Sri Lankan shares end firmer

April 10, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed slightly firmer Thursday but ended the shortened trading week on a weaker note despite a big deal that sent turnover soaring, brokers said. The All Share Price Index ended up 7.66 points at 2,614.63 while the more liquid Milanka was up 5.84 points at 3,275.74, Thursday. Turnover was 116 million rupees.

Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said that given the shortened trading week next week as well owing to traditional new year holidays they expect market activity to be subdued.

The brokers advised investors to take positions in the fundamentally sound counters, in anticipation of a possible market up-turn towards end-April.

The ASPI lost 10.34 points or 0.39 percent while the Milanka fell 24.93 points or 0.76 percent during the week which began with the assassination of highways minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber.

The week’s trading was dominated by the sale of a controlling stake in Hotel Services, which owns the Ceylon Continental hotel, by U K Sharma with the buyer believed to be entrepreneur Nahil Wijesuriya, Wednesday.