September 11, 2017 / 11:49 AM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan shares close little changed in dull trade; tax bill weighs on mkt

COLOMBO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed little changed in low turnover on Monday as investors waited for clarity on the new tax bill.

The parliament passed tax reforms on Thursday that should simplify the tax system, widen the tax base and increase government revenue, as agreed with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $1.5 billion, three-year loan.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.06 percent weaker at 6,372.24, snapping two straight sessions of gains.

Turnover was 290.8 million rupees ($1.90 million), the lowest since Aug. 28 and well below this year’s daily average of around 856.5 million rupees.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.2 percent last week, its eighth straight weekly drop.

“Investors are still waiting to see the clarifications on the tax bill and the exact implications of the bill,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc fell 0.6 percent, while Overseas Realty Ceylon Plc ended 2.67 percent weaker.

Foreign investors net bought 49.4 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 27.8 billion rupees worth equities. ($1 = 152.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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