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Sri Lankan stocks close 1.46-pct up, bank stocks make healthy gains

Dec 17, 2009 (LBO) - Sri Lankan shares closed up Thursday, driven by banking and selected high value stocks, while large volume trading on John Keells Holdings (JKH) continued, brokers said. National Development Bank closed at 200.

00 rupees, up 8.00 and DFCC Bank closed flat at 155.

00 rupees.

Celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, closed at 7.00 rupees, up 25 cents, and Sri Lankan Telecom closed at 44.75 rupees, up 50 cents.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,134.

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47 up 1.46 percent (45.02 points) while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed at 3,555.75, up 1.54 percent (53.77 points).

Turnover was 918.3 million rupees, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange statistics.

"Investor sentiments have improved after a prolonged lull. This was evident wityh healthy turnover of selected blue chip companies," Nikita Tissera, research manager at

"The companies that rose today represent a fair proxy of the economy."

Conglomerate JKH closed at 160.00 rupees, down 25 cents with over 1.85 million shares changing hands, and alcohol manufacturer Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 99.25 rupees, up 2.50.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 181.00 rupees, up 4.00, Hatton National Bank closed at 169.75 rupees, up 4.50, Seylan Bank closed at 35.75 rupees, down 25 cents and Sampath Bank closed at 195.25, up 2.75.

Retail investors who got burnt during the last two months are slowly re-entering market, brokers said.

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