Sri Lankan stocks up 1.78-pct

Dec 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks extended gains and rose above the 3,000-point mark on the benchmark index Thursday boosted by high volume transactions on Hatton National Bank (HNB) and John Keells Holdings (JKH), brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,004.61 up 1.78 percent (52.45 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,415.18, up 1.35 percent (45.50 points).

Turnover was pushed up to 2.57 billion rupees by the JKH and HNB deals, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“The market reacted positively mainly due to the confidence created by the large scale investors who entered the market during the week,” Thakshila Hulangamuwa, vice president at stock brokering firm Asha Phillip Securities said.

“The main reason behind the investors making a positive approach towards the market was mainly due to the premiums paid by large investors, particularly the funds who took strategic positions.”

Brokers said 7.76 million HNB shares changed hands at 162.00 rupees, and over 2.76 JKH shares changed hands at 154.00 rupees.

HNB closed at 163.25 rupees, up 25 cents, while conglomerate JKH closed at 152.00 rupees, up 2.00

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 94.75 rupees, up 4.75 and diversified Hayleys closed at 155.25 rupees, down 1.75.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 175.00, up 4.25, Housing Development Finance Corporation closed at 130.00 rupees, up 5.00, and National Development Bank closed at 182.25, up 2.25.

Brokers said trading was thin apart for the large volume deals.

Plantations stocks also went up in price.

Agalawatte Plantations closed at 20 rupees, up 50 cents, Balangoda Plantations closed at 22.50 rupees, up 50 cents, Kegalle Plantations closed at 33.00 rupees, up 1.50, and Udapussellawa Plantations closed at 31.50 rupees, up 3.50.

Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lanka’s largest fixed line operator closed at 42.25 rupees, up 75 cents, and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 7.00 rupees.