Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bourse surges as SEC relaxes credit rules

The Colombo bourse surged yesterday with retailers particularly cheering relaxed credit rules driving up both indices sharply – the All Share by 214.21 points (3.13%) and the Milanka by 227.60 points (3.67%) on a turnover of Rs.3.77 billion, up from the previous day’s Rs.1.5 billion, with 200 gainers leaving 24 losers trailing.

"The market was rocking and rolling with retailers cheering the announcement by the Securities sand Exchange Commission," Prashan Fernando of Acuity Stockbrokers said. "There was renewed buying interest across the board."

Analysts said yesterday’s was one of the sharpest single day gains in recent times and also noted that the Milanka, tracking many blue chips, had done better than the All Share contrary to recent behaviour.

Lanka Hospitals Corporation (Apollo) was the day’s top performer gaining Rs.31.40 to close at Rs.89.50 with nearly 8.6 million shares traded between Rs.50 and Rs.89.50 contributing Rs.623.4 million to turnover.

JKH followed closing Rs.11 up at Rs.215 with nearly 1.9 million shares done between Rs.204 and Rs.215 while Colombo Land (Owners of the Liberty Plaza) gained Rs.6.30 to close at Rs.52.50 on slightly over 7.7 million shares done between Rs.42.80 and Rs.52.90.

One parcel of 535,600 JKH was crossed at Rs.213, the only crossing for the day.

Other big contributors to yesterday’s business included Laugfs Gas (both voting and non-voting), Grain Elevators, East West, Commercial Bank and Seylan Development.

Fernando of Acuity said that retail focus was on Lanka Hospitals, Colombo Land, Laugfs, Seylan Development and to some extent poultry stock like Grain Elevators and Three Acre Farms.

Brokers said there was some foreign interest in JKH while Commercial Bank, whose rights issue closed at 4.30 pm yesterday, gained Rs.3.60 to close at Rs.226.50 on over 0.4 million shares done between Rs.222.90 and Rs.230.

There was no explanation on the volume of shares traded and the price gain on stocks like Lanka Hospitals with one broker saying; "You can understand counters like JKH moving but there was no explanation on earnings and fundamentals on some of the others that shot up."

Many brokers and analysts said that retailers looking for trading opportunities were driving these stocks up.

Sierra Cables announced a first and final dividend of Rs.0.10 per share for 2010/11 with an AGM on September 15 with the share going XD on September 16 and payment on September 26.

Mr. R. Senathi Rajah, Chairman of Colombo Investment Trust and Colombo Fort Investments of the Colombo Fort Land and Buildings Group has resigned with effect from August 12 and has been succeeded by Mr. A. Rajaratnam with Mr. S.D.R. Arudpragasam appointed to both boards as Deputy Chairman.

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