Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.4-pct

Aug 25, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lankan share prices closed higher Thursday as some buying interest returned after four days of losses, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 6,839.20, up 0.39 percent (26.49 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.51 percent (31.72 points) to close at 6,225.03, according to stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 1.6 billion rupees.

Colombo Land & Development Company was the most actively traded stock, closing at 64.10 rupees, up 2.60, with over three million shares changing hands.

HVA Foods was also actively traded, closing at 37.90 rupees, up 2.30 with 3.7 million shares done.

East West Properties was also heavily traded, closing at 48.40 rupees, up 40 cents with over 1.8 million shares done.

There were two crossings of off-market private deals of John Keells Holdings of 104,900 shares at 212 rupees each and 250,000 shares at 203.50 rupees. JKH closed at 210.60 rupees, up six rupees.

There was also a crossing of 951,800 Softlogic Holdings at 23 rupees each. The stock closed flat at 23 with over 1.1 million shares traded.

SC Securities said in their mid-week review that more foreign investment was needed to revive the market.

“The market lost ground ending in the red on four days as investors, primarily the more active categories during the last few months, the high net worth and retailers, were seen on the sidelines whilst realizing some of their gains," they said.

“Foreigners continued to be in the selling side with the difference between foreign buying and selling being close to half a billion rupees."

The brokers said the market needs more foreign investments.

"The market could continue to look passive with sporadic upsides, which may denote signs of sustainability only if confidence and vitality is provided by way of foreign investments, governmental and private institutional buying.”

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