Sri Lankan stocks up 1.36-pct during week

July 31, 2009 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed up Friday on improved sentiment among small investors, while heavy trading on Janashakthi Insurance and Nations Trust Bank (NTB) boosted market volumes, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 0.55 percent (13.85 points) to end at 2,525.70, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.55 percent (15.40 points) to close at 2,838.36, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 469.3 million rupees.

During the week the ASPI was up 1.36 percent, while the Milanka index gained 1.62 percent.

On Friday there were net foreign inflows worth 101 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 137 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 36.0 million rupees, brokers said.

During the week there was net foreign buying worth 19.7 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 764 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 744 million rupees, brokers said.

“Corporate participation was not significant but still there are investors looking out for discounted counters,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president of Asha Phillip Securities, said.

Brokers said 11.4 million Janashakthi shares changed hands, while over 2.5 million NTB shares also changed hands.

Janashakthi Insurance closed at 7.50 rupees, up 25 cents, while NTB, a unit of John Keells Holdings (JKH) closed at 31.25 rupees, up 25 cents.

Sampath Bank closed at 125.00 rupees, up 7.00.

“We expect the market to recover slightly in the next quarter,” Waruna Singappuli, head of research at NDB Stockbrokers said.

“In the meantime if the foreigners move in significantly then expect the indices to gain. There might be some large Initial Public Offerings during the end of the year, which might attract a lot of foreign interest.”

Heavy volume trading on index heavy Dialog Telekom which was evident in the last five days, receded today.

Dialog Telekom a unit Telekom Malaysia, closed at 7.00 rupees, up 25 cents, while fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 47.50 rupees, down 25 cents.

Index heavy conglomerate JKH closed at 135.75 rupees, down 2.25, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens group controlled by businessman Harry Jayawardena closed at 87.00 rupees, down 75 cents.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 145.00 rupees, down 75 cents, while Ceylon Tobacco Company, a unit of multinational British-American Tobacco closed at 128.25 rupees, up 3.00.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.