COLOMBO May 21 Sri Lanka stocks ended weaker on
Wednesday from a more than 11 month high hit in the previous
session, as investors booked profits in blue-chips, but
stockbrokers said the outlook was still positive due to
multi-year low interest rates.
The main stock index ended 0.51 percent, or 32.29
points, weaker at 6,289.32, slipping from its highest close
since June 10 last year.
"Profit-taking in blue-chips dragged the market down," a
stockbroker said asking not to be named.
Stockbrokers expect gains due to lower interest rates after
the central bank kept key rates at multi-year lows on Tuesday
for the fourth straight month, as expected.
The exchange witnessed net foreign inflow of 496 million
rupees ($3.80 million) worth of shares on Wednesday, extending
year-to-date net foreign inflow to 1.34 billion rupees.
The day's turnover stood at 944.2 million rupees, less than
this year's daily average of 1.03 billion.
Shares of leading fixed-line telephone operator Sri Lanka
Telecom PLC fell 2.69 percent to 47 rupees a share,
while top conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC fell
0.17 percent to 233.60 rupees.
The market has been on a rising trend since mid-March as
many investors were compelled to return to the stock market
because low interest rates have made fixed-income assets less
attractive, stockbrokers said.
However, analysts have raised concerns over sluggish
economic growth due to lower credit growth and consumer
Despite a multi-year low interest rate regime, data showed
private sector credit grew 4.3 percent in March from a year
earlier, the slowest expansion since May 2010, while imports in
February fell 6.2 percent on the year.
On Monday, central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said
Sri Lanka's private sector credit growth would pick up to around
15 percent by the end of this year and continue to improve
($1 = 130.3750 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil