Sri Lankan stocks close up 1.22-pct

Oct 19, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares made a comeback Tuesday, boosted by gains from banking sector stocks that weigh heavily on the index, while a big private deal in a hospital boosted turnover past three billion rupees, brokers said. John Keells Holdings, an index heavy conglomerate closed at 310.00 rupees, up 1.00 (0.32 percent) on nearly 1.9 million shares traded, brokers said.

The Colombo All Share Index closed up 1.22 percent (81.02 points) to 6,703.61 points, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks rose 1.73 percent (124.45 points) to 7,306.56, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange data.

Turnover was 3.0 billion rupees.

At the end of trade there were 142 gainers and 54 losers, brokers said.

“There was high interest across the board on banking sector stocks,” Jennita Silva, an analyst at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

Commercial Bank closed at 265.20 rupees, up 3.30 (1.26 percent) with over 1.7 million shares traded, Hatton National Bank closed at 409.30 rupees, up 9.10 (2.27 percent) and Nations Trust Bank closed at 89.20 rupees, up 1.90 (2.8 percent).

Sampath Bank closed at 271.00 rupees, up 19.10 (7.6 percent), and Seylan Bank closed at 105.70 rupees, up 3.30 (3.22 percent).

DFCC Bank closed at 449.30 rupees, up 9.30 (2.11 percent), and National Development Bank closed at 380.30 rupees, up 26.50 (7.5 percent).

There was heavy interest on selected motor companies, brokers said.

Diesel and Motor Engineering (DIMO), local agents for Mercedes Benz and Tata Motors closed at 979.30 rupees, up 49.70 (5.35 percent), and United Motors Lanka, agents for Mitsubishi Motors closed at 245.00 rupees, up 5.00 (2.1 percent).

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal over 52 million shares of Asiri Surgical changed hands at 9.50 rupees per share.

State owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation which held a 22 percent stake in the hospital divested a 10 percent stake to the Asiri Hospitals chain at 9.50 rupees per share.

The total value of the deal was 500 million rupees. The deal will boost the parent company’s holding in the hospital to 40 percent, Ashoka Pathirage, managing director of Asiri Hospitals said.