Sri Lankan stocks close 0.28-pct up on retail buying

Mar 08, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday as retail investors bought low value shares and selected high value stocks, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 3,835.06, up 10.89 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid shares gained 0.14 percent (6.26 points) to close at 4,393.89.

Turnover was 837.6 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The market was relatively dull and traded mostly on low value stocks that were retail driven,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at stock brokering firm Asha Phillip Securities said.

“The market is currently directionless partly due to the upcoming general elections and foreign investors being net sellers in recent weeks. The slowly climbing interest rates will also negatively impact market growth in coming months.”

Sierra Cables closed flat at 2.30 rupees with 5.0 million shares changing hands, brokers said.

Galadari Hotels closed at 21.00 rupees, up 1.25, Marawila Resorts closed flat at 7.75 rupees, Hotel Services closed at 19.75 rupees, up 1.00 and Nawaloka Hospitals which closed flat at 3.70 rupees were heavily traded, brokers said.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 140.00 rupees, down 1.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 179.00 rupees, down 1.00, Nations Trust Bank closed at 36.50 rupees, down 50 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 240.00 rupees, down 1.25 and Seylan Bank closed at 47.25 rupees, down 25 cents.

DFCC Bank closed at 180.00 rupees, down 25 cents, and National Development Bank closed at 219.75 rupees, down 1.75.

Prices of a number of high value stocks rose on thin trading volumes, brokers said.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco closed at 243.25 rupees, up 1.25, Chemanex closed at 139.50 rupees, up 6.25, Hayleys closed at 221.75 rupees, up 2.25 and Carsons Cumberbatch closed at 550.00 rupees, up 9.25.

Environmental Resources Investments ordinary voting shares closed at 235.25 rupees, up 4.25. Its 0000 warrants closed at 158.25 rupees, up 3.75, and 0001 warrants closed at 158.50 rupees, up 3.75.

Dialog Telekom closed flat at 7.00 rupees, and Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 37.50 rupees, up 25 cents.