Sri Lankan shares close up 1.33-pct on JKH sale

Dec 02, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up Monday boosted by the sale of 7.5 million John Keells Holdings (JKH) shares in an otherwise dull trading day, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 2,952.16, up 1.33 percent (38.77 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,369.68, up 1.31 percent (43.60 points).

Turnover was 1.5 billion rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“Foreign selling of large parcels of JKH shares helped to push much needed volumes up,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities said.

“We have reason to believe one of the major JKH investors is divesting his portfolio.”

First State Fund Group, Edinburgh UK, which had JKH shares in several funds, sold 7.5 million shares at 154.00 rupees. The fund originally had over 40 million JKH shares and had almost sold out, brokers said.

High net worth investor Sohli Captain, billionaire US fund manager Raja Rajaratnam and Sri Lanka Insurance Company are currently JKH’s largest shareholders.

JKH closed at 150.50 rupees, up 4.50 with 7.76 million shares changing hands.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 90.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

Commercial Bank closed at 170.75 rupees, up 1.75, DFCC Bank closed at 143.00 rupees, up 3.50, Hatton National Bank closed at 163.00 rupees, down 50 cents, National Development Bank at 179.50 rupees, up 1.00 and Sampath Bank at 176.25 rupees, up 1.25.

Sri Lanka’s largest telco Dialog Telekom closed flat at 7.00 rupees, and fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 41.50 rupees, up 50 cents.