Slightly over 35% of SLT belonging to Japan’s
NTT has been lodged in the Central Depository System fuelling
speculation that Malaysia’s UT group will acquire the country’s
biggest fixed line telecom operator within the next few days.
The chase for SLT continued on the Colombo
bourse yesterday with nearly 5.3 million shares traded between a
low of Rs.40 and a high of Rs.41.25 with speculative trading on
the counter continuing unabated from last week.
Brokers said that this month alone as many as 80
million SLT shares had been transacted with retailers, high net
worth investors and institutions speculating on the stock
anticipating upside on a possible mandatory offer.
Lankan born and US based fund manager Raj
Rajaratnam was believed to have sold out his SLT holdings at a
tidy profit. Next to the Government (slightly under 50%) and
NTT, Rajaratnam and his funds was a big shareholder.
Foreign interest in the stock has led to
speculation that UT is already in the market but these rumours
Yesterday’s trading in SLT contributed Rs.215.7
million to a turnover of Rs.378.7 million, down from the
previous day’s Rs.1.27 billion which too came mainly off SLT.
Both indices were up during the day, the All
Share by 8.11 points (0.32%) and the Milanka by 22.25 points
(0.70%). During early trading the indices were much higher but
eased at the end of the day.
The Commercial Bank with slightly over 0.1
million shares traded and JKH also with a slightly over 0.1
million shares done, came a poor second and third in the
turnover ranking with ComBank netting Rs.14.9 million and JKH
ComBank traded between Rs.141.50 and Rs.142
gaining 25 cents to close at Rs.141.75 while JKH also traded
within a narrow range of Rs.119.50 and Rs.120 closing flat at
Other counters that demonstrated some volume
included LMF with 0.2 million shares done closing at Rs.50,
Hayleys with 69,200 shares done closing at Rs.99, Ceylinco
Insurance with 30,800 shares done closing at Rs.206 and LIOC
(nearly 0.3 million shares).
Madulsima (nearly 0.3 million shares) and
Maskeliya (over 0.1 million shares) were among plantation stock
that showed volume.