Sri Lanka’s LIOC draws interest as share trading dries up

Oct 17, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares ended almost flat after fluctuating in thin trading Friday with petroleum retailer Lanka Indian Oil Corp (LIOC) drawing interest on weaker oil prices, brokers said. The stock ended down two percent (1.50 rupees) at 72.50 rupees with 589,500 shares traded.

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The indices were barely changed with the All Share Price Index up 13.05 points to end at 1,998.84 while the Milanka gained 22.66 points to close at 2,235.94. Turnover was 89 million rupees.

LIOC was the most actively traded stock, rising 7.45 percent (1.75 rupees) to 25.25 rupees.

“People are showing some interest in LIOC as oil prices have come down,” said Mohan Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities.

Weaker crude oil prices would reduce LIOC’s costs and its sales could improve if retail prices also fall in line with lower crude prices, analysts said.

SC Securities said in their weekly market report that among the top ten capitalized stocks on the Colombo bourse, LIOC was the highest gainer during the week, rising by 21 percent.

In other trading Friday, John Keels Holdings was the second most actively traded stock and most active in terms of volumes.