Sri Lankan stocks close up 2.19-pct, passes 5,400 points

Aug 18, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed at a new high and passed the 5,400 points mark Wednesday, from buying interest mostly on midcap and ‘penny’ stocks, while deals on Lion Brewery and Ceylon Investments boosted revenues, brokers said. In a private deal over 964,000 shares of John Keells Holdings changed hands at 259.00 rupees. It closed at 257.00 rupees, up 1.00 (0.39 percent).

The All Share Price Index closed at 5,421.75, was up 2.19 percent (115.95 points), while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.71 percent (41.27 points) to close at 5,837.76, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 4.02 billion rupees.

At the end of trading there were 134 gainers and 60 losers, brokers said.

“There was buying interest from high net worth and institutional investors,” Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers said.

“Investors should look at companies that offer growth potential as most June quarter results are out.”

In a privately negotiated off-the-floor deal 2.05 million shares of Ceylon Investments changed hands at 490.00 rupees. It closed at 499.90 rupees, 5.70 (1.15 percent).

In another private deal 3.256 million shares of The Lion Brewery changed hands at 158.00 rupees. It closed at 157.50 rupees, up 3.50 (2.27 percent).

Despite the last few days’ rally investors were keener on mid and small cap stocks, brokers said.

Abans Electricals closed at 168.90 rupees, up 8.50 (5.30 percent), Asian Alliance Insurance closed at 60.00 rupees, up 4.00 (7.14 percent) on 200 shares traded, and Central Industries closed at 334.90 rupees, up 19.80 rupees (6.28 percent).

Colonial Motors closed at 119.00 rupees, up 10.50 (9.68 percent), John Keells Limited closed at 338.40 rupees, up 13.40 (4.12 percent), Lanka Orix Leasing Company closed at 536.10 rupees, up 48.70 (9.99 percent).

Aviva NDB Insurance closed at 160.00 rupees, up 13.50 (5.48 percent).

SMB Leasing, a penny stock closed at 1.80 rupees, up 10 cents with 13.1 million shares traded, brokers said.

Aitken Spence closed at 2,238.50 rupees, up 203.50 (10 percent), Hayleys closed at 324.70 rupees, down 20 cents (0.06 percent), and Hemas Holdings closed at 39.70 rupees, down 10 cents (0.25 percent)