COLOMBO, April 16 The Sri Lankan share index
rose to a more than two-month high on Wednesday, led by blue
chips and foreign inflows.
The main stock index ended up 0.44 percent at
6,118.85, its highest close since Feb. 11.
Though the day's turnover at 745.2 million rupees ($5.7
million) was less than this year's daily average of 980.6
million rupees, foreign buying accounted for 64.6 percent of
Many local investors were in a holiday mood as the stock and
currency markets are trading only on Wednesday and
Thursday this week due to the Sinhala-Tamil new year, followed
by Good Friday.
The bourse saw net foreign inflows for a sixth straight
session. Offshore investors bought 276.3 million rupees worth of
stocks, though they have net sold 8.04 billion rupees of shares
so far this year.
Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings, which
accounted for around 40 percent of the day's turnover, ended
steady at 238 rupees. Commercial Bank of Ceylon, the
top listed private lender, edged up 0.16 percent to 127 rupees.
Analysts said the outlook was still positive due to
prevailing lower interest rates.
Brokers said the stock market, valued at $19.62 billion as
of Wednesday's close, is gradually attracting investors who are
looking for higher returns than the deposit rates of around
6-6.5 percent offered by banks and financial companies.
Analysts, however, expect foreigners could shift from the
island nation's risky assets if Sri Lanka does not cooperate in
an international probe conducted by the Office of the United
Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights on the country's
alleged war crimes and human rights abuses.
Sri Lanka's foreign minister said last week that the country
would not cooperate with the inquiry.
The bourse has seen 3.9 billion rupees in outflows since a
UN resolution voted for an international probe.
($1 = 130.6000 Sri Lanka Rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez in Colombo; Editing by Prateek