Bourse recovers some ground lost on Insurance Corp. judgment

The Colombo bourse recovered some of Thursday’s lost ground yesterday on a turnover of nearly Rs.1.1 billion, up from the previous day’s Rs.581.1 million with both indices gaining sharply – the All Share by 36.73 points (1.72%) and the Milanka by 59.22 points (2.48%).

Prices of many of the blue chips like JKH, NDB, DFCC, Commercial Bank and Distilleries that declined the previous day were up during the day.

Distilleries, which dragged the market down on Thursday following the Insurance Corporation judgment hit a high of Rs.81.75 and a low of Rs.66 yesterday gaining Rs.2 to close at Rs.79.75 on slightly over 0.4 million shares traded.

The troubled Seylan Merchant Bank sold off 84.5% of Seylan Merchant Leasing to People’s Leasing Company, a subsidiary of the People’s Bank, at a price of Rs.23 with two big parcels, one of nearly 16.9 million shares and the other of 2.3 million shares done at this price.

The counter generated Rs.407.7 million to yesterday’s turnover and was the biggest contributor to the day’s business volume.

An unusually large quantity of Aitken Spence was done yesterday with a parcel of 150,000 shares transacted at Rs.505. In all, a total of slightly over 0.2 million Spence was done between Rs.485 and Rs.525 gaining Rs.41.75 to close at Rs.520 contributing Rs.108.1 million to turnover.

JKH continued to attract investor interest with nearly 0.9 million shares done between Rs.109 and Rs.112 gaining Rs.1.50 to close at Rs.111 generating Rs.96.7 million turnover.

The NDB gained Rs.3.75 on over 0.6 million shares done between Rs.115 and Rs.119.50 closing at Rs.119.25 while the DFCC was up a rupee to close at Rs.115.25 on nearly 0.6 million shares traded.

Commercial Bank gained Rs.2.50 to close at Rs.123.50 on over 0.4 million shares traded while Dockyard gained a substantial Rs.7 to close at Rs..98 on 0.2 million shares done.

LOLC said in a Stock Exchange filing that its directors have decided in principle to divest its 30% shareholding in the stockbroking firm Lanka Orix Securities (Pvt) Limited.

Brokers said that a consortium of high net worth clients of the firm were rumoured to be looking at purchasing the company in which Ishara Traders, a motor car dealer belonging to the family of LOLC Deputy Chairman Ishara Nanayakkara, hold a major 40% stake.

The Distilleries Company said in a Stock Exchange filing that it had not received a copy of the Insurance Corporation judgment up to June 4 and a further communication will follow no sooner it is received.

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