Sri Lankan stocks rally on IMF loan deal

July 21, 2009 (LBO) - Sri Lankan shares rallied Tuesday on news the government had secured a long-awaited loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that brokers said could boost investor confidence and bring in more foreign investors.

Share prices shot up over 2.5 percent in early morning trade as news broke the government had secured a 2.5 billion dollar IMF loan, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) ended the day up 2.
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09 percent (50.65 points) at 2,473.57 Tuesday, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 1.

79 percent (14.33 points) to close at 2,749.08, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 1.01 billion rupees.

There was a net foreign inflow worth 69.

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7 million rupees, with foreigners buying 315.4 million and selling 245.7 million rupees worth of shares, brokers said.
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"The positive news about the IMF bailout package has boosted investor confidence," Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

"We saw most of the blue chip stocks gaining.

Despite today's rally being led by local investors we expect foreign participation to increase significantly."

Brokers said 1.64 million John Keells Holdings (JKH) shares changed hands. JKH closed at 135.25 rupees, up 2.25.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 88.

00 rupees, up 3.00.

Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 47.

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50 rupees, up 1.00, while Sri Lanka's largest celco, Dialog Telekom, closed flat at 5.
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25 rupees with 11.8 million shares changing hands.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 138.

00 rupees, up 3.25, while National Development Bank closed at 161.00 rupees, up 5.00.

Brokers said 1.86 million shares of Hotel Reefcomber changed hands.

Reefcomber closed at 1.60 rupees, up 10 cents. Brokers said 1.17 million John Keells Hotels shares changed hands. It closed at 13.25 rupees, up 75 cents.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.85/114.95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

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