Sri Lanka stocks down as foreigners exit after UN resolution

COLOMBO, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:34am EDT

COLOMBO, March 28 (Reuters) - Foreign investors pulled out from the Sri Lankan bourse in heavy volume on Friday, a day after a U.N. resolution approved an international probe into the island nation's war crimes.

The bourse saw a net foreign outflow of 2.77 billion rupees ($21.19 million) worth of shares, the highest single-day outflow since Feb. 6, extending the net foreign outflow so far this year to 6.9 billion rupees.

"Investors are a bit more worried about the economic impact and growth due to the resolution," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

The United Nations on Thursday launched an inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the conflict that ended in 2009, saying the government had failed to investigate properly.

Sri Lankan stocks fell on Friday from a more-than-five-week high hit in the previous session, led by large-cap shares. The main stock index ended 0.34 percent, or 20.45 points, weaker at 5,972.17.

Analysts said the outcome of the resolution was expected, but investors sentiment has been dented over concerns it could hurt the country's economy. Several potential buyers of risky assets are awaiting a clear direction.

Two stockbrokers said a foreign fund sold 12.5 million shares of conglomerate John Keells Holding PLC on Friday. The stock still ended up 0.99 percent at 225 rupees.

Top contributors to the day's fall were Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC, which fell 2.92 percent, and Ceylinco Insurance PLC , which fell 5.14 percent.

Turnover was 3.29 billion rupees, the highest since Feb. 6 and more than thrice of this year's daily average volume. ($1 = 130.7000 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.