Sri Lanka shares sustain gains

Nov 03, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended higher for the fourth day running, Monday, sustaining the gains made last week in what appears to be an improvement in investor sentiment, brokers said.

Sri Lanka Telecom rose one rupee to 40 rupees while Distilleries Company rose over nine percent (4.75 rupees) to end at 57 rupees

Company results for the September quarter that have been reported so far have been mixed.

Foreigners were net sellers during last week, predominantly associated with the transactions in JKH, SC Securities said in their weekly market report.

Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said foreign selling pressure was prominent on all days except on Friday.

Overall, the week saw a net outflow of 176.99 million rupees last week, lower than the outflow the week before.

Lanka Securities said they expect the market to remain rather volatile in the week ahead and to reflect interim financial results which will be released to the market.

“However, we anticipate the market to respond sensitively to the global economic prospects as well as to the budget proposals which will be present to the parliament in (this) week.”

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The All Share Price Index went up 2.82 percent (51.38 points) to 1,872.91 while the more liquid Milanka rose 2.71 percent (55.15 points) to 2,086.72. Turnover was 177 million rupees.

“People are just starting to realize intrinsic value in the market,” said Nikita Tissera of SC Securities.

“We’re looking at an oversold market and sentiment is starting to improve.”

The market was lifted by a sharp gain in Commercial Bank, which shot up 9.52 percent (eight rupees) to 92 rupees.

Royal Ceramic Lanka went up over eight percent (three rupees) to close at 40 rupees.

John Keells Holdings, the most actively traded share, lost 50 cents to close at 64 rupees with 1.4 million shares changing hands.