Sri Lankan stocks becalmed

Sep 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed flat Wednesday as investors took profits while foreigners continued to be net buyers, brokers said. National Development Bank closed at 190.75 rupees, down 2.75, while Seylan Bank closed flat at 34.00 rupees.

Retailer favorite Touchwood closed at 91.75 rupees, down 75 cents, while Lanka Cement closed flat at 29.75 rupees.

Fixed line operator Sri Lankan Telecom closed flat at 44.00 rupees, while celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 6.25 rupees, up 25 cents.

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The All Share Price Index closed up 0.08 percent (2.34 points) to end at 2,912.88 while the more liquid Milanka gained 0.05 percent (1.64 points) to close at 3,281.89, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was almost 775.0 million rupees.

On Wednesday there was net foreign buying worth 55.1 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 227.6 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 172.5 million rupees, brokers said.

“We expect the market to move towards the 3,000 mark soon, however there will be some profit taking on the way,” Shivantha Meepage of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

“Foreigners are now buying into the market which will be a key factor moving the market beyond 3,000 points.”

John Keells Holdings, a conglomerate closed flat at 155.00 rupees, with 1.4 million shares traded, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of tycoon Harry Jayawardena-controlled Stassens Group closed at 87.75 rupees, down 1.75.

Sri Lanka’s largest listed bank, Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka closed at 136.00 rupees, up 75 cents, while Sampath Bank closed flat at 174.00 rupees.