May 15, 2017 / 12:11 PM / 3 years ago

Sri Lankan shares slip; investors await clarity on tax

COLOMBO, May 15 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended marginally lower on Monday, slipping from a near one-year high hit last week, as investors waited for some clarity after the finance ministry said a new tax structure is being considered under reforms.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Sunday said a new tax revenue proposal, which has yet to be approved by the parliament, would further increase government coffers in the coming years.

However, the new tax system which is urged by the International Monetary Fund, could face some amendments when it goes through parliament approval process, analysts say.

“The market will wait for the confirmation. When you see the history, there has been a lot of reversal. So investors will wait until they see the final numbers,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.18 percent lower at 6,659.87, slipping form its highest close since May 18, 2016 hit on Friday. The index added 0.5 percent last week, its seventh straight weekly gain.

Turnover stood at 465.4 million rupees ($3.05 million), half of this year’s daily average of 886 million rupees.

Foreign investors net sold shares worth 10.1 million rupees, marking the first net outflow in seven session. They have been net buyers of 16.8 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year.

Reduction of 36-38 basis points in T-bill yields in the last three weeks, stable currency on expectation of inflows from foreign borrowing, and an IMF statement on the disbursement of the third tranche of a $1.5 billion loan, have helped boost sentiment, analysts said.,,

Shares in Melstacorp Plc fell 2.3 percent while, Hatton National bank Plc fell 0.7 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 1.2 percent. ($1 = 152.4000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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