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Cautious and shaky start by Bourse

Aug 15, 2011 3:11:42 PM - www.ft.lk

The Colombo stock market began a fresh week with caution though there was some degree of volatility during the day.
Despite gaining 39.3 points at its intra-day high of 6,872.34 points, activity levels calmed down to close flat for the day. ASI eventually closed up 3.47 points and MPI by 13 points.

Turnover was a modest Rs. 1.5 billion. “The indices edged marginally higher amid low activity levels with trades centered around motor, manufacturing, diversified and finance counters,” John Keells Stock Brokers said. “ASPI remained stagnant while MPI went through a choppy ride as the market sentiment was volatile. However, the overall market was dull despite the positive interim results.
Indices closed in green at the end with interest shown in selected counters,” NDB Stockbrokers said.
It said motor sector was the main contributor to the market turnover (due to Colonial Motors), and the sector index increased by 1.35%. Colonial Motors was the main contributor to the market turnover with a crossing of 100,000 shares at Rs. 290. Colombo Fort Land & Building Company purchased 12.05% stake in Colonial Motors last Friday. The share price increased by Rs. 49.80 (16.62%) and closed at Rs.347.
Diversified sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings) and the sector index increased by 0.49%. The share price of John Keells Holdings increased by Rs.1.60 (0.79%) and closed at Rs. 203.
Arrenga Capital said following Colombo Fort Land & Building’s acquisition into Colonial Motors on Friday, the counter continued to gather interest whilst registering heavy price fluctuations touching an intra- day high of Rs.380.0 (up 26.8% from Friday’s close) to close at Rs.349.5 with a 16.6% gain.
The counter also witnessed a parcel of 100k shares being transacted at Rs.290.0.John Keells Holdings registered two crossings totaling to 200k shares at Rs.201.40. Institutional and high net worth participation was evident in Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings as the counter saw a block of 775k shares being crossed off at Rs.75.0.
Renewed retail attention in PC House led the counter to appreciate by 3.3% for the day whilst closing at Rs.19.0. ODEL was also driven to the top turnover list by retailers.
Subsequent to the release of impressive quarterly earnings by Commercial Bank (net profit up by 63.9% YoY to register Rs.1,976.0 mn during 2Q2011), the counter saw its Rights [R0001] topping the price gainers’ list with a 48.6% price increase closing for the day at Rs.10.7.  
Lanka Securities said foreign participation amounted to 5.9% of the total market activity and at the end of the day foreign investors were the net buyers with a net foreign inflow of Rs.50.7mn.
DNH Financial said the week started on a lackluster note with stocks moving only modestly higher over the course of trading with buying interest remaining relatively subdued.
“Many investors appeared to wait on the sidelines in the absence of any market moving news,” DNH said adding gainers outpaced losers with Confifi Hotel, Kuruwita Textile and Colonial Motors rising by 24.7%,17.5% and 16.6% offsetting declines in Royal Palms, Shaw Wallace and Environmental Resources Investments (W0006) which lost 9.3%, 8.5% and 7.3% respectively.