Sri Lanka retail buying push shares up 1.77-pct

June 07, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed higher Monday with strong buying by retail investors pushing up blue chips and ‘mid-cap’ stocks and sending the Milanka index across the 5,000 point mark, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,431.32, up 1.77 percent (77.12 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 2.73 percent (135.57 points) to close at 5,103.91.

Turnover was 2.6 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“We saw a big improvement in retail buying compared with last week,” said Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

“There was activity across the board.”

There were gains in blue chips and mid cap or middle ranking stocks as well as banks and manufacturing stocks like Royal Ceramics, Lanka Tiles and Lanka Walltile and some trading shares.

John Keells Holdings closed at 198 rupees, up six with two crossings or privately-negotiated off-the-floor deals of 100,000 shares each going for 196 rupees a share.

Lanka Tiles closed at 98.75, up 2.25, while Lanka Walltiles ended at 86 rupees, up 5.50
Royal Ceramics Lanka closed at 145.25 rupees, up 13.25

Lanka Aluminium Industries, an illiquid stock seen as ‘undervalued’ was the day’s highest gainer, closing at 42.50 rupees, up 6.25 (17 percent).

Pan Asia Banking Corporation, the day’s second highest gainer and second most traded stock, closed at 32.75, up 4.75 (17 percent). There was a crossing of a million shares at 31 rupees each.

Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, the most traded stock and third highest gainer, closed at 26.75, up 2.75 (11 percent)

Dialog Telekom closed at nine rupees, up 75 cents, with five crossings of 22.7 million shares at 8.50 rupees each