Sri Lankan shares up, rupee rock steady

June 08, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks gained Monday as investors regained their confidence after last week’s court order to reverse the 2003 privatization of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) to the Distilleries Group, brokers said.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 levels in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 1.03 percent (22.36 points) to end at 2,200.47 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.74 percent (18.11 points) to close at 2,465.67, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 372.2 million rupees.

“Investors are look at bargain stocks after last week’s losses,” said Geeth Balasuriya, manager research at Acuity Stockbrokers.

“Retailers were active today.”

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka a subsidiary of tycoon Harry Jayawardena’s Stassen group ran into a storm last Thursday, after a three bench judiciary headed by outgoing Chief Justice, Sarath N Silva reversed the 2003 privatization of SLIC to Distlleries, saying the transaction was ‘illegal’.

Following the decision Distilleries shares fell 17.25 rupees (18.35 percent) to close at 75.50.

Rubbing salt to into Distilleries’ wounds the company’s March quarter interim results showed earnings were down 53.1 percent to 626.5 million rupees. Analysts said Distilleries subsidiary plantation and telecom companies had a weak quarter.

Distilleries gained 2.50 rupees to close at 81.50 Monday.

Brokers said 5.83 million Dialog Telekom shares changed hands. Dialog Telekom a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia was down 25 cents to close at 5.25.

Diversified Aitken Spence gained 42.00 rupees to close at 559.00.

Index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings gained 1.00 rupee to close at 112.00.

Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon gained 2.50 rupees to close at 117.75, while Sri Lanka’s largest privately held bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, gained 3.25 rupees to close at 126.00.

Market heavy Sri Lanka Telecom gained two rupees to close at 43.00, while ship builder Colombo Dockyard gained 5.50 rupees to close at 103.00.

Tyre manufacturer Kelani Tyres gained 8.75 rupees to close at 46.75.

Tourist hotel, Beruwela Walk Inn was up 6.25 rupees to close at 58.00 on razor thin volumes.