Sri Lankan stocks recover

July 12, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday as midcap and index heavy stocks made gains, while keen investor interest on Lanka Hospitals pushed its share price by over 50 percent, brokers said. Conglomerates, Aitken Spence closed at 1,563.00 rupees, up 62.75 on thin trading volumes, Hayleys closed flat at 300.00 rupees and Hemas Holdings closed at 35.75 rupees, down 25 cents.

John Keells Holdings, an index heavy stock closed at 205.00 rupees, up 2.00 with nearly 720,000 shares changing hands in a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal, brokers said.

Commercial Bank closed at 178.00 rupees, down 1.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 275.00 rupees, up 4.25, Nations Trust Bank closed at 52.50 rupees, up 1.00, Sampath Bank closed at 338.50 rupees, up 4.00 and Seylan Bank closed at 79.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

DFCC Bank closed at 247.00 rupees, down 3.00.

Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of British American Tobacco closed at 310.00 rupees, up 5.00.

“With the second quarter earnings expected to be stable investors would look at stocks that have outperformed peers,” Perera said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 4,533.95, up 0.63 percent (28.26 points), while the Milanka index of more liquid shares rose 0.22 percent (11.06 points) to close at 5,105.85.

Turnover was 1.13 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

At the end of trade there were 73 gainers and 78 losers, brokers said.

“There were retail and institutional interest midcap stocks,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“The market has right dropped more than 2.7 percent from June 21, 2010. Hence in our view a recovery is inevitable.”

The Lanka Hospital Corporation, formerly known as Apollo Hospitals closed at 39.00 rupees, up 13.50 (53 percent) with over 5.3 million shares traded, brokers said.

As of March 31, 2010, Sri Lankan Insurance Corporation had over 54 percent of Lanka Hospital, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, controlled by business tycoon Harry Jayawardena owned 28.59 percent. It closed flat at 126.00 rupees.