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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka shares at 18-month high on foreign buying; Keells leads

Sri Lanka shares at 18-month high on foreign buying; Keells leads

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1Sri Lanka shares at 18-month high on foreign buying; Keells leads Empty Sri Lanka stocks closed up 1.5-pct Fri May 17, 2013 5:36 pm


Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

May 17, 2013 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's stocks closed up 1.49 percent on Friday, with heavy retail trading activity in the banking sector and interest continuing in index heavy John Keells Holdings, brokers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 93.70 points higher at 6,380.70 up 1.49 percent and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 57.89 points higher at 3,589.26 up 1.64 percent.

Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees down from 1.8 billion rupees a day earlier.

Foreigners brought 434 million rupees worth shares while selling 99 million rupees worth of shares as 123 stocks advanced and 82 retreated.

John Keells Holdings which contributed most to the index gain ended at 284.90 rupees up 6.90. Ceylon Tobacco Company closed at 869.80 up 24.80 rupees.

Singer Sri Lanka which had a negative impact closed at 100.10 down 4.40 rupees.

There was active trading in banks. Hatton National Bank closed at 171.10 rupees up 0.10 cents. DFCC Bank closed at 151.90 up 3.00 rupees while Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 119.00 up 2.40. Sampath Bank closed at 228.10 up 2.30 rupees.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka gained 1.70 rupees to close at 185.70 rupees. Aitken Spence closed at 135.10 up 2.10 rupees. Dialog Axiata closed at 9.80 rupees up 0.20 cents with over 16 million shares traded.



COLOMBO, May 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose on Friday to hit a new 18-month high on foreign buying, with market heavyweight John Keells Holdings leading the rally, while the rupee ended weaker on corporate dollar demand.

The main stock index rose 1.49 percent, or 93.70 points, to close at 6,380.70, its highest since Nov. 4, 2011.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 335.3 million rupees ($2.67 million) of shares, extending net foreign inflows this year to 11.19 billion rupees.

'The market is up on the foreign buying,' a stock broker said on condition of anonymity.

'With the market moving up, institutional investors are also aggressively getting into their positions.'

A fall in interest rates of fixed income assets has also helped boost sentiment in the sharemarket as retail investors, who dominate the island nation's bourse in terms of volume, shift to equities from government securities, dealers said.

Yields in treasury bills fell in the range of 29 basis points to 45 bps on Wednesday after the central bank cut key policy rates by 50 bps last Friday, following some of its regional peers, to boost economic growth amid subdued demand.

Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 2.48 percent to 284.90 rupees, their all-time closing high.

Market turnover was 1.4 billion rupees on Friday, more than this year's daily average of 1.04 billion rupees.

The rupee ended weaker at 126.30/35 from Thursday's close of 125.80/85 on corporate-related dollar outflows, currency dealers said.

($1 = 125.7000 Sri Lanka rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)


(Reuters Messaging: a)



Banking stock does nicely, retail play evident

The Colombo bourse yesterday closed the week on a high note on a turnover of Rs.1.4 billion, down from the previous day’s Rs.1.88 billion, with both indices moving up sharply for the second consecutive day - the All Share by 93.70 points (1.49%) and S&P SL20 by 58 points (1.64%) with 141 gainers strongly outpacing 74 losers while 54 counters closed flat.

"The indices are moving on JKH which closed Rs.7 up at Rs.285 on slightly over 0.3 million shares done between Rs.278 and Rs.285,’’ a broker said. ``The counter now at a one-year high.’’

There were no crossings on JKH yesterday while floor trades generated a turnover of Rs.86.9 million. Analysts and brokers were united in the view that the counter is moving the indices.’’

Crossings by HNB, Commercial Bank and Dialog contributed over Rs.496 million to the day’s turnover with HNB seeing a single crossing of nearly 0.6 million shares at Rs.171, Commercial Bank seeing three crossings of over 2.3 million shares done at Rs.118 and Rs.119 and Dialog two crossings of over 12.2 million shares done at Rs.9.80

Brokers said that retail activity was seen in NTB which closed Rs.2.50 up at Rs.68 on a bullish note with nearly 0.8 million shares done between Rs.65.60 and Rs.68.50, HNB (non-voting), Dialog, and property sector stock like Ceylinco Seylan Development, Overseas Realty and Colombo Land.

Banking counters also did well with Commercial Bank (voting), NTB, HNB and Sampath showing both volume and gains.

Commercial Bank closed Rs.2.40 up at Rs.119 on over 0.7 million shares, NTB gained Rs.2.50 to close at Rs.68 on nearly 0.8 million shares, HNB (non-voting) was up 80 cents to Rs.125.40 on over 0.3 million shares while Sampath gained Rs.2.20 to close at Rs.228 on nearly 0.2 million shares.

Other shares that showed volume on the floor included Dialog up 10 cents to Rs.9.70 on nearly 4.1 million shares, Ceylinco Seylan up 60 cents to Rs.11 on nearly 3.4 million shares, Overseas Realty up 90 cents to Rs.17.90 on over 1.6 million shares, ERI up 20 cents to Rs.17.70 on 1.5 million shares, Janashakthi up 10 cents to Rs.14.10 on 1.7 million shares and Richard Pieris up 50 cents to Rs.7.80 on 2.5 million shares.

Equity One announced a dividend of Rs. 0.11 first and final for 2012/13 following shareholder approval at a June 19 AGM. The share will trade XD from June 20 with payment on June 28.

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