Sri Lankan stocks close up 0.99-pct

Sep 20, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed at another record high Monday, after a 10 percent upward and downward price band was lifted, while heavy buying of property development and finance firms boosted turnover, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index shot up in early trade, with the previously announced expiry of the price band imposed by regulators to curb excessive volatility but settled down to close at 6,521.43, up 0.99 percent (64.15 points).

The more liquid Milanka index rose 1.03 percent (69.30) to close at 6,826.80, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 3.9 billion rupees.

“We saw significant interest in the banking and finance sector as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) relaxed the 10 percent trading band rule,” said Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering firm SC Securities.

Seylan Bank non-voting shares, Nations Trust Bank and Hatton National Bank were the top traded shares in the sector.

“NTB warrants’ rise was significant. Peoples’ Leasing Finance and Arpico Finance almost doubled in price today given the lack of trading barriers,” said Tissera.

People’s Leasing Finance, which has announced a one-for-one rights issue, closed at 211 rupees, up almost 100 percent or 105.30 rupees.

C T land and Development closed at 38.40 rupees, up 5.70 (17.43 percent) with 1.99 million shares changing hands, while Colombo Land and Development Company closed at 16.40 rupees, up 40 cents (2.5 percent) on 1.85 million shares traded, brokers said.

Overseas Reality closed at 17.80 rupees, down 20 cents (1.1 percent) with over two million shares changing hands, while Seylan Developments closed at 19.50 rupees, up 50 cents (2.63 percent) with almost 1.3 million shares traded.

There was heavy buying interest on selected large and midcap finance sector stocks, brokers said.

Arpico Finance closed at 110.00 rupees, up 6.60 (6.4 percent), Central Finance closed at 900.00 rupees, up 14.60 (1.65 percent), Ceylinco Insurance closed at 390.00 rupees, up 20.00 (5.4 percent) and Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust closed at 1,090.00 rupees, up 40.00 (3.8 percent) on just 100 shares traded.

L B Finance closed at 318.00 rupees, up 16.40 (5.44 percent), and Peoples Leasing Finance closed at 210.00 rupees, up 104.30 (98.7 percent), brokers said.

Sampath Bank closed at 449.90 rupees, up 16.20 (3.74 percent), while Commercial Bank closed at 167.00 rupees, down 4.00 (2.37 percent) and Hatton National Bank closed at 345.00 rupees, up 13.50 (4.0 percent), brokers said.