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* Sri Lanka stock index reaches all time high, crossing 4,000
Mon, Apr 19, 2010, 11:04 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka shares reached an all-time high Monday crossing the 4,000 mark at the Colombo Bourse as local investors are upbeat about the prospects of increased investment opportunities with a new stable government coming to power in a few days.

The All-share Price Index closed at 4,015.36, 1.22% above Friday's close at 3,966.87 while the more volatile Milanka Index gained 1.26% to close at 4,576.10.

The turnover ended at 1.75 billion rupees with mostly domestic purchases contributing at 1.64 billion rupees. Foreign purchases were low at 113 million rupees. Over 114,00 shares exchanged hands.

The leisure sector gained the most with over 4 percent with the contributions from trading of 13.5 million shares of John Keells Hotels at a gain of 8.64%. Ceylon Hotels Corporation gained 21.43% while Kandy Hotels closed 18.34% above the previous close.

The tourism industry is booming in the island nation with all the major hotels being filled with tourists arriving mostly from European countries, Japan, India, and the Middle East.

The government has revealed plans to develop the Eastern coastline and the northern Jaffna peninsula s tourist resorts by building the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the increasing number of tourists.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has received a strong mandate at the recently held parliamentary elections raising the confidence of investors that the country is heading for a major development drive and hence improved economic prospects.

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