Sri Lankan stocks pass 3,700 point mark

Feb 02, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher and passed the 3,700 point mark for the first time Tuesday as retailers continued to bet on plantations, while some investors took profits on selected blue chips, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 3,709.13 points, up 17.74 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks gained 0.15 percent (6.20 points), to close at 4,265.21 points.

Turnover was 1.58 billion rupees.

“The outlook is still positive and so is the sentiment and investors are encouraged by December quarter earnings that have been released so far,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities said.

“We saw certain companies earnings outperform our expectations.

“However the net foreign outflow remains a concern.”

Brokers said there was a 132 million-rupee net foreign outflow Tuesday. So far for the year, there has been an outflow of 3.75 billion rupees from the stock market.

Brokers said plantations stocks rallied again Tuesday.

Agalawatte Plantations closed at 30.00 rupees, up 2.00, Balangoda Plantations closed at 30 rupees, up 2.50, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates closed at 44.00 rupees, up 3.50 and Elpitiya Plantations closed at 54.00 rupees, up 4.00.

Kegalle Plantations closed at 49.50 rupees, down 50 cents, Kelani Valley Plantations closed at 55.00 rupees, up 1.00, Kotagala Planatations ended at 44.00 rupees, up 3.00 and Malwatte Valley Plantations closed at 52.75 rupees, up 3.00.

Maskeliya Plantations closed at 26.25 rupees, up 25 cents, Namunukula Plantations closed at 36.75 rupees, up 1.25, and Watawala Plantations closed at 138.25 rupees, up 8.25, with 5,500 shares changing hands.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 175.50 rupees, down 75 cents, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 118.50 rupees, down 1.50.

National Development Bank closed at 215.00 rupees, up 4.25 and DFCC Bank closed flat at 175.00.