|Dividend announcements drive-up market?
With the reawakening of retailer interest in selected stocks due to dividend announcements made by companies such as DFCC Bank, John Keells Holdings (JKH) and Royal Ceramics Ltd (RCL), assisted the Colombo Stock Exchanges (CSEs) All Share Price Index (ASPI) to gain by 4.4 points and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) by 13.9 points at the end of Mondays trading.
DFCC Bank on Monday made a 50% first and final dividend announcement with date to be notified, Peoples Merchant Bank (PMB) a 4% final dividend with excluding dividend date fixed for June 12 and payment date, July 5.
Meanwhile, John Keells Holdings (JKH) announced a 10% final dividend around two weeks ago, on a top of a 10% interim dividend announced around a month ago. And Royal Ceramics, a 10% interim dividend, also around a month ago.
The ASPI closed at 617.9 points and the MPI at 1032.9 points at the end of the days trading. Total turnover recorded for the day was Rs. 109.6 million and foreign purchases Rs 6.2 million and foreign sales, Rs 46,500.
Meanwhile, a noteworthy trade that took place on Monday was the sale of 480,000 shares of Richard Pieris, amounting to 2.1% of its equity, by a director of Asia Capital, Ajith de Fonseka. The buyer is speculated to be M. M. Udeshi, a well known businessman. This sale was executed at Rs 95 a share.
In total, 484,600 shares of Richard Pieris were traded at Rs 95 a share, contributing Rs 46 million to the days turnover, the single biggest contributor to the days turnover. Richard Pieris closed at Rs 95, 25 cents more than the previous days closing price.
The second biggest contributor, turnoverwise, was Lanka Walltiles, a total of 944,200 shares or 3.6% of its equity, with the sellers believed to have been several institutions, and the buyers, a combination of both high networth individuals (HNWI) and institutions. Lanka Walltiles contributed Rs 18.5 million to the days turnover, with the majority of the trades done at Rs 20 a share. Lanka Walltiles closed at Rs 20, Rs 2 more than the previous days closing price. Other noteworthy contributions to the days turnover came from Asia Capital, 727,600 shares, with most of the sales done by HNWI to a single buyer. Almost all of these trades were executed at Rs 7.75 a share, 25 cents more than the previous days closing price.
Meanwhile, according to unconfirmed reports, due to an error, it had originally been recorded that 358,390 shares of Royal Ceramics had been traded on the floor mainly at Rs 20 a share.
According to sources, this sale was actually to have been targeted in the sale of Lanka Walltiles, but this mistake had apparently being made by certain brokers. "However, with the concurrence of the concerned parties, we were able to reduce this liability to 85,000 shares," these sources said.
But, according to the official records maintained by the CSE, the final number of shares of Royal Ceramics traded on the floor had been recorded at 141,900, with most of the trades done at Rs 20, the same price that they had closed the previous day.
Other noteworthy trades were 93,100 shares of National Development Bank Ltd (NDB) mainly at Rs 71 a share, a rupee more than the previous days closing price. NDB contributed Rs 6.6 million to the days turnover. 51,800 shares of Commercial Bank mainly at Rs 155 a share, Rs 4.75 more than the previous days closing price.
90,400 shares of JKH contributing Rs 5.3 million to the days turnover. JKH closed at Rs 60, Rs 1.75 more than the previous days closing price. DFCC Bank, Rs 1.4 million on 12,500 shares. DFCC closed at Rs 117, Rs 4 more than the previous days closing price. Nestle, up by Rs 1.75 to close at Rs 52 on a volume of 100 shares and Peagasus Hotels, Rs 1.25 more than the previous days closing price to close at Rs 9.75 on 16,200 shares.
Among some of the seemingly significant losers on Monday were Ceylinco Insurance, down by Rs 1.25 to close at Rs 28.25 on a share volume of 8,200, Hayleys, down by a rupee on a share volume of 5,700 to close at Rs 120.50 and Hatton National Bank Ltd (HNB) non-voting, down by a rupee to close at Rs 35 on a share volume of 1,700. (PA)
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