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Sri Lanka stocks end up 2.7-pct

Nov 02, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lankan stocks closed sharply higher Wednesday on news the markets regulator who had cracked down on securities fraud had been removed, with indices rising steeply but tapering off towards the end of trading, brokers said. Hayleys closed at 387.80 rupees, up 16.80, with 166,600 shares traded, including one crossing or 100,000 shares at 370. The main All Share Price Index rose 2.71 percent (170.43 points) to 6,452.28, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 2.49 percent (139.40 points) to close at 5,743.55, according to stock exchange figures.

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees.

John Keells Holdings, which has the biggest market capitalisation on the Colombo bourse, rose over three percent to close at 195 rupees, up 6.90 rupees, with 108,400 shares traded.

The Bukit Darah, another index heavyweight which is rarely traded, closed at 1,089 rupees, up 58.90 or almost six percent, with 5,400 shares done in 10 trades.

The market's sharp gains, the highest recent daily rise, came after a steady slide of several weeks with news that Malik Cader, director general of the securities and exchange commission, had been made an advisor of the finance ministry, a move that had been widely speculated upon.

Cader had angered powerful players in the market for cracking down on widespread micro cap fraud and insider dealing that is said to be rife on the Colombo bourse.

"Colombo stocks today rebounded strongly from the major support level and recorded significant gains backed by the rumor of the transfer of SEC chief Malik Carder to a senior advisory position in the Ministry of Finance and which was officially confirmed later," Lanka Securities said in a report.

HVA Foods was the most actively traded stock, closing at 47 rupees, up 5.80 rupees or 14 percent, with 3.5 million shares done.

Colombo Land & Development Company was the second most actively traded stock, closing at 62.50 rupees, up 7.20 rupees, with almost 2.2 million shares changing hands.

Bimputh Lanka Investments was also actively traded, closing at 47.50 rupees, up 5.30 or over 12 percent, with over three million shares traded.

Lanka Securities said three million shares of Bimputh Lanka changed hands in three crossings at a price of 43.80 rupees a share.

The deal amounted to 15 percent of the issued share capital of the company.

Dialog Axiata closed flat at eight rupees with 14.3 million shares traded, mostly in three crossings or private off-market deals, all at 8.10 rupees.

There were also two crossings of Infrastructure Developers of a total of 728,800 shares at 114 rupees each. It closed at 132 rupees, up 12 rupees.

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