rally might lose steam next week and the market could stabilize.

“We can expect another market run in mid-October if third quarter results are positive.”

Brokers said retailers have been flogging hotel stocks during the last three weeks, despite perceptions the sector is overpriced.

Index heavy blue chip conglomerate JKH closed at 146.25 rupees, up 2.00, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens group controlled by businessman Harry Jayawardena, closed at 82.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 165.00 rupees, up 3.00, while Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of multinational British-American Tobacco closed at 170.00 rupees, down 4.00.

Dialog Telekom, a unit Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 6.00 rupees, while fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 45.25 rupees, up 1.00.

On Friday there were net foreign inflows worth 32.9 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 129.1 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 96.2 million rupees, brokers said.

During the week there was net foreign buying worth 108.6 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 931.2 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 822.6 million rupees, brokers said.