Sri Lankan stocks up in thin volume trade

Apr 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares gained marginally on Wednesday in razor thin trade in selected blue chip shares with most investors still to return after traditional new year holidays earlier in the week, brokers said.

The Sri Lanka rupee traded around 115.80/90 against the US dollar in wafer thin trading volumes in a dormant market which is recovering from the festival holiday, dealers said.

The All Share Price Index of the Colombo stock exchange rose 0.43 percent (7.26 points) to end at 1,683.44 while the more liquid Milanka went up 0.70 percent (12.22 points) to close at 1,769.37.

Turnover was 27.7 million rupees in the market which reopened after being closed since last Wednesday.

“The market will only be fully active by next week,” said Shivantha Meepage of Acuity Stockbrokers.

“Investors are still in the festive mood, so we can expect retail activity to be slow.”

Sri Lanka’s largest private bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, gained two rupees to close at 79, while investment bank National Development Bank (NDB) gained three rupees to close at 92.

Market heavy weight Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia, contributed 10.3 million rupees to the day’s turnover.

Dialing closed flat at 4.90 rupees.

“A few blue chip counters helped the index on thin volumes,” said Meepage.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings, which has business interests in the transport, property development, food processing, retailing and finance sectors, was down 25 cents to close at 63.75.

Ceylinco Insurance gained 12 rupees to close at 84.25 on 5,400 shares traded.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka gained 50 cents to close at 69.50.

The stock exchange announced that SKM Lanka Holdings has been allowed to resume trade in the Automated Trading System and the DEX system of the CSE from Wednesday after it complied with the minimum net capital requirement.