Sri Lankan stocks close 0.31-pct up, midcaps gain

May 13, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed higher Thursday as retail investors bet on selected midcap stocks expecting the market to regain momentum in the coming weeks, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,242.67, up 0.31 percent (13.27 points) while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.68 percent (32.09 points) to close at 4,774.26.

Turnover was almost 1.18 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“Investors are keenly looking at stocks that would grow in the future,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stock brokers said.

Brokers said retail investors were seen buying into selected midcap stocks expecting the market to gather momentum after a lull in recent days.

Asia Capital, an investment bank with stock brokering licenses, closed at 34.25 rupees, up 1.75 with almost 1.5 million shares traded.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide, a penny stock continued Wednesday’s momentum to close at 2.50 rupees, up 10 cents with 2.6 million shares traded, while its non-voting shares closed flat at 1.00 rupees, with over 2.5 million shares changing hands, brokers said.

Brokers said 2.26 million shares of Colombo Land and Development Company changed hands Thursday. It closed at 10.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Lanka IOC, unit of Indian Oil Company (IOC) closed at 21.75 rupees, up 2.50 rupees with almost 1.8 million shares traded, brokers said.

Colonial Motors in a stock exchange filing said it plans to raise over 50 million rupees as fresh capital from a new share issue to repay 32.68 million rupees of debt owed to Guardian Asset Management.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,499.25 rupees, up 49.00, Hayleys closed at 280.25 rupees, down 75 cents, Hemas Holdings closed at 142.25 rupees, down 50 cents, and index heavy John Keells Holdings closed flat at 185.50.

Commercial Bank closed flat at 142.00 rupees, Hatton National Bank closed at 233.25 rupees, down 25 cents, Nations Trust Bank closed at 37.00 rupees, up 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 281.75 rupees, up 25 cents and Seylan Bank closed at 55.50 rupees, up 1.00.

Sri Lanka Telecom, a fixed line operator closed flat at 38.00 rupees, and Dialog Telekom, a unit of Axiata of Malaysia closed at 8.50 rupees, up 25 cents.