Sri Lankan stocks close 0.36-pct up, Com Bank heavily traded

May 18, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares bounced back Tuesday as price gains on index heavy high value stocks pushed the market up, while heavy institutional interest on Commercial Bank drove trading volumes up, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,257.67, up 15.18 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks gained 0.80 percent (38.07 points) to close at 4,822.65.

Turnover was 2.0 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“Apart from a few large blocks that dominated turnover the market was mainly dominated by speculative trading,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at stock brokering house Asha Phillip Securities said.

“A large quantity of Ceylon Leather Products traded in the market with the anticipation of a rights issue.”

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal two million shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon changed hands at 246.00 rupees. It closed at 245.75 rupees, up 1.75.

Hatton National Bank closed at 238.50 rupees, up 4.25, Nations Trust Bank closed at 37.50 rupees, down 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 285.00 rupees, up 1.75 and Seylan Bank closed at 55.25 rupees, down 1.75.

Ceylon Leather Products was the second most actively traded stock on the market. It closed at 159.75 rupees, up 15.25, brokers said.

Airken Spence closed at 1,550.25 rupees, down 50 cents, John Keells Holdings closed at 183.00 rupees, up 50 cents, Hayleys closed flat at 285.00 rupees and Hemas Holdings closed 141.25 rupees, down 75 cents.

“Profit-taking in selected stocks still continues in market,” Hulangamuwa said.

ACME Printing and Packaging closed at 26.00 rupees, down 2.00, Nawaloka Hospitals closed at 6.00 rupees, down 25 cents and The Colombo Fort Land and Building closed at 87.25 rupees, down 2.75.