Sri Lankan stocks close up 1.48-pct

Aug 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks rallied for the second straight day, Monday, in low volume trading, while there was renewed retail buying interest on ‘penny’ shares, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,191.30, was up 1.48 percent (75.51 points) Monday, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.64 percent (36.81 points) to close at 5,781.40, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 1.0 billion rupees.

At the end of trade there were 105 losers and 85 gainers, brokers said.

“Over the last couple of days we saw some market volatility and today was no exception to that,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“The market looks attractive right now especially with healthy quarterly performance and investors should capitalize on this and collect stocks with fundamental values.”

Despite the positive outcome trading volumes remained low, brokers said.

Abans Electricals closed at 145.90 rupees, up 13.00 (9.78 percent) on 5,900 shares traded, Alliance Finance closed at 444.60 rupees, up 39.60 (9.78 percent) with 1,200 shares traded, and Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust closed at 955.90 rupees, up 86.90 (10 percent).

Ceylon Investment closed at 461.20 rupees, up 41.90 (9.99 percent) on 2,200 shares traded, and Selinsing closed at 466.00 rupees, up 36.00 (8.37 percent), according to stock exchange provisional figures.

There was renewed buying interest in penny stocks, brokers said.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide non-voting closed at 2.50 rupees, down 20 cents (7.41 percent) with 1.68 million shares changing hands, while its voting shares closed at 4.50 rupees, down 50 cents (10 percent).

Piramal Glass Ceylon closed flat at 3.30 rupees with 2.5 million shares traded, while SMB Leasing closed flat at 1.60 rupees, with 1.79 million shares traded, brokers said.

Hayleys closed at 315.80 rupees, up 8.80 (2.87 percent), Hemas Holdings closed flat at 39.90 rupees and John Keells Holdings, an index heavy stock closed at 255.00 rupees, up 4.90 (1.96 percent), according to stock exchange provisional figures.

In a stock exchange filing Aitken Spence, a conglomerate with business interest in leisure, transport, shipping and printing sectors announced a 15 to 01 share split.

Aitken Spence has an issued share capital of 27.06 million ordinary shares, which will increase to 406 million shares, the filing said. The share split is awaiting shareholder approval at a general meeting.