Sri Lanka stocks up 0.19%; Odel dominates trading

July 31, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks was flat on Tuesday, with a turnover of over a billion rupees driven by strategic deals in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC and clothing retailer Odel PLC, brokers said. The broader All Share Price Index closed up 9.35 points to 4,944.86, while the liquid Milanka Price Index dipped 19.69 points or 0.26 percent to end at 4,357.02, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures.

Tuesday’s turnover was 1.94 billion rupees.

Fashion retailer Odel dominated trading, accounting for 1.44 billion rupees worth of trades. Two blocks of 19.7 million and 40.4 million shares of the stock changed hands at 23.50 rupees.

Brokers said the sale was part of Odel’s last week announcement to sell a 41.8 percent stake to Parkson Retail Asia, a department store which has operations in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Odel’s share price closed down 10 cents to 22.50 rupees on 61.3 million shares. John Keells Holdings with investments ranging from transport, leisure to financial services, saw 1.5 million shares trade in blocks of six parcels at 186.00 rupees (up 80 cents). Brokers speculated that the transaction would have been bought by a foreign buyer.

JKH shares closed down 1.30 rupees to 184.00 rupees on trades of 1.6 million shares.

United Motors Lanka PLC, which distributes Mitsubishi vehicles in Sri Lanka, rose 6.50 rupees to 71.50 rupees on 264,997 shares.

In the foreign exchange markets the rupee gained 10 cents during mid-day trade to 131/70-80 levels from Monday’s close of 131/80-90. Brokers said there were signs that some exporters were cashing their dollar earnings.

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