|Market gains, with renewed buying interest
The market which had been on the decline during the past few days, saw a change in this trend during the course of Thursdays trading due to the easing off of selling pressure, and consequently, selling interest creeping in, sources said.
The Colombo Stock Exchanges (CSEs) all share price index (ASPI) gained by 3.7 points to close at 610.8 points and the Milanka price index (MPI) by 11.4 points to close at 992.8 points on a turnover of Rs 44.3 million at the end of yesterdays trading.
However, the market dipped during the first half of trading on Thursday but picked up during the second half due to buying interest, they said. Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers (BMS) in their report said that bargain hunters stepped into pick-up selected stocks at discounted prices after six consecutive days of heavy to moderate declines.
The biggest contributor to the days came from Richard Pieris, where 1% of its stake valued at Rs 21.2 million, comprising some 235,100 shares was bought by a local party at Rs 90 a share. This party, according to sources close to Dr Sena Yaddehige, the Sri Lankan born industrialist domiciled in the UK who directly has a 27% stake in the company, is not one of those connected to Yaddehige.
However, Yaddehige, through parties close to him, bought a 1% stake in Richard Pieris on Monday, and another 0.1% on Tuesday. It is learnt that Sohli Captain and related parties, who, together have a 39% stake in the company ( Captain-18% and Asia Capital, of which Captains son Rusi is a director-21%), want the statusquo of the company, as far as its management is concerned, to remain.
Captain, it is believed, has a good relationship with the Richard Pieris family, which has a 15% stake in the company. But,, it is learnt, that Captain and parties related to him are willing to sell a moderate quantity of their shares at Rs 90 a share, which is considered a premium price, in the light of the fact that these shares had been earlier purchased by them at Rs 65 a share, or even less.
In fact the Captain family had been releasing a part of their equity in Richard Pieris in moderate doses from the time Yaddehige acquired a 27% stake in the company from JKH a couple of weeks ago, the sources said. Another few hundred thousand shares are expected to be released into the market by this family within the next couple of days provided they get a price of Rs 90 for a share, the sources said.
Meanwhile, the second biggest contributor to the day was a turnover of Rs 3.7 million from 5, 300 Sri Lanka Telecom debentures (Rs 1,000 par value), traded at Rs 700.25 a debenture, Rs 69.75 less than its previous closing price.
Rs 3.5 million from 52,600 shares of NDB, mainly traded at Rs 66.50 a share, Rs 1.50 more than the previous days closing price. Rs 2.9 million from Serendib Hotels on a share volume of 115,000, traded at Rs 25 a share. Rs 1.6 million from Royal Ceramics on a share volume of 102,600 done at Rs 15.75 and Rs 16 a share.
Rs 1.4 million from Asia Capital on a share volume of 188,800 at Rs 7.25 a share; 25 cents more than the previous days closing price. Rs 1.3 million from Pelwatte Sugar on a volume of 162,600 shares traded at Rs 7.75 a share. And 124,000 shares of Distilleries traded at Rs 7.75 a share and contributing Rs 960,000 to the days turnover.
Among some of the gainers on Thursday were Ceylon Guardian Investments, up by Rs 5.25 on a share volume of 100 to close at Rs 95.25. DFCC, up by Rs 2 on a share volume of 1,100 to close at Rs 108. JKH, up by Rs 1.50 on a share volume of 7,600 to close at Rs 57.
MLL, up by Rs 1.25 to close at Rs 12.75 on a share volume of 11,400. And, Commercial Leasing, up by Rs 1.25 to close at Rs 25 on a share volume of 9,500. And among some of the losers, Ceylon Brewery, down by Rs 3.25 on a share volume of 100 to close at Rs 43.75.
Tokyo Cement, down by Rs 2.75 to close at Rs 73.75 on a share volume of 500; Habarana Lodge, down by Rs 2 to close at Rs 31 on a share volume of 5,000 and Commercial Bank, down by a rupee to close at Rs 139 on a volume of 900 shares. (PA)
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