Sri Lankan stocks hit new high

General Manager - Port Investment Services at HIPG, Justin Zhang with Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China, Dr. Palitha Kohona in Beijing

June 11, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks rose to new highs Friday, passing the 4,500 points mark as institutional investors bought blue chips while retailers took profit from over-priced shares and re-invested in cheaper ones, brokers said. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 4,561.33, up 65.09 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 0.87 percent (44.79 points) to close at 5,182.16.

Turnover was 3.3 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“Retailer and institutional activity pushed the indices to an all-time high,” said Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities.

“We also did see an encouraging net foreign inflow.”

Foreign buying was 908 million rupees and selling 769 million rupees.

The market historical PER (price-to-earnings ratio) rose to 22.5 times with Friday’s rise in the indices.

Index heavy Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka shares were heavily traded. It closed at 127.75 rupees, up 5.00 with almost 2.8 million shares traded.

John Keells Holdings, another index heavy conglomerate closed at 199.75 rupees, up 1.50 with over 1.27 million shares changing hands.

Aitken Spence closed at 1,560.25, down 9.75, Hayleys closed at 308.00 rupees, up 3.50 and Hemas Holdings closed at 174.75 rupees, up 14.25.

Dankotuwa Porcelain closed at 13.50 rupees, down 3.50 with three million shares traded, while 13.6 million shares of First Capital Holdings changed hands, Friday. It closed at 20.75 rupees, up 75 cents. Nawaloka Hospitals closed flat at 6.25 with 4.16 million shares traded.

Nation Lanka Finance, which in a stock exchange filing reported a serious loss of capital closed at 13.50 rupees, down 50 cents.

Piramal Glass Ceylon closed at 2.50 rupees, down 10 cents with over 10 million shares traded, brokers said.

Banking sector shares, apart from Hatton National Bank, continued to gain, brokers said.

Commercial Bank closed at 280.50 rupees, up 1.25, HNB closed at 290.50 rupees, down 5.00, Nations Trust Bank closed at 47.25 rupees, up 25 cents, Sampath Bank closed at 348.00 rupees, down 50 cents and Seylan Bank closed at 69.50 rupees, up 3.25 with over a million shares traded, brokers said.

DFCC Bank closed at 262.00 rupees, up 3.00, and National Development Bank closed at flat at 247.00 rupees.

Dialog Telekom, a celco closed at 9.00 rupees, up 25 cents with over 3.1 million shares traded, and fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 38.00 rupees, up 25 cents.