For the second consecutive day, the All Share Index rose by over 60 points and market capitalisation swelled by a further Rs. 24 billion. Turnover was over Rs. 2 billion, much higher than Wednesday’s Rs. 636 million. The S&P SL 20 Index rose by over 20 points as well.
Foreigners continued to be bullish, buying up Rs. 1.1 billion worth of fundamentally-sound stocks with future upside and with selling of Rs. 950 million, the net inflow was Rs. 152.5 million, bringing the year-to-date figure in 2013 to over Rs. 600 million.
Softlogic Stockbrokers said the Colombo Bourse sustained gains 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.
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 Rs. 190, dominating the day’s turnover.
Three on-board blocks totalling 320,000 shares were transacted in the market before it encountered eight off-market tranches accumulating to 2.5 million shares which changed hands at a 52-week high (off-board) price of Rs. 190.
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 Rs. 50 gaining a solid 7.1% for the day amidst there sizeable on-board trades. Hatton National Bank edged up to the top turnover slot supported by 2 crossings carrying 650,000 shares at Rs. 146, 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 four crossings carrying 1.8 million shares which changed hands at Rs. 105 while its on-board play too remained significant. Focus on Dialog Axiata extended as two large blocks amounting to 10.28 million shares changed hands in at Rs. 8.3.
Lanka Milk Foods, which witnessed reactivation recently, encountered a steep gain of 16.8% at its renewed 52-week high of Rs. 125 while a block of 400,000 shares in the counter was crossed off at Rs. 120. Aitken Spence led by renewed interest added two crossings totalling 865k shares at Rs. 121.5 and Rs. 121.6.
Investor play in John Keells Holdings persisted as it encountered a 51,000 block on-board at Rs. 225 after which 260,000 shares were crossed off via 2 blocks at Rs. 225.2 and Rs. 225.3. Amidst majority of the trades weighing on the selling side, the counter closed flat at Rs. 225.0.
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.