COLOMBO, April 28 Sri Lankan shares ended a tad
firmer in dull trade on Monday, led by diversified companies
like Vallibel One, after the nation's parliament approved three
mega mixed development projects last week.
But the government's refusal to allow casinos at these
projects hurt the momentum, dealers said.
The country's main stock index edged up 0.07 percent,
or 4.13 points, to 6,171.94.
The Sri Lankan parliament on Friday approved two projects
for luxury resorts, worth up to $1250 million, by John Keells
Holdings PLC, that will include hotels and shopping
malls, and by Australian gaming tycoon James Packer's Crown Ltd.
Shares in Keells rose 0.04 percent to 235.00 rupees.
Vallibel One, which rose 2.25 percent to 18.20 rupees,
got parliamentary approval on Thursday to invest $300 million in
an integrated luxury tourist resort in the island nation's
proposed exclusive gaming zone.
The market has gained 3.41 percent so far this month as some
retail investors started buying risky assets in the face of low
Lower interest rates have helped the market gain in the past
few weeks, stockbrokers said.
The benchmark 91-day treasury bill yield dropped to its
lowest since January 2007 on Wednesday, data showed, a day after
the central bank kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows.
The day's turnover was 423.8 million rupees ($3.24 million),
well below this year's daily average of 957.9 million rupees.
Offshore investors were net buyers of 52.2 million rupees
worth of stocks on Monday in dull foreign activity. But they
have been net sellers of 7.19 billion rupees so far this year.
($1 = 130.6150 Sri Lanka Rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)