Shares end marginally higher; block deals boost turnover
Sri Lankan shares ended with modest gains yesterday as local investors picked up beverage and trading shares, while block deals boosted the turnover to more than a two-month high.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.08 percent firmer at 6,377.38.
The Colombo stock index fell 0.2 percent last week, its eighth straight weekly drop.
Top mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata after market hours said that it acquired 80.34 percent of Colombo Trust Finance for Rs.1.072 billion.
Turnover was Rs.2.03 billion, the highest since June 23 and well above this year’s daily average of around Rs.863.5 million.
“It was a good day and even as the market ended nearly flat, there were a lot of crossings,” said First Capital Holdings Head of Research Dimantha Mathew.
“The good sign is the buying interest from the local side that was lacking for a while was seen today even though the foreigners were net sellers.”
Shares in Dialog Axiata PLC rose 0.9 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.06 percent firmer.
Shares of Singer Sri Lanka PLC rose 18.2 percent while Ceylon Cold Stores PLC ended 3.2 percent firmer and Ceylon Tobacco Co PLC gained 1 percent.
Foreign investors net sold Rs.155.6 million worth of shares yesterday. But they have been net buyers of Rs.27.7 billion worth equities so far this year.