Colombo stocks surge led by JKH interest
Colombo stock prices surged, at lower levels, at the close on Thursday triggered by buying interest in John Keells Holdings (JKH) while a major stake in Mercantile Shipping also contributed to the turnover, brokers said.
A 17 % stake in Mercantile Shipping Co was traded at Rs 125 per share, Rs 15 higher than previous levels with the buyer unknown with the transaction accounting for Rs 53 million, while 1.45 millon shares of JKH were traded at Rs 65, up 75 cents from Wednesday, resulting in a turnover from JKH shares of Rs 95 million. These two stocks contributed mainly to the day’s turnover of Rs 251.9 million.
“It would be interesting to see how the JKH stock fares tomorrow after the not-so-good third quarter results,” one broker said. The blue chip, recovering from the Supreme Court judgment over its subsidiary LMSL, on Thursday reported poor results in the quarter to September 2008 which has dismayed brokers and investors.
The All Share Index gained by 54.53 points to 1,803.79 while the Milanka ended at 73.97 points higher and over the 2,000 level, to 2,031.24. There 138 price gains and just 14 price-falls in the stocks traded.
Stock analysts said the buoyancy was essentially because at these low prices, there are many bargains and retail interest. Among other main stocks traded was Dialog gaining 25 cents to Rs 7.25 while Distilleries closed at Rs 50.50, up 50cents.