Sri Lankan stocks up 3.93% during week

June 12, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended higher Friday as retailers chased speculative stocks and a handful of blue chips, brokers said.

The Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 1.55 percent (34.51 points) to end at 2,254.62 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 1.70 percent (42.24 points) to close at 2,524.80, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 646.5 million rupees.

“Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Distilleries and Carsons pushed the bourse up today,” said Dharshi Ganeshan of Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

Index heavy SLT closed at 43.00 rupees, up 1.25, while oil palm company Carson Cumberbatch closed at 172.75 rupees, up 8.25.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a subsidiary of the Stassens Group controlled by businessman Harry Jayawardena, closed at 81.25 rupees, up 5.00.

Brokers said a 500,000 parcel of Distilleries shares changed hands at 78.00 rupees.

Last week Distilleries price plummeted after the supreme court ruled the 2003 privatization of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to Distilleries was ‘illegal’ and ‘null and void’.

“There was heavy retail interest on Lanka Cement, Pan Asia Bank and C W Mackie,” said Ganeshan.

“There is heavy speculation of Lanka Cement opening a factory in Kankasanthurai.”

Brokers said 1.95 million Lanka Cement and 1.35 million CW Mackie shares changed hands.

Lanka Cement closed at 18.50, up 1.75, while Pan Asia Bank ended at 12.75, up 75 cents.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 116.25, up 1.25, while Sri Lanka’s largest privately held bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 126.00 rupees, up 1.00 rupee.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia, closed flat at 5.50 rupees.

Foreign buying was at 130.0 million rupees, while foreign selling amounted to 89.0 million, resulting a net inflow of 41.0 million rupees, brokers said.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 levels in late afternoon trade, dealers said.