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Sri Lanka stocks gain half a percent on JKH, banks

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.57 percent higher on Wednesday pushed by John Keells Holdings and banking stocks, brokers said.

Colombo’s main All Share Price Index (ASPI) advanced 28.87 points to close at 5,111.94.

The index opened 5,121.17 higher following previous day’s upward trajectory however within minutes into open market nosedived to reach an intra-day low of 5,087.65 by mid-day trade. The index then rallied after mid-day coming to a close on a positive note at 5,120.45.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks climbed 0.79 percent or 17.88 points up at 2,275.45.

Market turnover amounted to 1.78 billion rupees on Wednesday with 87 stocks making gains while 67 fell.

Banking stocks continued to make gains contributing 50 percent or roughly 811 million rupees to the overall market turnover while capital goods stocks such as Hemas and John Keells too contributed to the market turnover of roughly 580 million rupees today respectively.

Retail activity for the day was high with 11,668 trades done in trading, brokers said.

Retail activity was mainly centered on John Keells, Royal Ceramic Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank, HNB voting and non-voting and Hemas.

John Keells Holding yesterday announced that International Finance Corporation will invest 175 million US dollars to help expand its retail and hotel businesses both in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Read here: Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings gets US$175mn from IFC

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JKH plans to open about 100 new supermarkets in Sri Lanka over the next three to five years, with a focus on less developed areas.

John Keells Holdings shares dragged the ASPI up for the day, trading at 128.40 rupees a share, climbing 8.40 rupees (7.00 percent).

Ceylon Cold Stores shares traded 26.50 rupees to close at 706.50 rupees a share, while Dialog Axiata shares traded 20 cents up at 12.00 rupees a share, also contributing to the ASPI’s gain.

(Colombo/June24/2020)

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