Sri Lankan stocks firmer, JKH up 30% this week

Jan 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings (JKH) closed the week up almost 30 percent at 66 rupees Friday after a media report that one of its largest shareholder would not divest any further, analyst said.

“The market is not expecting good results, it depends on how much the market has absorbed the weak performance in the current price,” said an analyst.

“If the results are weaker than expectations we’ll see the market slide further. But if the results are better than expected, the market will have a good run.”

Distilleries Company was up five rupees, to close at 66, Nations Trust Bank was up four rupees, to close at 28, Sri Lanka Telecom was up 25 cents, to close at 33.50 and Dialog Telekom was down 24 cents, to close at five rupees.

Foreign buying was at 12.5 million rupees, while foreign selling was at 9.9 million rupees.

The All Share Price Index was up 1.29 percent (21.08 points) to close at 1,649.95, while the more liquid Milanka went up 1.97 percent (34.18 points), to close at 1,771.65.

Turnover was 109.7 million rupees.

Brokers said despite the market’s positive performance this week, the participation of institutional and high net worth investors was minimal, and the market was mostly retail driven.

No crossings took place Friday.

The diversified sector was the most active sector as JKH contributed 14 million to the day’s turnover. JKH went up 6.25 rupees.

The plantation sector, the second most active sector, settled after its rise yesterday after profit taking in early trade. Madulsima Plantations closed the week at 11.75, up 75 percent (five rupees) from last Friday’s close.

Analysts said the market is waiting for the corporate results to be released next week.

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