Sri Lankan stocks up 0.30-pct

Aug 24, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up Monday as institutional and high-net-worth investors traded the blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) which boosted turnover, while there was much retail interest on Lanka Cement, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 0.30 percent (7.54 points) to end at 2,530.46 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.63 percent (17.91 points) to close at 2,868.95, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 627.0 million rupees.

On Monday there were net foreign inflows worth 64.5 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 306.9 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 242.4 million rupees, brokers said.

“Apart from a handful of selected shares sought after by high-net-worth and institutional investors the only counters that contributed turnover to the market were Walker & Grieg warrants and Lanka Cement,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa of Asha Phillip Securities said.

“The rest of the day’s trade was dominated by retailers.”

Brokers said six parcels consisting 1.25 million JKH shares changed hands between 134.50 and 135.00 rupees, in an off-the-floor deal.

A further 500,000 shares changed hands on the floor, brokers said.

Index heavy weight conglomerate JKH closed at 134.75 rupees, up 75 cents, while 1.16 million Lanka Cement shares changed hands.

Retailer favourite Lanka Cement, which has been rising on speculation of foreign interest, closed at 32.50 rupees, up 5.50.

Brokers said 2.693 million Environmental Resources Investments (formerly Walker & Grieg) warrants changed hands. It closed at 17.50 rupees, up 1.00.

Another 2.848 million Environmental Resources Investments warrants changed hands. It closed at 18.00 rupees, up 1.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 147.25 rupees, up 1.50 on 173,000 shares changing hands, while index heavy Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka which posted a poor June quarter closed at 85.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Sampath Bank closed at 136.25 rupees, down 75 cents, while National Development Bank closed at 166.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees, while fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom also closed flat at 42.25 rupees.