Sri Lankan stocks close up 1.32-pct

Sept 08, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks rallied and passed the 5,900 points mark Wednesday, from price gains on index heavy John Keells Holdings (JKH), Hatton National Bank (HNB), Commercial Bank and Distilleries Company, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,962.62, up 1.32 percent (77.63 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.97 percent (118.65 points) to close at 6,152.93, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 4.8 billion rupees.

At end of trade there were 131 gainers and 72 losers.

“There was heavy institutional and high net worth buying on blue chip stocks,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“There was strong retail buying across the board.”

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal 4.71 million shares of JKH changed hands mostly at 270 rupees per share. It closed at 275.00 rupees, up 10.90 (4.13 percent).

In another private deal, 260,000 shares of Distilleries were traded at 156 rupees per share. It closed at 157.90 rupees, up 5.80 (3.81 percent), brokers said.

Hatton National Bank closed at 310.00 rupees, up 19.60 rupees, (6.75 percent) with 950,800 shares traded, while Commercial Bank closed at 195.00 rupees, up 4.50 (2.36 percent), brokers said.

Nations Trust Bank closed at 64.00 rupees, down 1.00 (1.54 percent), and Pan Asia Bank closed at 40.00 rupees, down 20 cents (0.5 percent) and Sampath Bank closed at 408.00 rupees, down 1.50 (0.37 percent).

Brokers said in a private deal 7,400 shares of The Bukit Darah changed hands at 7,031 rupees, per share. It closed at 7,650.00 rupees, up 249.00 (3.38 percent).

“We expect the overall sentiment to remain positive due to favourable macroeconomic indicators like low inflation and interest rates,” Perera said.

“However investors should be mindful and check on the fundamentals regularly.”

Brokers said there was investor interest on selected midcap stock.

Dankotuwa Porcelain closed at 96.50 rupees, up 8.70 (9.91 percent) with over 1.3 million shares traded, brokers said.