Jan 17, 2013 (LBT) - Colombo bourse sustained gains rallying up a further 62 points for the day backed by strong buying interest denoted particularly in index heavy counters. Large deals in fundamentals grabbed the limelight as off-board blocks constituted 47% of the turnover leading overall investor participation to grasp pace. The benchmark index witnessed a steep gain of 67 points at its peak assisted by; Sri Lanka Telecom (+4.1%), Ceylon Tobacco Company (+1.9%) and Distilleries (+5.1%) before closing at 5,875.28 points. The S&P SL20 index which saw several of its caliber record solid gains for the day advanced 27 points at its intra-day high before settling at 3,184.61points (+21 points).
Investor hunt in Distilleries persisted with the counter having witnessed strong participation ever since dipping to attractive valuations during dormant play of the market. With significant interest weighing on the buying side, the share renewed its 52-week high at LKR190.0, dominating the day’s turnover. Three on-board blocks totaling c.320k shares were transacted in the market before it encountered 8 off-market tranches accumulating to c.2.5 mn shares which changed hands at a 52-week high (off-board) price of LKR190.0.
Heavy caps; Sampath Bank and Sri Lanka Telecom generated significant contributions with the renewed interest in the latter heightening up, fuelling the upsurge of the index and continued on-board blocks in the former. Sri Lanka Telecom touched LKR50.0 gaining a solid 7.1% for the day amidst 3 sizable on-board trades. Hatton National Bank edged up to the top turnover slot supported by 2 crossings carrying c.650k shares at LKR146.0 which were executed during the first hour of trading. Interest stayed in the banking sector as notable activity surrounded Commercial Bank and National Development Bank. The former added 4 crossings carrying 1.8 mn shares which changed hands at LKR105.0 while its on-board play too remained significant. Focus on Dialog Axiata extended as two large blocks amounting to 10.28 mn shares changed hands in at LKR8.3.
Lanka Milk Foods which witnessed reactivation recently encountered a steep gain of 16.8% at its renewed 52-week high of LKR125.0 today while a block of 400k shares in the counter was crossed off at LKR120.0. Aitken Spence led by renewed interest added two crossings totaling 865k shares at LKR121.5 and LKR121.6. Investor play in John Keells Holdings persisted as it encountered a c.51k block on-board at LKR225.0 after which 260k shares were crossed off via 2 blocks at LKR225.2 and LKR225.3. Amidst majority of the trades weighing on the selling side, the counter closed flat at LKR225.0. Retail participation prevailed in Softlogic Holdings and Sierra Cables while renewed activity gathered in Richard Peiris Company and Textured Jersey. Further, amidst the uptrend, Lion Breweries, Asiri Hospital Holdings, Ceylon Cold Stores and Lanka IOC gathered momentum as each touched new 52-week peaks of LKR315.0, LKR12.2, LKR138.0 and LKR22.8 respectively.
Asian Stocks Drop for Second Day as Yen Reverses Losses: Asian shares declined, with the regional benchmark index poised to fall a second day, after touching a 17-month high this week. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.5% to 130.84 as of 1:42 p.m. Tokyo time, erasing gains of as much as 0.6%. Oil Drops From Four-Month High on Concern Demand Growth May Slow: Oil fell in New York as investors speculated a rally to the highest level in four months was exaggerated amid concern the global economic recovery may falter, curbing fuel demand. Crude for February delivery declined as much as 44 cents to USD93.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.