COLOMBO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks rose on Wednesday, hovering near three-year highs, led by bank and finance companies as low interest rates and earning hopes helped boost appetite for risky assets despite an overbought market.
The main stock index ended up 0.27 percent, or 18.51 points, at 6,999.97, its highest close since Sept. 9, 2011.
The index has gained 18.4 percent so far this year.
“Mostly its retail activity today. There was some interest in banking and finance sectors on earnings hopes” said Dimantha Mathew, manger research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
Turnover was 1.79 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($13.75 million), more than this year’s daily average of 1.19 billion rupees.
The bourse saw net foreign outflow of 14.17 million rupees on Wednesday. But foreign investors were net buyers of 7.48 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Shares in Commercial Leasing & Finance Plc rose 4.65 percent to 4.50 rupees, while Commercial Credit and Finance Plc rose 15.05 percent to 32.10 rupees.
Shares in Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 0.55 percent to 145 rupees, while Sampath Bank Plc gained 1.86 percent to 229.80 rupees.
Nestle Lanka Plc, which led the gains in the overall index, rose 1.31 percent to 2,170 rupees.
Central bank rejected all 91-day treasury bill bids at an auction, while the yields in 182-day and 364-day treasury bills fell 1 to 2 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday. (1 US dollar = 130.1700 Sri Lankan rupee) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)