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Sri Lankan shares at 11-month high; Expolanka boosts foreign buying, turnover
May 9, 2014 / 12:30 PM / 4 years ago

Sri Lankan shares at 11-month high; Expolanka boosts foreign buying, turnover

COLOMBO, May 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks rose on Friday to a near 11-month closing high, led by financials, while a block deal in conglomerate Expolanka Holdings boosted foreign inflow to more than two-year high and turnover to its highest since June 2012.

The main stock index rose 0.15 percent, or 9.14 points, to 6,284.87, its highest close since June 11.

Shares in Expolanka Holdings Plc, which saw 30 percent of its stocks changing hands, ended flat at 10.30 rupee.

Expolanka Holdings in a filing to the bourse said 586 million shares were bought by S.G Holdings Ltd, the Japan-based holding company of leading freight and logistic company Sagawa group, at 10.70 rupees a share.

“Expolanka trade boosted the market, while others ran on earning expectations in the low interest-rate regime,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

“Foreign investors coming in is also a good indication”

After the market close, the Expolanka in a disclosure said the S.G Holdings would make a mandatory offer.

Expolanka accounted for 90.3 percent of the day’s turnover of 7.15 billion rupees ($54.8 million), which was highest since June 26, 2012, and well above this year’s daily average of 1.04 billion rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 6.28 billion rupees worth of stocks on Friday, the highest inflow since March 16 2012 and erasing the most of the year-to-date outflow, which stood at 524.6 million rupees on Friday.

The day’s gain boosted the market capitalisation by 3.83 billion rupees to 2.63 trillion rupees ($20.15 billion), led by large caps.

Analysts, however, said a lower credit growth has raised questions over growth and earnings amid lower consumer spending.

Despite a multi-year low interest rate regime, private sector credit grew 4.4 percent in February from a year earlier, the slowest expansion since May 2010. That compared with growth of 5.2 percent in January and 13.3 percent in February 2013. ($1 = 130.5050 Sri Lanka Rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)

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