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Sri Lanka targets foreign investment with top 20 index
COLOMBO, June 26 |
COLOMBO, June 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka launched on Tuesday an index of 20 of its leading listed companies in what the market regulator said was a bid to attract more foreign investment in the island nation's bourse.
The S&P Sri Lanka 20 index included market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, top private lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Sri Lanka's No.1 mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata.
"It will ... be helpful to attract foreign investors," the chairman of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission Thilak Karunaratne told Reuters.
The index, developed by the Colombo Stock Exchange and S&P Indices, includes Sri Lanka's largest 20 stocks by market capitalisation that also meet liquidity and viability thresholds.
Foreigners have been net sellers of Sri Lanklan stocks over the past three years, mainly due to low liquidity and reports of market manipulation.
But that trend has reversed with a foreign inflow of 23.32 billion rupees ($174.68 million) so far this year. That was helped by Malaysia's state investment arm Khazanah Nasional, buying 8.9 percent of John Keells Holdings for about $120 million.
The broader All Share Price Index has been one of Asia's worst performers so far this year wuth a 17.85 percent fall. (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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