Sri Lanka stocks hit new high, up 1.44-pct

Dec 22, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up Tuesday as investors continued buying into the market to cash in on an anticipated market re-rating following presidential elections next month, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 1.44 percent (46.54 points) to end at 3,280.82 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 1.84 percent (67.74 points) to close at 3,757.02, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 1.44 billion rupees.

“Market sentiments are at an all time high with the investors grabbing blue chips despite the festive season,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

“We are also of the view that investors are grabbing shares before the presidential election.

“I’m expecting the market to rerate itself upwards in the short to medium term after the presidential elections,” Tissera said.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 167.00 rupees, up 4.75, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 106.50 rupees, up 1.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 190.00 rupees, up 1.75, Hatton National Bank closed at 170.75 rupees, up 1.50, Sampath Bank closed flat at 202.00 rupees and Seylan Bank closed at 37.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

National Development Bank closed at 205.00 rupees, down 1.00 and DFCC Bank closed at 164.50 rupees, up 1.50.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 44.75 rupees, up 75 cents and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 7.00 rupees.

Retailer favorites, Touchwood Investment 86.75 rupees, up 1.50 and Lanka Cement closed at 24.50 rupees, up 75 cents.