Sri Lanka shares buoyed by institutional buying

May 04, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended firmer Monday, lifted by investments from institutional investors taking a long-term view as the rupee remained becalmed around 120.00 – 120.10 against the dollar, brokers and dealers said.

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The All Share Price Index rose 0.19 percent (3.46 points) to end at 1,841.91 while the more liquid Milanka went up 0.63 percent (12.27 points) to close at 1,975.36, according to provisional stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 229 million rupees.

Nikita Tissera of SC Securities said there was institutional buying amid net selling by foreign investors.

“It’s institutional investors takng a longer-term view on the market and coming in,” said Tissera. “We did not see much retail activity today.

“Althogh company earnings haven’t significantly improved institutional investors are coming in when shares are relatively cheap and taking a longer-term view of the market.”

The fall in interest rates and anticipation of further weakening of rates is also attracting more funds into equities.

Over 1.1 million shares of National Development Bank (NDB) changed hands with the stock ending down one rupee or just over one percent at 92 rupees.

The NDB transactions, with foreigners believed to be selling, added almost 100 millioin rupees to the day’s turnover.

JKH was the most actively traded stock, ending up 2.78 percent or two rupees at 74, with the sellers believed to be foreign.

Haycarb was the most actively traded stock in terms of volumes, with the share falling seven rupees or almost 15 percent to end at 40 rupees.

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