Sri Lanka stocks ends at 2-month high on telecom, inflows

COLOMBO, April 11 Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:02am EDT

COLOMBO, April 11 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan share index ended at its two-month high on Friday ahead of a long weekend, helped by foreign inflows and telecom shares.

The main stock index gained 0.28 percent, or 17.29 points, to 6,092.34, its highest close since Feb. 11.

Many investors were in a holiday mood as the stock and currency markets will be closed for three days next week including Monday and Tuesday due to the Sinhala-Tamil new year, followed by Good Friday next week.

The day's turnover was 540.6 million rupees ($4.14 million), less than this year's daily average of 984 million rupees.

The bourse saw net foreign inflows of 182.8 million rupees, though foreigners have sold a net 8.32 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom rose 3.45 percent to 48 rupees.

Analysts said the outlook is still positive due to prevailing lower interest rates.

Brokers say the $19.53 billion worth stock market is gradually attracting investors who are looking for higher returns as the deposit rates in banks and financial companies are not beyond 6-6.5 percent.

Analysts said foreign outflow would continue if Sri Lanka does not cooperate in an international probe conducted by the Office of United nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights on the country's alleged war crimes.

The island nation's foreign minister on Monday said the country would not cooperate with the inquiry. ($1 = 130.6050 Sri Lanka Rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Joyjeet Das)