COLOMBO, Jan 24 Sri Lankan shares hit
seven-month highs on Friday as investors bought large cap stocks
such as Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc, despite selling by
foreign investors to reduce exposure to risky assets.
The main stock index rose 0.47 percent, or 29.49
points, to 6,255.63, its highest close since June 12.
Foreign investors were net sellers for the first time in
four sessions. They sold a net 384.82 million rupees worth of
shares. But they have been net buyers of 826.6 million rupees so
far this year. They had bought 22.88 billion rupees of stocks
Offshore investors were net buyers for the last three
sessions through Thursday on positive sentiment after the
Colombo Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange
Commission of Sri Lanka hosted an investor roadshow in Singapore
earlier this week to attract more foreign funds.
Shares in large cap Ceylon Tobacco rose 1.73 percent to
1251.30 rupees, while Dialog Axiata Plc gained 2.15
percent to 9.50 rupees.
The index has gained 5.2 percent in the last 12 sessions
including this week's 2 percent gain, which analysts attributed
to the central bank's interest rate cut on Jan. 2 and the recent
fall in t-bill yields.
The index has been in an overbought region since Jan. 7,
Thomson Reuters data showed. It has risen 5.8 percent so far
this year following a 4.8 percent gain in 2013, after having
fallen in the previous two years.
The day's turnover was 1.5 billion rupees ($11.47 million),
more than last year's daily average of about 828.4 million
($1 = 130.7250 rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand