Sri Lankan bourse edges up on foreign buying in Keells

COLOMBO Mon Nov 5, 2012 6:14am EST

COLOMBO Nov 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks firmed marginally on Monday on thin volumes, but many investors stayed away, awaiting the budget and corporate earnings.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.13 percent, or 6.99 points, to end at 5,539.31.

Shares in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings PLC rose 0.91 percent to 211.60 rupees on foreign buying.

Mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata, which posted a 273 percent rise in net profit for the September quarter, rose 2.47 percent to 8.30 rupees.

"Investors are awaiting for direction from the budget, which will show where the economy is heading," said a stockbroker who declined to be identified.

The government presents the 2013 budget on Thursday, while several companies release quarterly results from this week.

Turnover was 161.2 million rupees ($1.24 million), less than a fifth of this year's daily average of 917 million rupees. Foreigners bought a net 47 million rupees worth of shares, extending the net foreign inflow this year to 34.5 billion.

The rupee weakened to 130.43/50 to the dollar from Friday's close of 130.30/35 on importer dollar demand, dealers said. ($1 = 130.3000 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Ron Popeski)