August 17, 2017 / 11:54 AM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares mark 4-mth closing low in thin trade

COLOMBO, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a fifth session on Thursday, posting their lowest close in four months, as local investor sentiment was subdued following a string of disappointing June-quarter corporate results.

However, the decline was limited as foreign investors bought into equities.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.14 percent, or 9.29 points, to 6,408.12, its lowest close since April 18.

The bourse has fallen 3.9 percent since July 27 and slid in 14 out of 15 sessions due to a fall in June-quarter profit and speculation that the new tax reform bill will impose a tax on trading stocks.

However, State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne on Thursday said the concerns on the tax will be addressed.

“The market somewhat recovered and still we see investors buying stocks which have value,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 13.6 million rupees ($88,744) on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net inflow to 27.7 billion rupees.

Turnover was 334.9 million rupees, less than half of this year’s daily average of around 871.7 million rupees.

Shares of C T Holdings Plc lost 7.8 percent, while Nestle Lanka Plc ended 2.2 percent weaker, Melstacorp Ltd fell 1.9 percent and Hatton National Bank Plc declined 1.1 percent. ($1 = 153.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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