Sri Lankan stocks surge on eve of presidential vote

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lankan stocks closed on an all time high on the eve of Thursday’s crucial presidential vote with punters betting on opposition leader walking away with the country’s top job. Sri Lankan stocks closed on an all time high on the eve of Thursday’s crucial presidential vote with punters betting on opposition leader walking away with the country’s top job. The benchmark All Share Price Index jumped 133 points to 2,568, while the liquid Milanka Price Index leaped 156 points to 3,378, according to provisional data posted on the Colombo Stock Exchange website.

Wednesday’s stampede generated a Rs. 1.34 billion turnover, though foreign investors were net sellers with Rs. 301 million.

“Investors are quite confident of Ranil Wickremesinghe (opposition leader) winning the race tomorrow,” said Vajira Premawardhana, Head of Research Lanka Orix Securities Ltd.

Market heavyweight Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, dominated the day, gaining Rs. 2.00 to Rs. 21.00 on 160 million trades.

Shares of diversified conglomerate John Keells Holdings, rose Rs. 4.00 to Rs. 172.00 on 142 million trades.

Elsewhere, Commercial Bank of Ceylon – Sri Lanka’s most profitable pr