Sri Lankan stocks end little changed

COLOMBO, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:25am EDT

COLOMBO, July 25 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks ended little changed on Friday amid expectation of strong corporate earnings after market heavyweight John Keells Holdings' upbeat results.

The main stock index ended 0.03 percent, or 2.24 points, higher at 6,783.64, gaining 6.35 percent so far this month. On Tuesday, the index marked its highest close since Sept. 20, 2011.

"The market is still not steady as some shares are overheated. But corporate earnings are expected to show improvements and we expect more local investors to come back to the bourse," said a stock broker asking not to be named.

The index has been in the overbought region since July 3, having risen 14.73 percent so far this year as local investors moved funds from fixed income to riskier assets in view of the low interest rate.

Turnover was 1.23 billion rupees ($9.44 million), more than this year's daily average of about 1.09 billion rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 217.4 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow in shares to 10.59 billion rupees.

Shares of Distillers Sri Lanka Plc rose 1.53 percent to 206 rupees, while Dipped Products Plc rose 5.46 percent to 127.40 rupees.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which posted a 35 percent growth in its June quarter profit, fell 0.46 percent to 238.70 rupees. Analysts said investors sold the stock citing it was overheated. ($1 = 130.2500 Sri Lankan Rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)