Turnover on the Colombo bourse yesterday topped the billion rupee mark and all three indices moved up – the All Share by 10.39 points (0.18%), the Milanka by 35.93 points (0.65%) and S&P by 6.19 points (0.19%) with 151 gainers comfortably ahead of 95 losers while 62 counters closed flat.
"Trading early in the day was relatively quiet but picked up later," a broker said adding that several block trades had contributed to business volumes. Turnover at Rs. 1.07 bn. was up from the previous day’s Rs. 749 million.
The day saw 0.26 million Sampath crossed at Rs.211 in a deal worth Rs.54.9 million, 12 million Asiri crossed at Rs.11.50 in two parcels of 10 million and 2 million each worth Rs.138 million and 5.6 million Dialog at Rs.9 in a......transaction worth Rs.50.4 million.
"Buying interest mainly centred on ASIR, JKH, DIAL, DIST, SAMP and NDB along with speculative activity on second tier counters pushed the indices higher amid healthy turnover levels," John Keells Stock Brokers said in a market report.
Foreigners remained net buyers with purchases at Rs. 221.78 mn. and sales of Rs. 31.79 mn. with an inflow of Rs. 189.99 mn.
NDB continued to attract sustained interest on expectations of the anticipated acquisition of Aviva NDB Insurance. NDB is the second biggest stakeholder in the insurance company in which Aviva holds the controlling share. A Hongkong based insurance giant is believed to be the likely buyer.
NDB gained a further Rs.4.60 yesterday closing at Rs.143 on nearly 0.7 million shares done between Rs.139 and Rs.144 contributing Rs.91.9 million to turnover. The counter hit its one year high of Rs. 144 yesterday.
However Aviva NDB Insurance was down Rs. 26.20 to Rs. 410 on 35,596 shares traded. The counter had gained sharply on news of a pending change of control but has since declined.
Dialog closed 40 cents up at Rs.9 on the trading floor with nearly 9.9 million shares traded between Rs.8.40 and Rs.9.40 contributing Rs.89.1 million to turnover while JKH, among the top favourites of foreign investors, was up Rs.1.50 to close at Rs.251.50 on 0.3 million shares traded on the floor between Rs.218.50 and Rs.221.90 generating a turnover of Rs.67.6 million.
Brokers said that Distilleries attracted heavy retail interest gaining Rs.5.60 to close at Rs.160.60 on over 0.2 million shares done between Rs.155 and Rs.160 contributing Rs.33.7 million to turnover.
Analysts noted that this counter was now close to its one year high of Rs.173.90 but commented that it had topped Rs.200 during the 2010 boom and thereafter slumped to a one year low of Rs.100.
Other stocks that interested retailers yesterday included NDB, Glass, up 40 cents to Rs.6.60 on over 9.9 million shares done between Rs.6.10 and Rs.6.70 generating Rs.63.9 million to turnover, Asiri Surgical up 30 cents to Rs.11.40 on over 4.2 million shares and Lanka Hospitals (Apollo) up Rs.1.20 to Rs.49.20 on nearly 0.6 million shares traded between Rs.46.60 and Rs.49.50 contributing Rs.26.9 million to turnover.