Sri Lankan shares volumes lifted by Com Bank deal

July 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up on Wednesday as foreign interest on blue chip Commercial Bank boosted trade volumes, brokers said.

National Development Bank closed at 155.75 rupees, down 1.25, while Hatton National Bank closed at 117.25 rupees, up 1.25.

Hulangamuwa said the return of institutional and foreign investors would depend on their assessment of the macroeconomic picture and government policies adopted to revive the economy.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed flat at 129.50 rupees, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 85.00 rupees, up 1.50.

Index heavy Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 45.50 rupees, down 25 cents, while Sri Lanka’s largest celco, Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees.

Aitken Spence Hotels closed at 144.75 rupees, up 4.75, while John Keells Hotels closed flat at 12.25 rupees.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.85/114.95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 0.10 percent (2.29 points) to end at 2,371.40, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.22 percent (5.85 points) to close at 2,645.67, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 439.5 million rupees.

There was net foreign buying of 194.1 million rupees, with overseas investors buying 231.7 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 37.6 million rupees, brokers said.

“Retail activities continued to be dominant as volumes generated by the Commercial Bank sale boosted turnover levels,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa of Asha Phillip Securities said.

Brokers said state owned Bank of Ceylon in an off-the-floor deal, sold one million shares of Commercial Bank at 133.00 rupees per share.

A total of 1.63 million Commercial Bank shares changed hands.

Commercial Bank closed at 132.25 rupees, up 2.25, while PABC closed at 15.50 rupees, up 75 cents.