COLOMBO Nov 8 Sri Lankan stocks edged to a
three-week high on Thursday without making major gains as
President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered 2013 budget proposals.
Rajapaksa, who doubles as finance minister, said plans
called for reducing the fiscal deficit to 5.8 percent of GDP in
2013, while attaining 7.5 percent economic growth next year.
The budget also encouraged new listing of shares and debts
though tax exemptions.
For details of the budget, see highlights
The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.18
percent, or 9.97 points, to end at 5,580.84, its highest level
"While there appears to be no significant surprise in the
2013 budget presented today, we expect the market to close the
week largely unchanged," DNH Financial said in a note to
Shares of John Keells Holdings PLC gained 0.28
percent to 213.90 rupees.
"We are positive on the capital market, but as far as the
rest of the economy is concerned, we are not that confident," a
stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.
Turnover was 539.2 million rupees ($4.13 million), just over
half of this year's daily average of 909 million rupees.
Foreigners bought a net 299.4 million rupees worth of shares,
extending the net foreign inflow this year to 34.9 billion.
The rupee edged up to 130.75/85 to the dollar from
Wednesday's close of 130.85/95 as banks sold dollars ahead of
budget, dealers said.
($1 = 130.7000 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Ron