Sri Lanka stocks close 0.41-pct up, hotel stocks continue rise

Apr 21, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks hit a new high Wednesday as institutional interest on index heavy banking stocks pushed the market up, while high retail interest in hotel stocks sent turnover past two billion rupees, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,038.89, up 16.52 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.87 percent (39.69 points) to close at 4,619.48.

Turnover was 2.2 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“The hotel sector continues to be a favourite given the high expected earnings,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

“The upcoming Indian film festival events have seemingly added some more glamour to city hotel prices.”

Hotel Services (Ceylon) closed at 30.50 rupees, up 75 cents with 16 million shares changing hands in a privately negotiated deal at 30 rupees per share, brokers said.

Nearly 9.5 million shares of John Keells Hotels were traded between 21.00 to 22.00 rupees. It closed at 21.50 rupees, down 25 cents, brokers said.

Conglomerates Aitken Spence closed at 1,410.00 rupees, up 10.00, John Keells Holdings closed at 187.25 rupees, down 2.25, Hayleys closed at 259.75 rupees, up 4.00 and Hemas Holdings closed at 127.00 rupees, up 4.75.

Brokers said one million shares of Richard Pieris changed hands at 70.00 rupees per share in a private deal. It closed at 72.00 rupees, up 4.00.

The banking sector prices were lifted by some institutional interest, Tissera said.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 238.00 rupees, up 5.75, Hatton National Bank closed at 218.25 rupees, up 4.50, Nations Trust Bank closed at 38.00 rupees, up 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 274.50 rupees, up 18.50 and Seylan Bank closed at 50.25 rupees, up 25 cents.

National Development Bank closed at 220.00 rupees, down 25 cents, and DFCC Bank closed at 202.00 rupees, down 50 cents.

Environmental Resources Investments ordinary voting shares closed at 93.50 rupees, up 9.50. Its 0000 warrants closed at 69.00 rupees, up 6.50, and 0001 warrants closed at 69.00 rupees, up 6.50.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 37.00 rupees, down 1.00, and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat 7.25 rupees, with almost 1.4 million shares traded.