Sri Lankan stocks close up 0.45-pct

Sept 07, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks recovered Tuesday, from high investor interest on hotel sector shares, while large private deals on John Keells Hotels and Aitken Spence boosted turnover to almost six billion rupees, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,884.99, up 0.45 percent (26.45 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.03 percent (1.74 points) to close at 6,034.28, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 5.9 billion rupees.

“The market sentiment continues at an all-time high amidst the healthy corporate earnings and the availability of low cost credit,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities said.

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal 38 million shares of John Keells Hotels changed hands. It closed at 21.60 rupees, up 30 cents (1.41 percent).

While in another private deal 900,000 shares of Aitken Spence, a conglomerate was traded at 2,700 rupees. It closed at 2,745.30 rupees, up 249.50 (10 percent).

“John Keells Holdings group managed to raise 800 million rupees from the sale of 37 million shares of John Keells Hotels from their holding,” Tissera said.

“We believe the management will use these funds for expansion of the hotels and property sector.”

There was heavy retail interest in hotel stocks as well, brokers said.

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings closed at 693.30 rupees, up 31.10 (4.7 percent), while Amaya Leisure closed at 97.60 rupees, up 2.60 (2.74 percent) and Asian Hotels and Properties closed at 188.80 rupees, up 5.80 (3.17 percent).

Ceylon Hotels Corporation closed at 43.50 rupees, down 50 cents (1.14 percent), Hotel Reefcomber closed at 8.80 rupees, up 80 cents (10 percent), and Miramar Beach Hotel closed at 110.00 rupees, up 8.70 (8.6 percent).