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May 21, 2011

Relief granted to clear debtors driving prices up at Colombo



Colombo Stock Market recorded the second highest daily turnover for the month on Thursday 19 May 2011 after two years since Colombo Bourse started booming when Sri Lanka completely won its war against terrorism. Most shares gained as buying interest improved. While improvements in quarterly corporate earnings failed to improve prices since last week, the extended deadlines on debt collections for broking houses seem to have elated the investors.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed at 7,487.61 points, rose 1.75% by 128.92 points and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) topped 1.19% by 80.79 points closing at 6,897.01 points. Total turnover was at Rs.3 billion rose 49.54% with a volume of 149.57 million shares changing hands (up 53.97%). Foreign purchases dropped 37.32% to Rs.384.77 million and foreign sales rose 441.01% to Rs.311.06 million. Price to forward Earnings Ratio rose by 1.755 to 26.8 times.

The market watchdog Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka said it has extended a deadline to clear broker credit to the end of the year from an earlier June 30 date and thus brokers will have to clear 25% by Sept 30 and remaining credit and the balance in 31 December 2011.

Several crossings were done including 1 million shares of HNB at Rs.230 per share via two crossings, 16.25 million shares of Asiri Hospitals (ASIRI) at Rs.8.50 through two crossings, 500,000 shares of Commercial Bank (COMB) at Rs.260 and 5 million shares of Dialog (DIAL) at Rs.10 with 60,000 shares of Ceylon Guardian (GUAR) at Rs.358 per share.

The Bank, Finance & Insurance sector was the main contributor to the market turnover driven by HNB Bank and Nation Lanka Finance (CSF), while the sector index increased 1.4%. Two crossings of 1,000,000 shares were recorded for HNB at Rs.230. Manufacturing sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover with the sector index climbing 2.99%. John Keells Holdings (JKH) was the top turnover contributor for the day. JKH price appreciated a further 0.98% and closed at Rs.299.

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