Sri Lankan stocks up on Keells ahead of earnings

COLOMBO Tue Nov 6, 2012 6:28am EST

COLOMBO Nov 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks edged up on Tuesday on thin volumes, but many investors remained on the sidelines in anticipation of next year's budget proposals.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.31 percent, or 17.28 points, to end at 5,556.59, its highest since Oct.25.

Shares in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings PLC , which is expected to release its September quarterly earnings this week, rose 0.24 percent to 212.10 rupees.

Mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata, which posted a 273 percent rise in net profit for the September quarter, rose 3.61 percent to 8.60 rupees.

"A very quiet day ahead of the budget and foreign participation was low with the U.S. elections," said a stockbroker who declined to be identified.

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

Turnover was 231.2 million rupees ($1.77 million), less than a quarter of this year's daily average of 914 million rupees. Foreigners bought a net 16 million rupees worth of shares, extending the net foreign inflow this year to 34.5 billion.

The rupee weakened to 130.65/75 to the dollar from Monday's close of 130.43/50 on seasonal importer dollar demand, dealers said. ($1 = 130.4500 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Ron Popeski)