August 1, 2017 / 11:50 AM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares fall to 12-wk low on foreign selling

COLOMBO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for the fourth straight session on Tuesday to their lowest close in more than 12 weeks, led by losses in beverage and diversified stocks, as foreign investors turned net sellers for the first time in 14 sessions and a rights issue hurt liquidity.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.5 percent to 6,604.71, its lowest close since May 4. The bourse fell 1.6 percent in July, but had risen about 6 percent this year as of July 31 close.

Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores Plc fell 3.7 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc lost 0.8, and Lion Brewery Plc dropped 4.4 percent.

Turnover stood at 1.22 billion rupees ($7.95 million), its highest since July 18 and more than this year’s daily average of around 893.3 million rupees.

Private lender Sampath Bank Plc said it would issue one new share for every six existing shares.

“The rights issue mopped up the liquidity, but market is looking positive,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO of Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors were net sellers of shares worth 192.4 million rupees on Tuesday, but have bought 25.6 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year on a net basis. ($1 = 153.4500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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