Sri Lankan stocks end up, Asian Alliance stake sold

March 04, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Thursday and passed the 3,800 points mark as investors bought midcap and selected high value shares, while a big stake in Asian Alliance Insurance changed hands, brokers said.

John Keells Holdings closed at 168.00 rupees, down 75 cents, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 118.25.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 192.00 rupees, down 2.25, Hatton National Bank closed at 181.00 rupees, up 1.00, Sampath Bank closed flat at 240.25, Nations Trust Bank closed at 36.25 rupees, down 75 cents, and Seylan Bank closed at 45.50 rupees, up 50 cents.

Diversified companies, Hayleys closed at 218.75 rupees, down 1.25, Hemas Holdings closed at 123.00 rupees, up 1.00 and Aitken Spence closed at 1,396.75 rupees, up 46.75.

Environmental Resources ordinary voting shares closed at 227.25 rupees, up 4.00. Its 0000 warrants closed at 152.75 rupees, up 8.50, and 0001 warrants closed at 152.25 rupees, up 7.25.

Dialog Telekom closed at 7.00 rupees, up 25 cents, and Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 38.00 rupees, up 1.50.

Clarification – clarifying Asian Alliance stake sold by Vallibel Investments Asia Securities said in a stock exchange filing that their client, Fast Gain International, bought 4.8 million shares or a 19.35 percent stake in Asian Alliance Insurance at 50 rupees a share.

Asian Alliance said in a statement that Vallibel Investments had sold 3.75 million shares or a 15 percent stake to Fast Gain International at 50 rupees a share.

The All Share Price Index closed at 3,805.85, up 31.82 points Thursday, while the Milanka index of more liquid shares gained 1.00 percent (43.37 points) to close at 4,362.23.

Turnover was almost 1.66 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Brokers said they expect investors will continue to hunt for bargains in the coming weeks and look at low value stocks after running out of discounted midcap shares.

Brokers said nearly 5.0 million Asian Alliance shares changed hands, with the Fast Gain International acquisition accounting for most of the trading. Asian Alliance Insurance closed at 57.50 rupees, down 6.00.

Amana Takaful Insurance closed flat at 15.00 rupees, Aviva NDB closed at 210.25 rupees, down 75 cents and Ceylinco Insurance closed at 274.00 rupees, up 4.00 and Janashakthi Insurance closed at 13.00 rupees, up 25 cents.