Sri Lankan stocks close 1.22-pct up on large JKH sale

Dec 15, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up Tuesday as big off-the-floor deals on blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings pushed indices up, brokers said. Amaya Leisure closed at 52.00 rupees, up 1.25, Asian Hotels and Properties closed at 84.50 rupees, up 75 cents, John Keells Hotels closed at 19.75 rupees, up 50 cents and Cinnamon Lakeside, formerly known as Trans Asia Hotel closed at 162.75 rupees, up 3.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 175.00 rupees, up 1.00, and Sampath Bank closed at 189.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 7.00, up 25 cents, and fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 44.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,076.96 up 1.22 percent (37.18 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,501.11, up 1.59 percent (54.63 points).

Turnover was 1.41 billion rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

“The indices were pushed up by large volume trading on JKH and Aitken Spence Hotels,” Varuna Singapulli, head of research at NDB Stockbrokers said.

“In the short to medium term, hotel stocks are expected to perform well as the leisure sector is investing to cater to higher expected arrivals in future.”

Conglomerate JKH closed at 159.25 rupees, up 5.25 with over 5.0 million shares changing hands between foreign investors, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, unit of unlisted tea company Stassens, closed flat at 97.25 rupees.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, a unit of the diversified Aitken Spence group, closed at 244.00 rupees, up 4.25 with 1.0 million shares changing hands.