COLOMBO, April 9 The Sri Lankan share index rose
to a near two-month closing high on Wednesday, led by financial
shares such as Ceylinco Insurance Plc, while heavy
foreign buying in the island nation's risky assets also boosted
The main stock index closed 0.19 percent, or 11.39
points, firmer at 6,083.55, its highest close since Feb. 12.
Analysts expect the market to gain further due to prevailing
lower interest rates.
Brokers say the $19.50 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.
The day's turnover was 1.32 billion rupees, well above this
year's daily average of 1 billion rupees.
The bourse saw net foreign inflows of 793.4 million rupees,
though foreigners have net sold 8.5 rupees worth of shares so
far this year.
Analysts, however, said foreign investor sentiment is yet to
recover after the United Nations on March 27 announced it would
probe alleged war crimes by the island nation.
The bourse has suffered 4.37 billion rupees in foreign
outflows in the nine sessions since March 28 due to the exit of
a large foreign fund.
Shares in Ceylinco Insurance gained 4.18 percent to 1,390.10
rupees, with 928 shares changing hands.
The United Nations has launched an inquiry into war crimes
allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil
rebels during a conflict that ended in 2009, saying the
government had failed to investigate properly.
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 waiting for a clear direction.
($1 = 130.5950 Sri Lanka Rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)