Sri Lanka shares up on post-war economic optimism

COLOMBO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's shares .CSE rose for a sixth straight session, buoyed by post-war economic optimism with heavy volumes of trading across the board, traders said on Monday.

The bourse, one of best performing markets in Asia this year, closed 0.24 percent or 6.15 points firmer at 2607.65, its highest close since May 15, 2008.

The market is up 73.5 percent so far in 2009 and 36.7 percent since the government declared victory in the war on May 18.

Turnover hit 583.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($5.09 million), well above last year’s daily average of 464 million.

“Interest continued across the board with a possible picking up in the economy,” said Prasanna Chandrasekera, assistant vice president at NDB Stock Brokers in Colombo.

Analysts and traders said a $2.6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, large foreign buying of the island nation’s government securities and a sovereign credit rating outlook upgrade all have helped boost the post-war bourse.

The central bank on Friday said the largest post-war investment -- an $875 million purchase of four- and six-year treasury bonds -- along with an IMF special allocation of $475 million helped boost reserves to a record high of $3.9 billion. [ID:nCOL175932]

Ship repairing and building company Colombo Dockyard DOCK.CM closed 6.5 percent firmer at 135.25 rupees a share, calculated on a weighted average, while shares in Hatton National Bank HNB.CM closed 2.2 percent firmer at 138 rupees.

The rupee LKR= closed flat at 114.80/85 a dollar.

Sri Lanka’s consumer prices slowed down to 0.9 percent in August from a year earlier, slowing down from 1.1 percent in July after hitting a record low in June, government data showed on Monday. [ID:nCMB000004]

The interbank lending rate or call money rate CLIBOR edged up to 9.671 percent from Friday's 9.496 percent.

For secondary market rates, please see <0#LKBMK=>. (Editing by Bryson Hull) ($1=114.80 Sri Lankan Rupee)